Groups and Workshops

The University Counseling Center (UCC) offers group counseling sessions focused on specific issues that affect college student life. These sessions are facilitated by a therapist who encourages contributions from all group members, allowing participants to benefit from shared experiences.

  • Feel a sense of validation, acceptance, and understanding—you may find you are not alone in your concerns
  • Learn more about yourself and how you are experienced by others
  • Learn from others’ experiences
  • Help others by sharing your experience
  • Feel encouraged as you see others grow and succeed as they overcome their concerns
  • Learn specific tools to address the unique concerns you have
  • Learn to navigate daily life better and to feel more emotionally in control
  • Learn that taking a risk, trying something new, and stretching yourself may be worth it

Research indicates that group counseling is as valuable as individual counseling (McRoberts, Burlingame, & Hoag, 1998) and for certain students, the ideal form of treatment. In fact, evidence suggests that the issues for which college students most often seek help (e.g., anxiety, depression, and interpersonal concerns) are best addressed through group (Parcover, Dunton, Gehlert, & Mitchell, 2006).

Groups and workshops can give students tangible tools to address the specific concerns they came to the UCC with within a short amount of time. Students benefit from being able to see their life improve after only a few weeks of learning and trying something new!

Current Groups and Workshops at the UCC

Stress Management Workshop: RIO (Recognition/Insight/Openness) is a three-week workshop designed to help students gain insight into their concerns, develop a clearer sense of what they would like to change in their lives, and identify tools to reduce feelings of stress and to improve emotional functioning. Concrete strategies to reduce feeling overwhelmed, minimize stress, and improve one’s general wellbeing will be provided in this workshop. For additional information, please visit the Stress Management (RIO) Workshop page. (Insert link to RIO Workshop page/recordings)

Anxiety Toolbox Workshop: Come to the UCC to learn some tools to improve your ability to navigate stress and anxiety. In this one-hour workshop, learn and practice helpful tools including deep breathing, changing negative thoughts, identifying triggers to anxiety and helpful techniques to reduce anxiety. You will walk away with a written, personalized plan to better address anxiety in your own life!

Healthy Relationships Group: Are you having difficulties establishing and/or maintaining relationships (e.g., difficulty trusting others, navigating vulnerability, managing conflict, wanting to know more about how others experience you, etc.)? This group is intended to help you understand yourself within relationships through the exploration of relational patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions About Groups and Workshops

How do I sign up for a group or workshop?
Groups and Workshops are scheduled weekly at the UCC. Please come visit our office in Magnolia Court, next to the Health Center, to sign up for an intake appointment and to get more information about our groups and workshops. You can also call our office with any questions at 626-815-2109.

How long are the groups and workshops?
The workshops (The Anxiety Toolbox and the Stress Management RIO Workshop) are each a three-part series, scheduled for one hour each, three weeks in a row. Each session of the workshop builds upon the last, so every student attending the workshop is encouraged to attend all three sessions, if possible, to get the most out of their experience. The therapy groups offered at the UCC typically meet weekly over the course of each semester.

How much participation is needed?
A student’s participation will depend on the type of group or workshop they are interested in. Several of our workshops are run similar to a classroom, in that students are allowed to participate as often or as little as they would like. Students are allowed to participate as they feel comfortable and are always encouraged to “pass” should they like to simply participate through observation.

How large are the groups and workshops?
The groups and workshops at the UCC are limited to about 10 students or less and have one or two counselors facilitating the group or workshop. Many students find that they feel supported and validated in their experience as they see that other individuals have struggled in similar ways. It is encouraging to know that they are not alone!

What is confidential?
It is extremely important to create a safe, respectful, and trusting environment among everyone participating in a group or workshop. In order to achieve this, the limits of confidentiality are reviewed in the first session of each group and workshop. Confidentiality is maintained by the counselors facilitating the group or workshop and all participants are asked to also agree to keep all information shared within the group or workshop private. Each student is asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before beginning a group or workshop. These guidelines help to ensure the environment is supportive and feels safe to each individual.