Read descriptions of Fall 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
Past and present interactions with others contribute to shaping personality. 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 am – noon | Sarah Kohlstedt, PhD & Anthony Flynn, BA
3:00 – 4:30 pm| Benjamin de Boer, PsyD, CGP & Rachel VanDaalen, MC
10:30 am – noon | Rachel Bitman – Heinrichs, PhD & Matthew Rozzi, PhD
2:00 – 3:30 pm | Jeff Hird, PhD & Geetanjali Deole, M.Tech
2:30 – 4:00 pm | Jen Moulton, PhD & Abby Luedtke, BA
10:30 am – noon | Brian Drozd, PsyD & Denise Calhoun, PhD
3:00 – 4:30 pm | Robyn Groth, LPC & James Gresh, MS
1:00 – 2:30 pm | Jeff Peterson, LCSW & Ruby Parkash, BA
10:30 – noon | Jeff Hird, PhD & Alexa Keramidas, MA
Support Theme Groups
Challenging Codependency: Developing and Maintaining Interdependence
Do you expend all of your energy in meeting other people’s needs? Do you feel trapped in your relationships? Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices so that others around you will be happy? Do you feel excessive anxiety about receiving criticism or making a mistake? You may be struggling with codependency, which can show up in relationships with friends, romantic partners, or family members. Codependent relationships are a struggle for many. Adopting new methods of demonstrating compassion, while at the same time setting healthy boundaries, can free you of the painful burden of feeling you are responsible for others’ happiness.
This group provides a space for students to connect with and relate to others who have similar struggles, and join them in learning how to have healthier and more fulfilling relationships. The group will combine information, personal sharing, discussion and support, while also providing solutions for students who want to create more meaningful connections to others.
Tuesdays | 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Michelle Pitot, EdD, MSSW & Sam Troemel, MS
Grief Support Group
This group helps participants express and explore emotions related to their experiences of bereavement. Open to people who have lost a loved one (e.g., family member, friend). Combines sharing, discussion, support, and activities.
Fridays | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Group Leaders: Jen Moulton, PhD & Jennifer Yeoward-Dodson, PhD
Graduate Students’ Group
This group will examine the sources of stress, ways of coping, and the value of peer support in adjusting to the challenges of being a graduate student. Topics will be developed by group members, but may include: time management, financial stress, relationship concerns, burnout, isolation, and maintaining balance.
Mondays | 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Felix Savino, PhD & Melanie Daovannary, PsyD
Graduate Women's Group
A support group for women graduate students. Common topics include relationships, academics, stress, depression and anxiety. 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.
Fridays | 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Denise Calhoun, PhD & Liz Wescott-Barten, LPC, SAC
Graduate Students of Color Group
A support group for graduate students who identify as people of color. Graduate students of color experience unique challenges, microaggressions, and lack of supports compared to their White peers and undergraduate counterparts.
Wednesdays | 10:30 – noon
Group Leaders: Egg Guo, MS, LPC-IT & Dezarae Avalos, MA, LPC
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 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Group Leaders: Jo Hoese, PhD & Jennifer Yeoward-Dodson, PhD
LGBTQ Support & Empowerment Group
A support group for students who are 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 all welcome to this group. Focus is on establishing positive connections with others and exploring the process of integrating one’s sexual and gender identities in authentic, self-affirming ways.
Wednesdays | 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Group Leaders: Sam Troemel, MS & Rachel VanDaalen, MC
Fridays | 10:00 – 11:30 am
Group Leaders: Robyn Groth, LPC & Blake Bettis, MA
LGBTQ+ Students of Color Group
A support group for students in the QTPOC community (queer, trans, people of color). QTPOC experience unique challenges and intra-community discrimination and exclusion. This group will provide space to discuss these concerns and seek support from other students and staff facilitators with similar identities/experiences.
Fridays | 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Group Leaders: Egg Guo, MS, LPC-IT & Sergio Dominguez, BA
Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Support & Empowerment Group
A support and psychoeducational group for students who are navigating gender identity developments and acceptance. Students who identity as transgender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and any other personally meaningful term are all welcome to this group. Focus is on establishing positive connections with others and exploring the process of integrating gender identity in an authentic, self-affirming way.
Thursdays | 3:15 – 4:45 pm.
Group Leader: Sidra Dillard, LPC-IT & Jamie Welch, PhD
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 (this can be African American, African, Caribbean-American, Latino/a, Indian, Asian, Asian American Indian-American, Native American, Middle Eastern, etc.). The group will explore ways in which 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 | 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Danyelle Okesanjo, MSW & Ruby Parkash, BA
Tuesdays | 3:00 – 4:30 pm *Men’s Group
Group Leaders: Corey Steele, PhD & David Nelson, BS
Thursdays | 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Group Leaders: Simone Collins, PhD & Melanie Daovannary, PsyD
Fridays | 10:30 – noon
Group Leaders: Josie Montanez-Tyler, LMFT & Dorcas Jansen, MS
Working Towards Wellness Together: A Support Group for Students Living with a Chronic Condition
This group is for students who experience chronic pain and/or live with a chronic illness/condition. Participants will have an opportunity to explore aspects of health and wellness, the connection between mind and body, and share resources and strategies with others experiencing similar challenges. The group will also provide space to process emotions and experiences related to managing a chronic health condition while navigating the demands of being a student. This group is open to students with all illnesses and conditions, visible or invisible, diagnosed or undiagnosed, and levels of ability.
