Groups and Social Support

The Women’s Initiative provides therapeutic support groups, social support opportunities and mind-body offerings in a safe, welcoming environment.

  • All offerings are free unless otherwise noted

  • Most groups take place at our Main Office, 1101 East High St, but please note that a few are located off-site.

  • Some require registration; see individual listings for more information. TO REGISTER: call (434) 872-0047 or email info@thewomensinitiative.org.

Scroll down or use the links here to access different kinds of groups and offerings:

 

Support Groups

Emotional Empowerment Group

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 12:30-1:45 pm
    January 15-March 5

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Ongoing (new members welcome Jan. 15 and Feb. 12)

  • Facilitated by Ashley Barlow, LPC, Elizabeth Cobb, LCSW, and Kylie Hibshman

Learn mindfulness skills to stop racing thoughts, refocus attention and better navigate distress.

Healing & Growth Group

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 5:30-6:45 pm
    January 29-March 19

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Please register by Jan. 22.

  • Facilitated by Joanna Ajex, MA, and Eileen Barnett

Participants will have an opportunity to express and process their feelings, concerns, ideas and reactions freely in a closed group setting. Our focus will be to promote deeper awareness in order to facilitate healing and growth.

Grupo para Madres: Familias Saludables (Moms Group: Healthy Families)

  • WHEN: Jueves de 10-11:30 am
    17 Enero-1 Marzo

  • WHERE: Northside Library, 705 Rio Road.

  • Varinia Anderson, MEd and Diana Grigera

Hablaremos de: límites, tecnología, vida de hogar, vida en la escuela, disciplina efectiva y relaciones saludables

Moms with Babies Discussion Group

  • WHEN: Mondays, 10-11 am

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Newcomers welcome to the group every week. Babies welcome in the group, child care for older children available on request.

  • Facilitated by Holly Kennedy, LPC, and Sarah Struckmann

A space for honest and real conversation about what it’s like to be the mother of a newborn to one-year-old. In this group, moms of babies will share experiences and give and receive support. Whether this is your first child or your second, third, fourth, fifth … join us to create a community of moms focused on caring for ourselves as we navigate this significant and sometimes challenging time. Each week we’ll focus on a different topic, including: self-care; transitioning into the role of mother; coping with feelings of isolation and worry; resources for postpartum depression and anxiety; managing a changing relationship with a partner; strategies for wellness during times of sleep deprivation; and adapting to a reality that’s different than expected.

 

Parent-to-Parent Discussion Group

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:15-7:45 pm, January 29-March 27

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Required. New members welcome through Feb. 12.

  • Facilitated by Latasha Edwards and Emily Mathon

Join with other parents for discussion and support through the ups and downs of parenting. This group will provide a safe and nurturing space for parents to share and learn from one another. Topics will be generated by the participants and additional resources provided by co-facilitators. Parents of children of all ages welcome. Childcare available upon request.


Separation & Divorce Support Group

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 12-1:15 pm

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Ongoing (register before attending your first session)

  • Facilitated by Kelli Block and Nealy Johnston

Separation and divorce can feel like a “roller coaster ride” of powerful emotions. This group provides a safe environment for women to tell their stories and be with others who understand their experience. The format will include group discussion and reflection activities and exercises. The group will include women at different phases in the separation/divorce continuum who can validate each other and share information and experience while navigating the transition.

Pregnancy/Infant Loss Support Group

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 6-7pm, November 7-December 19

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: In advance of start date

  • Facilitated by Morgan Taylor, LCSW

An opportunity to share experiences, give and receive support, and promote healing and well-being after the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Individuals & couples welcome.


Sister Circle

Healing offerings for Black women and women of color. Learn more about our Sister Circle Program.

Sister Circle Support Group

  • WHEN: Thursdays, 5:30-7 pm, January 10-March 14

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Required in advance. Childcare provided upon request.

  • Facilitated by Shelly Wood, MSW, and Alyson Stewart, MFT

A support group for Black women to share experiences, build friendships, give and receive support. This is an opportunity for fellowship and to explore issues unique to the experiences of Black women.

West African Dance

  • WHEN: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, 5:45-7 pm.
    January 2-June 19

  • WHERE: Chihamba Studio, McGuffey Art Center, 201 2nd St NW

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Newcomers always welcome. No prior dance experience necessary, and all activity levels and ages (children included!) are welcome.

  • Facilitated by Lillie Williams

Join us for a West African dance and drumming class for women of color, in partnership with Charlottesville dance troupe Chihamba. In this fun and energetic hour, we will enjoy movement and rhythm, build community, and connect with our African ancestry as we explore the meanings and stories behind each dance.

Yoga for Women of Color

  • WHEN: 3rd Sunday of each month, 2-3:15pm

  • WHERE: Common Ground Healing Arts @ Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th St. NW, 2nd Fl.

  • Facilitated by Eboni Bugg, LCSW. Offered in partnership with Common Ground Healing Arts.

A gathering for women of color to practice yoga in a safe and nurturing setting. Includes yoga poses for all levels, as well as time for exploring ways to use breath and meditation for well-being. Offered on a donation basis; no one will be turned away for inability to pay. 


Mind-Body

Yoga for Stress Relief

  • WHEN: Thursdays, 10:30 am-11:30 am
    January 31-February 28

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION ONGOING.

  • Facilitated by Kylie Hibshman

    Mindful movement to reduce the impact of stress on the mind and body. First half of class will be a slow-flow vinyasa. Second half will be restorative yoga. All bodies and experience levels welcome.

Gentle Yoga for Mindfulness

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 5:15-6 pm
    January 22-March 26

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Facilitated by Katharine Scott Gilliam

A gentle practice with emphasis on the breath and slow, mindful movement. All skill levels welcome; participants must be able to comfortably sit down and rise from floor.

