Group counseling is frequently the treatment of choice for college students.
There is tremendous value in discovering that others struggle similarly to you and learning together how to work through struggles. Maintaining group members' confidentiality is discussed at each meeting.
Upcoming Counseling Group Sessions
Spring 2020 Counseling Groups
Weekly discussion group to talk about experiences, our identities, and various topics related to the LGBTQ+ community. No registration needed to attend. Contact Jeff Gibson at the Pride Center or Jess Seay at UCC for more information.
- First week of the month: Media selections on LGBTQ experiences
- Second week of the month: Focus on self care
- Third week of the month: Discussion on current events/topics
- Fourth week of the month: Activity day
Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. at the Pride Center, starting January 22.
Understanding Yourself and Others Group
A place to explore interactions and communications with others, to receive real-time feedback, and to gain insight into your relationships with others and yourself. Counselor referral is necessary prior to beginning this process group. Contact Rhandi Clow, Jess Seay, or Derrick Yeager at UCC for more information.
Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at the University Counseling Center, starting January 22.
Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. at the University Counseling Center, starting January 23.
Stress Management Lab
Learn more about how stress and anxiety can affect you specifically, as well as helpful ways to manage these feelings and responses. Steps you can take to create a healthy lifestyle will also be discussed. No registration needed to attend. Contact Amanda Herron, Tom Solem, or Anna Geiger at UCC for more information.
Stress Management Lab Meetings
Mondays from 3-4 p.m. at the University Counseling Center, starting February 3.
Learn and practice mindfulness skills to help you manage stress and anxiety, build concentration, and be present in the moment. No registration needed to attend. Contact Lora Sloan at UCC for more information.
Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. at the University Counseling Center, available February 5-26.
Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. at the University Counseling Center, available April 1-29.
A women's group dedicated to increasing self-acceptance, empowerment, and building authentic connection. Bring yourself (and your lunch if you choose) to join us for open conversation, engaging and rejuvenating activities, and most importantly, support. No registration needed to attend. Contact Shellie Beeker, Taylor Sorlien, or Kya Glenn at UCC for more information.
Women's Group Meetings
Fridays from 12-1p.m. at the University Counseling Center, starting February 7.
Pause for PAWS
Come and de-stress with therapy dogs at the UCC. No registration needed to attend. Contact Amanda Herron at UCC for more information.
Pause for PAWS Dates
Second Tuesday of each month at the University Counseling Center.
- Tuesday February 11 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday March 10 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday April 14 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday May 12 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
A&D Peer Support
Focus on establishing sober support to gain abstinence from substance use. Provide a safe place for group members to share their struggles with abstinence in a college environment. Group members can enhance their ability to create connections to assist in gaining positive supports in their lives. Contact Carolyn Shabb or Craig Davis at UCC for more information.
Level 1 Outpatent Group
After completing a full Alcohol and Drug Evaluation conducted by a licensed addiction counselor, students who have a substance use disorder may benefit from outpatient treatment services. The UCC offers individualized outpatient treatment services through group and individual sessions. Contact Carolyn Shabb or Craig Davis at UCC for more information.
Questions About Group Counseling
As you prepare to join a group, you may have a number of questions. We hope the following will answer some of those questions.
Group Counseling Expectations
Group counseling brings together a small number of individuals (usually 4-8) with one or more trained group leaders. Group members share what is troubling them. The process of sharing with each other, listening to each other, giving and receiving feedback, offering support and expressing their feelings about what someone else says or does can be extremely helpful. This interaction encourages individuals to develop new ways of behaving and learning more about how they interact with others. What is talked about in group is confidential and not discussed with anyone outside of group sessions.
How Does Group Counseling Work?
While participating in group counseling, people begin to see that they are not alone; that others share similar concerns and difficulties in life. Under the direction of skilled group leaders, group members learn to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront group members. Through group interactions and group feedback, new insights are gained, alternative behaviors or thoughts are explored, and new ways of relating to others can be tried. As a result, the original difficulties people brought to group become resolved.
Counseling Talking Points
Talk about what brought you to the counseling center. Let other group members know what is bothering you and what your goals are. If you need support, let the group know. If you think you need confrontation, let them know that too. It is important to tell the group what you expect of them and what you need from them. Unexpressed feelings or thoughts are a major reason why people experience difficulties. The most appropriate disclosures will be those that relate directly to your present difficulty. It is important that you feel comfortable with your level of self-disclosure.
Indivdual and Group Counseling
Yes. We believe the combination will help you to maximize your therapeutic gain.
Types of Counseling Groups
The Counseling Center offers different types of counseling groups including therapy groups, skill building groups, and support groups. Choose the type of group that best fits your personality and your specific counseling needs.
Counseling Ground Rules
If group is to be effective, your commitment to the following is essential:
- If you are going to miss a session, please let one of the leaders of the group know.The group meeting times have been set by the group leaders, and you are asked to adhere to those times.
- The way we most respect ourselves and others is by experiencing feelings and then allowing ourselves to talk about them. Expressing one's feelings is different than acting out because of one's feelings. Acting out your feelings is not acceptable whether you act them out upon yourself or another member of the group.
- It is your responsibility to talk about your reasons for being in the group.
- The group sessions are confidential.
- If you decide that you have gained as much as possible from the group or that it isn't the most appropriate treatment method for you, we ask that you come to the group and say good-bye.
- The work of the group needs to be done in the group during group time. Therefore, we ask that you not socialize with other members of your group during the time when you are a member of that group.
Common Misperceptions about Group Counseling
Most people are initially anxious about talking in group. Almost without exception, within a few sessions, new members find that the group process draws them in and they begin to share with the group in ways they never anticipated.
You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. We encourage you not to share what you are not ready to disclose. Many group members find that when the group feels safe enough to share what they are most apprehensive about, the group can be very helpful and affirming. At the same time, you can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how their thoughts might apply to you.
Will group counseling take longer than individual counseling?
Group counseling is often more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons. First, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little, but listen carefully to others. You will find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself. Secondly, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but you might not have been aware of, or brought up by yourself. Therefore, learning from others can be a powerful therapeutic experience and often enhances the work.
Will I be judged by others?
It is very important that group members feel safe. Group leaders are there to create a safe environment for all involved. We understand that feedback is often difficult to hear, from leaders and members alike. As group members come to trust the group, they generally experience feedback, and even confrontation – as if it were coming from a good friend. One of the benefits of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from others in a supportive environment. It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others, but this is precisely what group can offer. This will be done in a respectful, gentle way, so that you can hear it and make use of it.
Group vs Individual Counseling
Group counseling is being recommended to you because your intake counselor believes that it is the best way to address your concerns. We do not put people into group counseling because we don't have space in individual therapy, or because we want to save time. We recommend group when it is the most effective method to help you. Your intake counselor can discuss with you why group is what we recommend for you.
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University Counseling Services