Finding the Value in Group Relationships

At GateWay of Hope, we offer various groups for women – groups that foster hope, healing and wholeness.Sharing Experiences - Bengston quote

The group dynamic offers several benefits that help us move forward in life:

  • In groups, we realize we are not alone.
  • Within the group dynamic, we begin to grow new relationships with each other.
  • As group members build relationship, we teach each other.

How do these different dynamics work?

WE’RE NOT ALONE

When we go through a struggle in life, we often feel as if we’re all alone. Sometimes we may even isolate ourselves so the aloneness becomes not only emotional but also physical.

But within a group, we meet other women who are going through the same struggle. They may even have the same experiences we’ve had.

Even with different experiences, we learn how to deal with the struggle – using a shared solution.

For example: every woman has had a loss of some kind whether it is within a relationship, a circumstance of life, even something as seemingly normal as moving to another state. And we need to grieve those losses in healthy ways.

All women grieve about something. But we don’t grieve in the same way or within the same timeline.

We learn, within groups, to respect that difference in each other yet to empathize because we, too, have grieved.

In some of the more unique groups at GateWay, we address issues women try to keep secret.

A woman who is married to a sex addict is not going to announce her struggle to the world. She will not share that trauma with even some of her best friends.

But within the safety of our group, “Restoring Hope After Betrayal,” women share the secret and realize they are not alone in the struggle.

They support each other, empathize with each other and help each other grow.

GROWING NEW RELATIONSHIPS

This wonderful phenomenon happens within every GateWay group.

Women from various demographics and ages begin to know each other and share together. They focus on the topic of the group, listen to the facilitator and dare to reveal their secrets.

Then one or more of them will bring a snack, share a favorite recipe or decide on a meetup at another time outside their group meeting.

They schedule a coffee together, either at GateWay or in another location. They discover a talent they share, a dream they both have or maybe the same parenting challenges.

They draw a bit closer in relationship and soon they schedule play dates together with their kids, introduce each other to their husbands and/or invite each other into their homes.

They become friends – sisters – with a shared background and now – a new relationship.

We love to see this happening at GateWay, and we welcome the value of relationships as women grow stronger together.

TEACHING EACH OTHER

We may have shared experiences, but we don’t all learn in the same ways.

Women who grow together in groups share some of their practical tips with each other. Sometimes the older women help the younger ones; sometimes it works the other way around.

Dr. Michelle Bengtson reminds us how the sharing of our experiences may teach us valuable lessons and perhaps keep us from repeating past mistakes.

We help each other deal with the present but also prepare for the future. And as we heal from the past, we become stronger and more alert so we can help others.

The cycle of health then continues and reproduces itself. Women become stronger.

What we may not have learned from our mothers or grandmothers, we can learn from other women.

Women teaching women. It’s a biblical and a historical truth.

As we teach one another, we grow the dynamic of relationship even better which results in a new normal of strong, confident women moving forward in life to make a difference in our homes, our communities and our world.

So get involved in a group. If you’re interested in groups at GateWay, check out our website. We’re putting together groups for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

©2016 GateWay of Hope

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