Episode 33 | Women in Weightlifting

empowerment women Mar 03, 2022

Page Description:

The Group Work Podcast. Find out what happens in the space where group therapy takes place.

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Listen and subscribe on Spotify here



Julie Mizak joins Katie to discuss how she uniquely blends weight lifting with therapy. They explore the mind-body connection, why gym-based therapy can boost confidence and self-esteem, and best practices for running a gym-based group. 

Through gym-based group therapy, Julie creates a communal vibe where women can feel better about themselves and discover deeper dimensions of who they are and why they are worthy. Fittingly, her group’s motto is women in weightlifting, women lifting each other up. 

Julie Mizak is a licensed social worker and a certified personal trainer. She combines her expertise to create a unique, and relatively new,  offering for her clients. 


[00:28] Episode overview and who is Julie Mizak? 

[01:40] Why Julie decided to merge personal training with trauma and healing. 

[04:08] The body-mind connection (and why it’s becoming more mainstream). 

[06:55] Who is Julie’s gym-based group for? 

[08:28] Creating a group where women can rediscover themselves. 

[10:04] How Julie breaks the ice in her group (and the moment when it all comes together). 

[12:44] How a gym-based therapy group session can be structured (and how strict is the exercise regimen?).

[16:25] Wholesome moments in gym-based therapy.

[17:25] Managing confidentiality in gym-based therapy (waivers and intake forms). 

[19:02] Session logistics of Julie’s gym-based group therapy (re-enrollments). 

[20:35] The intake process in gym-based groups.

[21:43] What to watch out for when starting a gym therapy group. 

[23:15] How you can learn more about weightlifting and therapy.

[23:58] Tips for people who want to start a gym-based therapy group. 

3 Key Takeaways 

  1. Gym-based group therapy can be a space for people to rediscover themselves by being lifted up by other members of the group. This can be ideal for people with self-esteem issues.
  2. Journaling can be integrated into gym-based group therapy. It empowers group members to be reflective and to build the healthy habits they want to build. 
  3. A vital aspect of running a successful gym-based therapy group is being connected to the gym owners in your community and making sure you have a private space to conduct your sessions where your group members can feel safe. 

Tools & Resources

Connect with Julie Mizak: Website | Email | Instagram
Book recommendation: Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time by Laura Khoudari

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