Group counseling is a great option for students who want to learn new skills, get to know themselves better, and improve their relationships. At Counseling and Wellness Services, we offer a variety of groups to address the various needs of WSU students. Although many students are initially hesitant to join a group, participants consistently find this type of counseling to be a helpful and positive experience.
Participation in group counseling at CWS is by appointment only. Most groups accept new members each semester and meet on a weekly basis for the length of the semester. Before joining a group, you must complete an initial appointment during our walk-in hours. Let us know that you're interested in a group and we'll schedule you to meet with the group facilitators to make sure the group is a good fit.
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Please contact our Coordinator for Group Services, Jessica Moss Psy.D., at (937) 775-3407 with any additional questions about our group program.
Calm Body, Calm Mind
Anxiety is a normal part of life and can often be helfpul to us. However, anxiety can sometimes keep us from doing things that we need to do and that we enjoy. Group members will learn relaxation skills and gain a better understanding of what makes them anxious and what they can do about it. Through group discussion and practice at home, group members will develop strategies to help them cope effectively with life's stresses. Click here for more information (PDF).
Are you feeling pressure to "be a man"? Many men are encouraged to be "tough" and not admit to weakness. This leads men to hide stress and worry, which comes at a cost. It can lead to health problems, addiction, feelings of anger, anxiety and depression. Members of the Men's Group learn to deal with life's challenges in a more flexible way. Group members will get support within the group and learn how to "be a man" in a way that works for them.
Mindful Eating introduces members to the concepts of mindfulness applied to the process of eating and relationship with food. Members will better recognize the differences between physical and emotional hunger and feel greater control over their choices related to food. Members typically experience any or all of the following: decreased number of binge episodes per week, decreased guilt following eating, and increased enjoyment of food. Click here for more information (PDF).
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. This group will provide you with the opportunity to learn about and practice mindfulness skills that you can use in your everyday life. Mindfulness has been shown to be beneficial for people experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, difficulty concentrating, self-criticism, and health concerns. Click here for more information (PDF).
Safe Haven is a group for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and/or transgender. People who are questioning sexual orientation and/or gender identity are also encouraged to join. The group is designed to provide a safe and encouraging place to share personal experiences, gain support around the challenges you might be facing, get more in touch with and become more accepting of your own thoughts and feelings, and find strength. Members of this group often come away with increased self-esteem, a better understanding of their thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and improved relationships with others. Click here for more information (PDF).
Students on the Spectrum
The Students on the Spectrum group provides a supportive environment for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to share their personal experiences, develop allies, and receive feedback. This group will address issues that are important to members in an effort to enhance overall adjustment to college life.
Students with Disability
Any student with any type of disability, including psychological disability, is welcome in this group. If you have a disability and are looking for a space to talk about how you can be successful in school, at work, and in your relationships, this group is for you. In the group, there is a focus on developing a sense of community and pride among people with disabilities. Members develop connections with each other that can help them be more connected outside of group as well. Topics discussed in the group vary based on the concerns and interests of group members, but often include dating, sex, family relationships, academics, and issues related to finding and keeping employment. Click here for more information (PDF).
Understanding Yourself and Others
If you’re worried about how your relationships are going, have trouble making new friends or difficulty keeping relationships going, Understanding Yourself and Others might be the group for you. Members of this group will get feedback on how they come across to others and learn new ways to connect with people. The group offers the opportunity to practice new ways of relating to others, allowing participants to decide what will work best for them. Members often come away from group with increased confidence and frequently report improvement in their relationships outside of group. Click here for more information (PDF).
The Veteran’s Group provides a warm and supportive environment in which members have a space to relate to one another and share personal experience. Topics that may be addressed include: developing healthy relationships, conflict resolution, acclimating to college life, and developing a support network. This group is set up to not only provide support for members, but also for member to develop skills and learn from one another.
The purpose of We Rise is to reaffirm your humanity, find support and build connection to yourself, to others and to your community. This group will focus on promoting the holistic wellness of the individual by providing community in which to discuss the heavy impact of current national and local events, to build skills to manage distress and to find support and connection to their community. This group will allow members to process feelings in response to those events and will support members in their work towards building their own sense of safety.
