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.

Spring 2022 Groups and Workshops

Sign-Up Groups

RIO-Recognition, Insight, and Openness 3-Week Workshop

A workshop designed to help you better manage stress, anxiety, and other emotions productively, learn mindfulness skills, and identify what’s most important to you and prioritize accordingly. This combines evidence-based practices with both conceptual and experiential tools. No screening or prior meeting with Counseling Services necessary. Space is limited so secure your spot by singing up by the date/time that works best for you.

More information coming for Fall 2022 offerings.

Understanding Self and Others

Relationships play an important role in mental health. This process group is open to students who are interested in gaining greater self-awareness, understanding their relationships with others, and practicing healthier ways of relating to others. To foster connection and growth within the group, membership is limited, and participants are expected to commit to regular attendance throughout the semester. Group sessions are typically 1 ½ hours and held weekly throughout the semester.

Pre-screenings will be available early Fall. Date/Time/Location of group will be posted closer to Fall 2022 semester. Talk to your individual clinician or reach out to the group facilitator to schedule a pre-group screening appointment if you are interested in participating.

For more information, please contact group facilitator, Tal Fish at tfish@elon.edu

Why Worry? Addressing Anxiety

Do you feel stress often in your life?  Does anxiety stop you from doing the things that you’d like to do with your time?  Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do about a problem until you understand how it works. This 5-week group is focused on understanding how specific stress/stressors can impact your life and then learning methods to address it.

Updated information will be posted closer to Fall 2022.

For more information or to sign up, talk to your individual counselor or email group facilitator, Crystal Scarborough at cscarborough2@elon.edu

Eat, Pray, Love-Women's Empowerment Group

Eat, Pray, Love is a five-week workshop designed to empower fem of core identified students at Elon University. The workshop is designed for people who are seeking self-awareness, self-love, and self-discovery. It’s designed to be interactive and fun, but you aren’t required to participate verbally if you’re not comfortable. Because of the nature of the work we will cover, the workshop will remain small (5-6 students total). Each week will have a different theme based on our relationships with food (eat), spirituality or values (pray), and love (loving yourself and others).

This group will be offered in Spring 2023.

For questions or scheduling a pre-group screening, talk with your individual counselor or reach out to group facilitator, Cara Plasencia at cplasencia@elon.edu

Show-Up Groups

Graduate Student Support Group

This support group is for graduate students who wish to come together to share the unique experiences and challenges of being a graduate student. Topics discussed in the group may include (but are not limited to) personal and professional relationships, academic concerns, adjusting to graduate school, coping with stress, self-esteem/confidence, identity development (personal and professional), career issues, and intersections of cultural identity.

This support group meets virtually and will resume in Fall 2022. Check back for more information about start date and time.

For more information, please email Christine Borzumato-Gainey at cgainey@elon.edu

Loss Support Group

The loss of a close friend or family member is a powerful and emotional experience. This support group is designed for students to share their experiences of loss in a supportive space.

This support group meets monthly and will resume in Fall 2022.

For more information, contact co-facilitators, Rev. Kirstin Boswell at kboswell4@elon.edu or Anita Hodnett at ahodnett2@elon.edu.

inT/Hersections

A community space for ALANAM women and nonbinary folx who identify as feminine of center to gather to connect authentically, build community, and dialogue openly in a supportive environment that supports holistic well-being.

This group will resume in Fall 2022.

For more information, please email Tumi Shadreck at ishadreck@elon.edu

Lavender Circle

Whether you are out, questioning, or exploring, this weekly peer support group is for LGBTQIA+ students of all backgrounds to discuss and explore aspects of gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or romantic orientation in a safe space.  The group is support-based and is designed to encourage open discussion about topics that might include intersecting identities, coming out, relationships, family, spirituality, and other areas of your life that may be difficult to discuss elsewhere.

Tal Fish & Luis Garay

This support space will resume in Fall 2022.

HealthEU Workshop Series

Often it can be difficult navigating our world while creating and maintaining overall well-being. This workshop series is designed for students to drop in and learn psychoeducation and skills to help with common challenges impacting emotional, social, physical, financial, purpose, and community wellness. Come to one or all!

More information will be available for Fall 2022.

Survivor Circle

In partnership with the Coordinator for Violence Response, we are offering a weekly peer survivor support space for survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence.  This is a space for survivors to connect and address topics such as boundaries, safety, coping skills, navigating relationships and structural systems, etc. This is not a trauma processing group.  This group is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all genders and students are welcome to join anytime during the semester. Students are welcome to come to as many or few meetings as they’d like.

Facilitators: Melissa Yarborough & AK Krauss

This support group will resume in Fall 2022. Check back for more information about start date, location, and time.

Please contact AK Krauss with any questions/concerns (336) 278-5009 or akrauss3@elon.edu.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
WHAT KINDS OF GROUPS DOES ELON OFFER?

We offer 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.