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Group counseling has been shown to be one of the most effective strategies to address most issues experienced by students, such as:
- Discomfort in social situations
- Challenges in relationships
- Loneliness and isolation
- Low self-esteem and confidence
- Coping with difficult emotions
- Academic stressors
- Substance use
- Eating concerns
For some students, the idea of joining a counseling group may sound intimidating and anxiety provoking. That hesitation and uncertainty is understandable, yet students report having positive and impactful experiences from participating in our groups, and feeling improvement in the areas of concern that motivated them to seek services at MHS.
Group counseling provides students with the opportunity to connect with others in a safe, confidential and supportive space. Groups allow students to share about their experiences with others who can understand and relate to their concerns, connect across differences to learn new perspectives, and experiment with new ideas, behaviors, and ways of being or interacting. Through group engagement, students develop insights and skills that can be used to work through the challenges they face and improve their quality of life.
Benefits of Group Counseling
- Increase self-awareness and understanding of others
- Connect with others who have similar problems and experiences
- Decrease isolation and loneliness
- Receive multiple perspectives on your concerns
- Enhance the quality of relationships
- Experience meaningful and authentic connections with others
- Develop new, healthier ways of relating to others
- Identifying, experiencing and expressing feelings with greater ease
- Increase confidence & self-esteem
- Increase ability to give and receive honest feedback
- Internalize lessons learned by helping others in the group
FAQs and Common Concerns
Is group counseling confidential?
I have a hard time opening up to one person, let alone to an entire group of people.
I’m socially anxious and being in a group sounds very uncomfortable for me. Shouldn’t I just get support in individual counseling?
If I participate in a group, will I still be able to receive individual counseling?
Will group count toward my counseling session limit?
How many students are in a group?
How long is the group?
How much do I have to share in the group?
What if I don’t have anything to say?
How does the effectiveness of group counseling compare to individual counseling?
How to join a group
To join a group, log in to your MyUHS account to web-book an Access Appointment. You may also contact the Mental Health Services reception desk by dialing 608-265-5600 (option 2) any time between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday to schedule. During your consultation, let the counselor know that you are interested in joining a group. If you need more information, call 608-265-5600 (option 2) or stop by the Mental Health Services reception desk located on the 7th floor of UHS.
What types of groups do we offer?
- Process Groups are for those who will benefit from sharing experiences, giving and receiving support/feedback, and experimenting with new interpersonal behaviors in a safe environment. These groups are helpful in addressing feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, self-esteem concerns, and challenges in relationships.
- Support/Theme Groups are for those who would like to give and receive support with others who are dealing with similar issues/common experiences.
- Psychoeducational Groups are for those who want to increase knowledge of mental health concerns and to build coping skills in certain areas of their lives.
- Wellness Groups are for those who would like to learn mindfulness-based skills to enhance their capacity to manage daily stressors and improve overall well-being.
- Combined Format Groups are for those who would benefit from a blend of different approaches to address areas of concerns.
What students are saying
“Group was something to look forward to and it gave me strength”
“This group was a caring, safe community to explore my feelings.”
“This group has helped me to keep a level head and allowed me to stay focused in school. It has allowed me to understand my experiences from many perspectives, which I feel most everyone could use.”
“This has been such a life changing experience”
“I’m amazed how group has helped my social anxiety and being comfortable with myself.”
“Wonderful resource on campus”
“Group helped me cope with my emotions in healthier ways.”
“My goal was to learn a lot and apply it to my life, and I did”
“I learned a lot about myself”.
“Thank you for being the best part of my week, every week”
“The facilitators were warm, sincere, caring, and made me feel safe a supported.”
“I am thankful for these services and think more people should take advantage of them.”
“This was super helpful and really helped me gain a foothold on my happiness. So glad I did this.”