Group Counseling

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, it can be more effective than individual counseling.

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

  • 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

(group descriptions below)

How to join (or learn more about) a group 

Step one: If you’re already seeing a counselor at Cornell Health, ask them about joining a group. Otherwise, you can schedule a 25-minute “group orientation” to speak with a counselor about your interest. To schedule a group orientation, call 607-255-5155 during business hours (press 3 for appointments).

Step two: Most groups require potential members to have a group orientation with the group leader(s) to see if the group is the right one for you. 

Note: Some groups may be drop-in, with no registration necessary. These are indicated below. 
 

Fall 2019 groups:


*MONDAYS*

Anxiety & You 

Mondays, 5:00–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Five weekly sessions – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Katrina Blomquist, PhD & Travis Winter, LCSW-R

This group will be an educational and hands-on 5 session series designed to help students understand, manage, and treat anxiety.  

Two five-week sessions will be offered: 

  • Session 1: Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 21 (off Oct 14 for Fall Break).
  • Session 2: Oct 28, Nov 4, 11, 18, 25

Each session will have a theme:

Week #1: Understanding anxiety
Week # 2: Cognitive strategies to combat anxiety
Week #3: Gradually facing fears
Week #4: Mindfulness/Anxiety management strategies
Week #5: TBA Determined by participants

Sessions will be a mix of information and building skills, with the goal of helping each student develop an individualized treatment plan for themselves.

Students are encouraged to practice skills outside of sessions and report back so successes can be celebrated, plans can be adjusted as needed, and obstacles can be problem-solved. There will also be an opportunity for sharing around the challenges with anxiety to promote mutual support and decreased isolation.
 

*TUESDAYS*

ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) for Anxiety & Depression

Tuesdays, 3:00–4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Cory Myler, PhD

This group will focus on "getting better at feeling" rather than "feeling better," how to best have pain rather than get rid of pain, and how to accept internal experiences (e.g., thoughts and emotions) rather than control them. We will work on the identification of personal values and how to engage in action/behavior that is congruent with those values, even while uncomfortable internal experiences persist.

The format of the group is a mixture of "didactic" and "process"; the group will start out very class-like, with facilitators using slides and a book, "The Happiness Trap", to explain concepts and principles. As the group progresses, it will become more like a traditional therapy group, with more opportunity for interaction between group members and sharing personal experiences.

Making the Most of your First Year at Cornell: Skills & Support for First Year Students

Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm in October & November at the Tatkon Center, 3058 Balch Hall
7 weekly sessions, beginning October 1. No group orientation required

Counselors: Katrina Blomquist, PhD & Katie Van Tiem, MHC-LP

  • Are you a first-year student looking to make the most of your Cornell experience?
  • Has this “going away to college” thing been harder than you imagined?
  • Are you interested in learning life management and ”adulting” skills among a small group of supportive peers?

If so, this group is for you! We welcome interested first year students to this weekly support group running October through November (7 sessions). Each 90-minute session will include both psychoeducation and group discussion on a weekly theme; topics include: mastering interdependence, sexuality & dating, managing mood, values exploration, etc. 

Making the Most of Your First Year at Cornell support group flyer (CU NetID required)

Mindfulness Revolution

Tuesdays, 3:30–5:00 pm (location TBD)
Come weekly or drop in – no group orientation necessary

Counselor: Joy Mushabac, LCSW-R

This mindfulness strategies group is a four-session educational and practice group designed to help students learn mindfulness strategies to better manage stress, anxiety, and depression in order to lead healthier, happier lives. The sessions will be a fun mix of psycho-education and practice provided in a safe and supportive environment where you can try new things. Each participant will be encouraged to try all the activities to find what works best for them. In this way participants will leave with a set of individualized mindfulness skills which they can apply to their daily lives. A large body of scientific research supports the belief that a daily practice of mindfulness can: increase attention, reduce rumination, reduce stress, boost working memory, enhance creativity, improve focus, reduce test anxiety, create less emotional reactivity, enhance cognitive flexibility, and improve relationship satisfaction. Mindfulness can help you feel less stressed, more in control and move toward the life you want to have.

