Groups and Workshops

The University Counseling Center (UCC) offers group counseling sessions focused on specific issues that affect college student life. These sessions are facilitated by a therapist who encourages contributions from all group members, allowing participants to benefit from shared experiences.

  • Feel a sense of validation, acceptance, and understanding—you may find you are not alone in your concerns
  • Learn more about yourself and how you are experienced by others
  • Learn from others’ experiences
  • Help others by sharing your experience
  • Feel encouraged as you see others grow and succeed as they overcome their concerns
  • Learn specific tools to address the unique concerns you have
  • Learn to navigate daily life better and to feel more emotionally in control
  • Learn that taking a risk, trying something new, and stretching yourself may be worth it

Research indicates that group counseling is as valuable as individual counseling (McRoberts, Burlingame, & Hoag, 1998) and for certain students, the ideal form of treatment. In fact, evidence suggests that the issues for which college students most often seek help (e.g., anxiety, depression, and interpersonal concerns) are best addressed through group (Parcover, Dunton, Gehlert, & Mitchell, 2006).

Groups and workshops can give students tangible tools to address the specific concerns they came to the UCC with within a short amount of time. Students benefit from being able to see their life improve after only a few weeks of learning and trying something new!

Current Groups and Workshops at the UCC

Living Well Workshop

The Living Well Workshop is a three-week workshop designed to help students gain insight into their concerns, develop a clearer sense of what they would like to change in their lives, and identify tools to reduce feelings of stress and improve emotional functioning. Concrete strategies to reduce feeling overwhelmed, minimize stress, and improve one’s general well-being are provided. Learn more about the Living Well Workshop.

Anxiety Toolbox Workshop

This is a two-week workshop to help students learn how to reduce anxiety in their lives. In this workshop, students practice helpful tools to reduce anxiety, including grounding exercises, deep breathing, changing negative thoughts, and ways to improve sleep and maintain daily emotional balance. Each participant will walk away with a personalized, written plan to better address anxiety in their own life! Learn more about Anxiety Toolbox Workshop.

Learning to Thrive During Difficult Times Workshop

This workshop is designed to help students thrive in the midst of this difficult season by helping students understand how the brain, mind, and body respond to stressful, anxiety provoking, and/or traumatic experiences. Students will learn how to cope effectively to these situations to feel more grounded, calm, and in control of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Cougars Care Workshop

This series provides mental health and well-being training that students can use to help themselves and others. This series is open to all students and provides information on various mental health topics. Any student who completes at least four of our Cougars Care workshops receives an official certificate of completion. Learn more about the Cougars Care Workshop.

Building Better Boundaries Group

This skills development group is designed to help students recognize ways to set and communicate boundaries as they are essential to our health, wellbeing, and even our safety. Students who join this group will have the opportunity to learn tools for setting healthy boundaries, explore ways to improve relationships and self-esteem, and how to develop a support system of people who respect and encourage healthy boundaries.

Self-Growth Group

This group is for students who are interested in better understanding themselves and others. Participants explore new ways of authentically connecting with others, learn more about their personal relational patterns, and develop a greater sense of empathy across individual differences.

Students of Color Group

The Students of Color group serves as a way to openly engage in dialogues around what it means to be a student of color on this campus. The Student of Color group ultimately serves as a resource for students of color to unapologetically show up and let themselves be fully seen and known, where they can speak from the heart rather than worrying about what is socially acceptable. In a supportive and therapeutic environment, students will have the opportunity to deepen self-understanding and explore ways of relating to others.

Women’s Emotional Support Group

This group is designed to help women increase their ability to use safe coping skills to reduce self-harm, substance abuse, and to better navigate the effects of trauma. This group will address ways to overcome triggers to poor coping and will incorporate new ways of caring for oneself.

Grief Support Group

This group is for any student who is processing the loss of a significant person in their life. The goal of the group is to offer students a caring space to share, explore, and reflect on their grief journey while experiencing comfort and support from other young adults who are also grieving a significant loss. Join others in a space of healing and compassionate care while honoring the unique grief process.

Learn more with the University Counseling Center’s Groups and Workshops Flyer (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for a group or workshop?

Groups and workshops are scheduled weekly at the UCC, and all are welcome to visit our office in Magnolia Court, next to the Student Health Center, to sign up for an intake appointment and to learn more about our groups and workshops. You can also call our office with any questions at (626) 815-2109.

How long are the groups and workshops?

The Anxiety Toolbox Workshop comprises one hour a week for two consecutive weeks, and the Living Well Workshop is one hour a week for three consecutive weeks. Each session builds upon the last, so every student attending is encouraged to attend all sessions offered, if possible, to get the most out of their experience. The Self-Growth Group is a process group, and is typically offered weekly during the spring semester.

How much participation is needed?

A student’s participation will depend on the type of group or workshop they are interested in. Several of our workshops are run similar to a classroom, in that students are allowed to participate as often or as little as they would like. Students are allowed to participate as they feel comfortable and are always encouraged to “pass” should they like to simply participate through observation.

How large are the groups and workshops?

The groups and workshops at the UCC are limited to about 10 students or less and have one or two counselors facilitating the group or workshop. Many students find that they feel supported and validated in their experience as they see that other individuals have struggled in similar ways. It is encouraging to know that they are not alone!

What is confidential?

It is extremely important to create a safe, respectful, and trusting environment among everyone participating in a group or workshop. In order to achieve this, the limits of confidentiality are reviewed in the first session of each group and workshop. Confidentiality is maintained by the counselors facilitating the group or workshop and all participants are asked to also agree to keep all information shared within the group or workshop private. Each student is asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before beginning a group or workshop. These guidelines help to ensure the environment is supportive and feels safe to each individual.

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