three silhouettes and a sunrise

Group Therapy

Why Join a Group?

We offer 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 psycho-education 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.

Types of Groups

Therapy Groups

A therapy group at CAPS typically has five to eight members and two co-leaders (group-trained CAPS clinicians). Group sessions are usually 1½ 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.

Drop-In Groups

Drop-in groups are open to any MSU 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.

Group Impact & Testimonials

  • “The group experience was helpful because it showed I’m not alone. I am not struggling alone and that adds a sense of comfort.”
  • “This group was amazingly helpful for me. Although I still have intense emotions my overall well-being is happier and peaceful and I feel equipped to get through rough patches in my life.”
  • “The support from everyone at weekly meetings…I really valued the consistency of that when so many things weren’t consistent in my life.”
  • “I was really able to draw on the experiences of another member to make worthwhile and positive changes with how I interact with others.”
  • “Switching roles was definitely helpful. I saw back and listened instead of speaking and advising. It helped me be more open to other perspectives and really actively listen.”
  • “When we talked about family-that was important. I felt we all could relate even if we came from different backgrounds.”
  • *These comments were provided anonymously by CAPS group members who gave us permission to share their reflections.

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 Dr. Susan Walker, Group Therapy Coordinator, at 973-655-7538. For therapy groups, an initial intake appointment will also be needed

Current Group Therapy Offerings: