Support Group

A support group of peers can be extremely beneficial. As others share their stories, you will be able to identify with them and with many of their experiences. Their stories will help you become more in touch with yourself. In your own time, when you feel ready, you will share some of your own experiences, and in doing so, you will become more honest and accepting of yourself and others and less secretive and afraid.

Awareness is extremely important to recovery. In order to break the emotion-reaction cycle that feeds our anxieties, we must first be aware of the feelings, thoughts, and actions that precede our anxiety. An easy way to develop awareness, as well as lower our anxiety level, is to talk about our fears and frustrations in a caring and supportive environment. This allows feedback from others, which enables us to view things from a different perspective. Change is easier and more rewarding with a strong and supportive network of friends. You will begin to feel like you belong. To be with others who understand and share your experiences produces a sense of safety and well being, which we all need. Please join our Paraprofessional, Nancy Dorger, at our ongoing six-week support group.

Support Group Details:
Thursday Evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Maximum 8 participants

The Chantel Building
3880 S. Bascom Ave., Conference Room #204
San Jose, CA

Prescreening and preregistration is required. Please call Dr. Dufford at 408-559-9088 This is a support group, not a therapy group therefore, a nominal level of familiarity with cognitive-behavioral methods and some initial progress in recovery is usually required before joining the group. This can be accomplished by working with Dr. Dufford or other cognitive-behavioral therapist or by using the Self Help programs available on this website.


Gradual exposure or in vivo desensitization is a very effective approach to overcoming phobic avoidance of places or activities, for example, avoiding driving on freeways, talking to people, giving a presentation, going into stores, riding in elevators, going too far from home or in more severe cases just leaving the house at all. It may seem scary and overwhelming to think about accomplishing these feared activities. However, through individual psychotherapy, Self Help Tools and group support you will learn to relax, stop the negative thinking and fearful anticipation, create positive self-talk and begin building confidence and positive expectation using guided visualization and mental rehearsal. By the time you take the first small step in real life it will be relatively easy.

It is often helpful to have an experienced guide with you as you practice exposure or desensitization. Someone who can remind you to use your coping skills in the moment, motivate you to push the boundaries while making sure you are doing it comfortably and not going too far, too fast. Mary Szeles, our Paraprofessional can provide this compassionate and knowledgeable assistance. She will be with you on location in the San Jose or Santa Cruz area supporting your process of expanding your comfort zone.

Contact Anxiety Treatment Services for more information by email or by phone: 408-559-9088