Group therapy is an effective therapeutic intervention for many mental health concerns and is often times the preferred method of treatment. Clients experiencing social anxiety, depression, general anxiety, relationship distress, questions about identity, and a host of other concerns find group therapy to be very beneficial. Below is a list of current groups and workshops being offered, a list of frequently asked questions, common misconceptions about group therapy, and information about how to enroll in a group or workshop.
Understanding Self and Others
Many problems that arise in a person’s life are the result of interpersonal relationships. Relationships with parents, professors, peers, and yourself can have lasting negative effects on a person’s well being. This group will encourage it’s members to authentically engage with one another around how they perceive the other group members and will listen to how the other members perceive them. Group leaders direct the discussion in such a way that group members can expect to leave the group having a richer understanding of how their actions are understood by others in their lives.
Students will meet in counseling services from 2:30-4:00 each Friday during the Spring 2020 semester starting in late February. This is a closed group, meaning that once the maximum number of group members is reached, no more students will be able to join until next semester.
For more information about this group and information about how to join, please email Dr. Mark Eades at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 336-278-7280.
Knowledge to Thrive
Intense, life-altering events have the ability to cause individuals to become stuck rethinking or reliving the event weeks or years after the event has occurred. The narrative around these events can sometimes be distorted or half-formed, leading to a person feeling confused or “stuck” on how to move past what happened and begin living life in a more holistic and fulfilling way. Ryan Graumann, LCMHC, CCTP will lead a 7-session group that can help participants to examine their story and gain clarity around events that happened in their past in order to live more fully in the present.
This group will meet Thursday afternoons in Spring 2020 starting in March. Participants are expected to commit to attending all 7 meetings, which includes 5 group meetings and 2 one on one meetings with the group leader. This is a closed group, meaning that once the maximum number of group members is reached, no more students will be able to join until next semester.
If you are interested in joining the group, please call the Elon Counseling Center (336-278-7280) to schedule a group screening with Ryan. Or, if you are already seeing a therapist at the Elon Counseling Center, ask your therapist about the group to learn more.
How we take care of our bodies is directly connected to the quality of our lives. All too often, cultural messaging, pressure from others, and our own harsh self-talk tell us that certain bodies are “good” and others are “bad.” This distorted view of bodies pushes people to engage in behaviors that throw them off balance mentally, physically, and emotionally. The BodyTrust group aims to create a space where members can create a new relationship with the food they eat, the body they have, and the lives they live. Members will engage in a number of activities and self-reflection exercises that will challenge group members to create a more rewarding relationship with food and body.
Allison Agresti, LCMHC, LCAS, RYT-200 will facilitate this group on Wednesday afternoons starting in late February 2020. Participants are expected to attend every group and commit to meeting every Wednesday throughout the semester. This is a closed group, meaning that once the maximum number of group members is reached, no more students will be able to join until next semester.
If you are interested in joining the group, please call counseling services (336-278-7280) to schedule a group screening with Allison. Or, if you are already seeing a therapist at Elon Counseling Services, ask your therapist about the group and they can help you schedule a screening as well.
Why Worry? An Anxiety Group
Anxiety is a natural emotion to experience, but when worrying starts to stop you from doing the things you want or the things you love, it’s time to do something different. This group is an intensive anxiety management overhaul based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Participants will learn the basics of how anxiety functions, how to be present in anxious situations, mental strategies to calm anxious thoughts, methods to become physically calm when worry spikes, and will develop a comprehensive anxiety management plan to use in the future. For individuals who want to learn numerous strategies to cope with anxiety from every angle, this group is ideal.
Dr. Carnice Covert, Psy.D., will lead this group on Friday afternoons during Spring 2020. Participants are expected to commit to attending all 7 group meetings as each group meeting builds on the information and experiences from the previous one. If you are interested in joining the group, please call the Elon Counseling Center (336-278-7280) to schedule a group screening or to speak with a counselor. If you are already seeing a therapist at the Elon Counseling Center, ask your therapist about the group to learn more.
KORU: Mindful Meditation
What, exactly, is mindfulness? Basically, it is a state of intentional awareness in which the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing and thinking, and to the space around you. Seems simple, yet we so often mentally veer from the matter at hand. Our mind gets distracted, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious or depressed and often overwhelmed. KORU is a structured meditation workshop that helps students to connect with their thoughts, emotions, and actions in order to help restructure your life in an intentional and meaningful way.
This workshop consists of four sessions that will be held twice during the Spring 2020 Semester. Both sections of KORU will be held in the Oasis room in Numen Lumen Pavilion:
KORU #1: 2/18, 2/25, 3/3, and 3/10 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM.
KORU #2: 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, and 4/15 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM.
You MUST register for one of the sessions above in order to participate!
Students must commit to attending all four sessions and to practicing Mindfulness 10-20 minutes each day. All Elon students are welcome to signup. The Workshops are based on the Koru Mindfulness program developed at Duke University. This is an evidenced-based program proven to help students better manage stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase compassion for self and others. Students will learn different mindfulness skills within a small group format so students can encourage and learn from one another.
To register for this workshop, please click here.