Overcoming Childhood Adversity

Tuesdays, 2:00–4:00 pm at Cornell Health (time may change depending on student availability)
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Karin Belser, PhD & Alesya Nazarova, PsyD

Unresolved harmful events from our past can show up later in life and affect our moods and relationships with ourselves and others in unexpected ways. This group provides students with an opportunity to make sense of their history and develop resources for healthy coping. It addresses the long-term emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and somatic effects of adverse childhood experiences in the context of a safe, growth-fostering atmosphere. Each session offers: 1. psychoeducation on topics such as complex PTSD, triggers, re-experiencing, hurtful internal dialogues, identifying, understanding, and coping with emotions; 2. discussion and an opportunity for students to connect around current challenges; 3. strategies for safety and healthy coping. The group extends over three months with participants meeting weekly for 90 minutes. If you are unsure if this group is a good fit for you, you can find more information about the effects of adverse childhood experiences here

Personal Exploration & Growth 

Tuesdays, 3:00–4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Jennie Bernstein, PhD & Eve Abrams, LCSW-R

This weekly, process-oriented group provides a safe space for undergraduate students to explore their relational concerns and personal difficulties. In process groups, the group serves as a safe space to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and support from students. Group generally includes about 8-12 students and is facilitated by two counselors. There is no set agenda each week, but commonly discussed topics include self-esteem, anxiety, stress, depression, family issues, dating, and interpersonal relationships. Students in process groups often express that they look forward to attending group each week and express appreciation for the depth of discussion and supportive environment fostered by the group. 

Relationships: An Undergraduate Therapy Group

Tuesdays, 5:00–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Jenny Chang, PhD & Joy Mushabac, LCSW-R

For undergraduate students who are struggling with dissatisfaction in their social relationships, whether they are with peers, friends, family, or partners. For example, this group is appropriate for students who feel they have been unable to establish a healthy, intimate relationship; or who feel something is getting in the way of forming close friendships; or who would like to overcome anxiety related to social situations. The goal is that, through discussion and feedback from both peers and group facilitators, students will gain insights, knowledge, and skills that will help them form more fulfilling relationships in their lives. The group is primarily process-oriented, with aspects of peer support and psycho-education as well.

Undergraduate Women of Color Support Group

Tuesdays, 4:30–6:00 pm at Cornell Health
Come weekly or drop in; no group orientation required
Counselor: Tynesha Wright-Lindo, LMSW, MDiv

This weekly group is intended to be a space for undergraduate women of color from diverse backgrounds to share, connect, and restore. Participants can discuss any topic that is relevant to their experience and that may include: academics, stress management, relationships, spirituality, cultural adjustments, body image, and being a member of the Cornell/Ithaca community overall. Some best practices for self-care and positive thinking will be provided by the facilitator each week, however the format is flexible and can change according to what the group needs most. 

Undergraduate women of color support group flyer (CU NetID required)
 

*WEDNESDAYS*

Anxiety/Depression Management Through Body Mindfulness

Wednesdays, 5:00–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Maurice Haltom, LCSW-R

This group will offer education and support regarding mind-body patterns which may arise from chronic and acute depression and anxiety. Focus will be on "listening" to body sensations (e.g., tension, hunger, sensation, discomfort and breathing) and exploring possible connections with anxiety and depression. Traditional methods like breath-work, yoga, tai chi, qigong will be explored as possible techniques for assisting in treatment oriented at gaining relief from physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and depression. Pleasant sensations associated with tension release, along with breathing, will be explored and utilized as a focus points for mindfulness practices and meditation.

“BEING:" A Processing & Motivational Group for Graduate Students of Color

Wednesdays, 4:30–6:00 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Jacque Washington, LCSW-R

“BEING” is a safe and confidential group for graduate students of Color who are looking for support and insight through connection. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • process complex thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences (personal, academic, and professional); 
  • focus on creating healthy solutions and offer motivation for effective shifts in perceptions, thinking, and behavior; 
  • discuss and process experiences as a Person of Color at Cornell; 
  • share ideas about how to be successful and most effective when dealing with microaggressions and other forms of racism and discrimination; and
  • develop camaraderie with others through discourse, understanding, and appreciation of others’ lived realities.

