The goals of group counseling are grounded in the basis that it is a group and there
are more individuals with different levels of experience in attendance to share in
the process. The Counseling Center believes that groups provide a unique means of
resolving conflict and problems because group members:
- Both provide and receive support
- Gain understanding and explore possible outcomes
- Practice interpersonal skills in a safe setting
- Receive feedback on how they are perceived by others
- Enhance their problem-solving skills
- Decrease social isolation
- Develop better communication skills
- Improve their emotional expressiveness
In reality, most personal problems are interpersonal in nature. Typically, personal
problems stem from past and current relationships or from the patterns of relating
to one another that are unique to the individual. Group counseling offers the rare
opportunity to better understand how people relate to one another and provides an
opportunity to receive specific feedback in a supportive setting.
Many students report effective and quick results as a result of being a group member.
The group leader(s) also set the stage for trust and safety in the group. Once an
individual experiences that safety in that setting, it is easier to recreate it in
other aspects of one's life, such as in classes, in work, in one's living situation,
with family members, with friends and with an intimate partner.
Groups typically meet weekly, on a scheduled day and time, and run for an entire semester.
The group leaders ask for the student's commitment for the entire group so members
will feel a sense of cohesion and safety, knowing who will be there and who they can
count on weekly. On occasion, groups that began in the Fall Semester will continue
into the Spring Semester; this depends on the group leader and the decision and commitment
of group members.
There is no cost to attend groups. However, if you are an active member of a group
and fail to notify the Counseling Center Front Desk personnel in ample time that you
will not be able to attend a session, you will be assessed a No Show/Late Cancellation
charge. This practice is analogous to the fee structure imposed by most doctors' offices.
Knowing that others in the group look forward to having all members in attendance
is important for the process of growth and change. Students have reported that the
greatest progress was attained when they attended all scheduled sessions.