The HEART Group is an impactful group therapy curriculum and a favorite among our clients. Our trauma specialist developed the curriculum and leads the group, which addresses underlying issues that contribute to addictions and teaches clients to embrace authenticity and wholehearted living. Group activities and lessons emphasize aspects of the name’s acronym, HEART: hope, empathy, authenticity, resilience and trust.
The HEART Group draws upon the work of renowned researchers, clinicians and authors such as Dr. Brené Brown, Don Miguel Ruiz and Dr. Cathy Moonshine. Lessons and activities focus on helping clients be honest and open with themselves and others. Clients stay engaged and motivated through interactive lessons incorporating group discussion, videos, art making, journaling and psychodrama.
The HEART Group’s rotating curriculum is based on six modules:
Vulnerability – Being vulnerable and learning to trust helps people in recovery explore the difficult issues and feelings that may have helped perpetuate their destructive behaviors and helps them begin healing from these experiences. Clients learn that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. They also learn how vulnerability is especially critical to the work of recovery.
Shame – A common emotion for those in recovery, clients may feel shame around many things – their addictions and mental health issues, how they feel they’ve disappointed loved ones, as well as past experiences that may feel shameful to them. This group explores shame and what that looks like for each individual.
Combatting Shame – Clients learn the difference between shame and guilt. They learn that “I did something bad” is different from “I am bad.” Participants engage in shame-resilience exercises and learn ways to manage shame triggers in everyday life.
Mindfulness – Research shows that mindfulness can help people in recovery from addictions and mental health disorders manage stressors that can lead to relapse. We explore many different mindfulness activities in the Heart Group, paying attention to different senses and practicing grounding exercises that help people stay in the present moment.
The Four Agreements – This module is based on the teachings of Toltec spiritualist Don Miguel Ruiz and his best-selling book “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” Ruiz’ book teaches readers to overcome self-limiting beliefs that keep them from living their best life. In this group, we explore ways to integrate the four agreements into everyday life: 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best.
Hope – On the flip side of shame is hope. Clients learn to move through shame, develop resilience and still feel hopeful in the face of challenges. They learn to recognize their potential and how to get back up when they’ve fallen down.
“On a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a twelve.”
“I learned a lot about shame and guilt and how to operate the appropriate way.”
“Perhaps the best group I’ve attended so far.”
“This class I awesome. A truly safe space with a lot of education and self-help.”
“Very positive and constructive group. Very relatable to my life and situation.”
“These sessions get me going in a positive direction after each one of them.”
“The effort in presenting and researching topics is beyond exceptional.”