Facilitator: Chelcy Babcock, LMHC view bio
Type of Group: Online Support Group, via Live Video Chat
Start date: September 2023
Time: Tuesdays from 6pm – 7pm EST
Duration: 8 x 45 minute sessions
Mindfulness for Stress Management and Anxiety
Facilitator: Chelcy Babcock, LMHC view bio
Support Group Overview:
The goal of this group is to assist individuals in learning, developing, and practicing mindfulness skills and routines in their daily lives. Mindfulness practices are effective techniques for both stress management and for coping with elevated symptoms of anxiety. Development and consistent implementation of these skills may assist members with making meaningful advances towards established treatment goals.
Group members will be asked to complete a stress inventory (the Perceived Stress Scale) to determine their baseline stress level prior to beginning the group. The initial portion of this group will focus on psychoeducation regarding mindfulness techniques (including meditations, breath work, and mindful movement practices such as yoga) and the philosophy behind mindfulness as a practice.
Once this foundation is established, group members will be expected to engage in active practice of mindfulness skills during group time and discuss their shared experiences. As the group progresses members will be expected to practice these techniques outside of the scheduled group time and track their experiences between sessions, while continuing to learn and practice additional skills in each group session. A second Perceived Stress Scale will be completed during the last group session in order to assist group members in identifying progress that they have made in learning and practicing techniques to reduce symptoms.
This group may be utilized as a supplemental intervention alongside individual therapy to assist members in attaining their goals of learning and practicing new strategies to manage stress and anxiety. Members of this group are expected to have some insight regarding their mental, emotional, and somatic responses to stress and anxiety, as well as motivation and commitment to practicing techniques and tracking progress between sessions.
Session 1: Introduction to the Group. Icebreakers, psychoeducation regarding mindfulness practices and mind body connection. Members will participate in guided mindfulness meditation with food or drink.
Session 2: Perception is Not Always Reality. How and why do we buy into misperceptions? How can we suspend judgment while observing/ witnessing situations in our lives? Members will participate in guided meditation and seated yoga practice.
Session 3: Being Present. How can we make ourselves more aware of our immediate experiences – both internal and external? Members will practice breathing techniques and a brief hatha yoga practice.
Session 4: Building Our Own Practices. What barriers have you found in implementing your own practices outside of group? How can we overcome them? Learning to sit with discomfort through a guided meditation.
Session 5: Reactivity, Response, and Radical Acceptance. How do we react to stress/anxiety in my daily life? How can practicing radical acceptance and detachment help us learn to respond rather than react? Group members will practice guided meditation.
Session 6: Mindful Self-Talk. How can we replace automatic thoughts with a more compassionate mindful dialogue? How will this influence our communication with others? Can it help us to become less reactive in stress-provoking situations? Group members will practice guided loving kindness meditation.
Session 7: Mindful Self-Care. How can we shift our self-care practices to be deliberate and intentional rather than relying on distractions? Which self- care practices have you found to be most helpful? Group members will practice a body scan and brief hatha yoga practice.
Session 8: Termination. Group members will practice a final guided meditation. Second administration of Perceived Stress Test. Which practices were most impactful, and which ones were implemented most consistently? How can members move forward in individual therapy with these new skills?
Ages 18 and older
Difficulty managing symptoms of anxiety or significant concerns with stress management through maladaptive coping strategies
Willingness to engage in physical/somatic interventions for stress management, including breathing strategies and yoga postures
Willingness to practice skills and journal outside of group sessions
Not at risk of decompensation (increased suicidality/lethality, at risk of severe depressive episode, at risk of relapse of addictive behavior) or actively engaging in self-harming behaviors such as cutting
Limited difficulty with socialization; does not report disturbance at the thought of sharing in a group setting