• Healing from Sexual Trauma

    Starts April 11!

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    Embark on a 10-week healing journey!

    Trauma changes the way we think, feel and behave. 

    It makes us believe that:

    others can’t be trusted,

    there’s something wrong with us, and

    we somehow deserve, caused or intended for the traumatic event(s) to happen.

    This is especially true for survivors of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and/or exploitation, due to the dominant narratives and inaccurate media portrayals surrounding these traumatic events.

    This two-part program will equip you with the strategies to effectively manage your symptoms and provide a supportive space in which you can process and release.

    Part 1

    Understanding Your Experience & Finding Stability

    Understand the impact of sexual trauma 

    Learn techniques to manage difficult emotions 

    Find stability by learning strategies to manage triggers and flashbacks 

    Challenge trauma based beliefs 

    Regulate your nervous system using strategies that work

    April 11 - May 2

    Part 2

    Rebuilding a Fulfilling Life

    Learn to set boundaries

    Develop trust towards self and others

    Re-establish safety

    Reclaim your power and control

    Confidently express your needs

    Explore positive sexuality

    Let go of shame and guilt

    Develop a strategy for self-disclosure

    May 16 - June 20

    What is the registration process?

    The first step to joining a group is an intake call with our intake coordinator. This is a complimentary phone call during which we will learn more about your needs and determine if group is the right fit for you. 

    If it is, you’ll be connected with the group facilitator for another complimentary consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss the challenges that you’re currently experiencing and explore your goals for group. You will also learn about the psychotherapy group that you’re thinking of joining. This conversation will help you and the therapist determine if the group is a good fit for you. 

    If you decide that it is, you will be asked to sign a consent form for your participation in the group. Once that is completed, you are registered. 

    Payment for group will be due on the first day of group.

    What can I expect during the sessions?

    This is a psychoeducational support group meaning that the main focus is learning skills to approach your symptoms while in a supportive and validating environment. 

    Each session has a focus or a topic and there will be some strategies taught to address that topic. You might practice the strategy together as a group or discuss with the group how this might apply to your life. 

    You’ll then have the opportunity to practice the strategies at home between sessions.

    The next week you’ll begin group with a check in about the prior week which will give you a chance to discuss any issues that came up when you were using your skills, explore insights, and share successes.

    The first group session involves introductions to get to know the facilitator(s) and group members as well as an overview of consent, group rules, and what to expect.

    The last session will be an opportunity to celebrate the progress that you made and say your farewells.

    If you require support between sessions, you will have an option to book individual sessions with the group facilitator(s) for coaching around the skills you are learning/topics we are exploring.

    How many people will be in the group?

    Group size ranges from 4-10 members. 

    We intentionally keep the numbers low to ensure everyone has time to share, feels comfortable participating, and gets the most out of the group.

    How long is group?

    Group sessions are 2 hours in length. There is typically a brief bathroom/refreshment break half-way through. 

    Is it virtual or in person?

    At this time, the group is set to be virtual. If you are interested in an in-person group, please let us know! If we have enough participants, we will offer an in-person date, at our offices at 500 King Street in Toronto (King St. West and Spadina).

    Do I have to attend part 1 and part 2?

    No. You are welcome to complete part 1 only or to complete part 1 and part 2. 

    Participation in part 1 is required to participate in part 2. This is because part 2 builds upon the knowledge an skills learned in part 1. 

    You are welcome to participate in part 2 at a later time. 

    You do not have to decide about your participation in part 2 until you have finished part 1.

    Do I need to do anything in between sessions?

    If you think back to when you learned to ride a bicycle or something that you now do effortlessly, you’ll probably remember that it took quite a bit of practice to be able to get good at it. We want you to get good at using the skills that you learn at group so we do ask you to spend a few minutes each day between group trying to implement the strategies that you learned.

    That way, if any issues come up, you can trouble shoot with the group at the next session. If no issues came up, then you practiced which makes it more likely that you’ll use the strategy when you need them most.

    You do not need to complete these tasks. You will not get in trouble if you don’t do them. However, we do recommend you complete them to get the most out of the group.

    Do I need to share what happened to me?

    Sharing your experience is not a requirement of part 1 or part 2. There is an opportunity at the end of part 2 to share your experience with the group. This is optional. You are not required to do so and if you choose to share, you can share as much or as little as you would like. 

