Parenting Therapy Groups Can Improve Parents’ Lives & Strengthen Families

Parenting is the most significant and challenging responsibility a person can assume. Despite this, there is no formal training on how to be a parent, much less how to be a “good” one. Given there are around 63.1 million parental guardians living with children under 18, resources for parents are essential (Friedrich, 2020). One such resource is Valera Health’s Conscious Parenting Group. Read on to learn about the benefits of parenting groups and how to join one at Valera Health. 

Scientific research has shown that parenting therapy groups reduce parent stress, increase empowerment, and improve family functioning. In a study of mothers who had children with autism, researchers found participation in a parenting therapy group significantly reduced parents’ stress and distress (Izadi-Mazidi, 2015).

Another study that examined parents before and after participating in a parenting therapy group found that levels of empowerment significantly increased (Minjarez, 2013). A study that examined parents enrolled in a psychoeducation group therapy program found family functioning and child behavior significantly improved when the group was implemented (Berge, 2010). Overall, these results suggest that participation in a parenting therapy group not only will boost your experience as a parent, but will also improve the lives of your family members.

How Can Valera Health’s Conscious Parenting Group Help You

Valera Health’s Conscious Parenting Group is a coaching and parent education group focused on teaching parents mindful ways to communicate with their children. In addition to skill-building, this group also serves as a platform for support. The information provided in the group was designed to provide parents with the tools they need to move forward and create lasting positive changes within their own familial unit.

How Do I Join the Conscious Parenting Group?

If you are interested in joining Valera Health’s Conscious Parenting Group, please fill out this quick form to schedule a free consultation with a designated Health Connector. Make sure to select “group therapy” under the “What brings you to therapy today?” section. Please note that at this current time, our virtual Conscious Parenting Group is only available to those in New York. Stay tuned for more group therapy offerings from Valera Health in the future.

Works Referenced:

Berge, J. M., Law, D. D., Johnson, J., & Wells, M. G. (2010). Effectiveness of a psychoeducational parenting group on child, parent, and family behavior: a pilot study in a family practice clinic with an underserved population. Families, Systems, & Health, 28(3), 224.

Friedrich, M. (2020, December 2). Census Bureau Releases New Estimates on America’s Families and Living Arrangements. Retrieved April 18, 2023, from,2010%20to%2063.1%20million%20in 

Izadi-Mazidi, M., Riahi, F., & Khajeddin, N. (2015). Effect of cognitive behavior group therapy on parenting stress in mothers of children with autism. Iranian journal of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, 9(3).

Minjarez, Mendy Boettcher, et al. “Impact of pivotal response training group therapy on stress and empowerment in parents of children with autism.” Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 15.2 (2013): 71-78.

A Space to Heal: Why You Should Join Valera Health’s Young Adult Trauma Survivor Group



As research on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-related conditions has advanced, it’s come to light that most people will have at least one traumatic experience within their lifetime. Therefore, issues about encountering trauma are no longer a question of “if?” but a question of “when?” 

For those who want to begin the healing process, group therapy is an excellent avenue on the road to recovery. Read on to learn more about what trauma group therapy is, its benefits, and how to join a trauma therapy group at Valera Health.


Why should I seek treatment for my trauma?

Trying to suppress unwanted thoughts and feelings about a traumatic experience is like holding a beach ball underwater. At first, keeping the beach ball under control seems simple enough, and the water around you is unperturbed. However, at some point your hand will get tired and that beach ball will come rocketing out of the water, disturbing everything around it. Leaving trauma untreated is similar, and soon enough your life may become chaotic once you can no longer suppress emotions. It is for this reason that addressing trauma in a therapeutic setting is important, and trauma group therapy can be an excellent way to move beyond coping, and embrace healing.


Does group therapy for trauma work?

When most people think of trauma, they think of veterans returning from war. After all, this is the population in which PTSD was first discovered. In a study of Vietnam war veterans, group therapy reduced veterans’ experiences of numbness and avoidance, two hallmark symptoms of trauma (Schnurr et al., 2003). The effectiveness of group therapy for trauma is not limited to just those who have served in the military. One study that examined the effectiveness of group therapy among sexual assault survivors found that participants’ experiences significantly improved after engaging with group therapy (Resick et al., 1988).


