In group therapy, a small number of students (usually about 8) meet weekly with one or two group therapists. Groups are often the best way for people to receive counseling services. In groups, members have the opportunity to share concerns and listen to each other, give and receive feedback, offer support to one another, express feelings, and learn more about how they interact with others.
We offer different types of groups that fall into two broader categories – Skills groups, that focus on teaching students tools for change or symptom management, and Process groups, that are more focused on helping group members examine their issues in a therapeutic group setting.
If you are referred for group counseling, here’s what to expect: from triage, you will be referred for a Group Screening with the staff member who is leading the group. A group screening is an appointment in which you will meet with one or both of the group leaders and have a chance to get to know them and learn more about the group opportunity. They will help you identify 1-2 goals that you would like to work on and will answer any questions you might have related to the group. After that, they will confirm your first group appointment. Group counseling sessions typically meet for about 90 minutes and usually meet once per week.
Stay tuned for a list of Spring 2019 groups!
While groups offered may change every semester, in the past we have offered:
Adjusting to College 101
Feel Better Fast
Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety
Graduate Interpersonal Process Group
Healthy Relationships Group
Mixed Interpersonal Process Group
DBT Treatment Program Group
LGBTQ+ Interpersonal Process Group
TRANScend Support Group
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Group can help you!
Research has shown group therapy creates positive change because of these distinguishing factors that are unique to group therapy:
- Instillation of Hope: Groups are often made up of people who are at different places in the healing process. It can be reassuring and helpful for those beginning their healing process to see and interact with individuals farther along in the process that are doing well and feeling better.
- Universality: Have you ever felt alone in your problems and worried that you are the only one that has that problem? Group therapy is a place where you can connect with others who are also experiencing similar emotions and difficulties. You are not alone!
- Imparting Information: Group can be a place to get more information about the issue you are struggling with and strategies for coping with your concerns.
- Altruism: Group is a place for you to help and support others in addition to being supported by others. Usually, when we help others we feel better too!
- The Corrective Recapitulation of the Primary Family Group: Group creates an environment similar to that of a family. When this happens, group members typically interact in group similarly to how they learned to interact early in life from their family. This allows group members to gain awareness to their interaction styles and allows opportunities for individuals to try out new ways of relating.
- Development of Socializing Techniques: Group offers a safe, supportive place for individuals to identify behaviors and ways of relating that are not helpful or productive. After identifying unhelpful behaviors members can experiment using new, more adaptive ways of being that will help them be more successful interacting with others.
- Imitative Behavior: Many times we learn by watching and imitating others behaviors. Group creates a space for members to model behaviors they may see in the therapists or other group members that are beneficial.
- Interpersonal Learning: Relationships tell us a lot about ourselves. The relationships created in group allow members to receive feedback from the therapists and one another about how they are being experienced interpersonally. This allows members to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, those around them, and the relationships they form outside of group.
- Group Cohesiveness: The purpose of a therapy group is to unite individuals in a common goal. In doing so, deep and solid connections are formed which lead to a sense of belonging and acceptance from your fellow group members.
- Catharsis: Group also allows space for members to get things off their chest and gain support from others. The simple act of talking about a difficult situation or experience with others can be relieving.
- Existential Factors: Group helps individuals to recognize that at times life is unfair and is often filled with adversities that must be faced. While the individual is ultimately responsible, it is helpful and reassuring to know that their fellow group members are there to support and encourage them. In the end, by facing these adversities with the support and encouragement of others we find meaning, purpose, and hope.
The above was summarized by Elizabeth Baker from: Yalom, I. D. (1995). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy. New York, New York: Basic Books.