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Group Therapy

Group therapy involves our therapists working with multiple people at the same time in guided discussion.

what is group therapy?

Group therapy is a vital component of residential treatment at Wayside. In these sessions, you will develop greater self-awareness by listening and sharing with fellow women. We provide a safe space for you to explore vulnerability, grief, trauma and healthy relationships. This format can provide a unique sense of support and shared experience. It is a key part of your comprehensive recovery plan.

Sessions are also designed to help you build new and authentic relationships with other women who share your experience. The women in your group may start out as strangers, but will likely develop into trusted allies to support you in your recovery.

Group therapy topics and activities address a wide range of needs:

  • Grief and loss
  • Building relationships in recovery
  • Guilt and shame
  • Relapse prevention
  • Psycho-education to better understand and cope with your diagnosis
  • Therapeutic processing to analyze past events with your new coping skills and create a new narrative around the event
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to accept yourself, feel safe, and manage your emotions
  • Art journaling


Currently, group therapy is available to women enrolled in residential treatment at Wayside. We do offer group and individual therapy as an outpatient service.

Wayside offers individualized, culturally responsive treatment to every woman who walks through our doors. This includes access to providers representative of your community and referrals for additional services you may request to support you while in our care. Currently, women who identify as Indigenous or African American represent the two largest cultural communities that access services at Wayside. Learn more about our culturally responsive care at Comparing Treatments.

Yes, each woman has a dedicated counselor who you will meet within 24-72 hours of entering treatment. From there, you will meet with your counselor once a week.

Wayside has two levels of intensity. In our high intensity program, women receive 30-40 hours of treatment per week. In our medium intensity program, women receive 15-30 hours. Outpatient provides high intensity programming. Women can receive up to 14 hours a week.

Wayside was the first time I received the help I needed in all areas of my life– therapy, parenting, spirituality. I needed all of it; addiction and trauma had impacted everything. Today I know I am a worthwhile woman and I deserve to be loved, respected and sober!”

What will programming look like for me?

Programming is individualized based on client needs; we believe in a client-centered approach and working with each individual woman to determine what treatment plan will be the most beneficial for her recovery. We empower women to work alongside their counselor in a collaborative process in order to get their needs met.

sample group topics

  • Process Group: A 2-hour group to receive support on topics of concern in a supportive group environment. We emphasize providing relational and empathic feedback as a way of working through isolation and shame that many women feel in their substance use disorder, and as a way to build new and authentic relationships with other women in recovery. Process group also focuses on learning to express vulnerability, and to connect to your vulnerability as a source of strength and healing.
  • Substance Use Prevention: An 8 week curriculum-based educational group with an emphasis on mindfulness-based relapse prevention skills. Women who engage in this group will learn the four basic challenges of a mindfulness practice and how the practice of everyday mindfulness can decrease the risk of substance use. Women are encouraged to engage in a home-practice of mindfulness and track progress, as well as participate in an in-class guided meditation and grounding exercises.
  • Dismantling Shame & Embracing Vulnerability: This is a psychoeducational group designed to introduce women to modern research in preventing shame from influencing our day-to-day lives. It is fundamental to the treatment of mental health, emotional self-care and substance use. Women will learn to recognize the difference between guilt and shame, how to practice self-compassion and empathy, and much more. Women acknowledge how we move what we know from our heads to our hearts through our hands. They will create their own unique page in an art journal that is completed over 12 weeks to reflect their knowledge, wisdom and bravery.