How can Valera Health’s Young Adult Trauma Survivor Group help me?

If you have experienced a traumatic event and need help on your path to recovery, consider joining Valera’s Young Adult Trauma Survivor Group. In this trauma group designed for young adults (ages 18-25), participants learn about trauma responses and how to build coping skills around their individual trauma responses.

Participants will learn:

  • Self-validation techniques
  • How to address triggers
  • Grounding techniques for dissociation and fight or flight responses
  • How to reframe cognitive distortions and negative thoughts
  • Basic self-care and mindfulness
  • The basics of journaling
  • How to discuss trauma with family and partners
  • Discussing relationship needs and difficulties around sex


This group is perfect for participants who are comfortable being in a space where people share their trauma. This group was specifically designed for people who have experienced sexual trauma and/or relationship trauma and is led by Jovi Lombardo, LMSW, a clinician who has experience working with patients who have encountered trauma.



If you are interested in joining Valera Health’s Young Adult Trauma Survivor Group, please fill out this quick form to schedule a free consultation with a designated Health Connector. Make sure to select “group therapy” under the “What brings you to therapy today?” section. Please note that at this current time, our virtual Young Adult Trauma Survivor Group is only available to those in New York. Stay tuned for more group therapy offerings from Valera Health in the future.





Works Referenced:

Foy, D. W., Eriksson, C. B., & Trice, G. A. (2001). Introduction to group interventions for trauma survivors. Group Dynamics: Theory, research, and practice, 5(4), 246.

Resick, P. A., Jordan, C. G., Girelli, S. A., Hutter, C. K., & Marhoefer-Dvorak, S. (1988). A comparative outcome study of behavioral group therapy for sexual assault victims. Behavior Therapy, 19(3), 385-401.

Schnurr, P. P., Friedman, M. J., Foy, D. W., Shea, M. T., Hsieh, F. Y., Lavori, P. W., … & Bernardy, N. C. (2003). Randomized trial of trauma-focused group therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: Results from a Department of Veterans Affairs cooperative study. Archives of general psychiatry, 60(5), 481-489.

The butterfly woman. HHRI. (2022, February 15). Retrieved March 10, 2023, from


The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness in a Group Setting

If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental health and wellbeing, look no further than mindfulness—a practice that involves slowing down and taking time to be in the present. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including through Valera Health’s virtual Mindfulness Therapy Group. Read on to learn more about the benefits of practicing mindfulness.


What is Mindfulness?

It is estimated that globally, somewhere from 200 to 500 million people incorporate meditation into their lives (Smith, 2022). The prevalence of mindfulness is for good reason too, as many assert that such practices have the potential to improve lives. Mindfulness is understood as a mental awareness of all sensations and perceptions relevant to the current moment. In therapeutic settings, the definition of mindfulness is expanded to include the acceptance of feelings and thoughts as they enter consciousness (Mindful, 2023).

Benefits of Mindfulness Include:

  • Learning to understand your emotions better
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving emotional regulation and building greater emotional resilience
  • Improving relationships
  • Improving physical health, including reducing blood pressure, having a higher quality of sleep and reducing inflammation

Mindfulness is most often practiced in the form of meditation, however it can be incorporated into movement activities, like yoga, or daily chores, like showering. Almost everybody can practice mindfulness and experience great results, especially in a group therapy setting!



Benefits of Mindfulness Group Therapy

Mindfulness group therapy has been shown to be equally as effective as what many refer to as the “gold standard of therapy”, individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Sundquist et al., 2015). In a study that compared mindfulness group therapy to no therapy for patients experiencing anxiety, results showed that mindfulness group therapy significantly reduced anxiety symptoms (Kocovski et al., 2013). Mindfulness therapy can not only reduce symptoms associated with mental health struggles, but it also has been shown to decrease negative and anxious persistent thought patterns (Heeren & Philippot, 2011). 

It is clear that the benefits of mindfulness group therapy extend far beyond just awareness of the present moment. As such, Valera Health is pleased to announce its virtual Mindfulness Group. This group is led by Gigi Guarnieri, LMSW, and is geared towards teaching participants the benefits of mindfulness. This group explores several mindfulness techniques to help reduce stress, identify and verbalize emotions and thoughts, and improve overall awareness of self.