"BEING" group flyer (CU NetID required)

Cornell Healthy Eating Program (CHEP) Education Group

Wednesdays, 4:30–6:00 pm at Cornell Health
Counselors: Amanda Baird, PhD & April Campanelli, MSW, LSW

The CHEP Education Group is a five session psychoeducational and support group designed to get students started on changing unhealthy cognitive patterns and behaviors related to food and body image. This group is for students who struggle with all aspects of disordered eating including chronic dieting, compulsive overeating, food restriction, purging by laxatives or vomiting, excessive exercise, binge eating, and obsessive thoughts related to body image. The group will place an emphasis on providing education about eating concerns; it will also create space, though, for group members to provide support and feedback to one another. The group will explore topics such as motivation to change, identifying ways the eating problems serve a function, self-soothing and self-care, family and other relationships, etc.

Graduate Women's Process Group

Wednesdays, 5:15–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Jennie Bernstein, PhD & Eve Abrams, LCSW-R

The Graduate Women's group is a weekly process oriented group that will provide a safe space for women pursuing graduate degrees to explore their relational concerns and personal difficulties. In process groups, the group serves as a safe & confidential space to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and support from other graduate women. The group will work towards further developing clients' esteem, self-awareness, and relationship skills.

International Student Support Group

Wednesdays, 3:00–4:00 pm at Caldwell Hall (Room TBD)
Come weekly or drop in; no group orientation required

Counselors: Taliet Gerretsen, LMSW and Alesya Nazarova, PsyD 

Juggling two or more cultures is not easy! Calling international students who would like to have a safe, confidential space to discuss experiences related to living in the U.S. This group will provide information on cultural adjustment as it relates to your experiences, explore the nature of taking care of yourself with others, sharing resources, and forming your own community within this group. Part of the community is sharing desserts, which will be provided for this group! 

International Student Support Group flyer (CU NetID required)

Understanding Self & Others: An Undergraduate Process Group

Wednesdays, 3:00–4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Paul Soper, LCSW-R & Katie Van Tiem, MHC-LP

This group is an opportunity to work through a broad range of issues facing students, including (but not limited to) academics, peer or romantic relationships, family issues, the challenges of communication (including online), personal growth, self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. The group will offer honest, gentle feedback from both therapists and participants about ways that you might be behaving and thinking that may seem unhelpful to yourself or others. These interactions give members an opportunity to gain insight, knowledge, and skills, and explore new ways of thinking and interacting in a safe, confidential environment.
 

*THURSDAYS*

ASD / Neurodiversity Process / Skills Group

Thursdays, 3:00–4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Twelve weeks over the semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Travis Winter, LCSW-R & Kim VanNorman, LMSW

We invite people on the spectrum of neurodiversity (or those who identify as being “socially awkward”) to participate in this group. This group offers a safe space for students who identify with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but is not limited to this alone. Group will discuss experiences related to neurodiverse thinking and social/relationship skills. This is a time to share your experiences, difficulties, and questions related to social situations, executive functioning struggles (organizing, studying, initiating work, maintaining calendars, etc), strategies for positive social interactions, sensory integration, and other topics of interest you’d like to share with others who identify as Neurodiverse. 

Psychoeducation/skills will be interwoven as needs present themselves. We encourage students to come with questions, difficulties, concerns, and an attitude of openness, non judgement, and engagement with others. We want to create a safe space while having fun. Come invest in trying something new for yourself! Games will be available as opportunities to practice social engagement, and to promote the importance of including fun as a part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

Regular attendance is important for this group. The more you participate,the more you will grow! Limited to 12 participants. 

Bereavement Group

Thursdays, 5:00–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Ken Cohen, PhD & Katherine Goldberg, DVM, LMSW  

This is a weekly, confidential support group for enrolled Cornell undergraduate and graduate students who have suffered the death of a family member or other significant person. The group is open to those whose loss occurred some time ago as well as those for whom the loss is more recent. The focus of group will vary depending on members' needs and preferences.

Cornell Healthy Eating Program (CHEP) Recovery Group

Thursdays, 3:30–5:00 pm at Cornell Health
Counselor: Amanda Baird, PhD 

This is a support group for individuals working on having a healthier relationship with food and body image. It is for students who either currently have or have had a diagnosis of an eating disorder, who have some insight about their challenges, and who are open and motivated to working towards recovery. Our goal is to create a safe environment in which students can identify barriers to recovery and gain more insight about how to manage these barriers with healthy coping skills. Other topics will include: self-care, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation. 

