Group Counseling

Many times people only think about individual counseling to help them with their challenging personal issues. Although groups aren't for everyone, there are some distinct advantages to participating in a group:

Feel more connected

Often people enter counseling believing that their problems are unique. Groups provide the opportunity for participants to see that they are "part of the human race". There is not a thought or an action that is fully outside of the experience of others. A group experience has the potential of helping people feel less alone and less "different" from others.

Explore issues

In group counseling, members are given the opportunity to receive support, reassurance, suggestions, and insights from other members. This occurs in a small group setting, where members agree to keep what is said confidential. This atmosphere of safety helps members take the necessary risks to explore their concerns.

Gain Insight

Group counseling can help participants feel hopeful about making and maintaining changes in their lives or in themselves. People tend to have patterns of behavior or ways of interacting that repeat themselves across different relationships. Usually these patterns come from our experiences growing up. A group allows these patterns to become more visible because of the opportunity to interact with several different people. When these patterns become more visible, the group member can make desired changes.

Learn new skills

As group members learn about their patterns of behavior, they also learn new behaviors and skills that can help them become more effective in relationships. A group counseling setting is a safe place in which to "try out" these new skills, and get both support and positive feedback from others. Groups provide an opportunity to observe the improvement other members make, and also to learn how people with similar concerns may have coped with them in more effective ways.

Help others grow

Just as the individual in a group benefits from insights given from other members, s/he is allowed the opportunity to give to other group members. Helping others with their issues and concerns, and becoming important to others, usually raises a person's self-esteem.


Fall Group 2014 - Now Available!

Counseling & Psychological Services is offering four student groups this semester. Meeting with other people to share common concerns is a great way to gain support and to learn new coping strategies when feeling sad, lonely, overwhelmed, or confused. Interested students are asked to schedule a brief intake interview by calling 651-962-6780.

Interpersonal Process Group

Do you ever feel alone in your struggles? Participating in an interpersonal process group is an opportunity to share current struggles with peers and receive feedback and support. It is also a chance to meet new people and learn about your communication style and how you relate to others in a safe and supportive environment.

Group 1: Wednesdays from 4:30pm-6:00pm.  Start Date Oct. 1

Co-Leaders: Jennifer Wilson jennifer.wilson@stthomas.edu and Erin Fredrick-Gray fred3372@stthomas.edu

Group 2: Mondays from 12-1:30pm.   Start Date Oct. 6

Co-leaders: Steve Maurer stmaurer@stthomas.edu and Barb Bindgen bind1876@stthomas.edu      

Group 3: Fridays from 11am-12:30pm.  Start Date TBD

Co-Leaders: Jennifer Wilson jennifer.wilson@stthomas.edu and Jamie Hansen jamie.hansen@stthomas.edu

Grief and Loss Group

Date and time TBD

The Grief and Loss Support Group provides a confidential and safe space for members to explore powerful (and potentially difficult) emotions related to grief and loss. The group meets in 370 MHC and meeting dates and times are to be determined. The grief and loss group will be led by Deb Broderick djbroderick@stthomas.edu and Jamie Hansen jamie.hansen@stthomas.edu.

Eating Disorder Recovery Group

Date and time TBD

This is a group for individuals who are interested in maintaining their recovery from anorexia, bulimia, or disordered eating. Through talking with others, creative activity, and personal reflection, students will support each other, develop healthier body image and, in turn, stronger self-image. The group meets in room 370 Murray Herrick Hall and meeting dates and times are to be determined.   The Eating Disorder Recovery group will be led by Deb Broderick djbroderick@stthomas.edu and Barb Bindgen bind1876@stthomas.edu. To join, please call 651-962-6780 to schedule an intake or if you are already a client, please speak with your counselor about your interest.