In a world where the trauma of violence and the struggle of immigration intersect, the journey towards healing and empowerment is often fraught with challenges. Yet, it is within this complex landscape that a group of resilient women have found a beacon of hope through the transformative power of Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). (Beck & Weishaar 1995; Dobson & Dobson 2009.)

The Healing Power of Group Support

Our crisis center embarked on a groundbreaking initiative, conducting a series of group CBT sessions aimed at aiding immigrant women who have experienced violence. Over the course of six months, these women engaged in a therapeutic process that was not just about managing anger, but about fostering a community of support, understanding, and growth. (Yalom & Leszcz 2005; Reily & Shopshire 2019.)

A Tapestry of Experiences

The participants, hailing from diverse backgrounds, shared the common threads of past violence and the ongoing challenge of adapting to a new culture. The group sessions became a melting pot of stories, struggles, and triumphs, with each member contributing to the rich tapestry of the collective experience. (Foe 2009.)

Transformative Outcomes

The results were profound. The members reported not only a significant reduction in psychological distress but also a transformative change in their self-perception and interpersonal relationships. The group setting provided a safe space for them to confront their traumas, share their pains, and, most importantly, learn that they were not alone. (Beck & Dozois 2011; Hegarty, Ehntholt, Williams, Kennerley, Billings & Bloomfield 2022.)

Picture 1. Hands Forming a Star. Picture: pexels

Challenges and Insights

Despite the successes, the journey was not without its hurdles. Some participants found it difficult to connect the activities to their anger management goals, while others faced challenges in applying the strategies learned. Yet, these obstacles only underscored the importance of a facilitator who is both culturally sensitive and creatively engaged in the therapeutic process. (MacMahon, Stenfert Kroese, Jahoda, Stimpson, Rose, Rose, Townson, Hood & Willner 2015.)

Ethical Considerations

The ethical dimensions of such an intervention were carefully navigated, ensuring informed consent, confidentiality, and respect for the autonomy of each participant. The facilitator, armed with expertise in psychology, crisis work and contemporary domestic violence frameworks, provided competent and compassionate guidance throughout the sessions. (Fisher 2009; Corey, Haynes, Moulton, Parice & Muratori 2020.)


This study sheds light on the efficacy of group CBT in a multicultural context, highlighting the potential for such interventions to not only alleviate psychological distress but also to empower individuals on their journey towards healing and self-discovery. It stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of women who, despite the odds, find ways to transform their anger into a force for positive change. (Fontes 2015.)

Writer: Haniyeh Ozroudi,, Health and Welfare Coordinator – student.


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Dobson, Deborah & Dobson, Keith 2009. Evidence-based practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Guilford Press. DOI: Accessed: 21.3.24. 

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Fontes, Lisa Aronson 2015. Invisible Chains: Overcoming coercive control in your intimate relationship. Guilford Press. Accessed: 14.3.24. 

Hegarty, Siobhan, Ehntholt, Kimberly, Williams, Dorothy, Kennerley, Helen, Billings, Jo & Bloomfield, Michael 2022. Acceptability and mechanisms of change associated with group cognitive behavioural therapy using the Recovering from Childhood Abuse Programme among women with CPTSD: a qualitative analysis. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist 15.  Accessed: 20.3.24.

MacMahon, Stenfert Kroese, Jahoda, Stimpson, Rose, Rose, Townson, Hood & Willner 2015. ‘It’s made all of us bond since that course. . .’ – a qualitative study of service users’ experiences of a CBT anger management group intervention. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. volume 59 part 4, 342–352. April 2015. Accessed: 10.3.24. 

Reilly Patrick M. & Shopshire Michael S. 2019. Anger Management for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Clients: A Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy Manual. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.

Yalom, Irvin & Leszcz, Molyn 2005. The theory and practice of group therapy (5th ed.) BasicBook. Accessed: 1.3.24.

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Empowerment Through Anger Management: The Journey of Immigrant Women in Group CBT


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