Why Join a Group?
CAPS offers a wide variety of groups that help students address a number of issues. Some are traditional therapy groups, some are support groups around a particular theme, and some are psychoeducation groups. Groups provide an opportunity for you to try out new behaviors, express feelings you have been hesitant to express, connect with others who share your concerns, assert yourself in different ways, learn new skills and experiment with novel ideas.
There are three types of groups offered by CAPS:
Therapy Groups: A therapy group at CAPS typically has 5-8 members and 2 co-leaders (group-trained CAPS clinicians). Group sessions are usually 1 ½ hours long, and are held weekly during fall and spring semesters. What group members talk about and when is up to each individual. Most find that once they feel comfortable in the group, they benefit from discussing issues that led them to counseling. All members agree to keep group content confidential. This means that as the group develops and members get to know and trust one another, members can safely discuss their important concerns and issues, making the group more meaningful for all members. Group becomes more helpful as this trust develops.
Individuals can benefit from membership in a therapy group in the following ways:
- Gain greater self- awareness
- Understand their relationships better
- Improve existing and future relationships
- Increase self-esteem
- Learn to trust others
- Foster personal growth
Support Groups: Support groups are created so that individuals can meet around a specific shared theme. Support groups provide a time to gather and discuss issues of mutual concern, to meet others who share similar issues, and to network and learn about helpful resources. They provide support and connection between members in the moment. Support groups may or may not be held at CAPS, but are led by at least one CAPS clinician.
Psychoeducational Groups: This type of group is more structured than a therapy group or support group, and each session will revolve around a particular topic related to the general theme of the group (for example: Anxiety Reduction). Psychoeducational groups are not necessarily held at CAPS and may be conducted at other campus locations. Goals usually include providing information and learning skills or new ideas. Psychoeducational groups may run for a specific number of sessions and may be 1 hour or less in format. (Provided as needed and as requested).
How Have Students Been Impacted By Group?*
“Group really has become a safe environment for me. I feel like I can trust everyone in group and that they feel that they can trust me.”
“I feel like I learned to speak up for myself better in real life. I understand the emotions of those around me better, so I respond to them better.”
“Most helpful to me was realizing that I was not the only person going through certain problems and situations.”
“It [group] made me feel less alone when dealing with my problems.”
“The connections I made in group helped me sort through the very strong feelings I was having before graduation. My anxiety decreased, and my ability to connect with people outside of group increased.”
“Having a comfortable place to share my feelings has helped tremendously. It’s helped me put myself into more social situations and feel more accepted.”
*These comments were provided anonymously by CAPS group members who gave us permission to share their reflections.
I think I’m interested in group therapy, how do I get started?
It is normal to have questions when trying something new. CAPS offers group screening appointments so that you can meet with prospective group leaders, discuss your concerns and goals, and learn about the group. You and the group leaders will decide if a group is right for you. For more information, call 973-655-5211. For counseling groups an initial intake appointment will also be needed.
CAPS Group Schedule
CAPS Therapy Groups
“Understanding Self and Others”
Mondays 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Thursdays 1:00 - 2:20 p.m.
"Grad Student Therapy Group"
This group is open to students enrolled in graduate programs at MSU who are interested in understanding themselves and their relationships, learning to communicate more honestly and effectively with others, and gaining support from peers who understand the challenges of grad school.
For more information please reply to this email or contact Dr. Susan Walker at 973-655-7538 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested students have a pre-group meeting with Dr. Walker before entering group.
Thursdays 4:00 - 5:20 p.m.
CAPS Support Groups
“Healing from Loss”
This is a support group for students who have experienced the death of a parent. Coping with loss can be devastating. This group provides a space to focus on your grief process and obtain support in coping with the particular challenges of grieving during the college years. Connecting with others who have had similar experiences can help you feel less alone in the grief process.
Pre-group meeting required. If you are interested or would like more information, please email Dr. Sudha Wadhwani at email@example.com or Dr. Deirdre Narcisse and firstname.lastname@example.org or call CAPS at 973-655-5211.
Mondays 3:00-4:15 p.m.
