Hi! My name is Abi and I would like to welcome you to The Thursday Group blog!

If you are looking for support and information about healing from sexual abuse, you have come to a good place. You might have come to this blog because someone you know has been sexually abused or you might be here because you’ve been sexually abused yourself. Either way, you could still have some uncomfortable, difficult, or scary feelings about what happened. It is wonderful that you are looking for more information and support. If you are like me, just thinking about the topic of sexual abuse can be stressful.You may want to take a few minutes right now and notice your breathing. If you are holding your breath, or taking quick shallow breaths, see if you can take a deep breath into your belly, letting your stomach go out as you breath in. When you breath out, just let the air flow out slowly and easily. Take another slow easy breath into your belly, and then let the air flow out slowly. If you want to, slowly take three or four more breaths, making your stomach expand like a balloon each time you breath in, and relax each time you breath out. Inside yourself, just say hello gently to your body and any feelings you are noticing. Look at some of the things that are around you wherever you are. Breathing, and noticing things around you like this, is something I learned about when I was in a support group with four other middle school girls in my town who had been sexually abused. I wrote The Thursday group to hopefully make things easier for others. This blog tells about the book (including messages from the other characters and sample chapters to read or listen to), and where you can order it. You will also find links to other good books and web sites. If you start to notice that your breathing becomes uneven or really fast, or your heart feels like it is pounding in your chest or you get dizzy or feel unreal; please, get up from the computer or iphone, look at the things that are around you, and go find or call that trusted adult. If you don’t have an adult in your life that you can talk to, please call a hotline number.

I am a fictional character, but I was created out of the very real feelings and experiences of the girls PeggyEllen and Kimber used to be, and the girls they have known.

We hope that this blog and book will help you heal.


Need to talk to someone or report abuse? Call: 1-800-4ACHILD or 1-800-422-4458

The person who answers your call can help you figure out what to do and how to get help. If you call from a land line instead of a cell phone, the call will be free and will not show on a phone bill.

Monday, June 16, 2014

"I locked my door. It was weird. When I was around my mother I couldn’t help hating her and blaming her for my father leaving. When I was by myself or with Tara and her mom I blamed myself and my stupid guardian angel, though I wondered if I even had one. When I was with Jean I blamed her and the hotline counselor. When my dad was leaving I felt like it was all his fault. I was mad at everyone." From The Thursday Group; A Story and Information for Girls Healing From Sexual Abuse, page 148

Anger and Your Body

When you are angry, your whole body goes into “fight, flight or freeze” mode. Your brain might kick into fighting mode, which means you will fight with words or actions. It might force you to run away or to get out of the situation in any way that you can. Or, it might ‘freeze’ and leave you unable to get out of the situation or to say or do anything to help yourself. This is the same brain and body system that is activated when a person is abused. That means that, for some people, when they are angry, their body and brain are triggered to remember the abuse, or, when they think about the abuse, their body and brain are triggered into becoming automatically angry. One way to tell whether your angry reaction is about what is going on now or is an automatic reaction based on your abuse experience is proportion. Ask yourself, “Is what’s going on now worth this big a reaction? Is there something about what is happening now that reminds me of the abuse?” From The Thursday GroupA Story and Information for Girls Healing From Sexual Abuse, page 150

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kimber's Upcoming Play Therapy Presentation

Have Toys, Will Travel: Play Therapy Techniques and Tools for the Itinerant Practitioner 
Friday, April 4,  2014 
Kimber's presentation will be a part of the Our Alaska Lives 2014 Conference, April 3, 4, &5 in Anchorage, Alaska.
This conference is sponsored by the Alaska Counseling Association and the Alaska Association for Play Therapy. 

Practicing play therapy in Alaska is challenging and different.  Inclement weather and make-shift therapy rooms in schools and clinics of village settings require tenacity, invention, and the use of available materials.  This presentation will provide a collection of learned and invented theory and techniques which will allow counselors and therapists to integrate the practical with the effective and give a host of Alaska-based play therapy interventions. Participants will leave with a whole bag of ideas for their own "Portable Alaskan Play Therapy Kit".  


1) Participants will be able to describe and use at least three "Alaskan style" play therapy treatment interventions, all original ideas created by the presenter and used in both urban and rural Alaska. 

2) Participants will learn about the difference between directive and child-centered interventions, when it is appropriate to use each, and how to integrate these play therapy techniques into a neuro-developmentally informed, culturally sensitive approach applicable to building attachment and resolving trauma.  

