“I work full-time in Manhattan. My younger son is a high-school junior and is in the midst of college visits. My parents are in their late 70s and still live in the house that I grew up in. Both have health issues, and rely on me more and more for help maintaining the house, getting to doctors’ appointments, etc.,” Sarah explains. “My stress and anxiety kept increasing. My general practitioner referred me to the Phase of Life Group for Women offered at Christian Health Care Counseling Center (CHCCC). It has been a lifesaver. I realize that so many other women are going through what I’m going through. Their insight, feedback, and tips help me tremendously.”

The Phase of Life for Women group is one of 19 therapy groups for children, teens, and adults offered at CHCCC (See full list on this page.). Under the guidance of a trained mental-health professional, group therapy is formal mental-health treatment for people with similar conditions, concerns, or issues. Groups are structured and topic-driven.

“Sitting with others who have similar issues and receiving new ideas can be very powerful and very beneficial,” says Bart Mongiello, LCSW, CHCCC Director. “Hearing others discuss what they are going can make you realize that you are not alone and be a relief.”

In group therapy, members are equally empowered to be part of the conversation and ultimately part of each person’s recovery. The different personalities and backgrounds of participants allow members to get a range of perspectives on their individual situations. Groups are motivating, and they teach members about themselves.

“You get to see yourself through the eyes of the other group members,” Mr. Mongiello says. “You uncover blind spots that may be blocking your ability to overcome your issues.”

Groups at CHCCC are developed due to clinical need or clients’ request. They are routinely reviewed and updated, if necessary.

“Clients ask for certain topics, or clinicians recognize that patients with similar issues might benefit from working together in a group,” Mr. Mongiello says.

Average attendance in each one-hour group is eight clients. All but one group is open and ongoing, meaning that a new client can join at any time. An individual does not have to be in another form of treatment in order to join a group.

“We welcome new members,” Mr. Mongiello says. “It’s what keeps are groups going strong.”

Group therapy is one of several treatment modalities offered at CHCCC, where clients of all ages – from children to seniors – learn the coping skills they need to function in all areas of the community. A wide range of outpatient programs, including individual and family therapy, is offered. Faith is integrated into treatment at the request of the client.

For more information about Christian Health Care Counseling Center, contact Karen Hockstein at (201) 848-4463 or khockstein@chccnj.org, or visit ChristianHealthCare.org.