Improve Together.

Circle of trust. Group of people sitting in circle and supporting each other.

General Support Groups

(B) Bennington Based | (N) Northshire Based

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

Anxiety/Depression/Emotional Wellness

Anxiety/Depression (B)

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 a5–10 minutemeditation 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.

Hearing Voices (B)

Wednesdays 2:30-3:30pm | Facilitated by Deb Lucy

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.

Anxiety (B)

Mondays 5:30-6:30pm | Facilitated by Lindsey Anderson

Coping skills and peer support for anxiety.

Co/Ed Co-Occurring (B)

Mondays 1-2pm | Facilitated by Bill Plath

Wellness Group (N)

Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am | Facilitated by Steve Longley

This group will 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.

Wellness Group (B)

Tuesdays 6-7pm | Facilitated by Steve Longley
Thursdays 9-10am | Facilitated by Steve Longley
Every 4th Tuesday 4-5pm | Facilitated by Dan Merges
Every 1st Monday 9-10am | Facilitated by Keili Trottier
Every 3rd Wednesday 3-4pm | Facilitated by Vic

This group will 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 and Relationship Supports

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Informed Group (DBT) (B)

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. 

Relationship Dynamics (B)

Tuesdays 9-10am | Facilitated by Karin Gardner

This is a psychoeducation and support group for individuals who wish to improve their ability to form as well as maintain positive, healthy relationships. This includes the promotion of building a positive self-relationship. Past psychoeducational topics include active listening, body language, perspective taking, communication styles, codependency, triangulation, boundaries, self-care strategies, domestic violence, and emotional labeling and expression.

Art and Mindfulness for Kids (N)

Starting Oct. 19
Tuesdays 3:30-4:30pm | Facilitated by Laurie Sallisky

Mindfulness Parenting Group (N)

Starting Oct. 12
Tuesdays 10-11am | Based on Dan Seigel works

Collaborative Network Approach (B)*

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, utilizing Zoom technology. 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 truly different, refreshing and uniquely supportive.

*Sessions must be scheduled individually.

Substance Use and Recovery

IOP - Collaborative Network Approach, recovery coach and other support methods. (B)

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.

Adult Men's Substance Abuse Group (B)

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.

Recovery Group (N)

Fridays 12-1pm, in person at UCS Northshire Offices | 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. 

IOP – Mindfulness Based Sobriety and Dialectical Behavior Informed Therapy (DBT Informed) (B)

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

Clients 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. Clients 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.

Clients 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.

IOP – Self Esteem group and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) (B)

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 the person’s strengths, identifies early warning signs of mental health and/or substance abuse challenges, define supports they can count on, and 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 learning new ways to help manage negative thinking patterns.

Youth and Family Support Groups

(B) Bennington Based | (N) Northshire Based

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

Community Focused

Teens 4 Change (B)

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.


Mental Health and Substance Abuse


Community Rehabilitation and Emergency Services