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. 

Spring 2020 groups:


Overcoming Childhood Adversity

Mondays, time to be determined, at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Karin Belser, PhD and Alison Bliss, LMSW

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:

  • pyschoeducation on topics such as complex PTSD, triggers, re-experiencing, hurtful internal dialogues, identifying, understanding, and coping with emotions;
  • discussion and an opportunity for students to connect around current challenges; and
  • strategies for safety and health coping.

This 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.

Overcoming OCD

Mondays beginning February 10th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm at Cornell Health in room 616
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins
Brief orientation session to be conducted with group facilitator prior to start of group 
Open to undergraduate and graduate students
Counselors: Katrina Blomquist, PhD & Jennie Bernstein, PsyD

This group is a place for students diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder to gain skills, education, and support. Exposure and response prevention, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, is the gold-standard treatment for OCD. In this group, students will have the opportunity to learn about and engage in this treatment modality. Group will be structured to allow time for in-session skills practice, as well opportunity for discussion and peer support. Students will be expected to practice skills outside of session so that successes can be celebrated and plans can be adjusted as needed.


Anxiety & You

Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5:00 pm at Cornell Health in room 621
No group orientation required; if orientation is preferred, it can be scheduled with Katrina or Travis
Not drop in, 5 weekly sessions

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.  Each session will have a theme:
Session #1: Understanding anxiety
Session # 2: Cognitive strategies to combat anxiety
Session #3: Gradually facing fears
Session #4: Mindfulness/Anxiety management strategies
Session #5: TBA Determined by participants

This group will run twice during the spring 2020 semester. 
The first cycle meets Tuesdays : 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 3/3, 3/10 (excluding 2/25 because of Feb break). 
The second cycle will run Tuesdays: 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, and 5/5.  
Students choose one cycle to attend.  

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.

Mindfulness: Cultivating Attention & Well-being

Tuesdays, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, at Cornell Health in room 501
No group orientation required; if orientation is preferred, it can be scheduled with Joy Mushabec, LCSW.

Not drop in, 4 weekly sessions.
Counselor: Joy Mushabac, LCSW-R

This Mindful Strategies Group will be an educational and hands-on 4-session series designed to help students develop meditation and mindfulness skills that support the cultivation of attention and well- being for your academic and daily life.

Week 1: Understanding Mindfulness – Mindfulness Strategies to manage anxiety.
Week 2: EmBODYing the present moment – Mindfulness Strategies for being skillful with physical sensations.
Week 3: Guided Imagery and Labeling Thoughts – Mindfulness Strategies for overcoming unhelpful self-talk.
Week 4:  Mindful Eating and Labeling Emotions – Mindfulness Strategies for increasing presence and awareness of feelings.

This group will run three times during the Spring 2020 semester and is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Interested students must attend the first session to be eligible to participate in the group going forward.

First cycle: February 11, February 18, March 3, and March 10 (excluding 2/25 for February break).
Second Cycle: March 17, March 24, April 7 and April 14 (excluding 3/31 for Spring break).
Third Cycle: April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.
Regular mindfulness practice has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression while increasing concentration, clarity, calm and creativity.  It also has the capacity to enhance our sense of acceptance, flexibility and happiness. Contemporary research supports the idea that, due to the power of brain-mind neuroplasticity, mindfulness practice can fundamentally and positively increase our capacity for joy and our ability to relate to the difficulties in our lives with greater awareness, ease and compassion.
Students are asked to commit to a practice of daily mindfulness meditation (10 minutes per day) and keep a gratitude journal (5 minutes per day). Students are encouraged, but not required, to share their experiences of meditation and mindfulness practice in group. Students are encouraged to try all the activities to find what is most helpful to them.

Senior Uncertainty

Tuesdays beginning March 24th, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Four weekly sessions: March 24, April 7, 14 and 21st – no drop ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Toby Hawkins, LCSW and Wai-Kwong Wong, PhD

Not feeling ready to graduate? Wondering how you'll make ends meet? Freaking out about not having a job when others do, or worried about not being satisified with the job you landed? Having regrets about your college experience? Concerned about what will happen to the relationships you made here or rebuilding a life somewhere new? You are not alone. This is a FOUR week support group for graduating seniors concerned about transitioning to life after Cornell.

