When struggling with challenging life events, people often feel alone, unsupported, and weak in their attempts to handle psychological issues. Unfortunately, the hectic life circumstances in the disturbing era of information cause much stress and contribute negative factors to mental health. That is why it is important to obtain professional help from therapists representing specialized facilities. In Atlanta, community members have an opportunity to access multiple therapy sessions, both individual and group, aimed at a variety of issues. In particular, therapists provide interventional, evidence-based practices to support individuals struggling with grief, emotional disturbance, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues. Importantly, group therapy deems the most effective in terms of achieving positive results through therapy since individuals not only develop behavioral coping skills but also obtain support and understanding from peers. Thus, this brochure will provide the readers with:
- all necessary information on evidence-based group treatments,
- community agencies delivering group therapy services in Atlanta,
- and the social policies that regulate such therapy.
Group Work Appropriate for the Community Audience
In the community, a diverse population of adults with mental health issues resides. Their needs include treatment of:
- emotional disturbances,
- stress management,
- interpersonal relationship regulation,
- depression coping skills,
- and grief management.
To treat each of these issues, group work is essential since the members of the community might be capable of learning coping skills, reflecting on their emotional state, regulating their behavior through practice, and exchanging experiences with other group members. Such group work should be based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approaches. In such a manner, people with mental issues will have an opportunity to interact with others going through the same experience under the supervision of skillful and professional experts to achieve effective healing results.
Description of Evidence-Based Group Treatments
Treatment in groups available from specialized agencies that community members might attend is developed and implemented according to evidence-based practice. It means that the methods used in group sessions are validated by research and years of positive outcomes recorded in academic studies and clinical trials. Therefore, it is safe to join groups and agencies that practice evidence-based treatment methods. Among the most renowned and effective therapeutic approaches that are based on evidence are Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. One might find more information about each of them in the subsections of this brochure.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most widely used methodologies in psychotherapy. It is the most tested and empirically supported approach to therapy, which is now referred to as a golden standard (David, Cristea, & Hofmann, 2018). Some of the main features of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are:
- flexibility in addressing major emotional and behavioral problems,
- emphasis on the individual needs of every client,
- active engagement in the treatment process,
- establishment of trusting relationships between clients and therapists,
- educational character or sessions,
- empowerment of individuals to recognize symptoms and cope with them independently.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Another therapy approach that is commonly used in psychiatry to treat mental health issues is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this methodology deals with major widespread psychological issues and aims at helping clients overcome obstacles to a healthy life. However, scholars state that this methodology is primarily designed to address self-harm behaviors, including suicidal intentions (DeCou, Comtois, & Landes, 2019). Indeed, “DBT group skills training is essentially a class to teach and practice skills critical for overcoming pervasive emotion dysregulation and suicidality” (DeCou et al., 2019, p. 61). The characteristics of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy are:
- treatment of impulsive behaviors,
- group sessions or individual meetings to develop skills of condition management,
- regulation of mood, behavior, thinking patterns, relationship building,
- includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies to adjust behavioral responses (DeCou et al., 2019).
Thus, when seeking professional support in dealing with psychological issues, one might be sure to rely on either of these methodologies since they are based on evidence and will bring effective results.
Description of Agencies in Atlanta and Groups They Offer
In Atlanta, there are multiple agencies that provide group therapy services to community members. The agencies primarily address the most common psychological issues that many residents of the community might encounter in their lives. Therefore, it is relevant to list some of the successful and available agencies where one can attend scheduled group meetings to obtain professional and peers support.
Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy
This agency is located in Atlanta and provides professional counseling services to community members suffering from the burden of emotional problems. The organization is verified by credible agencies and employs professionals in the field of clinical social work. It provides multiple individual and group sessions for a variety of client populations. However, the group session that might be of most appeal to the community audience is the Therapist Led, Nonreligious Grief Support Group (“Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy,” 2022). The information about this group’s goals and organizational details are available in the next subsection.
Group Therapy Session: Therapist Led, Nonreligious Grief Support Group
Session description: This group therapy is specifically designed for individuals who have recently lost a close person and suffer from grief. It might be challenging to cope with the burden of pain and emotional dysregulation when passing through such difficult times. That is why the counselor leading the group has designed structured group meetings based on effective therapy approaches. During the sessions, one can express their ‘feelings without judgment, ask questions about the grief experience, and find ways to come to terms with your loss in a supportive, safe environment” (“Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy,” 2022, para. 1). Upon enrollment, the member obtains access to eight sessions, a book, and a journal.
- Issues: Grief
- Age: Adults
- Session Cost: $450
- Led by Laura Silverman
- Phone number: (678) 826-2801
- Location: Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy Atlanta, GA 30324
- Meeting Schedule: Every Thursday – 8:30pm (“Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy,” 2022).
Vanessa Hebert’s Therapeutic Practice
Another agency available to the community audience is Vanessa Hebert’s therapeutic practice based in Atlanta. Many years of experience help the counseling therapist approach group sessions in an effective manner, using reliable methodologies and interventions. In particular, the therapist specializes in teaching clients how to use skills when navigating psychological challenges and dealing with addictions, grief, conflict, and emotional disturbances (“Vanessa Hebert,” 2022).
