Groups are a powerful way to bring women together to enhance personal growth.
It’s a place of safety for a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation.
The focus of our Bonnie’s Creative Group is creativity.
There are many benefits to being creative.
Creativity improves problem solving, self-expression, self-awareness. It reduces anxieties and mood disturbances. It expands your sense of time, making you feel free, satisfied and content in this beautiful space you have created for yourself.
Creativity also reduces stress levels, making you happier.
Creating can get you in the “flow” – a term used to describe the state when you’re completely absorbed in activity. You are thinking of nothing else.
The state of creative flow is caused by changes in brain function: brainwaves slow down, thoughts are easily formed, and the prefrontal cortex goes quiet for some time. This makes us less critical of new ideas. There can be a release of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine. These are the pleasure and satisfaction inducing chemicals that promote creativity and well-being. Creative flow can also improve immune system functioning. And with more positive moods, perspectives are expanded – we are more open to joy, happiness, and optimism.
Living with domestic violence means living alone with pain and struggle. Maybe without even the support of trusted others. This is why Bonnie’s groups provide a safe, supportive environment for women to be more open about difficult experiences. Here, the women can take off their social mask, giving themselves permission to express anger, sadness, and grief. Feeling safe allows them to be open without fear of judgement.
This is when the healing process can begin.
Trauma is often difficult to express in words. Through creative expression, painful emotions can be processed in a visual way.
The group members are Bonnie’s clients, past or present. There is a lovely mix, and the women use their lived experience and wisdom to assist new members.
Women can feel empowered when helping other women – their shared experience allows them to gain strength, understanding and insight.
It means their sense of worth is renewed.
Honesty is encouraged and accepted. Women discover they are not alone and are more able to identify those who have problems and struggles like themselves.
Creating beautiful things is so beneficial.
The women can take their creative items home, show their family, and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Often, the women in our group make things for their children and family. This brings them great pleasure and enriches their relationships.
Our creative group is always growing. When new members arrive, they bring their own ideas and skills everyone else can benefit from.
Bonnie’s creative space has been running for over seven years. It will continue to run each school term for eight weeks.
Childcare is also provided.
Written by Alison D