This group is born of a desire to engage the ancient art of storytelling as a primary pathway to recovering from relationship-induced emotional trauma. Even if the trauma is subtle, it can have deep and lasting impact.
Thankfully, neuroscientific researchers have cracked the code on how the human brain works. Its primary job is to KEEP YOU SAFE (as in alive physically). It is a primordial machine hypervigilant to threat. Your happiness is not seen as the top priority for your brain. As long as you're alive, it has done its job.
All of us are one Google or YouTube search away from an avalanche of information such as this, but this group is designed with the primary purpose of supporting you in your quest to Feel Better after relationship trauma, not just Know Better. What you know is important but not nearly as imperative as how you feel when it comes to life satisfaction.
So, if you wake up every morning with a sense of dread, hopelessness or just a vague malaise or indifference to life, or you wake up feeling empty, generally under-appreciated - perhaps invisible, isolated, anxious or afraid - your brain may be keeping you safe instead of making you happy. Trauma enhances the brain's state of hypervigilance and can keep one stuck for years without fully understanding why or what to do about it. You don't even have to remember the trauma for it to affect you for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, the way we were raised often reinforces the brain's penchant for safety. It's not uncommon to come from families who more or less protected our safety and met our physical needs, but did not know how to acknowledge or address the gamut of our inborn and budding emotional needs - especially our need for acceptance and a sense of belongingness. It's not that our families were cruel - though some were - it's that they didn't know how to give us what they hadn't learned to give themselves.
This group is designed to not only teach us this, but to hold us accountable to the practices that - through the magic of neuroplasticity - rewire our brains for peace and fulfillment over safety and complacency. Storytelling can provide a gateway to trauma healing, but we will also utilize other proven modalities in our trauma toolkit that lead to more emotional freedom.
If you are a writer, like I am, and interested in sharing your life memoirs, this group may be for you as we revisit what got us where we are. Some who have published their relationship trauma stories have fictionalized them to conceal the real-life identities of the characters.
You don't have to be a professional writer to join the group. Either way, telling the story (even in a private journal or to a trusted friend) moves it out of the storyteller. Otherwise, the brain keeps the story on repeat and often subconsciously so we're not fully aware why we feel the way we do.
You, as the storyteller, start to feel freer the more you tell the story; but, at some point, rewriting the story through visualization and other healing modalities can trick the brain into supporting you to feel better over time. Basically, we'll rewrite to rewire. We'll discuss these trauma-taming techniques and more in the group.
The group activity is meant to be responsive to the needs of its members so we will regularly discuss the value of what we're doing to maximize potential support for all members to heal. Everyone in the group gets to have a voice if they choose. We want to share the spotlight here and be respectful of every member. Again, knowledge is impressive, but feeling is the focus and the environment we collectively create should feel respectful, genuine and compassionate for all.