Read descriptions of Spring 2020 groups and find out who leads each group.
To join a group, schedule an Access Appointment in MyUHS or contact Mental Health Services at 608-265-5600 (option 2).
During your consultation, let the counselor know that you’re interested in joining a group.
Interpersonal Process Groups
Interpersonal Process Groups are often the treatment of choice for people who experience troubled relationships, loneliness, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and low self-esteem. These groups offer a safe environment to identify and explore feelings; to give and receive support and feedback; to practice new, healthier ways of relating to others; and to feel less lonely or isolated.
10:30 a.m.–noon: Jeff Hird, PhD & Isaac Hooley, BA
Noon–1:30 p.m.: Sarah Kohlstedt, PhD & Kallie Kobold, PsyD
3–4:30 p.m.: Jocelyn Keiser, PsyD & Tracy Guan, BS
5–6:30 p.m.: Jeff Hird, PhD & Maha Baalbaki, MS
10:30 a.m.–noon: Jocelyn Keiser, PsyD & Morgan Sparks, BSW
2–3:30 p.m.: Ben de Boer, PsyD & Denise Calhoun, PhD
3–4:30 p.m.: Jen Moulton, PhD & Mike Balsan, MA
4–5:30 p.m.: Robyn Rauman, LPC & Haley Pierson, MS, LPC
10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.: Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs, PhD and Anna Pederson, MS
3–4:30 p.m.: Brian Drozd, PsyD & Denise Calhoun, PhD
2–3:30 p.m.: Jeff Hird, PhD & Sam Troemel, MS
3–4:30 p.m.: Sarah Kohlstedt, PhD & Wing Ng, BS
10–11:30 a.m.: Jeff Hird, PhD & Abby Lindemann, PhD
2:30–4 p.m.: Jeff Peterson, LCSW & Kathy Wierzchowski, PhD
Support Theme Groups
A supportive group environment focused on the emotional, behavioral, and organizational challenges associated with the dissertation process. Participants establish individual weekly research and personal goals, and share experiences and perspectives around common themes (e.g., procrastination, careers on or beyond the tenure track, advisor etiquette, and juggling multiple life roles).
Mondays, 4–5:30 p.m.
Jo Hoese, PhD
Wednesdays, noon–1:30 p.m.
Jo Hoese, PhD & Kathy Wierzchowski, PhD
Graduate Students’ Group
This group examines the sources of stress, ways of coping, and the value of peer support in adjusting to a role that often feels like it’s 24/7. Topics will be developed by group members.
Thursdays, 2:45–4:15 p.m.
Felix Savino, PhD
Fridays, 1:30–3 p.m.
Liz Westcott-Barten, LPC, SAC
Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Support & Empowerment Group
A support and psychoeducational group for students navigating gender identity developments and acceptance. Students who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and any other personally meaningful term are welcome. The group focuses on establishing positive connections with others and exploring the process of integrating gender identity in an authentic, self-affirming way.
Tuesdays, 5–6:30 p.m.
Sidra Dillard, MS & Jamie Welch, PhD
Eating Concerns Recovery Support Group
For students currently recovering from an eating disorder or distorted body image who would like to talk about themes essential to recovery in a supportive, safe environment. This is a semi-structured, confidential group using metaphor and story along with guided discussion to create community, provide support, and build insight and understanding.
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Chanda Bolander, LMSW & Cynthia Smith, BA
Graduate Women's Group
Through offering support to others and receiving support, group members are challenged to learn about themselves, initiate change, and exercise honesty in a safe space. Common topics include relationships, academics, stress, depression, and anxiety.
Fridays, 3–4:30 p.m.
Andrea Levy, MD & Maha Baalbaki, MS
Grief Support Group
Participants will gain support with expressing and exploring emotions related to their bereavement experiences. It’s open to students who have lost a loved one (e.g., family member, friend) and combines sharing, discussion, support, and activities.
Fridays, 1–2:30 p.m.
Jen Moulton, PhD & Isaac Hooley, BA
LGBTQ Support & Empowerment Group
A support and psychoeducational group for students navigating sexual and/or gender identity development and acceptance. Students who identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, questioning, transgender, or any other personally meaningful term are welcome. The group’s focus is on establishing positive connections with others and exploring the process of integrating one’s sexual and gender identities.
Mondays, 3–4:30 p.m.
Michelle Pitot, MSW, EdD & Cynthia Smith, BA
Fridays, 10:15–11:45 a.m.
Zoe Whaley, MSW, CAPSW & Sam Troemel, MS
Combined Format Groups
Students of Color Process and Support Group
This is a group for any student who self-identifies as a person of color and how their identity as a student of color affects their academic, personal, and social experience. The group aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for students of color to explore feelings around racially oppressive experiences on campus, strengthen self-concept through activities and discussion, and to help one another navigate academic and social experiences on campus.
