Groups and Social Support

The Women’s Initiative provides therapeutic support groups and social support opportunities in a safe, welcoming environment to empower women and work to eliminate gender-based oppression. Current groups are listed below.

Healing & Growth Group

  • TIME: Tuesdays, 5:15-6:30 pm
  • DATES: July 24-Sept. 11
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATOR: Katherine Greiner, LPC and Shell Stern, MSW

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.

Contact Shell Stern, MSW, at (434) 872-0047 x114 or sstern@thewomensinitiative.org to set up a pre-screening.

Post-August 12 Self-Care Skills and Support Group

  • TIME: Wednesdays, 5:30-7 pm, begins July 18

This group will honor the ongoing impact of Charlottesville’s history of racial discrimination preceding the events of last summer. Participants will provide emotional support and listening, as well as learn skills for self-care. This group will be a space for support as we continue to work toward a more equitable and safe community amid the anniversary of last summer’s traumatic events and continuing developments in the news and the courts.

To learn more, contact Shelly Wood, MSW, at (434) 872-0047 x105 or email swood@thewomensinitiative.org.

KnitTing Circle

  • DAY AND TIME: Thursday evenings, 5:30–7 pm.
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St, Living Room
  • FACILITATOR: George Worthington

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

Our Knitting Circle is helping local seniors calm restless hands by knitting "twiddle muffs," soft, homemade versions of fidget spinners, recently featured on NBC29. Want to participate in the twiddle muff knitting project? Pick up a kit at our main office, JABA Adult Care Center or Laughing Sheep Yarns

Moms with Babies Discussion Group

  • DAY AND TIME: Mondays, 10-11 am
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 East High St.
  • FACILITATORS: 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
  • adapting to a reality that’s different than expected

Newcomers welcome to the group every week. Babies welcome in the group, child care for older children available on request. To request child care for older children: (434) 872-0047 or info@thewomensinitiative.org

Sex Positivity Mini Series

Education and Empowerment for Women

  • WHAT: Sex-positive education program for women 18 and over
  • WHEN: 5 Tuesdays, July 3-31, 5:30-7 pm
  • WHERE: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St.
  • FACILITATOR: T’Keyah Vaughan, Community Health Educator with Planned Parenthood.

Learn about sexuality, sensuality, healthy relationships, sexual health and self-care in a safe and nurturing group setting. This comprehensive sex-positive education program is for women 18 and over who wish to learn about and/or renew the role of sexuality in their lives. Through education and discussion we will aim to foster empowerment and overall wellness. A collaboration between The Women’s Initiative and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

Free. Space limited, contact The Women’s Initiative at (434) 872-0047
or info@thewomensinitiative.org to register.

C'Ville Walks with Heart

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  • WHAT: Walking program promoting health and community.
  • WHEN: Saturdays at 8 a.m. beginning June 2
  • WHERE: Various starting locations around Charlottesville

From June to August, families and individuals of all ages gather on Saturday mornings to walk for health. Each week, the group conquers new terrain and longer distances, working toward being able to complete a four-mile walk.

Full summer schedule

C'Ville Walks is a partnership between The Women's Initiative and UVA Health System, Brooks Family YMCA, Ragged Mountain Running Company, and the Thomas Jefferson Health District. 

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.

Sister Circle

  • TIME: Thursdays, 5:30-7 pm, new session begins July 12
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATORS: 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. Childcare provided upon request.

Space is limited, please contact Shelly Wood to register:
(434) 872-0047 x105 or swood@thewomensinitiative.org

Separation & Divorce Support Group

  • TIME: Wednesdays, 12-1:15 pm (no sessions in August)
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATORS: 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. 

Newcomers welcome each week, please register before attending your first session by calling (434) 872-0047 or e-mailing info@thewomensinitiative.org.

Botanica Mobile Herbal Clinic

  • WHEN: Second Tuesdays of the month, 5–8 pm
  • WHERE: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St

Free consultations include relaxing and nourishing herbal remedies to support issues concerning digestion, stress, insomnia, pain and general health. Simple teas and syrups will be offered as well as practical dietary recommendations. We will always have an urn of herbal tea to introduce community members to the flavor of various nourishing teas. 

Learn more and schedule your appointment by contacting The Women's Initiative at (434) 872-0047 or info@thewomensinitiative.org 

Botanica Mobile Clinic is a nonprofit clinic that offers herbal consultations to underserved populations in Charlottesville and surrounding counties. All consultations as well as herbal teas and supplements will be offered free of cost. Donations are appreciated.

Be the Architect of Your Career

  • WHAT: "Finding Your Career" Workshop
  • WHEN: Tuesday, July 17, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • WHERE: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St.
  • FACILITATOR: Wendy M. Miller, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Are you tired of going from job to job? Do you wonder how to go from just having a job to having a career? Just as an architect makes the plans for what will eventually be a beautiful structure, you can design the path that will lead you to the career you want.

Join us for a workshop that will provide tools and support to establish and achieve goals in your professional life. Participants will also be eligible for a separate one-on-one consultation with Wendy Miller.

Free. Space is limited. To register:
(434) 872-0047 or info@thewomensinitiative.org

 

Stress Reduction Sessions

  • WHAT: Lunch-hour sessions to provide you with strategies to reduce stress
  • WHEN: Friday, July 13 and Friday, July 27, 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
  • WHERE: Sentara Starr Hill Health Center, Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th St NW

Please contact Shelly Wood to register:
(434) 872-0047 x105 or swood@thewomensinitiative.org

Whistle Words Writing Workshop

  • WHAT: Writing workshop for women in/post cancer treatment
  • WHEN: Saturday, July 28, 10-11:30 am
  • WHERE: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St.
  • FACILITATOR: Charlotte Matthews

Reclaim your sense of self with other women on parallel paths in this free
90-minute workshop. No writing experience needed! Just a desire to explore life with a community of women who understand the journey. RSVP at
(434) 872-0047 or info@thewomensinitiative.org. Not sure if you can
make it? Drop-ins welcome, too. Learn more at www.whistlewords.org.

Trans People of Color Support Group

The Trans People of Color Support Group provides support and offers a safe space for transgender people of color and their supportive family members. Meets the 2nd Saturday of each month, 5:30-7 pm, at 1101 East High St, Suite A, Charlottesville. Newcomers welcome, no registration necessary. For more information, email Charley at tpoccville@gmail.com

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 Leigh Freilich, LCSW.


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