Fall Groups & Programming

Learning to Let Go Workshop

Wednesdays Starting October 1st thru November 5, 2015 6:00 – 7:30 pm

  • Are you carrying around a grudge that you just can’t let go of?
  • Does that incident from years ago still make you angry every time you think about it?
  • Still can’t forgive that person for what they said or did to you?
  • Want to learn how to unload this type of unwanted baggage in your life?

If so then come join us for a six week workshop that will help you learn how to let go of whatever it is you’ve carried around for far too long now!

Classes will:

  • Make you aware of how much time and space this person or thing takes up in your life
  • Make you aware of how much it weighs you down in life
  • Give you the tools that will show you how you can get rid of it once and for all

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register please call the Women’s Center at (517) 372-9163. The group is limited to 10 people.

Cost: Free! Donations are welcome!

Classes take place at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing

Grand Social Support Hour – Grandparents Raising And Supporting Dependents

First Meeting 10/11/2014, Saturday 9:00 am – 10:30 am

This is open to all who have, are, or will be raising second generation children. The reason doesn’t matter. We all share a common bond. We will focus on the issues grandparents deal with while raising children and the unique struggles they face. This will be an open format discussion with time for friends, fun, and sharing. Pre-registration required.

Cost: Free, donations welcome.

Group meets at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing

Breaking the Silence: A Support Group for Survivors of Sexual Assault Using Art for Healing

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 P.M. September 30th through December 9th

Any woman who experienced unwanted sexual contact, including assault or abuse, is invited to attend this group. The Breaking the Silence group will use art to express the impacts of the assault, learn new ways of coping, and share support. This group is free and confidential. No previous art experience required. Please call to register 517.372.9163

Save the Date: In Her Cups is October 17th



Join us on October 17th at The MHA Capitol Advocacy Center in Capital Tower at 110 W. Michigan Ave. Suite 1200. We are currently looking for artists and sponsors, so please contact us if you’re interested.

The event will include hors d’oeuvres, drinks,  and a live and silent auction of bras. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the live auction fun beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $30 or $50 for a pair. You can purchase them by contacting the Women’s center, or online.

Capital City Dragon Boat Race Needs YOU!

We still need survivors for the Women’s Center team along with…

Hey wonderful Lansing-ites we need your help recruiting more people to participate in dragon boating this year. A couple of teams have petered out. We have four boats and ideally would like to have 28 teams. We’re at 26ish right now. One team is not responding to my requests for information so are no longer in the count. So what say you all? Will you talk to your friends, neighbors, countrypeople and help us fill two more teams? Please? There might be something special in it for you if you do….IJS
Also, SUNDAY is the big day to show up. Saturday is a practice day and depending on how many teams we end up with we won’t need to have heats or time trials to determine divisions. It’s not really a two day time commitment, just a couple of hours on Saturday – which you will know ahead of time – and all day Sunday. We have two food trucks coming, cool and fun vendors, and the piece de resistance – DRAGON BOATING! What better way to spend a beautiful pre-Fall weekend but on the gorgeous Grand River with 700 of your boating buddies? I can’t think of anything more fun. Really.
Picture it…working those arms and back muscles, gliding on the river at warp speed, getting shouted at by the sternsmen/women, listening to the beat of a drum, sweating your butt off, breathing so hard your heart feels like it will pop out of your chest, smiling so wide the bugs will lodge firmly in your teeth, feeling a sense of accomplishment that NOTHING else compares to, basking in the adrenaline rush and showing off your medals in your workplace on Monday morning – I mean, really what could be better?? Do.This.

Ambient Abuse & Gaslighting

Explanation of five categories of ambient abuse often combined in the conduct of a single abuser.

It is the outcome of fear – fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant – and unnecessary – lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom (“gaslighting”).Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything – but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

Ambient abuse, therefore, is the fostering, propagation, and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen.

In the long term, such an environment erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victim adopts a paranoid or schizoid stance and thus renders himself or herself exposed even more to criticism and judgment. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally deranged and the abuser – the suffering soul.

