Group counseling is a therapy format that addresses personal issues through interpersonal interaction, psycho-education, and skills training. Group counseling can be a powerful tool for growth and change, through which students deepen their level of self-awareness, enhance their use of coping skills, increase their sense of self-acceptance, and reduce their feelings of isolation or anxiety. Students who join a therapy group have a unique opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement and feedback from other individuals in safe and confidential environment.
Therapy groups at WSU Counseling and Psychological Services are typically comprised of 6-10 members and 1-2 professional group leaders. They typically meet once a week for either 60 or 90 minutes. While some groups are only open for new members to join at the beginning of each semester, others are open for the duration of the semester and accept new members at any time. Some groups are ongoing from one semester to the next, and members can choose continue to remain in group for more than one semester if they find it beneficial.
We offer several forms of group counseling, including Process Groups, Skills-Building Groups, and Support Groups.
- Process Groups, which are typically unstructured, focus on the interactions among group members. Members of process groups are encouraged to share their experiences, provide support and feedback to others, and explore their reactions and responses to other members’ contributions.
- Skills-Building Groups provide a space in which students can learn and practice tools for enhancing their well-being and managing specific concerns, such as social anxiety, emotion dysregulation, or disordered eating patterns. These groups are usually more structured and involve more direct instruction from the group leader.
- Support Groups are designed to help students who are struggling with similar conditions, life events, or identity concerns, to come together and receive information, support, and guidance from one another. These groups provide a space for students to share their experiences, learn about resources, and gain a sense of empowerment and comradery.
Groups are open to all currently-enrolled WSU students who have paid the student health fee. All potential group members will be asked to complete paperwork and meet with a counselor for an intake appointment in order to determine if group is the right fit for them. In addition to an intake appointment, group members will also meet with the group leader for a pre-group screening in order to find out more details about the group, discuss any concerns or questions about joining group, and review group agreements.
To begin the process for joining a group, students can come to Counseling and Psychological Services during walk-in hours.