Students With Seriously Ill Family Members

Tuesdays beginning February 18th, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Open to undergraduate and graduate students
Weekly semester group – no drop ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Katherine J. Goldberg, DVM, LMSW

This is a support group for students impacted by the serious illness of a loved with the aim of providing a safe space to explore issues associated with the impact of illness, its treatment, and resulting family dynamics. Emphasis is on mutual support, validation and normalization of the experience of balancing student life and family roles in the face of serious illness. Themes likely to be explored include accelerated transition into adulthood, anticipatory grief, caregiver burden and impact on peer and/or romantic relationships.

Undergraduate Women of Color Support Group

Tuesdays beginning February 4th, 4:30 – 6:00 pm at Cornell Health in room 616
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)


ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) for Anxiety & Depression

Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Cory Myler, PhD & Courtney Stafford, BA

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.

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
Counselor: April Campanelli, LMSW

The CHEP Education Group is a 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.

Cornell Healthy Eating Program (CHEP) Recovery Group

Wednesdays, 2:30 – 4:00 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselor: Amanda Baird, PhD 

This is a support group for students who have already sought help for an eating disorder and are in the process of ongoing treatment and recovery. The group provides a strongly recovery-focused environment of support and skills building with peers that have also done more intensive treatment.

Graduate Women's Process Group

Wednesdays, 5:15 – 6:45 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – 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.

Understanding Self & Others: An Undergraduate Process Group

Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – 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.


Autism Spectrum Process/Skills Group

Thursdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required
Counselors: Kimberly VanNorman, LMSW & Travis Winter, LCSW-R

We invite people who identify as being on the Autism spectrum to participate in this group. No formal diagnosis is required; this group offers a safe space for students who identify with having ASD. 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.

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!.

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.

Cultivating Steadiness: Responding to the waves of emotion skillfully

Thursdays beginning March 5th, 4:30 – 6:00 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required on February 27th
Counselors: Qiana Watson, LMSW and Andrew Yuen, PsyD

This group is designed to help individuals who experience waves of emotions that interfere with their daily functioning or relationships with others. Students will learn how to better manage these emotions through the use of Dialetical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills. DBT is a model based in Zen principles and Cognitive Behavior Therapy originally developed by Marsha Linehan for Behavioral Tech. The goal is to learn to effectively manage difficult emotions while pursuing a life that aligns with your values and not your feelings.

Developing Healthy Relationships

Thursdays beginning February 13th, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; no orientation required
For undergraduate students of all genders and sexual orientations
Counselors: Anna Pirog, MFT & Thaddeus (Ted) Bates, LMSW

Are you interested in improving your romantic relationship, or being in a relationship? Or is dating complete new to you? This is a skills-building group with space to talk about personal experiences with relationships. The goal of this group is to provide you with the knowledge to help you build more satisfying and fulfilling romantic connections. 

Topics include:

  • Developing communication
  • Hookup culture and dating apps
  • Navigating boundaries
  • Maintaining a sense of self while in a relationship

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

Thursdays, 3:15 – 4:45 pm at Cornell Health
Weekly semester group – 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.

Strategies for Moving Through Grad School: Dealing with Impostor Phenomenon and Other Issues

Thursdays beginning March 12th, 3:00 – 4:30 pm at the Big Red Barn
Come weekly or drop in; no 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.

March 12:  Personal and professional experiences of the imposter syndrome.
March 19: Maintaining mindfulness in the never-ending distractions of life.
March 26: Understanding values and establishing boundaries.
April 9:  Empower yourself while advocating for what you need.
April 16:  Starting where you are (instead of where you’re not)
April 23:  Commitment and doing the next step



    Life-Altering Illness Support Group

    Fridays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Cornell Health
    Weekly semester group – 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, 3:00 – 5:00 pm on 1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/13, 4/10, 4/24, and 5/8 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)