Why Choose Group Therapy?

One of the many problems with relegating sexual assault to the status of “dirty little secret” in our culture is that survivors must often grapple with this feeling that they are alone. I sit with grandmothers who told their mothers who didn’t believe them. They never mentioned it again. I sit with grown men who can’t understand why their lives are still being impacted by something that happened to them in childhood. They can’t remember so many things from childhood, so why does this thing still keep them up at night? I sit with teens who don’t know who to trust anymore. All they want is for this to go away so that they can fit in… but it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and no one understands what it really feels like.

Individual therapy is an important component of the healing journey we offer here at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. It’s important to process the experience of sexual assault itself and all of the ways in which it has impacted the survivor. The thoughts and feelings that surface as a survivor moves through the process of unpacking that trauma box need space and the individual attention and support of a trained therapist.

Here’s the other piece—Somebody who has been through what you’ve been through has to be there to tell you that you’re not crazy, not broken, not irreparable, not weird… that you’re a person who, like many other people, has gone through something earth-shaking and who is now experiencing the effects of that shaking. In our groups, survivors get to come together with other survivors to talk about the many ways in which their lives have been impacted, to share and learn tools to help them to recover, and to support each other—really support each other—to become whole again.

There is no replacement for individual therapy, and there is no replacement for peer support. At STSM, we recognize these two pieces as complementary parts of the path to healing. We offer support groups for women, men, teens, and parent/caregivers, as well as art and yoga therapy groups. Like the rest of STSM’s clinical services, these groups are offered by trained professionals to survivors at no cost.

Dear survivors, no matter when your assault or abuse occurred, you’ve been alone with this for too long already. Please let us accompany you as you heal. Whatever it is, whatever you’re experiencing now, I promise one thing: you don’t have to do this alone.

Bahiyyih Young

Bahiyyih Young joined the staff of STSM in February of 2014 as the Underserved Survivor Advocate. In August 2015 she was promoted to Group Services Coordinator. Bahiyyih’s job has two parts: to provide counseling to survivors of sexual trauma and to coordinate the support groups STSM offers throughout the Midlands.