Group Therapy Session: DBT Skills Training – Teletherapy Group
Session description: This group training session is designed to be conducted for a multitude of emotional and behavioral issues in the adult population. Teletherapy implies remote sessions in groups aimed at developing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills.
- Issues: Behavioral Issues, Chronic Impulsivity, Emotional Disturbance
- Age: Adults
- Types of Therapy: Dialectical (DBT)
- Session Cost: $80 – $120
- Leading therapist: Vanessa Hebert
- Phone number: (404) 369-2051
- Location: Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 369-2051 (“Vanessa Hebert,” 2022).
WholeHeart Psychotherapy might be accessed as a reliable agency providing group sessions for multiple community populations in Atlanta. The therapists specialize in addition, emotional disturbance, interpersonal relationship, and skill training for coping with psychological issues.
Group Therapy Session: DBT Skills Group for Teens
Session description: This skills training group is “recommended for all clients who need to learn the DBT skills of mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness” (“Houston Stowell,” 2022, para. 1).
- Issues: Anxiety, Borderline Personality, Depression
- Age: Teen
- Types of Therapy: Dialectical (DBT)
- Leading therapist: Houston Stowell
- Phone number: (470) 276-8484
- Location WholeHeart Psychotherapy 6 Lenox Pointe NE Atlanta, GA 30324 (Houston Stowell,” 2022).
Social Policy Regulating Treatment
Therapy in groups, as well as individual sessions for psychotherapeutic purposes, are delivered in accordance with social policy regulations. One of such policies is the Social Impact Bond, which is a “specific way of “conducting social policies and spending public money,” and a radicalization of the wider phenomenon of (social) impact investing” (Berndt & Wirth, 2018, p. 28). According to this policy instrument, psychotherapy is considered a standardized procedure aimed at benefiting community members to ensure their healing as a long-term investment in the community’s wellbeing.
The presented brochure provides a compilation of educational information for community members. The community audience at whom the brochure’s content is aimed includes teenagers and adults residing in Atlanta and suffering from a variety of psychological issues. A range of addressed problems in mental health includes emotional disturbance, grief management, anxiety, depression, and interpersonal conflict handling. The brochure includes all necessary explanatory information needed by any given community member to understand the goals of the proposed sessions, the benefits of attending them, and the details required to access the meetings. As an addition to the brochure, this paper is designed to outline some recommendations as per referring to group therapy for community members to ensure that awareness about mental health is raised. Firstly, the designed brochure is of an awareness-raising character since the existence of such documents helps community members recognize problems in their lives and start finding solutions. Indeed, without available explanatory information, people might lack knowledge about the existence of therapeutic methods that might treat their problems. The brochure, therefore, is designed to engage community members in a dialogue to help them face their issues, label them, and obtain access to problem-solving methods.
Secondly, it is recommended for the community audience to engage in a search for appropriate solutions for their particular problems through reference to reputable agencies and information sources. The brochure contains an explanation about mental health issues that might be treated, the agencies that specialize in such treatment, and additional links where people can read and learn about similar therapies. In such a manner, the educational purpose of the brochure is pursued. The readers are encouraged to search verified information online to expand their knowledge about mental health.
Thirdly, when searching for a relevant therapy method that would help one address their particular problem, one should not engage in self-diagnosis. Instead, it is recommended to consult a specialist to have a proper discussion to understand what approaches might be best. While self-help might be insightful, some serious issues, such as depression, suicidal behaviors, and others, might require a professional approach. Therefore, it is essential that people with such sensible issues have access to necessary information and know where and how to consult a specialist to get enrolled in a group session.
Fourthly, when selecting an agency, one should pay particular attention to its expertise, reputation, and verification. It is recommended to follow the links and research the agencies listed in the brochure to understand what information is relevant when selecting a therapist. The expertise and credentials of the counselors, as well as the types of therapies they practice, should be reviewed to make a choice in favor of reputable specialists.
Fifthly, the enrollment in a group session should be based on an informed decision so that one obtains help from a reliable therapist in a safe environment. It is recommended to enroll in group sessions that are held face-to-face to experience the feelings of belonging, support, and presence, which have strong therapeutic effects on those suffering from mental health issues. Overall, group session attendance is encouraged to obtain peer support, develop coping skills, and engage in cooperation with other individuals who go through the same difficulties.
In conclusion, the presented brochure and the recommendation paper have provided a substantial discussion of the group sessions using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies in Atlanta. The information is anticipated to help community members be more aware of their mental health. The popularization of therapeutic interventions and the dissemination of information on how to access agencies will help people obtain professional assistance in a timely and effective manner. Thus, community members are encouraged to use and share the information received from the brochure to help others develop skills to lead a healthy life.
Berndt, C., & Wirth, M. (2018). Market, metrics, morals: The Social Impact Bond as an emerging social policy instrument. Geoforum, 90, 27-35.
David, D., Cristea, I., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Why cognitive behavioral therapy is the current gold standard of psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(4), 1-3.
DeCou, C. R., Comtois, K. A., & Landes, S. J. (2019). Dialectical behavior therapy is effective for the treatment of suicidal behavior: A meta-analysis. Behavior Therapy, 50(1), 60-72.
Houston Stowell. (2022). Psychology Today. Web.
Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy. (2022). Psychology Today. Web.
Vanessa Hebert. (2022). Psychology Today. Web.