Mondays | 10:30 am – noon
Group Leaders: Benjamin de Boer, PsyD, CGP
If things sometimes turn out differently than you expect when drinking or using other substances, there are ways to facilitate a better outcome. Join fellow students for discussions about your life, what goes well and what still needs some improvement. Learn skills that can be helpful in whatever goals you are hoping to achieve, like mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Group remains open through the semester, and all are welcome.
Tuesdays | 11:30 – 1:00 pm
Group Leaders: Geoff Brown, LPC & Michelle Pitot, EdD, MSSW
Thursdays | 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Group Leader: Amy Margulies, LPC, SAC & Ben Shechet, BA
Therapeutic Tabletop Gaming Group
This group is built on a tradition of tabletop gaming as therapy. This alternative format group therapy will allow participants to build a tabletop character with their individual presenting concerns in mind. Participants will role play their characters in a fantasy setting to develop strategies to cope with social anxiety, practice using social skills, and address other mental health concerns brought to the table by the group. No previous gaming experience necessary.
Wednesdays | 2:30 – 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Jamie Welch, PhD & Liz Wescott-Barten, LPC, SAC
Embodiment after Trauma: Somatic Practices for Trauma Survivors
This group combines psychoeducation, mindfulness, and somatic practices to help individuals access the innate wisdom of the body. Through support and experiential learning, participants will learn skills to increase one’s sense of safety in their body and in the present moment. This group is best suited to students who are currently engaged in individual therapy or have been in the recent past.
Tuesdays | 10:30 – noon
Group Leaders: Kimberly Lux, LCSW & Zoë Whaley, LCSW
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 to help students navigate academic and social experiences on campus.
Thursdays | 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Group Leaders: Dezarae Avalos, MA, LPC & Claudia Marte, MA, LPC
Eating Concerns Process and Support Group
This group provides a supportive environment for members to explore their relationship with food, movement, their bodies, and themselves. Group sessions consist of experiential activities to support this healing process, with major themes being: Ambivalence/Willingness, Identity, Connections, Body Image, and Avoidance. Individuals will connect around shared experiences, providing one another with encouragement and accountability. Anti-diet and Health at Every Size principles are foundational to the group.
Mondays | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Group Leaders: Molly Caradonna, PsyD & Alexa Keramidas, MA
This group is for people whose feelings are often best expressed by the music they listen to. We will explore 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 to talk about ways music reflects our experiences. All genres of music are valued as are all identities. Designed for the musically minded – no skills needed.
Wednesdays | 3:15 – 4:45 pm
Group Leaders: Geoff Brown, LPC & Amy Margulies, LPC, SAC
Creative Arts Process Group
This is a therapy group for anyone who is 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 be focused on the experience of art making rather than on making “good” art. A typical group session will include time for art making based on a prompt or personal inspiration, sharing of artwork, and connecting with group members. Access to art materials is not a requirement of this group; co-facilitators will discuss options for materials during the group screening.
Wednesdays | 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Group Leaders: Michelle Bond, LPC & Blake Bettis, MA
Yoga for Resilience & Acceptance
Blending trauma-informed yoga practice, mindfulness principles, and psychotherapy, this group aims to help enhance your connection to your body and internal experiences in order to support your mental health and overall well-being. This group may support those interested in finding community with others, a grounding space, and healing related to anxiety, depression, body image/relationship, and trauma.
* a 5' x 7' private space to practice is recommended (to allow ample space for movement and technology devices)
Tuesdays | 1:30 – 3:00
Group Leaders: Molly Caradonna, PsyD & Jamie Gratrix
Psychoeducational Groups & Workshops
Note: Workshops with a sign-up link are available to students who are located outside of Wisconsin.
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ACT for Social Anxiety
This group is intended for students struggling with social anxiety. Sessions are designed to 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, participants will learn concepts, drawn from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), intended to bolster self-confidence, acceptance, and willingness to confront the social challenges of everyday life.
Wednesdays| 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Group Leader: Stefanie Denu, PsyD & Matthew Rozzi, MA
Drugs on Your Mind (sign up online)
There is a nearly overwhelming amount of messages and information about substance use. This workshop provides a place to come and begin to sort it out in a way that works for you. You can learn about substances and how they impact the brain and your wellness. This one session workshop will focus on providing answers to questions that you might have about substances like alcohol or cannabis and giving you a space to ask your own questions and talk about drugs on your mind.