There are five categories of ambient abuse and they are often combined in the conduct of a single abuser:

I. Inducing Disorientation

The abuser causes the victim to lose faith in her ability to manage and to cope with the world and its demands. She no longer trusts her senses, her skills, her strengths, her friends, her family, and the predictability and benevolence of her environment.

The abuser subverts the target’s focus by disagreeing with her way of perceiving the world, her judgment, the facts of her existence, by criticizing her incessantly – and by offering plausible but specious alternatives. By constantly lying, he blurs the line between reality and nightmare.

By recurrently disapproving of her choices and actions – the abuser shreds the victim’s self-confidence and shatters her self-esteem. By reacting disproportionately to the slightest “mistake” – he intimidates her to the point of paralysis.

II. Incapacitating

The abuser gradually and surreptitiously takes over functions and chores previously adequately and skilfully performed by the victim. The prey finds itself isolated from the outer world, a hostage to the goodwill – or, more often, ill-will – of her captor. She is crippled by his encroachment and by the inexorable dissolution of her boundaries and ends up totally dependent on her tormentor’s whims and desires, plans and stratagems.

Moreover, the abuser engineers impossible, dangerous, unpredictable, unprecedented, or highly specific situations in which he is sorely needed. The abuser makes sure that his knowledge, his skills, his connections, or his traits are the only ones applicable and the most useful in the situations that he, himself, wrought. The abuser generates his own indispensability.

III. Shared Psychosis (folie a deux)

The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity.

Her membership in the abuser’s “kingdom” is cast as a privilege and a prize. But it is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim’s resistance and her ability to “see straight”.

IV. Abuse of Information

From the first moments of an encounter with another person, the abuser is on the prowl. He collects information. The more he knows about his potential victim – the better able he is to coerce, manipulate, charm, extort or convert it “to the cause”. The abuser does not hesitate to misuse the information he gleans, regardless of its intimate nature or the circumstances in which he obtained it. This is a powerful tool in his armory.

V. Control by Proxy

If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbours, the media, teachers – in short, third parties – to do his bidding. He uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware instruments exactly as he plans to control his ultimate prey. He employs the same mechanisms and devices. And he dumps his props unceremoniously when the job is done.

Another form of control by proxy is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, or even physical punishment) against the victim. Society, or a social group become the instruments of the abuser.


July Updates at the Center

Dragon Boat Registration Open


Registration for the Capital City Dragon Boat Race & Festival is open right now! Teams are signing up quickly and boats are limited, so don’t miss your chance to register. A few things to know:

  • The Women’s Center has been given a grant to fund two special boats. One boat is for at-risk young women, and one for survivors of illness, domestic, or sexual violence. If you are interested in paddling in one of these boats, please contact the Center for more information.
  • Priority registration for the boats ends tomorrow. We will still be accepting registrations after Friday, but instead of securing your spot with a deposit, the full registration amount will be due. More information on the website here.
  • We are looking for sponsors for the event! Get your business in front of lots of fans and participants this September. We have a number of packages available. There’s a packet and info on the website.

We have a number of classes and workshops this month at the Center:

Microsoft Word Training: Tue/Thu 5:30-7 p.m.
Whether you need a refresher or are new to Word, this training will benefit you! Classes are taught by staff from IBM, with classes in MS Excel, LinkedIn, and website development to follow. Classes start July 15th in the computer lab at the Women’s Center. Call 517.372.9163 to register or for more information.

Making Peace with Your Anxiety: 1st and 3rd Tue 5:30-7p.m.
Do you feel anxious, nervous, or tense? Come learn ways to decrease anxiety and strategies to relax in a supportive environment. Call the Center to register: 517.372.9163.

Work Your Image: Update Your Look, Your Career, Your Future
Join us August 4th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a new hairstyle, makeup tips and how-tos for today’s job market. You’ll also enjoy a chair massage and a wardrobe consultation. Got an interview coming up? This is the perfect chance to refresh your look and get tips on interviewing. Space is limited, call the Center to register: 517.372.9163.