What is Group Counseling?
Group counseling is a highly effective means of addressing personal concerns - in fact it has been proven to be equally as effective as individual therapy, and in some cases more effective. Some groups that are often offered are focused on a particular subject or skill while others are more general in nature. The more general groups (named "understanding self and others") in nature are particularly beneficial if you:
- Are concerned about how you relate to other people
- Feel isolated, depressed or anxious
- Experience discomfort in social situations
- Lack intimacy in relationships
- Have family of origin difficulties
- Are dissatisfied with your friendships or romantic relationships
- Struggle with low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence
Watch this brief video to learn more about group, how it can help, group myths demystified and more:
WHY DOES GROUP COUNSELING WORK?
Group members and counselors can:
- Help you obtain support
- Help you receive immediate, genuine feedback allowing an increase in your awareness of yourself and identification of aspects of your life you want to change.
- Help you see that you are not alone in your problems
- Help you resolve your difficulties, learn alternative ways of responding, and develop new ways of relating to others
What groups and Workshops Will be OFFERED during the 2015 FALL quarter?
- Understanding Self and Others (Multiple Offerings)
- Managing Graduate School: Both Within and Outside the Classroom
- Grief and Loss Group
- Stronger Together (Sexual Assault Support Group)
- LBGTQI Support Group
- Mindfulness Workshop (4 week module)
- Emotional Wellness/Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workshop
- Stress Management Workshop
Descriptions of the groups and group times will be available soon! (updated 8/17/15)
What does a typical group session look like?
- A group typically consists of 5 to 8 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 group counselors to discuss their concerns.
- Group sessions are confidential: what is discussed in group may not be disclosed or discussed outside the group.
- Many groups last 8-10 weeks while others continue from one quarter to the next.
- You can participate in as many groups as you would like, there are no limits to group counseling.
Groups vary in session format.
- Understanding Self and Others
- No specific topic for each group session
- As a group member, you bring any issues to the group you feel are important
- The primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among you and other group members
- This is done through disclosure (sharing about oneself) and feedback (giving/getting information about oneself) in order to learn about how we relate to one another and how to feel more connected
- Support/Theme groups
- Mix of structured/unstructured activities
- Providing and receiving support from others around a specific shared issue/common experience
- Structured skills workshops
- Focused on a particular topic
- Sessions may consist of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities
Do I have to reveal all my deepest secrets and feelings to the group?
- No. You alone decide how much you want to share.
- Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe in the group.
- Members often report getting more out of group when they decide to share more about themselves.
What role do the group leaders play?
- Help create and maintain safety in the group
- Guide and facilitate self-exploration
- Give feedback and support
- Provide comments on interpersonal issues in the group
- Encourage group cohesion
Some leaders take an active role throughout the duration of the group while others tend to give group members more responsibility for self-exploration.
In structured groups, group leaders take a more active role than in the "understanding self and others" group by providing instruction on specific topics related to the group theme.