Support Groups

Support Groups

4 women taking a slefie outdoors. They are all smiling and laughing

Improve Together

All groups are open to any Bennington County resident. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols. For more information on specific groups, please call (802) 442 5491.

Anxiety, Depression & Emotional Wellness Support Groups

(B) Bennington (N) Northshire

All groups are open to any Bennington County resident. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Mondays 5:30–6:30pm Facilitated by Lindsey Anderson

Coping skills and peer support for anxiety.

Wednesdays 11am–12:15pm Facilitated by Karin Gardner

This is a support group for individuals diagnosed with an anxiety and/or depression disorder.  Member may share their symptoms and feelings about their own personal stories/trauma. Each group session begins with a 5–10 minute meditation which is then followed by member check-in and discussion.  We focus on ways to cultivate better coping skills and positive strategies to daily living. We also discuss healthy lifestyle choices which includes diet and exercise to increase energy levels. Developing trust and providing emotional support is a key element in helping members through difficult times. 

Mondays 1–2pm Facilitated by Bill Plath

Thursdays 11am- 12pm Facilitated by Susan Raggo

Women meet to reduce social isolation and to build community relationships and explore creativity.

Wednesdays 2:30–3:30pm Facilitated by Deb Lucy

The Hearing Voices group offers a safe place where voices hearers can talk openly about their experiences, gain support, and learn skills to increase their control of their own lives. Participants will learn to use meditation and mindfulness to help develop skills to focus their attention on activities at hand and not the intrusive, disruptive thoughts in their heads.

Thursdays 9–10am Facilitated by Steve Longley
Every 1st Monday 9–10am Facilitated by Keili Trottier
Every 3rd Wednesday 3–4pm Facilitated by Vic Martini

These groups focus on networking among group members to share tools that help them to improve, manage, and maintain wellness. The group will emphasize the role of both skills and supports in sustaining wellness.

Behavioral & Relationship Support Groups

(B) Bennington (N) Northshire

All groups are open to any Bennington County resident. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Beginning June 1, Wednesdays 12-1pm Facilitated by Keili Trottier

This is a couples group to build relationships, improve communication skills and understand and respond to each other’s needs and wants.

Fridays 1–2:30pm Supervised by Victor Martini, LICSW and team

Based upon the principles of Open Dialogue and developed specifically for practitioners in Vermont, the meetings are facilitated by a group who have completed stringent training by members of the European team that originated the practice in Finland. The UCS team is trained to be interviewer/listeners, and reflector/listeners. These meetings are a way to help people develop a supportive network among close family members or significant friends. Meetings will be set up remotely – either in your own home or at the UCS main offices, via Zoom. In your home, we will provide tablets if needed, in order to make use of the technology. If you have ever felt like you were truly listened to, you will appreciate these network meetings. If you have never felt truly listened to, you will experience something different, refreshing and uniquely supportive. 

*Sessions must be scheduled individually.

Tuesdays 12:30–1:30pm Facilitated by Doris Russell, Ph.D

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) informed treatment is a cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the role of mindfulness in its approach to treatment. Skill sets are designed to specifically assist individuals in better managing behavioral, emotional and cognitive instability.  

Substance Use & Recovery Support Groups

(B) Bennington (N) Northshire

All groups are open to any Bennington County resident. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Mondays 6–7pm Facilitated by William Plath, Ph.D

The Men’s Substance Abuse Group, open to men, offers a number of advantages, including the development of social supports, the ability to learn from others, the ability to share information, and a feeling of togetherness such that one does not feel alone in their own issues with their substance use disorder.

Tuesdays 9am–12pm Facilitated by Victor Martini, LICSW, and Taija LaFountain, and other support methods with Taija LaFountain and Keili Trottier

Through the use of Collaborative Network Approach (based on Open Dialogue, the Finnish evidence-based practice), clients will develop a healthy and supportive recovery network in the first portion. The second portion of IOP will utilize Tai Qi, a body-based approach to enhance mindfulness and relaxation through gentle movement.

Fridays 9am–12pm MBS facilitated by Rose Mylott and DBT facilitated by Doris Russell and Taija LaFountain

Participants will learn the principles of mindfulness-based sobriety (MBS) for comprehensive recovery planning using the MBS principles to set value-guided goals in order to lead a value-informed lifestyle. Participants will explore the six core principles of ACT and develop a life-changing mindset known as psychological flexibility to handle painful thoughts, feelings, triggers, urges, and cravings.

Participants will utilize a DBT-informed framework to learn and practice skills (mindfulness skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills, emotional regulation skills, distress tolerance) that enhance the ability to cope with painful thoughts and feelings such as anxiety, stress, and sadness.

Thursdays 9am–12pm Facilitated by JoAnne Larsen and Keili Trottier. Self-Esteem group facilitated  by Keili Trottier.

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan is designed to create a unique plan that is based on a person’s strengths, identifies early warning signs of mental health and/or substance abuse challenges, defines supports they can count on, and helps develop the skills to use for all of life’s challenges. When completed, each participant will have a meaningful crisis plan. The self-esteem group can help reduce substance use by teaching new ways to help manage negative thinking patterns.

Wednesday 4–5pm, in person Facilitated by Jill Egbert

Open to individuals in recovery. This group provides great resources for education and social support as people learn new ways to cope during recovery. 

Tuesday 3–4:30pm Facilitated by Brian Walsh

The Stages of Change group is a focused group for men and women who are in recovery. We will help clients learn to identify and explore the stages of change model utilized in the recovery process. While discussing and exploring the stages of change, clients learn how to identify what stage of change they are in, manage transition to another stage, and develop the ability to understand that each person enters and transitions through the various stages on an individual basis while receiving support in a group setting. We understand that recovery is a process, and we believe clients have the inherent potential for change. Using specific techniques to promote success, this group offers an evidenced-based approach to stage and process treatment.  


The group is Co-Educational and open to all. Maximum of 10 clients

Youth & Family Support Groups

(B) Bennington (N) Northshire

All groups are open to any Bennington County resident. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Thursdays at 2:30–4:30pm | 21 Burgess Road, Bennington, VT Facilitated by Pam Bolus, Transition Aged Case Manager and Christian Harris

Join other teens to work on projects and make a difference in the community. Enjoy a safe space to discuss your issues and concerns and receive support from your peers. Physical distancing and masks required.