Group Descriptions


Drop in our office at 204 STU or call (616) 331-3266 to set up an appointment. 

This group is for individuals who grew up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional environment and as a result may feel different than others. If you have trouble managing your feelings;have difficulty with relationships, or meeting your own needs, this group may be for you. Topics will address learning healthy coping and healing. 

This confidential support/discussion group is open to African American students who want the opportunity to dialog about their experiences and their personal/professional goals.  This group aims to create a community in which students feel empowered to explore and address life challenges.  If you are interested in being part of this group, call the counseling center to schedule a 30-minute consultation with the group leader.  The consultation is an opportunity to explore your interests, concerns, and answer any questions you may have about the group.

This group will help students understand and improve the relationship between their minds, bodies, and emotions in a supportive environment. Topics discussed will include understanding body image, healthy and unhealthy eating, the relationship between stress and eating, and coping with body image concerns in a healthy way.

This is a supportive and non-judgmental group for students who would like to explore their alcohol or other drug use.  Students attending this group may range from those actively in recovery to those exploring whether or not they have a problem.  The group is tailored to the individual needs of the students and may include education regarding medical aspects of mood-altering substance use, how to develop sober supports, relationships in recovery, strategies for coping with life stressors without the use of substances, etc….

This six-week group focuses on the development and perfection of skills related to emotions.  Each week, group members will discuss new and previously learned skills, explore their experiences and progress with skills, and practice new ways of thinking about emotions. The group will run for eight weeks and will introduce specific techniques for mindfully paying attention to emotions, improving interpersonal interactions, guiding one’s own emotional experiences, and tolerating distress and unpleasant emotions.  This group is based on strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

This experience-based group helps you learn skills to manage your anxiety, depression, and stress. One of the highlights of this group is the emphasis on learning breathing and relaxation skills that are found to be helpful in improving overall mentality as well as physical health. Another highlight of our group is the emphasis on addressing problematic thinking that interferes with personal and academic performances. This group also explores various skills and information that may help you manage your distress.

This semi-structured group is for survivors of sexual trauma who want to come together to feel supported, validated, and empowered. During the healing process, many people find that they experience shock, confusion, denial, fear, and anger.  In this group, you will be able to explore these feelings in a safe, supportive environment. Topics discussed will include coping skills, emotions, social support, and societal messages about sexual trauma. Sharing personal experiences is not required and is subject to the comfort level of each group member. To join this group, call the counseling center to schedule a 30-minute meeting with the group leaders to explore your goals and answer any questions you may have about the group.

This group is a place for guys to come together and share their experiences with masculinity. We often get messages from society or from others about what masculinity should look like or what a man should be. This group allows guys to discuss these messages and any challenges these messages might create. Come connect with other Laker guys in a supportive environment.

This confidential group is open to registered GVSU students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or who may be questioning their sexual identity.  This group aims to be a normalizing experience for each member.  We explore many factors that may be affecting our identity such as:  stereotypes, family, religion, meeting others, and many more.  The focus of the group really depends on the needs of the group.  This is not a “coming out” group, but there may be members who are in this process.  There also may be members who have been “out” for years, but would like this opportunity to explore and share experiences/challenges with others sharing a similar identity.  Overall, this group will help students figure out “where they fit in.” If interested, contact our office to schedule a short meeting with Mark Sampson so we can see if the group is a match for you.

* A commitment to attend each weekly meeting for the semester is required.  

This group will help you develop strategies to manage your depression. We will provide assessments each week which will explore the unique aspects contributing to each group member’s distress. We will also explore mind-body types, as well as incorporate lifestyle changes to help maintain a healthy balance. 

Navigating the start of college can be exciting, but also new and overwhelming. This group is designed to provide new coping skills and remind you of ones that you already possess. The group will assist you in focusing on your values, priorities and strengths to help you navigate some of the tough decisions you will be making. Lastly, the group will provide a safe place to receive support and learn resources to help your 1st year be successful.

This group focuses on decreasing self-criticism, creating authenticity in relationships, and improving self-compassion. If you feel like you are never good enough and you spend a lot of time and energy pleasing others at the cost of yourself, this group’s aim is to help you be more self-accepting. You will learn how to utilize mindfulness techniques and critical thinking to build awareness and enhance compassion towards others and yourself. 

This 5-week group is focused on building skills to decrease social anxiety and improve interpersonal effectiveness. Through this group, we will be examining members’ strengths and teaching applicable skills for engaging in healthy communication and relationships.

This group is designed to help students develop coping skills and strategies to manage stress.  Topics may include:  identifying and processing current stressors, relaxation techniques that really work, adaptive coping strategies, and time management skills.   

Page last modified April 18, 2018