Chair Yoga

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 11:15 am-12 pm, October 3-December 12.
    Wednesdays, 11:30 am-12:15 pm, January 23-March 27

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Facilitated by Katharine Scott Gilliam

A gentle, therapeutic practice that promotes strength, flexibility, healing and mindful attention. Participants will have the support of chairs, both for seated postures and for optional standing postures. All bodies welcome; physical limitations accommodated.

Singing Bowl Sound Bath

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 2:15-3:15 pm
    January 29, February 19, March 26

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Facilitated by Ai’ia Saul-Wolman

Immersion in tones and sonic vibrations from singing bowls to help release tension, increase awareness and promote relaxation.

 

Alexander Technique

  • WHEN: Last Friday of the month starting in October, 9am-12pm (October 26, November 30, December 28)

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Sign up for a half-hour session in advance.

  • Facilitated by Jennifer Kelly

One-on-one lessons to help gain more ease and overall awareness in the body and release tension.

 

CranioSacral Therapy

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 2-5pm

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION: Sign up for a half-hour session in advance..

  • Facilitated by Amina Elizabeth Stevens. Offered in partnership with Common Ground Healing Arts.

A gentle form of bodywork that can help relieve pain and stress. The practitioner uses light touch on the head, along the spine, and on the sacrum to release compression. Many people experience deep relaxation and increased physical ease during and after a CranioSacral Therapy session. Sessions are done laying down on a massage table while fully clothed.

 

Wellness Tuesdays at the Jefferson School

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 9am-12pm

  • WHERE: Jefferson School City Center Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Offered in partnership with Sentara Starr Hill Health Center and Common Ground Healing Arts

in addition to free walk-in appointments with a counselor from 9 am-noon each Tuesday at our Jefferson School office, you can come in for physical health testing and referral including: blood pressure checks, blood sugar testing, weight checks and quick wellness and nutrition advice, as well as a rotating slate of mind-body offerings including acupuncture, massage and mindfulness training. 


Creative Arts

Connecting to Nature and Ourselves in Winter

  • WHEN: 3 Mondays: January 14, February 11 and March 11, 5:30-7 pm

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION OPTIONAL.

  • Facilitated by Shell Stern, MSW, and Hannah Trible

Join with other women to use the wintertime quiet to cultivate restoration, creativity and connection. We will use collage, mindfulness, writing, movement and nature elements to cultivate gratitude and self-love and set positive intentions.

Knitting Circle

  • WHEN: Thursday evenings, 5:30–7 pm. There will be no meetings on Dec. 20 or Dec. 27.

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Facilitated by Gail Smith

Join us for knitting! We welcome new and experienced knitters. Knitting help and supplies are available free of charge.

 

Entre Téjidos

  • CUÁNDO: 5:15-7:15 pm, los lunes: 12 de Noviembre, 19 de Noviembre, 3 de Diciembre, 10 de Diciembre, 8 de Enero, 22 de Enero

  • DONDE: La Iniciativa para la Mujer, 1101 East High St., Charlottesville

  • Organizada por Karina A. Monroy

  • Solo 11 espacios abiertos por cada session. Por favor regístrese con Karina A Monroy por e-mail o teléfono: karinaamonroy@gmail.com, 805-630-3796.

Una reunion para mujeres Latinas en Charlottesville. Un espacio para hablar, bordar, tejer, dibujar, pintar, tomar té y convivir. Se proporcionarán materials.

 

Ecotherapy

Connecting to Nature and Ourselves in Winter

  • WHEN: 3 Mondays: January 14, February 11 and March 11, 5:30-7 pm

  • WHERE: Main Office

  • REGISTRATION OPTIONAL.

  • Facilitated by Shell Stern, MSW, and Hannah Trible

Join with other women to use the wintertime quiet to cultivate restoration, creativity and connection. We will use collage, mindfulness, writing, movement and nature elements to cultivate gratitude and self-love and set positive intentions.


Trauma-Informed Cross-Cultural Psychoeducation

Cross-Cultural Community Healing Partnership

The Cross-Cultural Community Healing Partnership is a collaborative project comprised of refugee and immigrant community leaders, service providers and organizations committed to promoting healthy adjustment following emigration. The partnership offers a series of workshops focused on cross-cultural exchange, health, and well-being within Charlottesville's refugee and immigrant communities. Projects are currently underway with leaders within Charlottesville's Bhutanese-Nepali and Latino communities. For more information, please contact Ingrid Ramos, LPC.


Offered by Our Community Partners

TRANS PEER GROUP

The Charlottesville Trans* Peer Group offers support to transgender individuals of all ages and identities. Providing a welcoming and supportive atmosphere, this group meets the 3rd Saturday of each month, 5:30-7:00 p.m., at The Women's Initiative's main office at 1101 E. High Street, Suite A. For more information, visit www.pflagblueridge.org.

PFLAG Trans Families Group

This group focuses on transitioning families and the needs/experiences of parents of transgender and gender-variant youth and young adults. Supportive family members and transgender individuals of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. This group meets the 3rd Saturday of each month, 5:30-7:00 p.m., at 1101 E. High Street, Suite A. For more information, visit www.pflagblueridge.org.

Mothering Circle of Charlottesville

Connect with other mothers, support each other, and share your stories in a safe, nurturing environment. Open to all mothers and parenting styles. We meet the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the main office. More information available on the Facebook page for this group.


My life has been enriched by the women I have met while I have attended weekly support groups. Before, I had no friends and I was all alone. I had no hope and I was fragile....I am still learning how to find love and how to let it find me.
— TWI client