Wednesdays | 9/23, 10/21, 11/18 | 11:00 am – noon
Group Leaders: Geoff Brown, LPC & Tim Cordes, MD, PhD
Know your ABCDEs: Adapt your Behavior and Cope with Distress Effectively
In this group, students will learn and refine skills in four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills are intended to help students modify behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns associated with challenges in mood management and maintaining stable relationships.
Fridays | 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Group Leaders: Corinne Werner, PsyD & Dorcas Jansen, MS
Let’s F.A.C.E. It! (sign up online)
A workshop designed to help students with symptoms of anxiety and depression Foster Acceptance and Cope Effectively. Over the course of this 2-session workshop, participants will learn new ways to manage the cognitive, behavioral, and physiological aspects of anxiety and depression. In a supportive, psychoeducational setting, students will gain greater awareness, skills and strategies, and practices that promote lifelong self-care.
Mondays | 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Group Leaders (vary): P.J. Young, LPC, David Nelson, BS, Geetanjali Deole, M.Tech, Ben Shechet, BA, Abby Luedtke, BA
Thursdays | 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Group Leaders (vary): Corinne Werner, PsyD, Anthony Flynn, BA, Kendall Ferguson, BA, Sergio Dominguez, BA
Resilience through Connection for Grad Students (sign up online)
A series of 3 rotating, interactive workshops for current graduate students. Each section will explore strategies and resources to navigate the grad experience from unique perspectives and include the opportunity to provide and receive social and emotional support. Includes brief structured presentations and facilitated discussions. Questions welcome and application to personal goals encouraged.
This workshop will focus on the essentials of getting the work done. Possible topics include organization, motivation, prioritizing, procrastination, and avoidance.
Thursdays | 10/8, 11/5 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
This workshop will focus on the importance of personally thriving. Possible topics include impostor phenomena, guilt, health, wellness, work/life balance, and finding your people.
Thursdays | 10/15, 11/12 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Life in the Grad Lane
This workshop will focus on the stuff a bit outside of your control. Possible topics include COVID-19, funding, academic benchmarks, PI/advisor, and career options.
Thursdays | 10/22, 11/19 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Group Leaders: Jo Hoese, PhD & James Gresh, MS
Student Success Workshops (sign up online)
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 four sessions!
Focus Your Attention
This workshop is centered on increasing self-awareness, focus and attention. Participants 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 |9/25, 10/16, 11/6, 12/4 |12:30 – 1:30 pm
Make the Most of Your Time
This workshop is designed to teach students time management skills. Participants will learn techniques to organize and optimize their use of time in order to enhance efficiency and support overall academic success.
Fridays |9/18, 10/9, 10/30, 11/20 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Take Down Test Anxiety
This workshop is intended to help students manage 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 |10/2, 10/23, 11/13, 12/11 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Why Perfectionism is Imperfect
Learn to recognize aspects of perfectionism and how it reduces your optimal functioning. Develop strategies to manage the variety of ways it shows up in your life.
Mondays |9/28, 10/19, 11/9 | 11:00 – noon
Group Leaders (vary): Corey Steele, PhD, Amy Margulies, LPC, SAC, David Nelson, BS, Geetanjali Deole, M.Tech, Ben Shechet, BA, Abby Luedtke, BA, Anthony Flynn, BA, Sergio Dominguez, BA
Wellness Groups and Workshops
Mindfulness Sampler (sign up online)
Session 1: Mindfulness of Thoughts
Learn to notice thoughts without getting hooked by distressing worry or self-defeating patterns.
Tuesday |10/13| 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Session 2: Mindfulness of Behavior
Increase ability to act intentionally, which can improve motivation, concentration, and reaching goals in activities of daily living.
Tuesday |10/20| 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Session 3: Mindfulness of Emotions
Apply mindfulness to cultivate more positive and balanced feelings regarding yourself and the world around you.
Tuesday |10/27| 1:00 – 2:30 pm
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.
Tuesday |11/10 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Session 5: Mindfulness for End of 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 |11/17, 12/1| 1:00 – 2:30pm
Group Leaders: Tamar Kelson, PhD & Claire Barrett, PhD
Mindful Living Group
This group will help participants 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 will combine activities that promote mindfulness with reflection and discussion about ways members can be more present in their daily lives. Group meets for six sessions.
Wednesdays | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Group Leaders: Tamar Kelson, PhD & Casey Tice, LPC
Survivor Services Groups
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.
Tuesdays | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Group Leaders: Sidra Dillard, LPC-IT & Kendall Ferguson, BA
Student Survivors of Color
This group is for individuals who self-identify as a person of color/mixed race and have also experienced interpersonal trauma at some point in their life. This group aims to create a supportive space and community for members while also learning skills and tools to cope with past/current experiences of trauma as it relates to race, culture, family, and relationships.
Thursdays | 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Group Leaders: Mary Eldridge, MSW, CAPSW & Kayla Eggen, LCSW