Wise Minds is a group for students who experience strong feelings that make it hard to concentrate, get along with others, and make healthy decisions for themselves. Group members will learn how to recognize and understand their feelings, develop new ways to cope with difficult situations, and learn strategies for communicating and getting along with others. Click here for more information (PDF).
Women and Relationships
The Women and Relationships group is designed to offer a warm, supportive and encouraging space for women to connect with one another and discuss both common and unique experiences. We will explore what it means to be a "woman" within the context of our relationships, communities and cultures. Members gain awareness about how pressures from "the outside" impact how they feel about themselves on "the inside." Members in this group often report greater self-confidence and self-esteem, improved ability to set effective boundaries in relationships with others, enhanced self-care, and greater balance between attending to others' needs and taking care of oneself as a result of participating in the group. Click here for more information (PDF).
- Understanding Yourself and Others: 1:00-2:30 pm
- Wise Minds: 3:00-4:30 pm
- Safe Haven: 1:00-2:30 pm
- Students with Disability: 3:00-4:30 pm
- Women and Relationships: 10:30 am -12:00 pm
- Mindful Eating: 4:00-5:00 pm
- Women and Relationships: 10:00-11:30 am
- Calm Body, Calm Mind: 1:00-2:30 pm
- Understanding Yourself and Others: 3:00-4:30 pm
- Mindfulness 10:30 am -12:00 pm
What is group counseling?
In group counseling, one or two therapists meet with a group of four to ten people. Groups meet once a week in a private space in the counseling center for about an hour and a half. The topics covered and structure of the group vary, but all groups provide a safe environment for members to develop new skills and to connect with other people.
Why would someone choose group instead of individual counseling?
Group counseling offers a few things that individual therapy cannot. One is the opportunity to connect with other people who are struggling. When things aren't going well, it's easy to feel isolated and alone and to believe that everyone else is doing fine. Group counseling will give you the chance to see that you are not alone. In group, members also get the opportunity to learn from one another's experiences. Hearing how a variety of other people have dealt with difficult situations can help you see your own problems in a new way.
Finally, group counseling is the best way to make changes in how you interact with others. In individual counseling, you can talk about these issues and identify new things to try in your relationships, but your opportunity to practice new skills with a therapist present will be limited. In group counseling,specifically Understanding Yourself and Others group, you can practice things like starting conversations, offering support, and expressing emotions and get feedback on how you're coming across, which isn't always available in everyday life.
Do I have to choose between individual and group counseling?
There is no policy against participating in individual and group counseling. Your counselor may recommend that you participate in a group, either alone or along with individual counseling. If you are interested in group and individual counseling, it is important to consider how that will fit with your schedule. We also recommend that clients have separate and clear goals for individual and group counseling when participating in both.
How many people are in a typical group?
Most groups have between 6 -10 members and 2 group facilitators.
Is what I say in group kept confidential?
Your group facilitators are bound by law not to disclose information shared by group members, except under some special circumstances. While we cannot guarantee that other members of the group will not talk about you outside of group, each member is asked to sign an agreement stating that they will not do so. During the first session, group facilitators usually take time to talk about confidentiality and emphasize its importance. In addition, you will always be in control of what you choose to share with the group.
How long do groups last?
Most groups meet for about an hour and a half once per week for at least eight weeks and up to the entire semester. It is important that you be able to attend most if not all of the group sessions and that you stay for the entire session each time. All groups are typically offered each term with some groups continuing over the Summer. You will be informed of your group's duration at your pre-group meeting with the facilitators.
What if a member of the group is my friend or classmate?
We recognize that it might be awkward to be in the same group with someone you know from outside of group. Please let group facilitators know immediately if you have an existing relationship with someone else in the group. If that happens, the group facilitators, in consultation with the group members, will decide how best to resolve this situation. It may work out to have both of you stay in the same group, or it may be best to have one of you find a different group to join. If separate groups seem like the best option, we'll do our best to find another appropriate group that matches your needs and schedule.
If I don't like the group, can I get out of it?
Yes, it's possible to leave the group if you're uncomfortable with it. We know that group is often uncomfortable at the beginning - if you feel this way, you are not alone! We also know that group members report feeling more comfortable after a few sessions, so most group facilitators encourage members to remain in the group for at least 3 sessions before they decide to leave. If you do decide to leave the group after attending the first few sessions, the facilitators may ask that you come to the group once more to say goodbye to other members.