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About the groups

Spirit and objectives

Our objective is to provide a safe space where socially anxious people can meet and spend some constructive time to work through their social anxiety. Some important elements of safety in our groups are: welcoming people as they are, respecting each person's individuality and promoting a non-judgemental approach towards each other.

SASH groups are based on a self-help, mutual support approach. Self-help means that the emphasis of our group activities is on finding out what works and what does not work for each one of us, so that we can learn to take better care of ourselves. Mutual support means exploring how we affect one another and realising that we can provide very valuable support to each other in the group.

Whilst our groups do not promise to provide solutions to individual problems, or to use specific therapeutic techniques to cure social anxiety, we know that our meetings can have a deep therapeutic value for participants.

Attendance to groups is open to anyone who wants to explore his or her social anxiety within a group context.

There are no attendance requirements. Each meeting is open to whoever wants to attend it.   

The first SASH group started in 2004. Over 250 meetings have been held since then.

Meeting activities

A meeting usually starts with the facilitator giving a brief introduction to the group, followed by some simple activities aimed to familiarise participants with one another. We then engage in one or more activities aimed to explore our experience of ourselves and of the people around us. This may be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. Some examples: eye contact exploration, using affirmations, exploring movement and distance, role-playing.  After each activity, participants are encouraged (but not required) to share their experience with each other and with the group. In the last part of the meeting, if time allows, we may make space for a few participants to stand in front of the whole group and explore their experience of interacting with the group.

All our group activities aim to encourage participants to explore their personal experience of social contact (thoughts, feelings, instinctive responses, body sensations etc) within the safety of the meeting space.

The SASH team

SASH is currently managed by a team of three people: Fleur Melville, Jo-Anne Nighy and Stefano De Cesaris. 

Special thanks go to Prav, who facilitated SASH meetings for two years and has recently left SASH to focus on other projects.

Fleur, Jo and Stefano facilitate the Monday night meetings, in alternation. They know social anxiety from personal experience and each of them has received some training in psychotherapy. They attend regular supervision meetings for the SASH group activities. 

SASH activities are covered by a public liability insurance policy.

If you would like to contribute ideas or activities to SASH, please email us on info@sashgroup.org.