National Council for Behavioral Health

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The National Council, in partnership with New York University’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the Silver School of Social Work, is pleased to announce the launch of the Learning to Love Groups Learning Community.  This exciting initiative provides organization an opportunity to strengthen group delivered services by improving the knowledge and skills of group facilitators and their supervisors.

Groups offered through behavioral health services present unique opportunities to support consumers in their recovery.  The potential benefits include:

1) Reduction in feelings of isolation by recognizing that others face similar challenges;

2) Experience of social and emotional support from others;

3) Opportunities to try new behaviors in a safe environment;

4) Improvement of social skills and social networks;

5) Inspiration and motivation through observing improvement in others;

6) Increased hope and self-efficacy;

7) Increased self-awareness through helpful and respectful feedback

Despite these clear benefits, organizations struggle to equip staff with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to provide engaging and effective groups.  Learning to Love Groups is designed to address this widespread challenge by providing group facilitators and their supervisors with the critical information, training and tools necessary for delivering engaging, effective and practical themed centered groups.  A primary aim of the learning community is to strengthen and reinforce the role of supervisors in coaching and guiding their supervisees involved in facilitating groups.

Key elements of Learning to Love Groups include:

  • Coaching from NYU and National Council faculty through individual and cohort consultation calls focused on enhancing the supervisor’s role as group facilitator coaches
  • Access to tools and curriculum from experts in group facilitation, focused on quality of supervision for group facilitators and outcome measurements
  • Virtual learning through webinars focused on effective group facilitation skills
  • Evaluation of the group facilitator skills, the effectiveness of an organization’s groups and the Learning Community process through observation, satisfaction surveys and written tools

Participating organizations are expected to establish and empower a two to three person team composed of the program supervisor, group facilitator and a peer leader, if possible, for participation in Learning Community. Organizations will be chosen for participation in this six month learning community through a competitive application process. Cost is $3,000 for National Council members and $5,000 for nonmembers.

Want to learn more? Join our Learning to Love Groups informational webinar to hear about an exciting opportunity to strengthen your group delivered services.

Application Submission
For consideration, please submit the application by close of business (5:00pm eastern time) on September 19, 2014.  You can also view the questions in advance by reviewing the application here.

Questions about the application can be directed to Daisy Wheeler at:  For more information about Learning to Love Groups Learning Community, please contact Karen Johnson, Director of Trauma-Informed Services, at 202-684-7457, ext. 275 or