Group therapy is a powerful tool for growth and change. The power of process groups lies in the unique opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement and feedback from other individuals in a safe and confidential environment. These interpersonal interactions can provide group members an opportunity to deepen their level of self-awareness and learn how they relate to others. It is often the treatment of choice for anxiety and depression.
Spring 2017 Counseling Groups
Interpersonal Process Groups:
Pathways to a Better You - 3 week group, 1 hour long
This brief 3-week group is packed with Life Hacks to support you on the path to a better you. Includes topics such as self-care, managing emotions, and living by your values.
Openings all semester long. Contact CAPS to join!
What UST students are saying about their group experience:
I would recommend group counseling to a friend:
- 88% said they agree or strongly agree
- 9% said they were neutral
- 3% said they disagree
What aspects of the group experience were the most helpful to you?
- Being able to provide help and also get help for my issues
- Being honest and somewhat held accountable for it pushed me toward really trying to change.
- Knowing differences between people developed empathy in me
- I just enjoyed being able to communicate with others that were going through similar situations as I was.
- Being able to share things that I never get to share is very relieving and builds confidence for me to share outside of group
- The feedback from the group as well as hearing other people's stories. Both really helped me to figure out how I can handle situations better
Please comment on anything you wish you had known about group before you entered the group?
- Nothing. Part of the experience was not knowing what to expect
- How fulfilling it would be to be honest and vulnerable but also very challenging, and emotionally overwhelming
- How unstructured it is
If you have ever used counseling other than group counseling, please describe any unique benefits of the group counseling experience.
- I received feedback and support from my peers, others students who struggle or have struggled with what I'm going through. It reminds me I'm not alone
- I have social anxiety and it's good to talk about that in individual counseling, but in group you get hands on experience to work on it with others
- Group helped me feel more connected and valued
- Group challenged me to interact with others in a really vulnerable way. This made it easier for me to then go be with others because if I could do this difficult things, I could do that comparatively easy one
- Social confidence
- Practice sharing feelings
- Helps you appreciate others' experiences and lives
Links to helpful information about Group Counseling and how to get the most out of your group experience
1. I am scared to talk to people in groups; is this common for group members?
Answer: Most group members express this concern before joining the group. It can be very scary to talk to people you don’t know about your problems. Many group members have shared that although they initially feared talking, within a few sessions they felt more and more comfortable talking. By the end of the group many members share that they feel much more comfortable talking within the group than when they started.
2. Do I have to share my deepest, darkest secrets with the group?
Answer: Group leaders will not ask you to share your deepest secrets with the group. Group leaders will encourage members to share their difficulties and distress and as a member of the group you get to decide how much you share with the group. Members of groups report getting more out of group as they share more personal aspects but you get to set your own boundaries.
3. Is group confidential?
Answer: Everything that is discussed in counseling groups is considered confidential. It is not to be discussed outside the group, even with other group individuals. Each member signs an agreement to observe this rule.
4. What if I know someone in group—like they are a friend or a classmate?
Answer: This has happened before, don’t worry! Please let the group leaders know of this at the start of group. In past groups the situations have been processed within the group, one of the group members joined another group, or the group leaders decided how to best resolve it.
5. How much do I have to share in group?
Answer: No one will force you to share in group; if you don’t want to talk you don’t have to. Unexpressed feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties and distress. Sharing your thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment is an important part of group therapy and strongly affects how much you will be helped. Most members are worried about sharing in group initially and it might take a little time for them to feel okay about talking, but usually they eventually start sharing in group even though they are uncomfortable.
6. How long is group and how many people in group?
Answer: This depends on the type of group. Some are 3-4 sessions long, others last throughout the semester. Groups typically have between 4 and 10 members
7. How can group counseling be better than individual?
Answer: Many times group can be more helpful than individual counseling because it is an opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement and feedback from other individuals in a safe and confidential environment. In individual counseling you can talk about your interpersonal struggles or personal distresses but in a group you could actually experience them and work through them in a safe, supportive environment.
8. I am worried there won’t be enough time for me to share because there are so many other members in the group?
Answer: If this is a concern and you find you are needing more time to talk, we recommend you bring this up in the group. Group is an excellent place to work on assertiveness. You may also find you can learn about yourself by listening to others. Group members may bring up issues that you connect with but that you would not have thought to bring up yourself.
9. How can I be helped in a group when everyone’s problems are different?
Answer: Some groups are focused on teaching skills that can be useful for many different people. Hearing from people who have problems different from your own can be helpful, as can hearing from others who struggle in similar ways. Each individual is unique as are their concerns. Still, as people we have a great deal in common.
Especially in our Interpersonal Process Counseling Groups, these similarities and differences can be useful to your growth in the group. For example, we all grow up in families, we all react to hurt in similar ways, and we all have the same basic capacity to grow and change. These root causes of our problems in living have to do with patterns and habits that we have learned during our formative years that are not working well for use now in our current life circumstances or are holding us back. (For example, our families may have taught us that certain kinds of emotional expression are to be avoided, but now as we deal with the normal stress of adult life the pent-up feelings which result from this avoidance produce symptoms like depression, worry or over-reaction.) The goal of counseling is to learn about our habits and patterns of feeling and behavior and how they cause us problems. We can then learn new habits and patterns which will be more successful for us.
Contact Counseling and Psychological Services, or speak with your counselor,
regarding your interest in any of these groups!