Lisa Ratz demonstrates how a mannequin will be used as part of the Women's Self-Awareness Workshop that begins on June 4 at the Salvation Army.

Lisa Ratz demonstrates how a mannequin will be used as part of the Women's Self-Awareness Workshop that begins on June 4 at the Salvation Army.

Self-help program to be offered to women in Williams Lake

The Salvation Army's support and drop-in co-ordinator says often women join self-help groups yet do not glean as much as they could.

The Salvation Army’s support and drop-in co-ordinator says often women join self-help groups yet do not glean as much as they could because they don’t know themselves.

To help with that dilemma, Lisa Ratz is hosting a Women’s Self-Awareness Workshop that begins on June 4.

A precursor to self-help groups, the 90-minute sessions, held twice a week over seven weeks will involve exercises to help women figure out who they are.

Whether it will be exposure to different types of arts, such as pencil sketching or abstract with oils, different types of music, or journalling.

“There’s not a lot of handouts; it’s more about experiential learning,” Ratz explains. “To be able to explain yourself without the use of a title is almost impossible, and yet we are so much more than our title.”

It’s about being passionate, innovative and creative. Those are the things she hopes women can identify in themselves.

“We want to bring out who they really are underneath all the titles.”

The workshops will be free and can accommodate up to eight women.

Ratz has designed the program, based on similar work she’s delivered to women doing self-exploration in transition in Courtenay and Kelowna.

“That was dealing with present issues, whereas this group is specifically targeted to women who want to find out who they are at the core,” she says.

While the workshops are open to women 18 and over, that’s negotiable. At a recent visit to a pregnancy outreach program, Ratz met younger women who are still in a position that they may benefit from the program.

“The sooner we can start doing this the better. If a woman can find out who she is and what she wants out of life at 18 or 19, as opposed to when she’s in her mid 40s, then how much more would she grow through her lifetime?”

One of the exercises in the program involves a mannequin and is called projection therapy.

Participants will be asked to bring an outfit from home, dress the mannequin up, and using stuffing or lack of stuffing make it look like themselves.

“A neck to knee projection of how they see themselves and then the group works together to make it look as realistic as possible,” Ratz adds. “The program will be a challenge, meaning people won’t be able to slough their way through it.”

Additionally Ratz will offer Skills of Success targeted to women that want to make life changes. It covers communications, goal planning, budgeting, crisis management, and assertiveness, with the goal being to increase confidence and empowerment.

She’s also presently running a men’s discussion group on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

It’s drop in and open with different topics.

Ratz usually starts off the conversation with a topic, but if participants want to discuss something else, she says that’s perfectly fine.

For more information on the programs call 250-305-2492.






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