Frequently Asked Questions About Groups

Will GROUPS at CAPS be in person or virtual during the Fall 2020 semester?

Due to the ongoing COVID 19 Pandemic, all GROUPS at CAPS will be meeting virtually throughout the Fall 2020 semester to protect everyone’s health.

What's the point of group counseling?

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. 

Not sure if group services are right for you?

Contact us at 442-5800 to schedule an appointment with any of our staff members who can confidentially explore your particular concerns and help determine whether individual or group services or perhaps both might make the most sense for you. Or, if you know you want to join a group then you can simply schedule the required PREGROUP APPOINTMENT with the group leader for the particular group of interest.

Are there different types of groups?

Yes. Groups can generally be divided into therapy groups, support groups, psychoeducational groups, and self help groups.

  • THERAPY GROUPS are the most intensive and usually meet weekly. In therapy groups members actively try to explore and address personal, academic and relational concerns with the feedback and support of other members and with observations and input from the group therapist.

  • SUPPORT GROUPS may meet weekly, biweekly or even triweekly and provide a forum of support and connection for students who share similar concerns such as concerns about coming out or concerns about being a new student on campus. The format is open discussion.

  • PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL GROUPS meet for a brief time (1 to 5 sessions weekly or biweekly) and are generally more focused on a particular area of concern or skill building (e.g., stress management or mindfulness skills). Psychoed groups are similar to a workshop and generally incorporate structured exercises and activities whereas therapy and support groups primarily utilize an open discussion format.

  • SELF-HELP GROUPS such as Alcoholics Anonymous, are a particular type of support group and are led by a more experienced group member or by a paraprofessional rather than by a professional staff member.  

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?

No, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for registered students. The University health fee that is part of a student's 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.