HEAL is 7 to 8-week psychoeducational support group for survivors of sexual assault. The group is open to undergraduate students and graduate students of all genders, and is open to new members at the start of each Fall and Spring semester.

Discussion topics covered often include:

  • Self care and coping strategies
  • Boundary setting
  • Disclosures (who to tell about your experience and what to say)
  • Navigating relationships and intimacy after trauma
  • Neurobiology of trauma (information about what might be going on in your body and brain after sexual assault)
  • Understanding common reactions to trauma
  • Self-esteem and self-image after trauma

The Fall 2021 group is currently ongoing and closed to new members. A new group will begin during the Spring 2022 semester.

HEAL is co-facilitated by staff from OPEN and UHCS. To express interest in the group, call UHCS at 617-373-2772.

Have questions? Email Madi Bell, LCSW (Assistant Director, OPEN) at m.bell@northeastern.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students must be eligible for UHCS services in order to participate in the group. UHCS services are available for:

  • All undergraduate students 
  • All Law school students 
  • Graduate students who have either enrolled in the Student Health Plan or who have paid the student health fee 
  • Students in special programs by prior arrangement.  

 

The HEAL group is open to survivors of all gender identities.

The HEAL group is available to students on the Boston campus only, as the group meets in-person at UHCS (135 Forsyth Street, First Floor). Sexual Violence Resource Center staff can work with students in Northeastern’s global network to identify supports in their area.

For a variety of reasons, people who have experienced sexual assault may have difficulty discussing (or may not want to discuss) what happened with friends or family, which can feel challenging and isolating.

If you are a survivor who has endured silence, shame, guilt, or a lack of support from others in your life, a group can provide an opportunity to connect with others who have similar experiences. Support groups like HEAL can help to reduce common symptoms of trauma and uplift survivors as they move forward in their healing process. Every survivor’s experience is unique, but being in a group with those who have a shared understanding of sexual violence can be a powerful form of support and validation.

The HEAL group offers a safe space for survivors to learn coping skills, understand the effects of trauma, and connect with those who understand what they’re going through as a survivor at Northeastern.

(Source: Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs)

Members of the HEAL group are not expected or prompted to share the details of their experience with others during the group. HEAL is what is called a “Phase 1 Trauma Group,” meaning the focus is on exploring useful ways to cope with common symptoms/challenges, and to discuss the different ways sexual assault impacts group members’ lives now instead of focusing directly on members’ stories or narratives of their experience.

While UHCS offers some drop-in support groups, HEAL is a closed group. This means that once the group begins for the semester, new members are not added so that the group can serve as a safe and consistent environment for members to connect with one another over the course of the 7 or 8 weeks.

If you are interested in HEAL once the group has already started, please contact UHCS at 617-373-2772 or group co-facilitator Madi Bell, LCSW (Assistant Director, OPEN) at m.bell@northeastern.edu to be placed on an outreach list for future semesters.

Beyond the HEAL group, students may be interested in the following group support resources outside of Northeastern:

 

Please note that group offerings or format (i.e. in person vs. virtual groups) may be impacted by COVID-19 safety measures/protocol.

If you have experienced domestic/dating violence and want more information on groups, Sexual Violence Resource Center staff can work with you to identify possible supports. You connect with the SVRC by filling out this confidential service request form.