Counseling: Individual & Groups

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is confidential and offered on a short-term basis to registered UAlbany students. Costs are already covered by tuition and student fees, so there are no "out of pocket" payments. Following an initial appointment and depending upon the student’s needs, a student may receive services at our center, be referred to another campus service, or be referred elsewhere.

[+] How to Make an Appointment

[+] Common Concerns

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Groups

Group counseling can be a wonderful way to address personal concerns and can provide:

  • a safe space to talk through concerns and receive feedback;
  • a way to discover that others have had similar concerns,  worries or experiences;
  • a forum for connection and mutual support; and
  • a place to try out new behaviors and skills such as asserting yourself, addressing conflict or risking to let others get to know you more. 

SUMMER 2014 GROUPS

Alcoholics Anonymous: Tuesday evening meetings. Group liaison is Dr. Brian Freidenberg.

LGBTQ Student Support Group: Weekly meetings, Tuesdays 1:45 pm-3:00 pm. Group leader is Dr. Sarah Nolan.

See below for full descriptions of groups.

The specific group schedule varies each semester but here is a description of several different types of groups frequently offered at our Center.

THERAPY GROUPS

Therapy groups are weekly discussion groups limited to about 8 members in which members explore and actively try to address personal, academic and relational concerns with the feedback and support of one another.  As these groups are intensive and involve a weekly commitment, to join one of these you must meet with the professional group leader ahead of time to ensure that the group will be a “good fit” for your current needs. 

Understanding Self and Others*

A therapy group for students who have a variety of personal or relationship concerns that they would like to work on with others.  Areas of concern might include but are not limited to: friendship or dating relationships; family issues; social anxiety; loss; lifestyle issues, such as living a substance reduced lifestyle; or significant life changes. Email or call Dr. Julie Heslin Pokat or Dr. Sarah Nolan.

*Note: A pregroup interview is required prior to joining this group to ensure it is a “good fit” for a student’s current needs, call us to schedule.

Relating to Others*

A therapy group for students with relational concerns such as social anxiety, isolation and loneliness, and/or issues around relationship choices and behaviors in relationships. Email or call Dr. Julie Heslin Pokat and click here to see the flyer.

*Note: A pregroup interview is required prior to joining this group to ensure it is a “good fit” for a student’s current needs, call us to schedule.

SUPPORT GROUPS

Support Groups may meet weekly, biweekly, or triweekly and are intended as a forum of support for students who share similar concerns such as coming out issues or concerns about their use of alcohol.  They are professionally facilitated (with the exception of AA) and generally stay open to new members throughout the semester.  

LGBTQ Student Support

A support group for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer/Questioning students.  This is a safe, supportive place to talk about issues facing the LGBTQ community. Topics include but are not limited to: relationships, sexuality, health, wellness, identity, religion, coping with stress, and other shared challenges.  Email or call Dr. Sarah Nolan.

New Student Support

A support group for first year and transfer students as they acclimate to college life at UAlbany. Email or call Dr. Julie Heslin Pokat and click here to see the flyer.

Graduate Student Support

A support group for new and continuing graduate students to discuss concerns such as staying well while managing the demands of graduate study, balancing multiple life roles, and dealing with academic and personal relationship concerns. Email or call Dr. Julie Heslin Pokat and click here to see the flyer.

Dissertation Support

A support group for those at the proposal stage or beyond. Email or call Dr. Julie Heslin Pokat and click here to see the flyer.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Campus based AA groups based on the 12 Step Model. This is not a UCC group per se but our staff serve as liaison to connect interested students. Email or call Dr. Brian Freidenberg and click here to see the flyer.

PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL GROUPS

Psychoeducational groups are more time limited, often meeting for 2-5 times to address a specific topic or skill such as stress management.  These groups provide specific information and/or teach skills with an opportunity for participants to discuss the presented material. 

FAQ

Not sure if group services are right for you?

  • Contact the Counseling Center to schedule an individual INTAKE appointment with any of our staff members who can confidentially explore your particular concerns and help assess whether individual or group services or perhaps both might make the most sense for you.

Can I definitely join a group?

  • We will make every effort to accommodate students who are interested in participating in a group.  From time to time our groups fill up or a therapist may determine that a group does not seem to be the right fit for a given student.  If that turned out to be the case, our individual services remain a wonderful alternative in most instances.

Does it cost money to participate in a group?

  • If you are a currently registered student, there is no out of pocket expense.  The University health fee that is part of your semester bill covers our services.

Is individual counseling better than group counseling?

  • There is solid research evidence to support the value and usefulness of both individual and group counseling as distinct types of treatment.  Each form of counseling has unique advantages.  In some instances, such as many interpersonal concerns, group counseling may be the treatment of choice.