Group Connections (Multimedia)
It was a combination of Dr. Victoria Bacon’s interest in genealogy and group therapy that resulted in The Legacy Exploration and Preservation Group Project, an initiative designed to promote psychological health for women veterans in Southeastern Massachusetts.
The project, which is sponsored by BSU and the Daughters of the American Revolution, allows women veterans to engage in self-reflection, the exploration of family history and traditions, the rediscovering of their roots, the deepening of their life’s purpose, and expansion of their capacity for caring, Dr. Bacon said.
The project also looks to the future, by connecting the participants and their stories to future generations. The group also seeks to forge important connections, said Melissa Shea, LMHC group facilitator.
“The military fosters the sense of connection because people are coming from different divergent paths and they come together and are reliant on each other,” she said. “When they come out of the military that’s another thing that they are missing. They come back to their families of origin and they still want to connect, but when they come to our groups too they are very, very different. They have had very different experiences, but that sense of connection still remains.”
During a recent get-together, members brought items to share with the group, including pictures, dog tags, and a purple heart. This is also part of the project.
“This project and this group have allowed me to connect with my family and leave things for them and preserve history,” said Ms. Shea.
Prospective participants were interviewed to gauge their fitness for the project and wellbeing. Once selected, they were assigned to a group session. Groups met for 90-minutes each day for eight weeks. At the end, each participant was re-assessed as to her wellbeing and asked to decide if and what she’d like to share of her experiences at the Legacy Exploration and Preservation Group Project Forum and/or with other publications, websites, or with family members. (Story by student Caitlin Seddon, photo and video by students Erin O’Leary and Yvana Osborne, University News)
Hear more about the program from the participants, including Marueen Boiros and Kristen Anderson.