3) Participants will be introduced to easy, effective materials that they can use to make their own "Portable Alaskan Play Therapy Kits". 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Watch for more information here about Kimber's upcoming presentation in Anchorage, April 2014. She will be speaking at the collaborative annual conference, Our Alaskan Livesput on by The Alaska Association for Play Therapy, The American Psychologists Association, Marriage and Family Therapists, and The Infant and Child Mental Health Board. Kimber will be presenting techniques she has developed for working with Indigenous cultures in Alaska, including a number of directive techniques.  She will be sharing information from her upcoming book, tentatively titled, "Alaskan Ways in Play Therapy: unique challenges and responsibilities of adapting to culture", a resource for play therapists.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

National Indian Child Welfare Association Conference

In April, my friend, Marty Hintz, and I met in Anchorage to sell books and story knives at the NICWA conference. Marty makes traditional yaruin (Yup'ik storyknives). In this picture Marty's friend, Esther, is showing how she and her friends used to tell stories and illustrate them with their yaruin when she was a child. The knives were popular with conference participants who had used them as children, and others who bought them to use as talking circle objects. The storyknives were a good match for The Thursday Group, a story for healing. If you are interested in purchasing a beautiful yaruin, email Marty at martyhintz@gci.net or stop by YaYa's, her art gallery in Fairbanks, Alaska, behind Safeway.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creating a Safe Place

A safe place is somewhere you can go to in your imagination when you are overwhelmed or scared, when you want to feel relaxed, or you can’t go to sleep. You may have an actual “safe place” that you can go to, like your tree house, your friend’s room, or the canoe you paddle on the lake. Or, it might be the dream of somewhere you hope to see someday: a warm sunny beach; a dark, quiet forest; or a rain storm on the desert. It can also be somewhere totally imaginative, like the purple fairy forest of your childhood imagination, or the deep blue of the ocean, swimming with a pod of whales.

Wherever your safe place is, think about all the sounds, all the smells, all the sights, all the things you can touch and taste, and burn them into your imagination. All of these will help to plant the picture firmly in your mind and help you to think of it quicker when you are feeling scared or down. Write a story or a poem about your safe place, or draw a picture of it. If you don’t feel very artistic, make a collage out of pictures you cut or rip out of magazines. This will also help you to think of your safe place more quickly when you need it.

Think about your safe place whenever you want to feel safe, secure, or calm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12th Indian Nations Conference

About one thousand people gathered in Palm Springs, California last week for the 12th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime sponsored by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute and the Office for Victims of Crimes. The theme of the conference was "Walking in Harmony: Honoring Victim Voices to Achieve Safety, Justice & Healing." I was honored and grateful to be included as one of the 175 presenters. Just being there in the presence of so many courageous and powerful victims/survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence was amazing. All of the people attending and participating are dedicated to speaking and working for healing and change, helping people find justice and stay safe. Many spoke clearly and honestly about the terrible things that had happened to them.
My workshop addressed how to talk about a traumatic event in a grounded, healing way.  Telling our stories of abuse or other trauma is an important part of getting help, healing, and trying to prevent the same thing from happening to others. Unfortunately, telling about it can be difficult because it may bring back feelings from when the trauma happened. In my presentation I demonstrated ways to keep from getting sucked back into the memory. We practiced many of the things that the characters in The Thursday group practiced, such as using belly breathing, stomping, and the butterfly hug. 
My mother and my sister-in-law came with me to the conference, which was great. Mom sat at my book table. It was wonderful to hear from people how helpful the book has been in their communities, or how excited they were to be bringing it back to their workplace, or to a family member. My sister-in-law, Laurie, was sunning herself next the pool near a tribal judge who was reading The Thursday Group. She said she planned to order copies of the book to give to girls coming through her court. When Laurie mentioned that the publisher, NEARI press, gives a 40% discount for orders of 40 books or more, the judge said that they could easily use 40 of the books. A number of other participants also said that they would be placing bulk orders.  Kimber and I are soooo thrilled that more and more of the books are getting out into the hands of girls.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Kimber's November Presentations

If you live in Alaska, you may want to attend these training events:

November 13th, in Wasilla, Kimber will be presenting a day long workshop on Reactive Attachement Disorder for the Alaska Attachment and Bonding Associates. It is titled, Flirting with Disaster but Coming Out Ahead; Living and Loving with the RAD Child. http://www.akattachment.org/

November 19th, Kimber will speak at the Child Maltreatment Conference in Anchorage about Facilitating Groups for Children Who have been Sexually Abused.