Bigger Than This (BTT)
Engaging in group healing like the one found in support groups can be very effective for recovering from the negative effects of sexual violence; especially when used in combination with individual therapy/Counseling and psychoeducation like our online courses. A support group allows the survivor to realize you are not alone. It allows feelings of isolation, shame, secrecy, and stigmatization that can arise as a result of the violence experienced to be diluted. Members of support groups get the opportunity to explore and resolve trauma, express feelings, and give or receive support and find hope.
Every day, hour, or minute spent in the grip of the incident is another win for the perpetrator. It is time for you the survivor, to take back your power, step back into the sunlight, and live again. You deserve this chance.
A survivor’s reaction may depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to personal life experiences, the type of violence experienced, history of prior traumas, and the level of social support available after the incident.
Survivors of sexual violence may experience disruptions in any of the following:
• Physical health
• Emotional/psychological health
• Social lifestyle
• Sexual health
• Spiritual or religious practice
- Undereating or overeating
- Insomnia/disruptions in sleep routine
- Physical injuries caused by the violence
- Sexually transmitted infection
- Gynecological and menstrual problems for female survivors
- Chronic pain, headaches, or stomach aches
- Increased use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Nightmares or flashbacks
- Self-harming, reckless, or combative behaviors - Feelings of numbness
- Depression and/or anxiety - Fluctuating emotions
- Feelings of isolation
- Self-blame or guilt
- Low self-esteem
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts - Eating disorders
- Feelings of shame or being dirty
- Changes in daily routine
- Staying at home or only going outside when
accompanied by someone else
- Concerns with intimacy in relationships
- Difficulty in developing long-term relationships
- Discontinuing all sexual activity or becoming hypersexual
- Disconnecting from one’s own sexuality
- Disinterest in sexual activity
- Distrust of sexual contact
- Concerns with intimacy in sexual relationships
- Discontinuing spiritual or religious practices
- Questioning spiritual or religious beliefs
- Seeking spiritual or religious answers
- Difficulties seeking support through a spiritual or religious community
There are many potential benefits of participating in support groups, some of which are:
Expressing emotions in a safe space
Learning new coping strategies
Experiencing validation and normalization of feelings, experiences, and trauma responses
6. Giving and receiving support
7. Building or expanding one’s support network
8. Identifying with others
9. Experiencing compassion and empowerment
10. Increasing self-esteem
For many people, this kind of support group may fill a gap between medical treatment and the need for emotional support. A person's relationship with a doctor or other medical personnel may not provide adequate emotional support, and a person's family and friends may not understand the impact of a disorder or treatment. A support group among people with shared experiences could function as a bridge between medical and emotional needs.
Structure of the Support Group
This support group is a free service offered by the Peak Performance Coaching Academy (PPCA). The program typically runs for 12 weeks with a maximum number of 50 members. It is gender-specific. The group is open to everybody regardless of religion or orientation.
BTT 1 Incest/Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Group (for female survivors) Meets Wednesdays 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
BTT 2 Rape/Sexual Assault Survivors Support Group (for female survivors) Meets Thursday 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
Members must be above 24 years of age.
Format of the Group
This is an online community. All sessions will be led by a certified CBT Counselor or another mental health professional as appropriate. Occasionally the group will also have presentations by external speakers - we offer psychoeducational opportunities, such as a guest doctor, psychologist, nurse, or social worker or layperson with very pertinent experience to talk about a topic related to the group's needs. The process of selection for speakers will be rigorous and must comply with our standard of care and objective which is:
To do no harm
Develop new skills by providing opportunities for learning and practicing new skills
To enable members to heal and Mend
Provide a safe environment for members to interact and learn within a set time and duration for the program.
As such we will ensure we guard against the following:
Disruptive group members
Conversation dominated by griping
Lack of confidentiality (note that confidentiality is very critical)
Emotional entanglement, group tension or interpersonal conflicts
Inappropriate or unsound medical advice
Competitive comparisons of whose condition or experience is worse
Using this online environment to prey on people, promote a product, or commit fraud.
This necessitates that at members will be cautioned immediately a violation is noticed and promptly banned from the group if the individual fails to desist.
This is an online support group and it offers benefits and risks that are particular to this format. Benefits of online groups include:
More frequent or flexible participation,
Opportunities for people who may not have local face-to-face support groups
A degree of privacy or anonymity
Possible Benefits of participating in a support group include:
Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
Improving skills to cope with challenges
Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
Improving understanding of a disorder and your own experience with it
Getting practical feedback about treatment options
Learning about cognitive restructuring, behavioral changes, economic or social resources
Understandably, when you join a new support group, you may be nervous about sharing personal issues with people you don't know. Initially, it may be possible to benefit from simply listening. However, getting to the point when you are contributing your own ideas and experiences may help you get more out of the program.
Note that your improvement or lack thereof depends largely on you and what you do with the information and resources provided. We encourage only members who really desire personal change to apply.
Participation is limited to 50 members per 12-week program.
While we encourage people to always attend the online meetings we realize that sometimes this may not be possible therefore recordings of some sessions and presentations will be made available as listen or view only for members who were unable to attend the session.
Any member who is absent for a maximum of 3 sessions without a cogent reason, will be deemed to have left the program and will be withdrawn immediately.
We will have 2 or 3 sessions for members and caregivers. We encourage members to attend these sessions with carers, parents, spouses or any other relevant members of their personal support network. This is could help the individual better understand the members' condition or ask pertinent questions that can enable them to improve their ability to support the member. Note that this caregiver, spouse, or parent must be registered on the members' account to be eligible to participate.
It is very wrong and unfair to other members to allow a friend or any other individual who is not a member of the group to listen in on a group session without registration.
PPCA counseling services are separate from and not included in the support group program except otherwise indicated, as could occasionally be the case.
You are free to try the group for 2 sessions. If it does not feel like a good fit for you, kindly consider a different support group with a different group format.
We appeal that you make up your mind early enough so that the slot may still be utilized by another person.
Please remember that a support group is not a substitute for regular medical care. Also let your doctor, counselor, or life coach know that you're participating in a support group.
If you do not think a support group is appropriate for you, but you still need help coping with your condition or situation, do talk to your doctor about counseling or other types of therapy or book an appointment for a counseling session on our site.