    We appreciate that everyone is at different stages of their recovery and that everyone has different needs to heal. We are supportive of where you are and will not push you to do something that you do not want to do. 

    Do I have to have my camera on?

    Yes. There are five reasons for this. 

    Connection and Engagement. 

    Having cameras on enhances the human element of a virtual group, creating a opportunities for connection and engagement. If we were in person, we would not be hiding our faces and this contributes to a personal and supportive space. Having cameras on creates this same dynamic in a group setting.

    Non-Verbal Communication.

    There is SO MUCH information that we collect from people’s facial expressions an body language. Facilitators rely on cameras being on to understand the group’s reactions to discussion topics – are you bored, interested, or agree/disagree with what is being discussed? Was the joke or comment understood or is clarification needed?

    The same goes for other group members.  When we share and see someone nodding or smiling, it offers validation and creates feelings of acceptance. This is one of the greatest benefits of attending group therapy. 

    Building Trust. 

    Being able to see one another creates a sense of openness and transparency which is crucial for creating a safe therapeutic environment. It also builds trust among the group, with everyone knowing who they are sharing with. 


    We are much more likely to engage and participate in a session when we are on camera. Even if we’re not sharing, we’re less likely to be distracted with other tasks such as housework or responding to emails. This increases the benefit of the group. 


    Facilitators need to know what is happening with the group from a safety perspective. If someone becomes triggered, injured, or experiences an emergency, the facilitators can see this occurred and respond appropriately. 

    What if it's not for me?

    You don’t want to get stuck in something that isn’t right for you – we totally get that! To prevent this from happening we offer a complimentary orientation session. This is a chance for you to meet with the group facilitator, learn about the group, and determine if it’s a fit for you. 

    Once you start the group, you may experience worries about not fitting in. If this happens, we want you to express those feelings with the group facilitators. We will work through your concerns and come up with a solution that is best for you at that time


    Embarking on a new journey, especially joining a group, can bring a mix of emotions.

    It’s perfectly normal to feel a mix of eagerness, excitement, nervousness, and even fear.

    We’ve found that understanding what to expect eases the transition and enhances the overall comfort of joining. 

    Explore frequently asked questions in the navigation bar, or feel free to reach out – we’re here to chat and make this new chapter as welcoming as possible.

    You are not defined by the things that happened to you and you can heal from them.

    Contact us to begin your healing journey.

    About the facilitator

    This group is facilitated by Emilia Pacholec – a Registered Psychotherapist and founder of New Moon Psychotherapy. Emilia works extensively with survivors of sexual violence. She is a firm believer that you can heal from trauma, no matter how impossible it may seem.

    “This group is my favorite to facilitate and I think it offers the most value. Women who experience sexual violence are isolated. They find it hard to connect, they feel judged, ashamed, and believe that they’re alone with their pain. I hear so many say that they should be over it by now, that they’re over reacting or others have it worse, or that they don’t think they’ll ever be able to heal. This group challenges this for them – something magical happens during these sessions. It’s amazing when people who felt so alone find safety and are able to heal together and support one another. My goal with this group is to create a safe space for women to share, find hope, and begin to establish safety and connection. That’s something you can’t get out of individual therapy”

    Interested? Curious? Ready to heal?
    Reach out today!

    We understand that reaching out for help and joining a group can be uncomfortable.

    Our team is happy to answer your questions so that you feel comfortable (or less uncomfortable) getting started.

    Call, text, or email using the information/form below. When you reach out our administrative team will answer your questions and learn how we can help you.

    Prefer to book on your own? Don’t want to wait for the office to open? Click the link below to schedule a consultation with the group facilitator.

    We will connect you with the group facilitator for a free 15-minute consultation.

    This is a chance to meet with the group facilitator, discuss your needs, and explore whether this group is the right fit for you.

    After the consultation, if it’s the right fit, you’ll be registered for your first group session and begin your healing journey!

    It may be hard to believe now but recovery from sexual violence is possible. We’re here to support you along the way.

    By submitting this form via this web portal, you acknowledge and accept the risks of communicating your health information via this unencrypted email and electronic messaging and wish to continue despite those risks. By clicking "Yes, I want to submit this form" you agree to hold Brighter Vision harmless for unauthorized use, disclosure, or access of your protected health information sent via this electronic means.