Expressive Arts Workshop
Talking is often what people think of when they imagine engaging in counseling, but creative expression can open up a whole new level of understanding that words aren’t able to capture. This workshop isn’t about creating a masterpiece, it’s about using a variety of self expression mediums to gain insight into who we are and what we really want through the power of creativity.
A maximum of 8 students will be permitted to attend this workshop, if you are interested, please sign up below.
This workshop will be held on Friday, April 24th from 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM for Spring Semester 2020. You MUST sign up in order to participate.
If you are interested in participating please click this link to sign up.
In a typical yoga class, one would use their body to create poses in order to build strength, improve stamina, and practice balance. Mindful Yoga incorporates these practices into each class, but puts a heavier focus on linking body and mind. Classes use centering exercises, mindful focusing, and meditative calming to help participants to feel still, quiet, and at peace within oneself. Poses will be less strenuous than a typical yoga class, but will require some effort and consistent self-reflection will be used throughout each course.
Allison Agresti, LCMHC, LCAS, RYT-200, one of the mental health counselors in the Elon counseling center, will be the instructor for Mindful Yoga.
The Mindful Yoga Workshop will be offered on Monday evenings during Spring 2020 starting on February 10th from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM in Numen Lumen Pavilion (February 10th Until Spring Break will be in the upstairs Prayer Room #210, After Spring break will be in the McBride Gathering Space).
If you are interested in this workshop and would like to sign up to get updates about when and where Mindful Yoga will take place, click the registration link below.
Everyone’s been in a situation where they needed to tell someone some tough news that was going to be hard to take. Having a conversation like this can be nerve wracking and confusing…What is the right thing to say? When should I tell them? What happens if they get angry at me?
This workshop, conducted by Ryan Graumann, LCMHC and Dr. Mark Eades, LCMHC, will give participants concrete guidelines for how to structure and engage in difficult conversations with peers, parents, professors, and others. It is our hope that students will walk away from this presentation prepared to engage in a productive dialogue with others no matter the topic.
This workshop is conducted by request only for Spring 2020. If you would like to request this workshop, please click the “outreach and interview requests” tab on the left hand side of the Counseling Services homepage.
Sleep: Applying Science to Snoozing
Too much or too little, sleep issues are a common stressor we will struggle with at some point in our life. This workshop is dedicated to finding out the areas that are making sleep difficult for students and methods to improve the overall quality and quantity of sleep.
Jeremy Bryant, LCMHC will walk students through a series of interactive and informative tasks to help them better understand their own sleeping patterns and areas for improvement.
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 24th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in Moseley 105A (The Ward Octagon Room)
Experiencing stress and anxiety is a natural process, but too much stress can lead to problems. Extreme stress can cause students to lose sleep, feel unmotivated for class, forget important events, or even not want to be around friends and family.
Jeremy Bryant, LCMHC in this workshop will help participants to understand how stress and anxiety are created, how they impact a student’s life, and what can be done to decrease stress in your own life. Students will leave this workshop with many tangible skills to combat stress.
This workshop will be held on Thursday, March 5th from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM in Moseley 105A (The Ward Octagon Room).
Building Resiliency: Coping Through Chaos
Dealing with distress is difficult and it can be hard to know how to cope. Many times we either get overwhelmed by powerful emotions or find harmful ways to cope.
Dr. Carnice Covert, Psy.D., will lead this workshop where students will practice a variety of mindfulness techniques and coping strategies in order to find which skills best fit for them. At the end of the workshop, students will walk away with a variety of coping skills that they can implement as they move forward in the semester and beyond.
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 7th from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM in Koenigsburger room 125.
Quieting the Inner Critic
As the saying goes, sometimes we can be our own worst critic. Often times we can get caught up in the negative self-talk that often leaves us discouraged. In this workshop, students practice how to turn their attention away from distracting thoughts and towards more positive and empowering thoughts.
Dr. Carnice Covert, Psy.D. will be conducting this workshop as she helps students to identify troublesome thoughts and replace them with more helpful strategies.
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 11th from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM in Koenigsburger room 125.
Life After Loss: Supporting Self and Others
Loss can be a painful and sometimes unexpected experience; and when loss happens, understanding how to cope with it can be stressful, confusing, draining, and often times painful.
Dr. Mark Eades, LCHMC and Rev. Dr. Janet Fuller will show participants in this workshop some typical ways that individuals experience loss emotionally, physically, and mentally, ways in which loss can affect a person’s life, and what can be done to help someone accept loss and re-engage in their life. Whether you are someone experiencing loss yourself or know someone who has experienced a loss and would like to learn how to support them, this workshop is for you.
This workshop will be held Wednesday, March 4th and Thursday, April 16th from 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM in Numen Lumen Pavilion room 201
Use or Abuse?
Have you ever wondered if your substance use is normal? Unsure if your roommate needs help for their drinking? This workshop provides overall education around the effects and risk factors of substance use, practical insight on reducing harm if you choose to use, how to talk to a friend about substance use concerns, and how to link yourself or a friend to appropriate assistance and services.