Mondays (Men's Group), 2:15–3:45 p.m.
Corey Steele, PhD and Wing Ng, BS
Wednesdays, 2:45–4:15 p.m.
Dezarae Avalos, MA, LPC & Egg Guo, MS
Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m.
Simone Collins, PhD & Najeeha Khan, BS
Latinx Support & Process Group
This group aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for any student who self-identifies as Latinx to explore topics such as microaggressions, bias, discrimination, and tokenism. Activities and discussion will offer support in coping skill development, and help students navigate academic and social experiences on campus.
Tuesdays, 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Dezarae Avalos, MA, LPC & Claudia Marte, MA, LPC-IT
The Men's Group
This group provides a space for students who self-identify as men to engage with each other around topics such as masculinity, relationships and intimacy, anxiety and depression, family dynamics, life transitions, academic/work stress, and substance use.
Wednesdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m.
Ben de Boer, PsyD & Travis Fox, PsyD
If things sometimes turn out differently than you expect when drinking or using other substances, there are ways to facilitate a better outcome. Join other students for discussions about what goes well and what still needs improvement. Learn skills that can be helpful in whatever goals you hope to achieve including: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Tuesdays, 12:30–2 p.m.
Amy Margulies, LPC, SAC & Michelle Pitot, MSW, Ed
Fridays, 10–11:30 a.m.
Geoff Brown, LPC & Haley Pierson, MS, LPC
Health Management Process and Support Group
Students will have an opportunity to explore the various facets of health/wellness and the connection between mind and body. The group will also provide space for individuals to connect and process experiences related to managing a chronic health concern while navigating the demands of being a student. No formal medical diagnosis is required to participate.
Tuesdays, 1–2:30 p.m.
Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs, PhD & Sara Bannon, APNP, LCSW
Creative Arts Process Group
For anyone willing to take risks in creating art to expand ways of communication, self-expression, and connection with others. No artistic experience is required, and the group will focus on the experience of art making rather than on making "good" art. A typical session includes time for art making based on a prompt or personal inspiration, sharing of artwork, and connecting with group members.
Mondays, 2:30–4 p.m.
Michelle Bond, LPC & Amanda Lo, BS
For students whose feelings are often best expressed by the music they listen to. The group explores how meaningful connections with music help us understand ourselves and others. We will have the opportunity to listen to music chosen by group members and talk about ways music reflects our experiences. All identities and genres of music are valued. Designed for the musically minded—no skills needed.
Tuesdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m.
Geoff Brown, LPC and Amy Magulies, LPC, SAC
Eating Concerns Process and Support Group
For individuals currently recovering from an eating disorder and/or distorted body image. The group provides a supportive environment to help members explore and recognize their own feelings, thoughts, and emotions attached to their relationship with food, their bodies, and themselves as it relates to the recovery process. Individuals will connect around shared experiences, and give and receive feedback that can help build greater self-awareness.
Tuesdays, 1–2:30 p.m.
Chanda Bolander, LCSW & Kallie Kobold, PsyD
Psychoeducational Groups & Workshops
Managing Challenges: Skill Building Groups
For undergrad and graduates. Concurrent individual therapy is required.
This group is based on four components: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The sessions are designed to teach students skills based on the four components mentioned and to do so in a structured and supportive environment. Participants will learn and refine skills that modify behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns associated with problems in relationships.
Wednesdays, 2:30–4:30 p.m.
Beth Adamski, LPC & Jamie Welch, PhD
Managing Anxiety & Depression Workshop
Students will learn new ways to manage anxiety and depression during this two-session workshop. In a supportive setting, students will gain greater awareness of signs and symptoms, strategies to cope with anxiety and depression—including cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms—and will discuss longer term approaches to self-care.
Mondays, 1–2:30 p.m.
2/17 & 2/24; 3/2 & 3/9; 3/23 & 3/30; 4/6 & 4/13; 4/20 & 4/27
Morgan Sparks, BSW; Cynthia Smith, BA; Amanda Lo, BS; Corinne Warner, PsyD; Nejeeha Khan, BS; Tracy Guan, BA
Tuesdays, 2:30–4 p.m.
Brian Drozd, PsyD & PJ Young, LPC
ACT for Social Anxiety
For students struggling with social anxiety, these sessions will be educational and experiential, helping participants develop awareness and skills to overcome anxiety and self-consciousness in social situations. In a structured and supportive environment, students will learn concepts, drawn from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), intended to bolster self-confidence, acceptance, and willingness to confront the social challenges of every day life.
