The Groups Program at WRISC offers a variety of safe, supportive and therapeutic spaces for women and children to come together and heal from the effects of family violence. Groups in this program are developed in response to the needs of the community and aim to enhance the safety, autonomy and wellbeing of all participants.
Women’s Support Groups
WRISC’s Women’s Support Groups operate throughout the year. These groups offer women opportunity to talk and learn about family violence together and to reflect on their own experiences in a safe, non-judgemental and supportive environment with others who share similar experiences.
Family violence can cause disempowerment and disconnection, WRISC’s Women’s Support Groups aim to promote safety, build on strengths, foster hope and create connections, empowering women in their next steps after violence.
Women’s Support Groups running this term
Women’s Support Group (Ballarat)
The Women’s Support Group is a safe and confidential space for women to meet other women who have experienced family violence and to help participants through their experience of family violence. This group is informal allowing for flexible attendance.
- Operating in Ballarat on a fortnightly basis.
- Options for online groups are being explored.
Women’s Support Group (Bacchus Marsh)
This group utilises arts based therapeutic approaches to provide space for mothers and carers to connect, learn about and reflect on the impacts of family violence on their own and their children’s lives in creative ways.
- Participants accepted from all WRISC programs & external services where appropriate.
- Operating in Bacchus Marsh during each school term.
Steppin’ Out Walking Group
This is a therapeutic outdoor walking group aiming to restore emotional well-being and physical health. Steppin’ Out walks are a positive and healthy way for participants to reflect on their experiences while connecting with nature and building valuable social and community connections as well as learning coping strategies such as how to be in the present.
- Clients from WRISC programs accepted.
- Operating in Ballarat on a monthly basis.
Children’s Therapeutic Groups
Therapeutic groups are developed in response to the needs of infants, children and youth living within the Central Highlands region. Facilitated by Van Go Therapists, these groups operate on a term by term basis and offer a range of developmentally appropriate, trauma informed, creative and dynamic spaces for children to interact with peers who have had similar experiences in a safe environment that supports emotional and social development.
Parents and carers of children are also supported with opportunity to participate in groups focusing on areas such as psychoeducational, therapeutic and child/caregiver relationship development.
Children’s Therapeutic Groups running this term
These groups are updated on a term basis, please check regularly for updates.
This fun, safe and friendly group, uses a range of arts making, sensory exploring and creative approaches to gently explore personal boundaries, build individual agency and to notice the ways our bodies experience challenging environments. Building confidence and connections with others as participants navigate a shared space, developing a personal language to describe felt experiences as windows of tolerance are built. Laughter, music, paint, clay, golf balls, Jenga, sand and journaling are just a beginning to explore and share narratives as voices are developed.
- Open to 14 -15 year olds.
- Operating in Ballarat.
Aboriginal Program Groups
The Aboriginal Program facilitates a Yarning Circle group for primary and high school girls and boys that operates each term. This group provides a culturally safe space for kids to build connections, gain new experiences and participate in fun activities that include pottery, art, outings and Pizza Hut just to name a few.
Upcoming Groups – Term 4
Feeling Visible Schools Group Program
Felling Visible is a small groups program held in schools with identified students that demonstrate the impacts of Family Violence. This group is run by Registered Arts Therapists using an Arts based trauma informed approach to develop the voices of its participants. Consent, safety, boundaries, awareness of self, emotional regulation and needs are all approached with a strength based, attitude of curiosity and trauma informed awareness of family violence. This is a six week program run in schools across the Central Highlands catchment.
Little Children Big Outcomes Group
WRISC Van Go will be piloting a new children’s group in Term 4 2022. This group responds to the very specific needs of children under five who live in Moorabool and who have experienced family violence. It is the culmination of the Van Go research project ‘Little Children, Big Outcomes.’ Very young children recover from relational violence through their safe caregiving relationships. In this new group both mums and children under five will be supported in their recovery from their experiences of violence.
- Operating in Bacchus Marsh Term 4.
For referrals and more information about any of WRISC’s Therapeutic & Support Groups please contact WRISC reception on 5333 3666 and talk to our Group Coordinator.