Jewish Family Services rolls out new support groups for fall

For the past eight years, Jewish Family Services (JFS) has been successfully running support group services for members of the community and there are plenty of them available this fall.

In the past year alone, 150 community members benefited from these services, during which support groups helped people feel less lonely, isolated, or judged; reduced distress, depression and/or anxiety, and improved coping and adjustment skills. All JFS support group leaders are licensed social workers with significant experience in facilitating support groups and confidentiality is strictly maintained.

There are six new support groups available this fall for a variety of issues.

Chapter 2: For Empty Nesters provides relief for those who have recently sent children to college. Mothers often find themselves with a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves after the last child has left for college. Get and give ideas on how to transition happily into this new chapter of your life in a confidential supportive environment facilitated by Linda Schlapfer, LMFT, on five Wednesdays from noon to 1:15 p.m., beginning Sept. 25.

Reversal of Fortune deals with financial challenges which bring with them stressors that affects everything in one’s life — relationships, self-esteem, outlook and even marriage. In these tough economic times, you are not alone. Share your thoughts, get ideas, tips and real life strategies to cope with the practical as well as the emotional issues associated with reversals of fortune. The group will be facilitated by Mary Karlan, LMSW, on six Tuesdays beginning Oct. 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. There is no charge.

Mamma Mia deals with the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. Unresolved issues are often carried into adulthood. Join this six week group to meet other women who are also struggling to better communicate with their mothers. Facilitated by Mary Karlan, LMSW, the group meets on six Thursdays, beginning Oct. 24 from 10 to 11 a.m. The group will also be offered in the evening if needed.

A class for special “bubbies” and “zaydies” is designed to provide support and education for grandparents who are struggling with their grandchild’s Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS or high functioning autism in eight sessions. Grandparents will be given a safe place to process, grieve, learn, celebrate and grow as an autism grandparent. The group will be facilitated by Jennifer Schultz, MSW candidate and parent of an autistic son, on eight Fridays, beginning Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Pardes: Creating Paradise will use four levels to examine Torah and together participants will learn ways to create a “paradise” of awareness and joy in their lives. Those seeking more fulfillment will find strength and support through this group, which will be facilitated by Lisa-Loraine Smith, LCSW, and Rabbi MJ Newman, Jewish Chaplain at Greenwich Hospital, on seven Fridays from noon to 1 p.m., beginning Oct. 4. This program meets at the Greenwich Hospital chapel.

Peace of Mind is an experiential and educational group that will introduce members to a variety of tools that can be used to quiet the mind and relax the body. If interested, contact Lisa at 203-622-1881 or [email protected]

JFS will also continue some of its ongoing support groups.

The Divorce Support Group is an ongoing weekly support group for adults whose lives are impacted by divorce, which is facilitated by Lisa-Loraine Smith, LCSW on Wednesdays, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

The Bereavement Support Group is an ongoing weekly support group for those who have lost a loved one within the past year, facilitated by Lisa-Loraine Smith, LCSW and a member of the Greenwich Jewish Clergy on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Counseling is also available through JFS. “When you need someone to talk to. talk to someone who understands,” the organization pledged. “JFS offers high quality, confidential counseling for families, couples and individuals in a welcoming, Jewish environment. Day and evening appointments are available and insurance and Medicare are reimbursable with sliding scale fees.”

For more information regarding specific groups, visit or call 203-622-1881.

A JFS social worker will help to determine whether a group is a good fit for you, prior to start date.

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