Note: This group is NOT appropriate for students who are new to therapy or who have not addressed at least some aspects of their eating disorder with a therapist. Students who have or have had safety issues in the past three months may also not be appropriate for group.

Impostor Syndrome: How to Work With it & Other Graduate Student Concerns

Thursdays (starting October 3), 3:00–4:30 pm at the Big Red Barn
Come weekly or drop in; group orientation required
Counselor: Cory Myler, PhD

Support through conversation and interaction with a group of your colleagues, other current graduate and professional students, facilitated by a CAPS therapist. The goal of this experience is to foster 90-minutes of time intensive attention on the posted topic below and establish action plans so that you can make noticeable progress in both your personal and professional life.    

Week 1:  Personal and professional experiences of the imposter syndrome.
Week 2: Maintaining mindfulness in the never-ending distractions of life. 
Week 3: Understanding values and establishing boundaries. 
Week 4:  Empower yourself while advocating for what you need. 
Week 5:  Starting where you are (instead of where you’re not)
Week 6:  Commitment and doing the next step 

Let’s Talk About Sex: A Six-Week Educational & Process Group

Thursdays, 5:00–6:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required 
Facilitators: Karen Williams, PhDRachel Clark, NP

This may be the group for you if you are ...

  • Newly sexually-active or abstinent 
  • Having “meh” sex with little or no pleasure
  • Not sure how to ask for what you want
  • Questioning your sexual identity & attractions
  • Wrestling with cultural & gender norms & expectations

This group provides a safe space in which to ask questions, explore your values, learn about resources, and talk with others who are looking for a healthy and enjoyable sex life. This group is open to undergraduate students of all genders and sexual identities. To discuss joining the group and/or receive additional information, please call CAPS (607-255-5155; press #2) and schedule a group orientation with Dr. Williams.

Let's Talk About Sex support group flyer (CU NetID required)  

Positive Action Through Interaction: A Co-ed Graduate Student Group

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 pm at Cornell Health
Meets weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Sheila Singh, PhD & Jamie Sorrentino, LCSW-R

This group is appropriate for any graduate students who have life dissatisfaction or distress that is primarily linked to how they experience their relationships with important people in their lives (e.g., friends, family, advisors, partners) AND who want to work on being more effective in those relationships. The group leaders do not teach strategies or skills, per se; instead, insight is gained through discussion with and feedback from the other group members. In addition, group will also provide a safer space to practice new, healthier ways of relating to others with the idea that you can 'try it on' in group and 'wear it' in your day-to-day life if you choose.
 

*FRIDAYS*

Life-Altering Illness Support Group

Fridays, 2:00–4:00 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly for semester – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Erin Forquer, PhD & Taliet Gerretsen, LMSW

This group is for students who are dealing with medical illnesses that are ongoing/chronic and have a significant impact on their life. These illnesses do not have to be visible, and individuals can be in any stage of their illness (recently diagnosed, struggling with figuring out a diagnosis, in remission). This is an opportunity for group members to give and receive support, comfort and safety surrounding the struggles associated with living with a chronic illness, while being a student at Cornell, and share coping strategies in a friendly, welcoming environment.

Moving Forward: After Sexual Violence Support Group (for women)

Fridays, 10:00 am – 12:00 on 9/20, 10/25, & 11/22 at Cornell Health
Come to one or all meeting – group orientation required
Facilitators: Sarah Rubenstein-Gillis, LCSW & Victim Advocate Laura Weiss, LMSW

Women-identified students who have experienced unwanted and/or non-consensual sexual contact and/or other forms of sexual trauma are encouraged to consider whether this private and confidential support group may be helpful to them. The group will be a space for women who have experienced sexual assault in recent months or years to gain support from one another and explore ways to heal in the aftermath of an assault. Discussion topics to include: Myth-busting, coping, managing triggers and flashbacks, trust and safety, fear, anger and sadness, grief and shame, body image, self-esteem, intimacy, sexuality and self-care, and identifying ongoing support. This group is open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Moving Forward After Sexual Violence: Supportive Gatherings flyer (CU NetID required)