"Living with Chronic Illness"
This group will be open to student with a wide range of illnesses, including diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease- and others, too. The group will provide a safe, supportive place where students can give and get feedback about some of the challenges and feelings that accompany being a college student with a chronic medical illness. For more information contact Dr. Nancy Friedman at email@example.com or 973-655-5494.
Mondays 1:00-2:20 p.m.
A weekly support group for students questioning their gender and/or sexuality. Whether you’re interested in exploring your gender identity and gender expression, feelings of physical, spiritual, romantic, and sexual attraction, or how these identities intersect with other aspects of your life, this group is for you! This group provides a confidential, affirming safe space for you to explore the intersection of multiple aspects of your identity.
Questioning Group is offered in collaboration with the LGBTQ Center and CAPS, and is facilitated by professional staff. Pre-group meeting required. If you are interested or would like more information, please email Dr. Sudha Wadhwani at firstname.lastname@example.org or call CAPS at 973-655-5211.
Tuesdays 2:00-3:30 p.m.
"Recovery Room" (Drop-In Group)
Recovery Room is an informal group for students who self-identify as recovering from alcohol and other drugs. Students seek recovery resources, network and support one another in a safe environment. Students in need of professional counseling services will be referred to CAPS. This group is only open to Montclair State University students who are currently in recovery from alcohol or other drugs. People who want to observe in order to fulfill academic requirements or for any other reason will NOT be permitted.
Tuesdays 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Note: This group meets at the Drop-In Center
This group is for individuals who would like to learn and practice skills to cope with intense negative feelings, such as extreme sadness, anxiety and anger. Participants will develop an understanding of the relationship between mood, thoughts and behaviors. In this psychoeducational group, members will broaden their self-awareness and understanding of emotions, as well as be presented with coping skills to regulate difficult feelings and tolerate and manage challenging situations and emotional crises. Participants will be encouraged to apply and practice their developing coping skills throughout the week. For more information contact Dr. Jude Uy at email@example.com .
Tuesdays 4:45 – 6 p.m.
"Self-Defense Training/Group Counseling for Women" (Fall semester only)
For women with a history of sexual or physical trauma, this group combines a self-defense course and group counseling in order to empower women. Please contact CAPS psychologist Dr. Lisa Weinberg at 973-655-3121 if interested.
Tuesdays 4:00 - 8:15 p.m. (3 hours self-defense training followed by one hour of group counseling)
“Thriving After Trauma” (Spring semester only)
This group offers counseling and support for women who have experienced sexual or physical trauma in their lives. Please contact Dr. Lisa Weinberg at 973-655-3121 or Dr. Jennifer Vogel-Davis at 973-655-7539 if interested.
Tuesdays 4:00 - 5:30 pm
“Sisters: A Multiethnic Group for Women of Color”"
This is a group for women of color from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring the role race, ethnicity, and culture play in their lives, particularly in relation to their identity, family, and social relationships.
Pre-group meeting required. If you are interested or would like more information, please email Dr. Sudha Wadhwani at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Deirdre Narcisse at email@example.com or call CAPS at 973-655-5211.
Wednesdays 2:30-3:30 p.m.
For those who are socially anxious or feeling “un-connected” on campus. If interested or for more information, contact Dr. Susan Walker at 973-655-7538 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Smith at 973-655-5341 or email@example.com.
Wednesdays 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
“Connecting Across Cultures"(Drop-In Group)
Join us for conversation, tea, and an opportunity to make new connections and talk about multicultural experiences at Montclair State University and beyond. This is an informal discussion group for students who are interested in dialoguing and connecting across cultures. Students can engage with others from different cultures, while also supporting each other and sharing life experiences.
Thursdays 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., at the Drop-In Center
Stop by and check it out! Co-sponsored by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Global Education, International Services, Health Promotion, Equity & Diversity, The Women's Center, The LGBTQ Center, Multicultural Psychology Scholars, and Psychology Club.
"Mind. Body. Being."
This 7-week series encourages group members to support one another in overcoming struggles with body image and food. It combines yoga, meditation,and team building with the goal of developing a more compassionate relationship with food, body and self. Members will learn important skills for relaxation, connecting with one's body and attending to its need for nourishment.
A pre-group meeting is required. If you are interested or would like more information, please email Dr. Jude Uy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Westreich at email@example.com
Thursdays 3:00 - 5:30 p.m. (location TBA)