Why Join a Group?
When issues involve relationships (family, romantic, peer), group therapy can be very effective. Members can try out new ways of relating to others that can be applied to relationships outside of the group.
Here are some of the possible benefits of participating in group therapy:
- Discovering ways to improve unsatisfying, frustrating, or disappointing relationships
- Feeling supported by peers
- Gaining increased self-awareness
- Increasing self-esteem
- Enhancing social and intimacy skills
- Decreasing loneliness and isolation
- Learning how to deal with losses effectively
- Feeling more hopeful and less hopeless
- A chance to experiment with ways of relating to others and to talk about the results
- An opportunity to help others who, in turn, help you
- To discover you aren’t the only one who….(fill in your issue here)
The more you are willing to participate and commit to the group, the more you will benefit from it.
What Types of Groups Does CAPS Offer?
Interpersonal Process Groups: A counseling group at CAPS typically has 5-8 members and 2 co-leaders (group-trained CAPS professionals). 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 work and 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 an interpersonal 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
Psychoeducational Groups: This type of group is more structured than a counseling 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.
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. Support groups may or may not be held at CAPS.
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.