Group Counseling FAQs
Interested in joining group counseling?
Drop in our office at 204 STU or call (616) 331-3266 to set up an appointment.
We offer four types of group:
- General therapy groups
- Identity-based groups
- Skills groups
- Theme-based groups
We offer five to six general therapy groups every semester on various days of the week to suit your schedule. This type of group can be a good fit if you are interested in experimenting with new thoughts, behaviors, and social skills. Group members share common concerns as well as individual issues. These groups meet once a week for 90 minutes.
These groups focus on unique identities:
- African American Students
- LGBTQ Students
These groups focus on teaching skills which help with specific concerns:
- Body Images
- How to Worry Well
- Everyday Emotions
- Managing Your Depression
- Drugs & Alcohol: Change Your Use
- Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
It is normal to feel anxious about joining a group. To make group most meaningful:
- Participate and attend group therapy regularly.
- Decide what to work on in and work actively towards change.
- Express your thoughts and feelings.
- Give and receive feedback.
- Be patient with yourself and the group. It will take time to grow comfortable and develop trust with the group.
- Try new behaviors suggested and ask for feedback from others.
Group leaders are here to make the group environment safe for all members. We understand that feedback from others may at times be difficult to hear. A benefit of group counseling is receiving feedback from others who are trying to help, while also having a group leader present to assist in the discussion.
We often hear, “I’m concerned that group counseling won’t be effective in addressing my struggles.”
Our answer is that group works! Group counseling is as effective as individual counseling in addressing various mental health concerns. Some concerns can be better addressed in a group setting. Like individual counseling, group can benefit almost anyone. Some of the issues typically addressed include: depression and anxiety, struggles with relationships, addiction/reducing your use, social anxiety, family and cultural issues, academic struggles, and identity.
Except during certain situations, your group leaders will not divulge any information about you outside of the Counseling Center. Group members also agree to keep the identity of members anonymous. You are encouraged to address any concerns related to safety or confidentially with your group or group leaders at any time during the group session or orientation.
Please let the group leaders know if you know someone in the group. Disclosing personal information and experimenting with new behaviors in the presence of friends, roommates, or classmates can be awkward for most. Group leader(s) will consult with group members to explore options to resolve existing relationship issues. There is a possibility that you may stay in the group or you may choose a different group. Your group leader can work with you to find another group that is more convenient for you.
Yes, you don’t have to continue group if you are not interested. However, we encourage group members to attend three consecutive group sessions to allow them to become more comfortable and to build group cohesion.
Please contact Abraham Eapen, Coordinator of Group Services, at email@example.com if you have any specific questions or concerns. Abraham can also provide you with more handouts/information on a group if you are interested.