Counseling is provided in both individual and group formats. In group counseling, you meet with a counselor along with several other students, and together explore areas of common concern.
Group sessions are usually scheduled once a week, and the combined experiences and support of other group members can make this a very powerful form of helping.
Some groups held at Counseling Services are general in their content, while others focus on certain issues, such as grief or relationships. Discuss with a counselor which groups are currently available and a good match to your concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions About Group Counseling
Just What is Group Counseling Anyway?
In group therapy (also known as group counseling or simply "group"), up to eight individuals meet face-to-face with one or two group therapists and talk about what is troubling them. Members also give feedback to each other by expressing their own feelings about what someone says or does. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving and to learn more about the way they interact with others. What makes the situation unique is its safe environment with clear boundaries. Group sessions are confidential; what people talk about or disclose is not discussed outside the group. The first few sessions of a group usually focus on the establishment of trust. During this time, members usually work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group.
Why Does Group Counseling Work?
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they find opportunities to learn about themselves in many different ways. Under the direction of a skilled group therapist, the group is able to give support, feedback and offer alternatives. Through this process, difficulties can resolve, alternative behaviors are learned, and the person develops new social techniques or ways of relating to people.
In group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone. Many times people feel they are alone in their problems, and it can be encouraging to hear that other people have similar difficulties. In the climate of trust provided by the group, people learn to care about and help each other.
What Do I Talk about When I am in Group?
Talk about what brought you to Counseling Services in the first place. Tell the group members what is bothering you. If you need support, let the group know. If you think you need constructive feedback, let them know this too. It is important to tell people what you expect of them.
Unexpressed feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties. Sharing your feelings is an important part of group and affects how much you will be helped. How much you talk about yourself depends upon what you are comfortable with. If you have any questions about what might or might not be helpful, you can always ask the group.
Are There any Ground Rules for My Participation in the Group?
Ground rules help the group to maintain a sense of safety and trust:
- We ask that you attend each week. Consistency is important in establishing feelings of safety and trust. If you must miss a session, let the group leader know. The group meeting times have been arranged in advance and you are asked to keep to those times.
- Abusive communication will not be tolerated. Group therapists are there to foster an environment in which all group members feel safe in group.
- Group sessions are confidential. Group members and group therapists do not disclose the contents of group sessions to others.
- 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 one last group session to say goodbye.
- 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.
Interested in learning more or joining a group?
Please schedule an intake appointment. Stop by B 119, or call us at (773) 442-4650.