Group Counseling uniquely combines the benefits of professional guidance, peer feedback, and self-exploration while offering students a safe, confidential way to address problems. Various groups, led by licensed mental health professionals, meet weekly on campus.
How does group counseling help? Some problems (lack of self-confidence, loneliness, feeling powerless, death of a friend or loved one, difficulty trusting others, trouble managing anger, substance problems), though rarely discussed and expressed in different ways, are experienced at one time or another by most students.
In a group, students often find that they feel more free to speak openly about strengths and weaknesses. With the group's support, encouragement and gentle confrontation, group members move forward, take risks, and try new ways of relating to others, coping and taking charge of their lives.
How does Group Counseling differ from individual counseling? Group Counseling offers the advantage of feedback not only from licensed mental health professionals but also from peers who are willing to share their concerns and are working to improve themselves.
Group members often find their group to be not only a source of support and validation, but also a "mini-lab" in which they can observe how they react to others and influence others. From week to week, members can choose to experiment with new behaviors, knowing that the group will help with the "fine-tuning."
What is discussed in groups? Group members discuss the concerns that first brought them to consider counseling and other issues that may emerge. The ways in which members have tried to manage problems—successfully or unsuccessfully—might be shared. Members are encouraged to express thoughts and feelings honestly and to react to what's been said by others in the group. Group members might also discuss feelings and thoughts about the group itself as the group strives to assist all members. Confidentiality, of course, is stressed.
Groups Offered Groups vary from semester to semester. Some are offered most semesters, while others are created in response to student requests or suggestions. In any given semester, groups might include a: