Group therapy

What different group programs are offered at CCPH?

Therapy Groups:

  • Group therapy is a form of therapy where people meet regularly in small groups to discuss and explore their problems with each other and the group leader(s). Groups offer students a safe and confidential place to work on problems and hear different perspectives. Group members can deepen self-awareness, enhance relationship skills and experiment with new ideas and ways of being.
  • Therapy groups tend to be “closed” meaning that once a group of participants have been identified, no new members can join until the group re-opens the following semester. Once therapy groups are full and have started, they often run through the end of the semester.
  • Therapy groups involve a commitment of regular attendance on the part of the participant.
  • Therapy groups involve a commitment to engaged participation on the part of each group member.

Workshops:

  • Workshops involve participants meeting to discuss a particular theme or topic. Workshop facilitators will come to each session with a specific plan for the group.
  • Workshops involve a moderate level of sharing. Typically in workshop set ups, you will be presented with psychoeducation information or activities. Workshop facilitators may ask you to answer specific questions or to participate by sharing your perspective. Sharing openly in these groups is not an expectation, and students can choose how actively they wish to share with other members.
  • Workshops run on a specific schedule, and dates of meeting times are indicated on group’s fliers or by clicking here.

Community Conversations:

  • Community Conversations at CCPH are one-off, drop in support spaces. In these group spaces you can register to participate once, or as many times as you wish. Commitment to returning in the future is not necessary. These spaces are intended to be open to anyone, and also open to a wide variety of conversation topics.
  • Your level of participation in a community conversation is entirely up to you and you comfort in the moment.
  • Conversation facilitators are present to provide general support, but not specific clinical interventions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the goals of group therapy?  
What kinds of groups are offered?
How do I get into a group?   
How do I make the most of group therapy?
Common misconceptions about group therapy   
What about confidentiality?
What do group participants say about their experiences?

What are the goals of group therapy?

  • Gain an understanding of personal problems and explore possible solutions
  • Give and receive feedback and support
  • Feel more connected to other students who are struggling with similar issues
  • Learn more about how you come across to others
  • Improve your ability to identify your feelings and express them
  • Reduce social isolation

What kinds of groups are offered?

To see this semester’s group offerings, please click here.
We are always interested in meeting the needs of students, so please contact the group coordinators with ideas of groups you would like to see offered.
Group coordinators:
Jenifer Cannella, MSW, LICSW
Beth Prullage, MSW, LICSW

How do I get into a group?

Click here to see how to register for the specific group you are interested in.
To register for our workshops you may be directed to our secure Provider Portal. Some groups require a pre-screening, while others do not.
If you already have a therapist you are working with at CCPH, they can also assist you in connecting with a group facilitator. If you have any questions, please contact us at (413) 545-2337.

How do I make the most of group therapy?

  • Attend the group regularly
  • Share your hopes and fears for participating in group
  • Share with the group what you’re struggling with
  • Take some emotional risks in group
  • Be direct and honest with your feelings in group
  • Be willing to give and receive feedback
  • Share your own experiences and ask others about theirs
  • Let the group know both positive and negative feelings that come up in group

Common misconceptions about group therapy

"I'll be forced to tell my deepest thoughts, feelings and secrets."
You control what, how much and when you share. Most people find that when they feel safe enough to share what's troubling them, a group can be helpful and affirming. Even if you're not ready to talk about something, listening to others can help. What they're saying may apply to you.

"Group therapy will take longer because I'll be sharing the time."
Group therapy is often more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons: First, you can benefit from the group, even when you're quiet and listening carefully. Second, group members may bring up issues that strike a chord with you - things you may not have been aware of or brought up yourself.

"Others in the group will verbally attack me."
It's important for members to feel safe and leaders will help develop that environment within the group. While feedback is often hard to hear, groups can point out damaging behaviors in a respectful, gentle way, so you can hear and use the insights. As trust grows, group members generally experience feedback (and even confrontation) as a sign of caring.

"I have trouble talking to people. I'll never be able to share in a group."
Most people are anxious about talking in a group, but this almost always fades quickly. You are likely to get a lot of support when you do begin talking.

"Group therapy is second-best... isn't individual therapy better?"
Group therapy is the most effective treatment approach for many issues college students face. When a group is recommended, it's because your therapist believes it's the best way for you to be helped. They can discuss the reasons for the recommendation with you.

Common concerns adapted from Counseling Services, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

What about confidentiality?

All therapy groups and workshops are confidential, meaning that what members disclose in sessions is not shared outside of the group. The importance of confidentiality and concerns about are reviewed with group members at the first meeting.

Adapted from Counseling Services at, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Cornell University, CAPS

What do group participants say about their experiences?

We asked our clients who were in group therapy at CCPH about their experience, and these are some of their comments.

What did you like about this group?

"Being able to talk about anything and feel supported."

"I learned that it’s okay to be different and to accept who I am."

"Hearing about how other participants are going through similar things."

"As someone with a small support system (or non-existent one) on campus, group helped me feel connected to other students."

"Having people relate to my experience, helping me identify my emotions, and having the leaders facilitate our conversations."
 

What did you learn about yourself during the group experience?

"I learned that I am doing a lot better than I give myself credit for."

"I learned not to be ashamed when relaying my personal experience; on the contrary, my group experience helped me connect with others and gave me a sense of pride and belonging."

"Group has helped me see that my problems don’t define who I am, because everyone has insecurities and we all have so much more to us than our problems."

"I learned that I’m not the only one struggling with difficult issues. A lot of people I know on campus pretend/seem to be fine and it was great to know that I’m not abnormal in my struggles."

"I can get through this. I am not alone, other people have done this, others care about me, so I will be ok."

"Before coming to group, I felt alone, now I feel better about talking to people and connecting with them."

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