After our very first CAASA training cycle, one of our primary respondents initiated the idea of starting a support group from the idea that they themselves were not open to therapy and thought that a support group was one way to help them heal. They also thought that this will be the best way to introduce means of communication to their best friend who had been abused and was scared of seeking professional help. And so this is how we put their plan into action and started our own little safe space.
Nikita Shringarpure (she/her) is a queer affirmative and trauma informed psychologist/psychotherapist who is currently working as research assistant at the Humsafar Trust. Shipra Parswani is the president of TPJ. She is trained as a child abuse primary respondent and has handled several cases of domestic and sexual abuse.
Notes: The above information may change from time to time, and is shared with you to understand the background of where the support group comes from.
Our support group was founded in 2018 and ever since then its been a roller coaster. We’ve had people leave and had people stay till date. To receive those little notes of appreciation at the end of every session has always motivated us to keep going for them and made us believe in the work that we do. We’ve grown and learned from each and every story that we have heard.
The hope that we have is that, with the sharing of so many stories, we learn from everyone’s coping and apply those to our lives too. we also have buddies who check in on the participants every time and even remind hem to stay put and stick to their schedules or even remind them to take their psychiatric medications.
If we think that the person is going through a lot which is too much for the primary respondent to handle, we do try to open conversation about seeking professional help. We help them get in touch with a therapist that is on our directory and also try to take appointments with regular check ins with them.
We start off with a feeling scale so people can rate their day, or week and tell us how they feel. We then start conversation on a particular topic that we have planned for that day and end with a grounding or self appreciation activity.