Counseling Center Services - Group Counseling
Each academic year the Counseling Center offers small group experiences to undergraduate and graduate students. Groups typically consist of no more than seven participants and are facilitated by two Counseling Center counselors.
Counseling Center Group Offerings:
- Sexual Assault Survivors
- Coping with Grief
- Eating Issues
- General Process Group
- Q2Q (GLBTQ Support)
- Women's Process Group
What is group counseling?
Group counseling involves a small group of people (usually 6-10) who meet together weekly, along with one or two trained members of the Counseling Center staff, to talk about their struggles and problems. These groups can take a variety of forms. Some focus on a specific topic or problem, while others address a number of different concerns.
What makes group counseling work?
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they tend to recreate those difficulties that brought them to counseling in the first place. Under the skilled direction of the group facilitators, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the an individual. In this way, the difficulty is resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the individual develops new social skills or ways of relating to people. Group counseling has been found to be a very effective means of treatment and, in some cases, the best form of treatment for a particular individual or a particular type of concern.
What are the benefits of group counseling?
In a group, you can:
- Learn more about how you are perceived by others.
- Experience a sense of acceptance and belonging.
- Discover that you are not alone in the difficulties you are experiencing.
- Hear ideas from others which enhance your ability to make decisions and solve problems.
- Benefit from the experience of being helpful to others.
- Learn to constructively express your feelings and ideas to others.
- Gain encouragement by observing the successes of others.
What about confidentiality?
The responsibility for confidentiality is shared among the group leader(s) and all group members. Virginia law requires that group leaders keep all client communications and information confidential. Further, every member of each therapy group at the Counseling Center is required to sign an agreement to adhere to these rules of confidentiality. In signing this agreement, group members make a personal pledge that nothing occurring in the group, including names of other group members, will be shared with anyone outside of the group. These rules are critical to the development of a safe, respectful, and trusting atmosphere which allows individuals to openly share their feelings.
If you feel you could be helped by participating in a group, please call the Counseling Center (568-6552), or stop by our office in the Student Success Center, to arrange an interview.