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S.E.L.F. Groups

Group of women in a circle with their arms around each other

In work with people who have experienced hunger and poverty, so many stories about stress, trauma and violence came to light. These experiences are common and people may struggle with traumatic events of both their past and present. S.E.L.F. support groups were developed to help families engaged in the Center's work to move past these experiences and into a better future. The women of Witnesses to Hunger and Children's HealthWatch were actively involved in these groups from 2011 to 2013. Some Witnesses were also trained to lead these groups. The first group of S.E.L.F. participants graduated from the 12-week training in August 2011, including five Witnesses. They helped lead on-going groups with additional women throughout the City of Philadelphia.

S.E.L.F. Defined

Part of the trauma-informed Sanctuary Model®, S.E.L.F. is a guide for healing from past trauma, violence and other challenging life experiences.

Safety
Group members learn about four types of safety: physical, social, moral, and psychological safety. They also learn tools for dealing with unsafe situations.
Emotional Management
Group members learn the importance of naming their feelings and understanding how to control them.
Loss and Letting Go
 Group members learn that every change involves loss. Members learn how to deal with losses in a healthy way.
Future
 A very important part of the healing process is looking toward the future. S.E.L.F group members learn to make plans for the future while remembering the past.