How to Join the Mindfulness Group at Valera Health

If you are interested in joining our Mindfulness Group, please fill out this quick form to schedule a consultation with a designated Health Connector. Make sure to select “group therapy” under the “What brings you to therapy today?” section. Please note that at this current time, our virtual Mindfulness Therapy Group is only available to those in New York. Stay tuned for more group therapy offerings from Valera Health in the future.


Works Referenced

Heeren, A., & Philippot, P. (2011). Changes in ruminative thinking mediate the clinical benefits of mindfulness: Preliminary findings. Mindfulness, 2, 8-13.

Kocovski, N. L., Fleming, J. E., & Rector, N. A. (2009). Mindfulness and acceptance-based group therapy for social anxiety disorder: An open trial. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16(3), 276-289.

Miller, K. D. (2019, August 19). What is meditation therapy and what are the benefits? Retrieved February 22, 2023, from 

Smith, L. (2022, November 11). 28 meditation statistics: How many people meditate? The Good Body. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from 

Staff, M. (2023, January 6). What is mindfulness? Mindful. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from 

Sundquist, J., Lilja, Å., Palmér, K., Memon, A. A., Wang, X., Johansson, L. M., & Sundquist, K. (2015). Mindfulness group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders: randomized controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206(2), 128-135.

Trvst. (2023, January 19). 25 Mindfulness Facts & Statistics. TRVST World. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from

Valera Health’s Anxiety and Trauma Group Can Help Survivors Heal—Here’s How

When one thinks of group therapy, a circle of folding chairs and stale coffee at the back of the room may come to mind. However, contrary to stereotypical depictions, group therapy presents an opportunity to heal and embrace change among peers.

The efficacy of group therapy in generating positive outcomes is widely supported in scientific literature (McRoberts et al. 1998). But what makes group therapy effective at addressing distressing feelings? One factor for consideration is cohesion, the degree to which a group connects together. The greater the level of cohesion, the more that group members will experience beneficial results (Burlingame et al., 2011). 

Engagement in a cohesive therapy group can generate feelings of community, group membership, belongingness and support. Furthermore, group therapy meetings can function as a learning environment in which a therapist can share helpful resources, members can learn from the stories of their peers, and most people in the group improve their communication skills.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Anxiety and for Trauma Survivors

Group therapy has shown to be especially helpful when it comes to decreasing anxiety and trauma symptoms (Mendelsohn et al., 2008). Survivors of trauma often experience isolation and may withdraw from relationships. Group therapy can address this particular issue by creating a sense of community in which the survivor feels safe and supported (Mendelsohn et al., 2008). 

Additionally, for those experiencing anxiety, group therapy can be helpful by providing a safe space where fears and worries are validated. Valera Health is pleased to introduce the newest addition to our group therapy programs: Anxiety and Trauma Group. This virtual group was designed to be a safe space for patients to discuss life transitions, school stress, stress around relationships, and the challenges that arise with decision-making. Another focus of the group is using coping skills to navigate daily stressors and other symptoms of anxiety. If you are experiencing anxiety or trauma-related symptoms, we encourage you to consider joining this group.

How to Enroll in a Valera Health Anxiety and Trauma Group

If you’re interested in signing up for Valera Health’s virtual Anxiety and Trauma Group, or would like to learn more, please fill out this quick form to schedule a consultation with a designated Health Connector. Make sure to select “group therapy” under the “What brings you to therapy today?” section. Please note that at this current time, our virtual Anxiety and Trauma Support Group* is only available to those in New York. Stay tuned for more group therapy offerings from Valera Health in the future.

*Although most health insurances are accepted, HealthFirst patients are ineligible for insurance coverage at this time.

Works Cited:

Burlingame, G. M., McClendon, D. T., & Alonso, J. (2011). Cohesion in group therapy. Psychotherapy, 48(1), 34.

McRoberts, C., Burlingame, G. M., & Hoag, M. J. (1998). Comparative efficacy of individual and group psychotherapy: A meta-analytic perspective. Group dynamics: Theory, research, and practice, 2(2), 101.

Mendelsohn, M., Zachary, R. S., & Harney, P. A. (2007). Group therapy as an ecological bridge to new community for trauma survivors. Journal of aggression, maltreatment & trauma, 14(1-2), 227-243.