Group Counseling

What do students say about CAPS groups?

In a recent survey of group counseling participants ...

  • 96% said they would recommend CAPS groups to other Cornell students.
  • 93% said that participation in their group helped them function better in daily life.
  • 91% said they gained skills related to the concerns that brought them to the group.

CAPS group counseling flyer 

Group Counseling poster

Print the CAPS Group Counseling flyer
(CU NetID required)

Group counseling is one of the most effective tools for addressing issues common among college students. For many students, group counseling can be as effective or more effective than individual counseling. Learn more about the documented benefits of group counseling.

Our support groups and group therapy offer a safe environment to discuss problems with others who are dealing with similar concerns. Most students report that they find the group experience to be helpful far beyond their expectations. 

About CAPS groups

  • Many groups are being offered by secure Zoom platform, accessed by logging in to myCornellHealth.
  • Group counseling is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in Ithaca.
  • Each group is led by one or more professional counselors.
  • Groups usually meet weekly for a 90-minute session.
  • Participation is FREE for registered Cornell students.
  • Groups are private and confidential; all members must agree that what is disclosed in sessions cannot be shared outside of the group.

See the Summer 2024 group offerings below

How to join (or learn more about) a group 

Most groups require potential members to have a brief group orientation with the group leader(s) to see if the group is the right one for you. (Group descriptions below indicate whether an orientation is required.)

Here's how to schedule a group orientation, or to learn more about a group you're interested in:

  • If you’re already seeing a counselor at Cornell Health, you may ask them about joining a group.
  • You can schedule a "group counseling orientation" directly by calling us at 607-255-5155, or by logging in to myCornellHealth and selecting Appointments > Mental Health appointment > Group counseling orientation.
  • You can schedule an "Access" appointment if you want to learn about group counseling as well as other options for mental health support at Cornell Health. 

Group Counseling Schedule (Summer 2024)

NOTE: Students must be in Ithaca (or on the Geneva campus) for the semester to participate in counseling groups.  Additional summer groups will be added soon. Check back for updates.


AOD: Discover Recovery

  • Thursdays, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, in-person at Cornell Health, June 6 through July 25 (excluding July 4 for the holiday)
  • Orientation required; open enrollment
  • Open to undergraduate and graduate / professional students
  • Facilitators: Jacob Parker Carver, LMSW and Brett Jakobson, LCSW

Recovery from Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) can mean a lot of different things. For many people it's about giving up a specific substance that has caused a lot of problems, for others it's a commitment to full sobriety. It's common to quit using for weeks or months at a time to improve physical and mental health, and some people decide that ongoing abstinence is an important part of their long-term wellness. Whether you're dropping one substance or many, planning short-term or long-term, this group is for you... because we believe you're in recovery when you say you are.

We know that AOD Recovery is about a lot more than sobriety... It's about understanding your values, enhancing motivation, and building a life you don't need to escape from. Each week we'll help identify common triggers, develop strategies for responding to cravings/urges, and explore experiences that provide genuine fulfillment - so you can lead your best life while maintaining abstinence from one or more substances. Most importantly we'll hold a safe space for each other, and work to establish a community of authentic mutual support. This is primarily a process group, with room for education and skill building as requested by participants. [How to join]

International Student Process Group

  • Thursdays, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, in-person at Cornell Health, June 20 & 27 and July 11 & 18
  • Open to undergraduate and graduate / professional students
  • Four-week group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
  • Facilitators: Shinong Ji, MHC-LP and Elizabeth Jonas, MSW

As an international student, you may encounter unique challenges such as:

– Having to quickly adapt to different classroom environments and teaching styles.
– Having difficulties communicating your thoughts and ideas exactly as intended.
– Feeling confused by social cues you get from your peers.
– Experiencing discrimination and biases, or feeling displaced, first-time experience of being seen as a foreigner.
– Feeling disconnected and isolated from home, family and culture.
– Having immigration challenges related to your student visa status.
– Dealing with financial difficulties.

These and other factors can cause increased levels of stress, feelings of anxiety, and sadness. This group will provide a safe space to explore and process your experiences. Tips and strategies will be shared to assist you in navigating the unique challenges of international students. The group therapists (former international students themselves) will provide a confidential space in Cornell Health where each participant can feel comfortable sharing and learning skills to manage their well-being, feel supported, and build connections with other international students. [How to join]


AOD: Mindfulness-Based Harm Reduction (Graduate and Undergraduate)

  • Fridays, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, in person at Cornell Health, June 21 to July 26
  • Open to undergraduate, graduate / professional students
  • Weekly semester group, orientation required, open enrollment
  • Facilitators: Hollis Helton, LMSW and David "Alec" Wierzbicki, PsyD

So you use Alcohol and/or Other Drugs (AOD), but you're noticing some drawbacks. Some people might benefit from reducing their use, some might want to stop altogether, and others might just be more intentional about how and when they use. Mindfulness helps to cultivate compassionate self-awareness, so you can reduce the harms associated with use and find what works for you.

This group will provide a safe and empowering place to talk about substance use, notice patterns, and identify individual goals. Discussion will revolve around values and motivations, exploring behaviors that support the life you want to have and the person you want to be. Most of the content will be based on ideas and questions from those in attendance, each session will include an element of mindfulness practice with space for reviewing important topics and developing practical skills. Participants are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect, encouraged to search for the wisdom in each other’s experiences. [How to join]