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Anxiety Coaching Group

with Judy Grupenhoff, MS, M.Ed. and Anne Vaillant, Psychiatric NP

About Anxiety Coaching at AFP
Atkinson Family Practice is excited to announce that we are starting an Anxiety Coaching Group.  The coaching group is a six-session group medical visit for people interested in learning skills and developing strategies that can help reduce their anxiety and feelings of overwhelm.

The goal of the group is to provide guidance and support in making sustainable changes in outlook and behavior.  The group will be facilitated by Anne Vaillant, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and Judy Grupenhoff, Integrative Health and Wellness Coach. You will learn techniques to manage stress and anxiety, identify goals you would like to work toward, and take small steps toward these goals each week. This is not a drop-in group.  The sessions and skills build on each other and consistency is important for building trust and a feeling of safety within the group.  While we understand that emergencies happen, we ask that you plan to attend all six of the scheduled sessions.

Please note that prior to registering for the Anxiety Coaching Group, patients must fill out a short informational form.  Ask your provider for more information about receiving this form and registering for this series. Email for more information. 

Anxiety Coaching Group Agenda/Overview

Session 1: In the first session we introduce the group and its members, provide an overview of the coaching model, discuss the neurobiology of anxiety, and introduce some stress management and mindful awareness techniques.

We will introduce the Wheel of Health and the Personal Health Plan that you will use to explore and identify where you are now in terms of your optimal health well-being and where you would like to be.  Each session you will have action steps to complete before the next session.  Filling out the Personal Health Plan will be your first action step.

Session 2: We will begin with a mindful awareness or relaxation exercise.  We will discuss what you discovered when filling out the Personal Health Plan; each member can share as much or as little as they want. Each person will have the opportunity to decide what goals they want to work toward over the next six weeks.  Each person will identify action steps to be accomplished before the next session.

Session 3, 4, and 5: We will begin with a mindful awareness or relaxation exercise.  Each week we will discuss the successes and challenges group members have had in completing their action steps from the previous week and set new action steps to be completed for the next week.

Session 6: We will begin with a mindful awareness or relaxation exercise.  We will discuss the successes and challenges group members have had in completing their action steps from the previous week.  We will discuss the success group members have had over the six-week program and discuss how to maintain the progress that members have made.

About Anne and Judy

Anne has been working in women’s health for 25 years. She has worked as an RN, WHNP and CNM, in community health centers, birth centers, and tertiary care centers across the state. Anne spent the last 10 years in outpatient private practice in Westfield and Springfield, and has become increasingly focused on women’s mental health across the life cycle. To that end, she recently fulfilled a long-held dream of becoming a psychiatric NP and she’s thrilled to be able to integrate primary care with mental health in her practice. Finding AFP has felt like another dream come true. As a holistic medical home, she feels that AFP really seems to “walk its talk”, and treats mind and body as a unified whole. Anne’s many professional interests include mindfulness-based therapies, narrative therapy, mental health implications of the gut microbiome, perinatal and perimenopausal mental health, and the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and subsequent mental and physical illness. In her spare time, Anne can be found hiking and skiing with her husband and two teenage daughters, gardening, fermenting, and making mosaics.

Judy has an MEd in Counseling Psychology, is an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach trained at Duke Integrative Medicine, and is a HeartMath® Certified Interventions Professional and Trainer. For the past 10 years she has worked with adults and adolescents, individually and in groups, helping them build resilience and improve health and well-being on all levels. Her skills-based approach synthesizes the latest research on stress physiology, neurobiology, and self-compassion and helps individuals learn practical skills to lower stress and anxiety and quiet their critical inner dialogs.  In her free time Judy can often be found sitting on a rock near water, digging in the garden, or experimenting in the kitchen.


"Anne is one amazing human! She's the reason I ended up at AFP becsue I followed her from the last practice she was at. I can see why she chose AFP because I've received the same kind of compassionate care from other providers I've seen there as I've gotten from her. Ths practice is truly a gem!"

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