Groups and Social Support

The Women’s Initiative provides therapeutic support groups and social support opportunities in a safe, welcoming environment for groups that empower women and work to eliminate gender-based oppression. Current groups are listed below. If you have an idea for a group that you would like to facilitate or that you would like to see offered at TWI, please contact us.

women's support group

  • TIME: Tuesday evenings, 5:307 pm.
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATOR: Donna Dean, LCSW

Women supporting one another through mutual sharing and validation. Each week we will focus on a different creative or physical activity to increase well-being. There will also be time to share and listen. Free and open to women—newcomers welcome each week. Please call Donna Dean before your first meeting: (434) 872-0047 ext. 101.

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

Chair Yoga

  • TIME: Mondays, 10–11 am
  • DATES: October 23–December 18 (no class Nov. 27)
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATOR: 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. No registration required.

Questions? Please contact Hilary Steinitz, MSW: hsteinitz@thewomensinitiative.org or 434.872.0047 ext. 106

Yoga for Healing the Heart

  • TIME: 8 Tuesdays, 5:30–6:30 pm
  • DATES: September 5–October 24
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATOR: Hilary Steinitz, MSW

Our bodies hold our emotional wounds but can also be an instrument of our healing. Through stretching, breathing, and mindful attention, we can cultivate our inherent capacity to heal and recover a sense of physical and emotional safety. This class incorporates seated and standing postures in gentle, flowing sequences. No yoga experience necessary and all bodies welcome; practice can be adapted to suit individual needs. No registration necessary.

Questions? Please contact Hilary Steinitz, MSW at hsteinitz@thewomensinitiative.org or 434.872.0047 ext. 106

West African dance

A Sister Circle Program

  • TIME: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, 5:45-7 pm, October-December
  • LOCATION: Chihamba Studio, McGuffey Art Center, 201 2nd St NW, C-ville
  • FACILITATOR: 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.

Free. No registration required—newcomers always welcome. No prior dance experience necessary, and all activity levels and ages (children included!) are welcome.

Be the Architect of Your Career

Seminar on Interview Skills

  • DAY AND TIME: Thursday, October 19, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 East High St.
  • FACILITATOR: Wendy M. Miller, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

An architect sits down at her computer and draws the lines that will eventually form a solid, beautiful structure. In that same way, you can also sit down and begin to draw the lines that will eventually form the structure of the career you desire to pursue. Start with a foundation and build your own future by learning how to become skilled at interviewing.

Space is limited. Call (434) 872-0047 to register

Moms with Babies Discussion Group

  • DAY AND TIME: Tuesdays, 10-11 am, starting Oct. 24
  • 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

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, starting November 2 (new start date)
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St
  • FACILITATORS: Shelly Wood, MSW, and Eboni Bugg, LCSW

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. 

Space is limited, please contact Shelly Wood to register by October 19:
(434) 872-0047 x105 or swood@thewomensinitiative.org

Separation & Divorce Support Group

  • TIME: Wednesdays, 12-1:15 pm
  • 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.

Nature Nurture Retreats

Deepening Your Relationship with Nature for Health and Happiness

  • TIME: Saturdays, 1–4 pm
  • DATES: Sept. 30, Oct. 21, Nov. 18
  • LOCATION: Meet at TWI Main Office, 1101 E High St., transportation provided to Wildrock in Crozet

Join us for an afternoon outside at Wildrock to learn how to use nature support to deepen your self-care and to promote stress reduction.

Wildrock is a nature park and barn center tucked away in the Blue Ridge foothills 40 minutes from Charlottesville. Transportation provided. Meet at The Women’s Initiative’s main office, 1101 East High St., at 12:45 pm. Sessions are standalone—come to one or more than one! Space is limited. To register, call (434) 872-0047 or email info@thewomensinitiative.org.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 6—7 p.m., Nov 8-Dec. 20
  • WHERE: TWI Main Office, 1101 East High St.

Join with others who have been impacted by pregnancy and/or infant loss. This 6-week peer group will provide an opportunity to share experiences, give and receive support as well as promote healing and well-being after a loss. The group is open to anyone, no matter the timing of loss. Individuals and couples are welcome. Light refreshments provided. Child care available upon request.

Registration required. To register: Email Elaine Finley, LCSW, at ef3w@virginia.edu before November 8.

Breathe and Move: Yoga and Meditation Group

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, November 1-December 13 (No session Nov. 22)
  • LOCATION: TWI Main Office, 1101 East High St.
  • FACILITATOR: Linda Cappachione, LPC

Uncover your inherent ability to release stress, refresh the body and mind, and approach everyday challenges with new perspective. We will practice gentle stretching exercises, conscious movement to music, and yoga flow to unlock tension within the muscles, and breathing exercises to help clear and calm the mind. We will also connect with the healing power of nature and creative expression and integrate themes of gratitude and generosity. All women and all bodies welcome—no yoga or mindfulness experience necessary, and physical limitations will be accommodated. You do not need to attend the entire six-week session. Feel free to drop in!

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