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Therapy group offers stress tips for women

Ellie Bolgar will lead a therapy group aimed at helping women reduce stress in their lives.

Women interested in learning ways to manage stress are invited to a free, five-week therapy group at Sources next week.

Stress Less – More Balanced begins April 14 to teach women “who do too much” how to find balance amidst life’s high demands and expectations.

“Women have a lot more stress today than maybe years ago,” facilitator Ellie Bolgar said. “Women respond differently to the increased demands and at the same time, they have important roles being partners and mothers to their children.”

Bolgar, a registered clinical counsellor and Sources family services manager, said the group addresses “type E” women who try being everything to everybody.

“Women tend to put themselves to the bottom of their list so this group is about helping them to have more compassion of their needs so they can give back to their families, to their children, and at the same time pursue their career and education and maintain a professional life if they need to.”

The weekly group is being offered for the second time after receiving a positive response last fall, when the program was extended to 10 weeks for its 32 participants.

“Part of the feedback was that after five weeks they didn’t want to end it because they just found that it was really useful for them,” Bolgar said, noting the group is funded by donations. “People came from different issues, with grief and loss and relationship issues... and they all found they were able to get something from the group to help them to cope and manage their lives better.

“Some of these women reached out and they wanted to have individual sessions, continuing counselling with our professional counselling services.”

Bolgar said the most common demographic in the last group was women between 35 and 55, but all women are welcome.

“It supports women in any kind of situation,” she said. “It’s just really helping them to balance emotions when they feel overwhelmed, manage stress and to live beyond chaos.”

The group – which is to include discussion, personal journaling and workbooks – will address stress and anxiety management, communication skills, letting go of grief and anger and relationship issues.

Participation is available upon donation, Bolgar noted.

“Donations would help the group continue or start more groups in the future,” she said. “Based on the number in attendance, it’s an interest to people and it’s a relevant issue, and it would be nice to run more groups.”

The group runs Thursdays April 14 to May 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.

To register or for more information, contact Jessica at 604-538-2522 or