Allison Agresti, M.S., LCMHC will present this workshop on Tuesday, March 31st from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM in Numen Lumen Pavilion room 201.
Sisterhood Circle is a safe space for discussion among women of color across Elon’s campus. With input from faculty and staff, students meet bi-weekly to discuss topics relevant to their experiences at a predominantly white institution. Come meet and talk with your fellow students, faculty, and staff as we take time to discuss things that relate to ALANAM women (African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native and Multiracial) at Elon University. We all come from various backgrounds and ethnicities, and we should be proud to recognize that. If you identify as an individual from an ALANAM group, please consider joining us for Sisterhood Circle!
Men of Distinction
Men of Distinction is a space for ALANAM (African American – Latino – Alaskan Native – Asian / Pacific Islander – Multiracial) Men at to gather for fellowship, mentorship, and support. It is the goal of this group to enhance the experience of being a minoritized man at Elon University.
C.H.A.T (Creating Healthy Actions Together)
Transitioning to a university is a stressful event, and sometimes learning how to be successful in a college environment can be difficult to fully understand. Creating Healthy Actions Together (C.H.A.T) is a casual gathering put on by Counseling Services and Global Education for international students to discuss topics about how to be successful in an American university. Topics include: maintaining wellness, understanding and navigating academics, improving relationships with professors, peers, and parents, and many others.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
WHAT KINDS OF GROUPS DOES ELON OFFER?
Counseling Services at Elon University offers a variety of groups and workshops that fall into two general categories: events you can “show up” for and those that you need to “sign up” for. for “Show Up” groups and workshops, there’s no need to do anything other than to drop in when the workshop is taking place. Feel free to bring a friend! These events are about giving information about topics that students might find interesting or helpful to them. “Sign Up” groups and workshops require a student to either speak with a counselor before entering a group or to sign up for a workshop due to limited space. Instructions for how to sign up are listed under each group and workshop, or, you can always call counseling services for instructions on how to sign up for a group. Both “Sign Up” and “Show Up” groups are completely free for Elon students.
WHAT IS GROUP THERAPY?
In group therapy, six to ten people meet face-to-face with one or more trained group therapists and talk about what is troubling them. Members also give feedback to each other by expressing their own feelings about what someone says or does. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving and to learn more about the way they interact with others in a safe environment. The content of the group sessions is confidential; what members talk about or disclose is not discussed outside the group.
WHY DOES GROUP THERAPY WORK?
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the first place. Under the skilled direction of a group therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the person. In this way the difficulty becomes resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the person develops new social techniques or ways of relating to people. During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone. Many people feel they are unique because of their problems, and it is encouraging to hear that other people have similar difficulties. In the climate of trust provided by the group, people feel free to care about and help each other.
WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT WHEN I’M IN GROUP THERAPY?
Talk about what brought you to the counseling center in the first place. Tell the group members what is bothering you. If you need support, let the group know. If you think you need confrontation, let them know this also. It is important to tell people what you expect of them.
Unexpressed feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties. Revealing your feelings is an important part of group and affects how much you will be helped. The appropriate disclosures will be those that relate directly to your present difficulty. How much you talk about yourself depends upon what you are comfortable with. If you have any questions about what might or might not be helpful, you can always ask the group.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GROUP THERAPY:
“I will be forced to tell all of my deepest thoughts, feelings and secrets to the group.”
You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. Most people find that when they feel safe enough to share what is troubling them, a group can be very helpful and affirming. We encourage you not to share what you are not ready to disclose. However, you can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how what they are saying might apply to you.
“Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy because I will have to share the time with others.”
Actually, group therapy is often more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons. First, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others. You will find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself. Secondly, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but that you might not have been aware of or brought up yourself.
“I will be verbally attacked by the leaders and by other group members.”
It is very important that group members feel safe. Group leaders are there to help develop a safe environment. Feedback is often difficult to hear. As group members come to trust and accept one another, they generally experience feedback and even confrontation as positive, as if it were coming from their best friend. One of the benefits of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from others in a supportive environment. It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others, but this is precisely what group can offer. This will be done in a respectful, gentle way, so that you can hear it and make use of it.
“Group therapy is second-best to individual therapy.”
Group therapy is being recommended to you because your intake counselor believes that it is the best way to address your concerns. We do not put people into group therapy because we don’t have space in individual therapy, or because we want to save time. We recommend group when it is the most effective method to help you. Your intake counselor can discuss with you why group is what we recommend for you.
“I have so much trouble talking to people; I’ll never be able to share in a group.”
Most people are anxious about being able to talk in group. Almost without exception, within a few sessions people find that they do begin to talk in the group. Group members remember what it is like to be new to the group, so you will most likely get a lot of support for beginning to talk in the group.
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A GROUP OR WORKSHOP?
Some groups require potential group members to come to the counseling center for an in-person screening interview. This screening is meant to see if the client is a good fit for the group and if the group will likely meet the goals a student has for their therapy experience. If there is a particular group you are interested in, please click on the group or workshop above and email the group leader. If you would like more information about the groups and workshops offered at Elon Counseling Services, please call our main number at (336) 278 -7280.