Group Therapy


Young and Latency-Aged Children’s Group with a History of Sexual Abuse or Past Trauma
Groups are formed based on age (within 2 years) and gender (boys and girls groups offered separately). Gil Institute’s approach to group therapy services for sexually abused children is a time-limited (10-12 weekly sessions) integrative model which utilizes expressive and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The goals of the group include creating an atmosphere of comfort and trust, allowing children to raise questions and concerns, providing psychoeducation about experiences of interpersonal trauma and typical confusions and distress that children experience, and helping children identify and express their thoughts and feelings about their abuse. This group emphasizes the development of coping strategies, identification of resources in the child’s life, and establishing mastery and personal control of their present while looking forward to a positive and successful future.
Group for Adolescents with a History of Sexual Abuse or Past Trauma
Adolescents can experience confusion and distress associated with past traumatic experiences and can find typical developmental challenges more difficult as a result. In this group we will discuss how past events can be understood and managed, how teens can avoid high-risk situations and behaviors, how they can negotiate complex feelings and perceptions about sexual development, and how they can regain more personal control over their current decision-making process. Because it can be uncomfortable to discuss these issues directly, the group leaders will make full use of expressive therapy techniques to facilitate introspection. Psychoeducation will be provided designed to respond to common concerns regarding culpability, shame, and trust.
Boundary Project: Young and School-Aged Children with Sexual Behavior Problems (ages 4-12)
This research-informed program is unique in that every group includes 1) child group and 2) parent/caregiver group occurring concurrently. Children must first complete an assessment of sexual behavior problems to determine if the sexual behavior is 1) problematic and in need of outpatient intervention; 3) determine level of safety and supervision required for recovery to begin, and 3) whether or not group is the appropriate first step for the child and his/her family.
Following each group, caregivers children join together for a final review of the material present and a parent-child relationship-strengthening activity. This treatment model provides specialized assessment, individual therapy, parent-child therapy, and group therapy. The curriculum encompasses the basic principles of evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as integrated play therapy techniques to advance the goal of reducing problem sexual behaviors. A unique aspect of this treatment model is the experiential work that is shared in joint family therapy. Pre  and post-testing has showed consistently effective treatment outcomes.
Support Group for Parents of Abused Children

When children are abused by a parent or trusted caretaker, the non-abusive parent has the important role of assisting her child (and other and other children in the family) so that a sense of safety and security can be restored. At the same time that the parent’s focus must be on her child(ren), the nonabusive parent is often in shock, terrified, and feels as though the rug has been pulled out from under here.

Struggling with challenges ranging from housing, to lack of financial support, to legal proceedings, to sorting out a broad range of feelings in this family crisis, the nonabusive parent deserves a great deal of support and guidance. At this time family loyalty splits can occur, parents must negotiate learning a new system of authorities (CPS, police, court), and many demands are placed on nonabusive parents. In addition, they must confront their own feelings of guilt, worry, and fear. This group is designed to assist parents by providing support and psychoeducation in a judgment-free environment.


Seasons for Group  






  • Sexual Abuse – for Children in Recovery 
  • Sexual Abuse – for Adolescents in Recovery
  • Circle of Security - Parenting Program (COS-PP)
  • Boundary Project (for Sexual Behavior Problems, ages 4 thru 12 years)
  • Parent Support Group (for Parents and Caregivers of Children in Recovery from Abuse)
  • Social Skills Development (Young & School-Aged Children)
  • Theraplay Groups (Young & School-Aged Children)
  • Domestic Violence – for Children in Recovery
  • Domestic Violence – for Adolescents in Recovery
  • Hope through Equine-Assisted Recovery & Therapy Services (HEARTS, located at Bridle Paths, Leesburg, VA)
  • Trauma-Informed Parenting - Support and Education Group for Caregivers (new for 2016!)


To be placed on a list to be notified of an upcoming group, please let us know so we can start formulating a group with a start date. You can call 703.560.2600 or complete a Referral Form with a request to be notified of upcoming groups.