This semester, the McDaniel College Wellness Center has developed the Women’s Empowerment Group. The small group, made up of only eight students, meets weekly in the lobby of the Wellness Center under the facilitation of Dr. Erin MacDougall.
Dr. MacDougall developed the program because she wanted to provide “an opportunity for women to come together to share their stories.”
Similar programs exist on many other college and university campuses. Dr. MacDougall’s own interests in women’s issues and the female experience motivated her to start one here at McDaniel, especially after noticing common themes during independent therapy sessions. Many college women struggle with issues of self-esteem, relationships, and body satisfaction, but feel alone in this struggle.
“It’s nice to talk to a variety of women about our college experiences.” said senior Lauren Hamby “It has given me a greater perspective of my experience as a woman.”
The group is under protection of confidentiality, so participants know that they can safely speak without concern of information being spread beyond the meeting. Dr. MacDougall said that hesitancy to participate in such an experience is normal, but mentioned that there is a power in sharing experiences with other people.
The Women’s Empowerment Group is currently closed to new members, but in the future, there may be more sessions offered. Interested women should contact Dr. MacDougall to set up an interview by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on the success of Dr. MacDougall’s endeavor to create this group, the possibility has been opened to establish similar groups in the future. There has been interest expressed in a men’s group, a group for transfer students, and a relationships group. If you are interested in any of these or have any ideas of your own, be sure to express your interest to someone in the Wellness Center!