birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

A Group, You Say???

In the early 90s my family was experiencing some very serious challenges- children and parents.

My therapist at the time thought I might benefit from some more intense therapy.

It’s hard now to believe that I walked away from my husband (he was delighted that I was doing it) and my children (they were not on board with this). At the time they were 7 and 10 years old.

I had made all the arrangements for them to stay with my good friends and then vacation with their dad while I was away.

Departure day came and I headed to the airport. Reality finally hit me as the plane took off--I was really taking a huge risk. I don’t like to fly and I was bound for Arizona. I worried about my children feeling abandoned and a myriad of gruesome thoughts. Yet part of me was excited to be stepping out and discovering who I was - not just a mom or wife.

I landed several hours later and met up with other folks going to my same destination. We were chatting away until someone mentioned “group therapy”. Of course I piped up and explained that I’d never had “group” therapy. Someone commented that I might be in for a shock.

Needless to say: I went to bed that night obsessing about my next 30 days.

I was apprehensive that first morning.

My fears heightened when I met my group and our therapist. The first words out of her mouth were “I am not here to fix you and neither is this institution”. Well, my initial reaction was to think she was very rude particularly when I was paying quite a fee to be there!

Over the next thirty days I grew to understand what she meant. The group dynamic was so powerful and we all became invested in each other’s progress.

Best investment I’ve ever made in myself! Very hard work, but I’m a firm believer in the power of a “group”.

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