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The Family

group program

People Helping People

The Family Group is a place to tell your story. It is group where connection, empathy and authenticity are foremost. The Family Group Program is centered on the Contemplation Discovery Pathway Theory, which acknowledges that we are all hurt, and we all have a story. In order to help ourselves and others release shame and pain, we share our stories, and in so doing, discover the vision of our true selves based in love and gratitude. The vision of the Family is H.O.P.E. Helping Other People Everywhere.

The Family Group Program provides free support process groups throughout the Bahamas and the U.S., with the belief that sharing our stories with others', enables healing. "Jaw Jaw Stops War War". "If I am my problem, I am my solution". Join us.

What is The Family Group Program?


‘The heart is like a sponge, absorbing all hurt that have affected us. If we do not get rid of the hurt, love will try to bless us but our heart will be so full, it will be unable to absorb it. There are not many spaces where you can get rid of your hurt. The Family is a safe space where we can squeeze the hurt from our hearts, so love can bless us again’ (Dr. David Allen)


The Bahamas, like many other countries in the Caribbean and South America, is facing a serious social fragmentation process related to the widespread cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and the present sequelae involving drug trafficking, executions and plentiful supply of guns; and the high unemployment relating to the A international financial downturn. Manifested by family and community disintegration, the social fragmentation has spurned a culture of violence associated with burgeoning murder and violent crime rates, widespread domestic violence, the formation of violent youth gangs and different types of abuse.


“The Family; People Helping People’ project is a community-based intervention designed to confront the prevailing social fragmentation in the country and promote re-socialization. The program is a dynamic supportive group process, involving storytelling, reflection, self-examination and transformation using psychotherapeutic principles. Persons are encouraged to share their stories in a contemplative environment of love, mindfulness and non-judgmental listening. This produces a powerful healing bond within the group. It is this bond which we define as “Family”, hence the name “the Family; People Helping People project”.  The program is currently offered in several marginalized Bahamian communities and select populations.


The Family Group Program was created and is directed by Dr. David F. Allen, MD., MPH. Dr. David Allen studied medicine at St. Andrews University Medical School in Scotland, and Psychiatry and Public Health at Harvard Medical School where he was a Kennedy Fellow. He did further work in religion, psychiatry and ethics at Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Allen has taught psychiatry and religion at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown Medical School. The Family team is composed by trained professionals and a group of committed volunteers.


The Family Group Program has five (5) components:


1) Clinical: group counselling for adults and teenagers based in CDPT (Contemplative Discovery Pathway Theory developed by Dr. David F. Allen); and individual and family intake process to Court Ordered teenagers.

2) Research: Templeton Foundation has granted the program with resources for rigorous scientific research in order to evaluate if our model is effective in resocialization. The results indicate the model is successful and has also allowed the publication of several scientific papers in peer reviewed journals based on ‘The Family’ model.

3) Training: offering of free training for community leaders that have discipline and talent to become group facilitators. It has also become an important forum for Bahamian society to openly discuss challenges for social agents to contribute effectively to relevant issues of our times.

4) Community Outreach: different initiatives that promote cohesion and healing for communities such as school interventions, family visits, basketball camps, TV and radio programs to educate society about relevant societal issues, publishing of a monthly newsletter, support for food, furniture and clothes drives to at risk populations, etc.

5) Internship: offer of a supervised high-quality internship program on Contemplative Discovery Pathway Theory and its Clinical and Research applications for national and international students.

The Family - Dr. David Allen's Story

Andre Chappell's Story

The Family Principles


“God sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68:6)

“Every person desires unfailing, unconditional love.” (Proverbs 19:22)


  1. When we share our shame and painful stories in a contemplative environment of silence, love and non-judgmental listening, a healing bond develops. It is this bond which we call ‘Family’.

  2. Jaw, jaw stops war, war. As we talk over and share our issues, understanding and healing occurs.

  3. Hurt people hurt themselves and those they love. The Family is a place where hurt people can safely grieve and release their shame and pain and find love and healing.

  4. Peace is not the absence of conflict or struggle, but the absence of fear. When God connects to us, He always says ‘fear not’ (Isaiah 41:10).

  5. We don’t see things as they are, but as we are. The hurt and shame in our heart blocks our ability to see the beauty around us and understand the issues in our life.

  6. When you are angry, you only hurt yourself because you are drinking your own poison. People can only provoke the anger already in you. Anger is a message from your heart to come home and say hello to who you really are.

  7. You can only grieve as deep as you love and you can only love as deep as you grieve.

  8. The main question of being in the Family is ‘Who…or what is living your life?’ The sad thing is so many of us have allowed other people and things to be in the driver seat as we sit in the passenger seat of our lives.

  9. Happiness comes from within. It is your choice. No one can make you happy because that is your job. But you can share your happiness with others.

  10. You are more than your thoughts and feelings. So often, we allow our thoughts and feelings, especially negative thoughts and fearful feelings, to control our lives. You are an eternal soul with a being that transcends what you think or fee. In other words, you have a body, but you are a soul.


I would like to help! How can I do that?


  • Come and visit one of our groups to understand the real impact we are having on people’s lives. Come to our groups and create the opportunity to work on yourself so you will become part of the solution.

  • Come to our training sessions and become a volunteer group facilitator.

  • Bring to us your passion and skills in order to suggest new ventures we have not even thought about yet!

  • Help us to publish our newsletter, brochures and other important printing material.

  • Help us to fund our initiatives. We are open to partnership with different organizations in order to make all our projects a reality.

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