Groups: FAQ

Groups: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get information about joining a group at CAPS?

  • Option 1: Call CAPS Group Therapy Coordinator, Charisma Jackson at (973) 655-7538 or email
  • Option 2: Complete the Group Program Interest Form
  • Option 3: Email the group leaders directly(check the Group section of CAPS website) if you have a preference for a particular group or a particular therapist.

Can I be in both individual and group therapy at the same time?

Students may participate in both individual therapy and group therapy at the same time, participate in a group before  or after individual therapy, or engage in only one type of therapy (individual or group alone).  What is best for each student is discussed during an initial intake appointment.  Goals for both individual and group therapy may be similar and these experiences provide different ways of approaching concerns.

Why Join a Group Instead of Individual Therapy?

Your therapist may refer you to Group Therapy if they believe your needs would be best served in a group atmosphere. Sometimes this happens when a specific concern (e.g., stress, body image concerns, sexual assault) aligns a topic-oriented group to address that particular issue. Group Therapy may also help individuals deal with a variety of issues including relationships with family members, communicating more effectively, expressing emotion, adjusting to college life, overcoming shyness, developing assertiveness, and making friends.

What is the Difference Between a Therapy/ Support Group and a Drop-In Group?

Therapy/Support Groups:

Therapy/Support groups  are created so that individuals can meet around a shared theme. Therapy/ Support groups provide a time to gather and discuss issues of mutual concern, meet others who share similar issues, and learn about helpful resources. They provide support and connection amongst members. Therapy/Support  groups only stay open to new members until a certain time during the semester, or when the group has reached the quota for that particular group.

Drop-In Groups:

Drop-in groups are open to any enrolled Montclair State University student. No appointment is needed, and weekly attendance is recommended but not required. Drop-in groups combine support and learning about particular issues, challenges or aspects of identity. These groups may be discussion based, solution-focused, or some combination of both. Drop-In groups are usually on-going groups that allow members to join the group at any time during the semester.

What If I’m too Uncomfortable to Discuss My Problems?

When you meet people for the first time, it is hard to know what to say and how much to trust them. Trusting is a process that develops as group members take risks and increasingly share more of themselves. It helps to remember that groups are usually small and other group members are usually struggling with similar concerns. Letting the group know that you are uncomfortable can be a first step, and often promotes a useful group discussion about the issues of trust among members.  Ultimately, students decide when and how much to share at their own pace.

Is What I Say Kept Confidential?

All group members are expected to respect the confidentiality of the group. Group members are asked to make a commitment to protect each other’s confidentiality by agreeing not to divulge information that would violate the identity of others outside the group. While the group leaders cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality (since we cannot control the behavior of group members), we find that members are usually very respectful of each other’s privacy.

What is the Role of the Group Leaders?

The role of the leaders is to facilitate a productive and helpful group. To accomplish this, they will encourage group members to interact with each other. They will also assist members in sharing their thoughts and feelings and in giving and receiving feedback. Group leaders may point out common themes, comment on the dynamics of an individual or the group as a whole, or offer support or gentle confrontation as needed. They attempt to provide enough structure so the group doesn’t flounder, but enough freedom so the group accepts responsibility for its own direction. Group leaders make every effort to create and facilitate a safe and supportive group atmosphere.