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Ross ministry to focus on 'Boundaries for Women'

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Sister Mary Jane Beatty of Hampton Township has been counseling for more than 25 years. She is involved with two new support groups for women that Anchorpoint Counseling MInistry is starting in September 2014.

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By Laurie Rees
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Women who are overwhelmed by the demands they face, have problems sleeping at night or feel incompetent and alone can find some support through Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry.

Anchorpoint once was known as the North Hills Youth Ministry Counseling Center but now addresses the needs of individuals of all ages. The ministry will start two new programs for women in September.

Boundaries for Women will address the difficulty women have in setting boundaries and saying, ‘No,' to the onslaught of demands in their life.

The eight-week program will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 16 through Nov. 4 at Anchorpoint, 800 McKnight Park Drive in Ross Township.

“Considering the number of demands placed on women today — holding a job, raising children, caring for the home — it is easy to understand why they feel overwhelmed,” said Sister Mary Jane Beatty, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Anchorpoint who will supervise the support group being co-led by interns Cassy Wimmer and Catherine Matthews.

“Women are afraid to say, ‘No,' because they think it will create conflict. They need to set boundaries for themselves in all areas of their life and know that it's a positive thing,” said Sister Mary Jane, 69, of Hampton Township.

Participants will learn skills and share creative ways to set personal boundaries for themselves, thus improving relationships and reducing stress levels.

The other program is the Stress, Anxiety and Depression Support Group for Women, or SAD.

This program will be an opportunity for participants to share life struggles with other women. They will learn positive coping mechanisms from each other, said Wimmer, who also will co-lead this support group with Matthews.

“Depression affects everyone at one time or another. It's the severity of the depression that concerns us,” said Sister Mary Jane, who will supervise this support group, as well.

“But there is help, comfort and support. It can be an experience we can grow from,” said Wimmer, 29, of Penn Hills.

This program will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on 12 consecutive Tuesdays, starting Sept. 2.

Wimmer — who earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and is working toward a master's degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh — said she is uniquely qualified to lead these support groups because of her own life experience.

“My husband and I adopted three children — ages 4, 6, and 8 — from the foster-care system. My husband is a professor at Duquesne University, so time management is an ongoing process. And did I mention that we home school?” she said.

Wimmer said she has learned to manage stress and demands in her life.

“My biggest problem may be that my life is too full of wonderful things: my faith, my marriage, my children, my classes and my clients” at Anchorpoint, she said.

Her co-leader, Matthews, is completing her master's of education in counseling from Duquesne University and expects to graduate in December. She has co-led various support groups and has interned at Anchorpoint since January.

Each program is limited to 15 participants. A $5 donation per session is appreciated but not required. To register, call Anchorpoint at 412-366-1300.

Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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