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.

  • Currently, groups are being offered by secure Zoom platform, accessed by logging in to myCornellHealth
  • Group counseling is open to those currently residing in the United States; we regret that licensing restrictions prohibit us from providing clinical services to students outside of the U.S. 
  • 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.

*Summer 2020 counseling groups*

Body Positive

Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5:00 pm via Zoom
Beginning June 23rd – no drop-ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Jennie Bernstein, PsyD and April Campanelli, MSW, LSW

Body Positive Cornell groups are a place for students to learn, connect with others, and reconnect with their own innate body wisdom. Group meetings consist of discussions and activities that focus on a range of topics, including: intuitive eating and movement, thinking more expansively and holistically about health and beauty, increasing self-compassion, examining factors that have impacted our self-image, pursuing joy, and more. Cornell's program uses a curriculum designed by The Body Positive, which is a national organization dedicated to ending the harmful consequences of negative body image ( Their website stated the following: "Health, as defined in our model, recognizes the interconnectedness of physical, psychological, and emotional needs in human beings. We honor the experience and authority of the individual as the primary path to positive change. Rather than dictating a prescriptive set of rules to follow, we empower people with practical tools, inspiration, and support to find their own way to lasting good health and greater happiness."

During the academic year, BPC groups are led by trained peer facilitators. This summer, the BPC group will be conducted virtually and will be led by two CAPS therapists (Jennie Bernstein, PsyD, and April Campanelli, MSW, LSW). Students interested in joining will be asked to schedule a brief orientation with April or Jennie prior to beginning group. We aim to begin in early June.

Graduate Women's Support Group

Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom
Weekly group beginning June 10th, ending July 29th – no drop-ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Jennie Bernstein, PhD and Eve Abrams, LCSW-R

The Graduate Women's group is a weekly support group that will provide a safe space for women pursuing graduate degrees to share and explore challenges, stressors, and successes in managing life as it is. In support groups, the group serves as a safe and confidential space to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and support from other graduate women.

Managing Your Life in a Time of Uncertainty: Grad Support Group for All Genders

Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom
Weekly group beginning June 16th, ending July 14th – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Andrew Yuen, PsyD and Travis Winter, LCSW-R

Being a graduate student is stressful. Add in the challenges of an unprecedented pandemic and the challenges become exponential. Join a group of other graduate students to discuss your struggles and gain support. Find new ways to manage situations, think about things, balance multiple (and often competing) demands, or just not be alone in the hardships we face. Social distancing does not mean we have to isolate. Here is an opportunity to embrace connection in a caring and confidential space.

This is a graduate support group for all genders addressing uncertainty in the time of COVID-19.

This group offers support to graduate students managing challenging situations related to family, academics, romance, jobs, etc. Share your struggles with your peers, give and receive support. This group is not appropriate for addressing specific trauma.

Moving Forward Support Group for Women Survivors of Sexual Violence

Every other Friday, 3:30 – 5:00 pm via Zoom
Beginning June 5th, ending August 7th – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Sarah Rubenstein Gillis, LCSW and Laura Weiss, LMSW

This will be a confidential and supportive space in which to connect and heal with other women students at Cornell who have experienced sexual violence in any form.

Our goals:

  • Help bring women students together who have a desire for connection with others who get what they've been through.
  • Assist participants in gaining support and coping strategies from one another and explore ways to heal.

We'd like this warm and cozy time together to be guided by the topics and concerns that are most important to participants. Possible 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.

Working Through Anxiety with Body Mindfulness

Wednesdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm via Zoom
Open to undergraduate and graduate students
Weekly group beginning July 1st, ending July 29th – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Maurice Haltom, LCSW-R

This group will explore mind-body patterns (eg., tensions, worry, negative thought patterns, etc.) which may arise from acute stress. Focus will be on "listening" to body sensations and to cultivate self-soothing strategies that offer support during times of uncertainty. Simple body/mind practices (eg., breathing techniques, movement, postures) from a variety of traditions will be explored together to enhance the relaxation response to manage the stress response. The group will be comprised of educations, discussion and practice.

*Community support groups*

COVID-related Death and Grief: A Support Group for the Cornell Community

Tuesdays, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (June 9 – July 28) via Zoom
Open to all members of the Cornell community; new members welcome at any time
Facilitators: Katherine Goldbeg, CAPS, and Shura Gat, Women’s Resource Center

Register for the June 9 group
 (after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)

The COVID pandemic is bringing with it unprecedented losses for our Cornell community. It is also disproportionately affecting communities of color, and those already underserved within health care systems. Particularly as we are physically distanced and away from campus, connection to supportive others is paramount. This Zoom-based support group aims to provide a safe and supportive space for those who have been affected by COVID-related death(s). The group will be primarily supportive in nature, with some psychoeducational components related to grief, coping strategies amidst uncertainty, and mindfulness practices for stress relief, depending on themes that may arise. Group members will determine the focus and direction of this space, as they individualize it for themselves. 

Co-facilitated by Women’s Resource Center Assistant Director, Shura Gat and CAPS Community Consultation & Intervention Specialist, Katherine Goldberg, the group will run weekly between June 9 and July 28 and remain open to new participants for the entire time. Group facilitators aim to cultivate a familiar and comforting community and recognize that this happens over time. For this reason, regular attendance is recommended; however, a commitment to all sessions is not required for this group. If you, or someone you know has been affected by a COVID-related death, and would like to share space with others who are also grieving this unique loss, please join us. Any and all members of the Cornell community are welcome!

If you would like to discuss the group ahead of time, or have individual questions or concerns, please contact Katherine at 607-255-5155 and press 2 for CAPS.