Mondays 4:30–6 p.m.
Ben de Boer, PsyD & Mike Balsan, MA
Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.–noon.
Stefanie Denu, PsyD & Bob Stindt, LCSW
Student Success Workshops
This series of single-session workshops will focus on providing participants with information and strategies to confront common challenges and enhance academic success. Come to any or all sessions. Group Leaders: Najeeha Khan, BS; Morgan BSW; Wing Ng, BS; Cynthia Smith, BA; Amanda Lo, BS; Tracy Guan, BA; and Anna Pederson, MS.
Make the Most of Your Time
Students will learn techniques to organize and optimize their use of time in order to enhance efficiency and support overall academic success.
Fridays, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
2/28, 3/13, 4/10
Focus Your Attention
Students will practice an array of strategies designed to strengthen attention, initiate and prioritize tasks, and minimize distractions and procrastination. If your mind was more focused on the here and now just think what you might accomplish.
Fridays, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
2/28, 3/13, 4/10
Taking Down Test Anxiety
Even when adequately prepared, it is common for students to experience anxiety before, during, and after exams. Participants will learn strategies to reduce anxiety that interferes with focus and recall of information.
Fridays, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
3/27, 4/17, 5/1
Wellness Groups & Workshops
Meditation is an ancient practice that can bring deep levels of calm and relaxation. The focus will be on breathing/concentration practices and different types of meditation. The meditation groups are ongoing and students can join at any time.
Tuesdays, noon–1 p.m. (21 N. Park St.)
Wednesdays, noon–1 p.m. (Union South)
Bob McGrath, PsyD
Students will work to incorporate focused awareness into their lives, particularly in the areas of academics and studying, relationships, moods and stressors, eating, and generally helping members to develop a more balanced, purposeful, and aware lifestyle. The group combines activities that promote mindfulness with reflection and discussion about ways students can be more present in daily life. Group meets for six sessions.
Wednesdays, 1:30–3 p.m.
Tamar Kelson, PhD & Casey Tice, LPC
One hour of relaxing movement, stretching, and connecting mind and body. All levels are welcome. Check uhs.wisc.edu/mental-health/lets-yoga for days, times, and locations.
Mindfully Laugh Out Loud
Laughing is shown to strengthen the immune system, foster positive feelings, and improve interpersonal skills. This group combines mindful practices with interactive laughter exercises and calming movements to teach the body how to laugh without relying on jokes or humor. No previous meditation experience or special sense of humor required. Come to any or all of the bimonthly groups to laugh with us!
Fridays, 2–3 p.m., 2/28, 3/6, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10
Stefanie Denu, PsyD & Tamar Kelson, PhD
Practice the skills of mindfulness in this four-week workshop series. Increase self-understanding, present moment awareness, and strengthen your capacity to address stressful daily challenges toward a more vital and valued life. Come to any or all of the sessions that repeat through the semester. Groups led by Tamar Kelson, PhD; Egg Guo, MS; and Stefanie Denu, PsyD.
Session 1: Mindfulness of Thoughts
Learn to notice thoughts without getting hooked by distressing worry or self-defeating patterns.
Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m., 12/4, 3/3
Session 2: Mindfulness of Behavior
Increase ability to act intentionally, which can improve motivation, concentration, and reaching goals in activities of daily living.
Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m., 2/11, 3/24
Session 3: Mindfulness of Emotions
Apply mindfulness to cultivate more positive and balanced feelings regarding yourself and the world around you.
Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m., 2/18, 3/31
Session 4: Mindfulness of Body
Focus on the mind/body connection, increasing body awareness to help manage stress and pain as well as improve overall self-care.
Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m., 2/25, 4/7
Session 5: Mindfulness for End of the Semester Stress
Learn and practice relevant mindfulness based strategies for coping with end of semester stress and develop a plan with specific next steps for navigating end of semester stress.
Tuesday, 1:30-3 p.m., 4/14
Fridays, 1:30-3 p.m., 4/17, 4/24
Drop-in Survivor Support Group
Open to all UW-Madison student survivors of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, sexual harassment, and/or stalking. This confidential group allows student survivors to connect with one another and give and receive support in a safe environment. Students can attend sessions consecutively or come as their schedule allows. Check uhs.wisc.edu/survivor or email email@example.com for dates and times.
Reclaiming Pleasure: Navigating Sex and the Body After Trauma
Reconnecting to your body and sexuality can be an empowering part of recovering from sexual violence. This group provides a space to explore, process, and navigate the effects of sexual trauma on body, sexuality, and sense of self. All bodies welcome.
Mondays, 3–4:30 p.m., 8th floor
Sidra Dillard, MS & Corinne Werner, PsyD