What we're about

2 new groups are now forming. Depending on who is interested in participating I may start two trauma groups or one trauma group and one group for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THESE GROUPS I REQUIRE THAT ALL NEW MEMBERS MEET WITH ME INDIVIDUALLY FIRST. I PREFER TO GET TO KNOW POTENTIAL MEMBERS BEFORE OFFICIALLY INVITING THEM TO THE GROUP IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS A GOOD FIT FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED. THE INDIVIDUAL MEETING IS FREE. PLEASE CONTACT ME DIRECTLY BY EMAIL, TEXT OR PHONE AT 540-599-4666 IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING.

Hello Survivors,

My name is Nick Kaplan. I am 43 years old and have been leading adult support groups for survivors of abuse, neglect and trauma since 2011. The self-imposed isolation that trauma survivors inflict upon themselves can be an extremely painful cycle that is difficult to break. This group is intended for survivors of trauma to discuss and share their experiences and ongoing symptoms with others who can directly understand and relate to post traumatic distress. I aim to create a safe place for survivors to work through the traumatic events of the past in order to find more freedom from them in the future. Members will be invited to share only as much of their experience as they feel comfortable sharing with the group. Members must agree to a strict policy of confidentiality concerning the content of the each meeting.

These weekly meetings are open to anyone who has experienced relational trauma. You do not need an official PTSD diagnosis to participate. In my view, trauma is not limited to the textbook definition as contained in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which limits trauma to experiencing or witnessing an event that threatened one's physical existence. Ibrahim Kira suggests a much more comprehensive view of trauma, and includes the following categories of trauma (some categories not relevant to these groups have been excluded). Each category depicts various traumatic conditions that can result in different and unique sets of symptoms and problems.

Survival Trauma is the trauma type that is identified in the DSM and involves direct or indirect threats to ones own life or that of a significant other. Traumas such as these can shatter one's beliefs, assumptions, and judgments about one's safety in the world. Direct involvement or observing others in car accidents, serious falls, surgeries, near fatal illnesses, terrorist attacks, war, or any experience with violence may lead to this type of trauma.

A growing body of research suggests that attachment is not a stable trait that is established within childhood and then remains consistent throughout a lifetime. Events experienced in adulthood such as divorce or other broken relationships can cause attachment trauma and profoundly affect an individual's ability to trust and relate to others regardless of a previous secure attachment style.

Identity/Autonomy Trauma impacts behavioral and emotional independence and/or a sense of identity creating feelings of incompetence, inadequacy, alienation and loss of control over one’s self and ones destiny. In children, it disturbs the development of healthy autonomy and identity formation; in the adult, it causes feelings of loss of self and helplessness. Events such as sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, rape, slavery, prisoners of war, torture, and genocide tend to create this type of trauma. Individuals who are harassed, bullied, shamed, embarrassed, or attacked as a result of their sexual identity, gender, religion or other aspect of their being may experience identity trauma and can cause unique psychological and emotional problems.

Relational, Interdependence or Disconnectedness Trauma impacts the essential social interaction that provides emotional, social, and mental support disrupting the individual's feeling of safety, security and community that are core survival mechanisms. Events such as frequent moving, multiple evictions, loss of long standing relationships, loss of affiliation with support systems, and divorce create interdependence or disconnectedness trauma.

Narcissistic Abuse is a specific form of relational trauma that can have profound impacts on development if experienced during childhood. When a parent or caregiver displays Narcissistic tendencies the effects can resemble post-traumatic symptoms.

If you continue to suffer life debilitating symptoms as a result of any form of past trauma, consider joining our group and continue your healing journey in a safe and supportive environment. The structure of meetings currently begins with a brief check-in period during which members are free to request more individual time later in the meeting. Group meetings will include mindfulness practices, seated meditation, various self-regulation techniques, and group discussion. Please email, text or call Nick if you have any questions or concerns about being a part of a group. 540-599-4666

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