These groups are available at the Center to support individual psychotherapy and create a more intensive level of care, if needed. They can also be utilized in conjunction with services from providers outside the Center.
To join one of our groups, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.213.8905 x2 to schedule an initial evaluation so we can collaborate to determine which of our groups would be the best fit for your needs. You are also welcome to contact our group leaders if you have specific questions about their groups.
Our groups are open to clients pursuing a range of goals as each client develops their own personalized plans for positive change. Some members are pursuing moderate drinking or substance use while some are working on abstaining from substances and other problematic behaviors.
Mondays, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
This group is designed to be a supportive and safe environment for women at various points on the continuum of change to explore the function and meaning behind substance use and other problematic behaviors. Goals may be different for each member and include reduced use, moderation, and abstinence. As part of this group, members will gain a more nuanced understanding of how certain thought patterns, emotional states, and relationship dynamics may be impacting them.
Group members will explore the origins of their use while developing skills to identify and manage urges and cravings. Members will learn to assess harm, understand ambivalence about change and set personally-defined goals for success.
Mondays, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Members will explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues. Discussions will focus on how to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for positive growth. Group discussions also focus on issues around personal identity, loneliness and intimacy, and learning about one’s interpersonal patterns when interacting with others.
Tuesdays, 6:00- 7:30 p.m.
The group will focus on gentle movement, mindfulness meditation, and group process as tools for balancing the mind and body. This group is open to female-identified clients interested in learning new skills to help with stress reduction, anxiety, depression, identity, self-esteem, and self-care in a supportive environment. Sessions will include soothing, restorative movement practices and meditation for 30 minutes and the remainder of the session will focus on processing and discussion with the group. The combination of movement and group support will help members develop physical practices and resources that promote emotional balance. A range of topics will be explored each week, including body-image, cultural expectations, enhancing self-esteem, self-care, and how to develop personal practices to balance cycles and moods.
Since this group includes gentle physical activity, please wear comfortable clothes. We have yoga mats and other props available for group members at our center.
Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
This group will provide an introduction to principles of harm reduction, including psychoeducation about substances, along with strategies to reduce risk and increase safety. Members will be encouraged to share and reflect on their experiences and explore safer ways to manage substance use, which may include moderation, reduction in use, or abstinence. Sessions will be semi-structured with special topics introduced each week based on members’ needs and interests. Members can also choose to focus on a particular drug to learn about via discussion, literature and film.
Wednesdays, 5:40 – 6:40p.m. | Starting May 24
This group is for Center for Optimal Living clients who may want additional support during the week. The group will provide an opportunity to refine harm reduction strategies and tools to support them in meeting their needs and therapeutic goals. This group may be particularly useful for those clients who cannot commit to attending groups every week as there is no attendance requirement for this group. Clients are encouraged to become recurring members as they wish.
This class is designed to help you develop your ideal relationship to drinking. The class will also help you determine if moderation is a realistic option for you. Each class will offer information and skills that can be applied immediately in your life. Our framework includes a focus on biological, social, and psychological factors that contribute to your achieving moderate drinking. We recognize that alcohol can play many roles and carry multiple meanings in people’s lives and believe these may need to be clarified in order to understand your current pattern of drinking and to make the positive change that you desire. Through a technique called microanalysis you will be able to better understand the habit aspect of your drinking and learn specific skills for changing habits including mindfulness, urge surfing, and working with internal and external triggers. We will help you learn how to navigate challenging situations more effectively and address the impact of shame and guilt to help you foster an attitude of self-compassion and curiosity. This class is for anyone- whether you’ve been concerned about your drinking or not, or have always wanted to get clear about how to have alcohol in your life in a way that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks.
Wednesdays, 7:15 – 8:30 p.m.
Members will explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues. Discussions will focus on how to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for positive growth.
Thursdays, 12:15-1:00 p.m.
Our drop-in meditation group is open to anyone in need of a lunchtime relaxation break. Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and create a sense of peace and balance. The group will include a brief check-in and exploration of techniques, a silent meditation, and space for sharing our experiences during the meditation.
Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
This group aims to explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues. Members will learn to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for positive growth.
Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Mindfulness practices provide an opportunity to slow down, observe our moment-to-moment experiences non-judgmentally so we can respond in more effective ways. Mindfulness has been shown to increase self-compassion and enhances self-care capacities. By learning to attend to your experiences with greater acceptance, you will be able to navigate life’s challenges with more ease. Join us to learn more about these simple practice and how you can apply them in your daily life. The group includes a combination of skills-based practice and discussion so that members can adapt the skills to suit their needs and goals.
Thursdays, 7:40 – 8:40 p.m.
The group provides a safe space for members to seek support, reflect on goals, and develop strategies prior to starting the weekend. The group helps members create a structured plan of activities throughout the weekend to maintain the healthiest relationships with alcohol or drugs, as identified by each individual. Members will discuss and share healthy, positive alternatives that help them achieve their overall goals, from substance use, to work, relationships, and general health. We explore the roles that isolation, socialization, and other variables play in our thoughts, emotions, and actions around drug use and other risky behaviors. Members pursuing a variety of positive change goals (e.g., moderation, safer use, abstinence) are welcome to participate.
Fridays, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
This group is designed to support members who are working on maintaining abstinence from substances and/or other problematic behaviors. Members will learn useful strategies that can be applied to daily life to help them pursue their goal of abstinence. Group discussions will also address the underlying meaning and function of substance use and the challenges associated with maintaining abstinence. The group will include a combination of skill-based practices and open processing of issues members are currently working on.