Group Counseling

Please check back for updates for upcoming groups. You also can check out our psychoeducational workshops here.

Anxiety Toolbox - Psychoeducational Group

Do you want to learn new strategies to manage stress and anxiety? Or maybe be more consistent with coping skills for difficult situations? The Anxiety Toolbox group meets for three consecutive weeks for one hour. This is a skill-based group offered this semester to help you better understand anxiety and how to change your thinking and behavior to reduce it. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions as each session builds on information from previous meetings. To accommodate students’ schedules, the groups will be offered at two different start dates in the fall 2018 semester:

Anxiety Toolbox Session (Mondays group):

Sept. 24, Oct. 1, and Oct. 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Anxiety Toolbox Session (Wednesdays group):

Oct. 31, Nov. 7, and Nov. 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This group is informational and applied skills, not a counseling group. For more information or to register, please email Dr. Jenna Silverman at jsilverman@umaryland.edu for the Mondays group or Dr. Myra Waters at myra.waters@umaryland.edu for the Wednesdays group.

 

Additional Group Information

• Cost is free
• Only current UMB students qualify
• All groups are confidential and facilitated by a Student Counseling Center clinician
• Please contact us at 410-328-8404 if you would like more information

All members sign the Group Agreement Form.

Sign and print form here

 

Group Counseling FAQs

What is group counseling?

Group counseling is one form of therapy offered by the Student Counseling Center. In group counseling, approximately eight to 10 people meet with one or two clinicians from SCC. The clinician(s) facilitate the group.

Group members are encouraged to talk with each other, share their problems, and provide feedback and support to other members. Group counseling provides a safe, confidential place in which members can honestly share their thoughts, feelings, and reactions to other people as well as try out new ways to interact with others.

Why would I want group counseling instead of individual counseling?

For many problems, group counseling can be more helpful than individual counseling. Many people struggle with feeling alone in experiencing their problems. Most people benefit from hearing other people’s experiences and are relieved to find that they are not alone.

Group counseling also provides individuals with a group of people who care about and feel connected with each other. It is a setting separate from other aspects of your life (i.e., school, work, family) where you can talk openly about your problems with other people who are also struggling with similar problems.

Group counseling allows people to give and receive honest feedback. Group members are encouraged to be genuine and candid about their feelings and appropriately share reactions they have to other group members.

What happens during a typical group session?

Before attending group, you meet with a clinician for a pre-group evaluation. Your clinician will gather information about what types of problems you are experiencing and provide you with more information about group counseling.

If you both decide that group counseling would be a good fit for you, your clinician will provide you with information about the times, dates, and location of the group counseling sessions.

Group counseling sessions vary depending on the type of group. Group members meet with the group facilitator(s) in a private group room and sit in a circle. Group facilitators make every effort to keep group membership consistent. However, occasionally a new group member may join or an old group member may leave the group.

Most groups meet for 1 1/2 hours once a week for a set number of weeks. It is important to attend group consistently and stay for the entire session to receive the maximum benefit. If you are unable to attend group regularly, please talk with the group facilitator about other options for counseling.

What do I talk about in group counseling?

Discuss whatever problems brought you to the counseling center or those that you are currently experiencing. It is important to let group members know how you are feeling and whether you want support or feedback from them or whether you  just want to share your experience.

Give support and feedback to other group members when they share their problems or concerns. Even if you have not experienced the exact same problem, you can help by giving your support and understanding.

You will get out of group counseling what you put into it. People who report having the most rewarding experiences are often those who open up, or self-disclose, in group. There is no pressure to share your feelings or talk about your problems, but often taking the risk of sharing benefits both you and other group members.

Do I have to talk about my deepest, darkest secrets in group counseling?

You will never be forced to talk about something you do not want to. Group members or the facilitator may ask you different questions, but you always have the choice not to answer.

As group members feel more comfortable, you may find that you want to share more intimate and personal information to feel more connected with other group members.

Who attends group counseling?

Group counseling is available only for actively enrolled UM students.

All kinds of people find group counseling to be helpful. Some groups are general support groups and open to people with a variety of problems. Other groups, called theme groups, are for people with specific concerns, such as social anxiety or eating disorders.

If you are not an existing client of the Student Counseling Center, you will be asked to schedule a session with a clinician for an initial evaluation. Then you will be able to speak with the group facilitator to determine if group would be a good fit for you and what type of group would be most helpful. The clinician that you initially met with may or may not be the facilitator of the group you are interested in.

If you are an existing client of the Student Counseling Center, you may be asked to speak with the group facilitator before the first session.

I'm shy and worried that I won't talk in group counseling. Would group counseling still be helpful for me?

Many people come to group counseling because they are shy and uncomfortable in group situations. Often people struggling with shyness are worried about what other people think about them, but never are able to ask. 

Group counseling can be a safe and confidential place to work on these feelings and ask other people for honest feedback. 

Even if you do not talk much in group, you can benefit from listening to others. You might find you have a lot in common with people you would have never talk with outside of group counseling.

If I am currently receiving individual or medication management services at the SCC, can I also attend group counseling?

If you are currently a Student Counseling Center client and are interested in joining a group, please discuss this option with your clinician. If your clinician recommends group, you may meet with the group facilitator to see if it is a good fit.

Do the group sessions count toward my limit of six visits per semester (12 per academic year)?

No. There is no limit to the number of times you may attend group.

Groups are available on a weekly basis, while individual counseling is not (due to the limit on the number of sessions). Students may concurrently attend one or more groups in addition to individual counseling.

What if I am interested in group counseling but not currently receiving services?

Please contact the Student Counseling Center at 410-328-8404.

You will be scheduled for an initial evaluation. The purpose of this meeting is to gather information about you and the issues your are facing. Your clinician will help you determine whether you would would benefit from group counseling. If so, you will be able to speak the group facilitator before your first group session.

If group counseling isn't the best fit for you, your clinician will discuss other treatment options with you.

Is what I say in group confidential?

Group members sign a confidentiality agreement agreeing not to share information outside of the group. Members are asked to not form relationships with each other outside of the group.

The group facilitator writes progress notes that are protected under the same rigorous 
confidentiality policy as individual counseling records. Group notes include session dates, attendance, and general group themes. Your record is kept separate from other group members’ records and cannot be accessed by them.

If I do not like group counseling, can I quit?

You are welcome to stop group counseling at any time.

We ask that you agree to attend at least three consecutive group sessions to give group counseling a chance. Often, people are nervous in the first few group sessions. They may not experience the benefits of group until they have become more comfortable with the setting and other group members.

However, we understand that group counseling may not be for everybody. Please notify the group facilitator at least 24 hours before the next group session if you will no longer be attending. Space in group is limited, and other people may be on a waiting list to start.