Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions are a safe, confidential space to share and explore concerns and learn new strategies for overcoming challenges. Group therapy sessions are open to all students, unless otherwise indicated.

How to Join a Group

Current mental health clinic clients:

Ask the front desk staff to set up a group screening appointment for you with a group leader. These
screening appointments take place over the phone or in person and typically last 15 to 30 minutes.

New mental health clinic clients:

Walk in to our East Bank mental health clinic for a brief consultation visit.

Therapy Groups and Schedules

All group meeting take place in Boynton's East Bank clinic. Information about groups including dates, times and leaders are listed below. 

Meditation for Healthy Minds

Fridays, 9:30–11:30 a.m
Six sessions beginning March 2 (no group March 16 or April 13)
Group Leader: Mary Clark, MSW, LICSW

Studies demonstrate that a just a few months of regular mediation and mindfulness practice evokes structural changes in our brains that contribute to our felt experience of increased peace, presence and engagement. We are more frequently able to be both accepting of our experience as it arises and more dedicated to act toward the changes we desire. This group will include teaching about meditation and mindfulness practices, in session guidance in these practices and time to process learning as a group. Please join us in this worthwhile experiment in realizing an improved relationship with your inner experience and an increased sense of purpose and direction in your life.

Get Present, Open Up, Do What Matters: ACT for Anxiety

Tuesdays, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Seven Sessions beginning February 20 (no group on March 13 or March 27)
Group Leader: Jessie Saer MSW, LICSW

Is anxiety getting in your way of living the life that you want for yourself? Do you tend to avoid tasks and activities that bring on anxiety? This group is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT assumes that feelings of nervousness, uncertainty and worry are a normal part of living and that excessive efforts to avoid these emotions can lead to increased struggle. You will have the opportunity to explore how anxious thoughts and feelings affect your life, experiment with different ways of relating to anxiety, and learn how to pursue your values more fully.

Understanding Self and Others for Students of Color

Thursdays, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Four sessions
Ten sessions beginning February 22 (no group on March 15)
Group Leaders: Reiko Hirai, PhD, LP and Chiung Wang, MS, LMFT

This group is a hybrid of a support and interpersonal process group and offers a safe space for students of color to deepen their understanding of self in the context of relationships and cultures. You will gain awareness into how you relate to others in the group and understand how you might relate with others outside of the group. Students will be encouraged to share, and receive support and feedback. The group will also create a space for conversations related to racial/ethnic identity development, cultural impact on interpersonal relationships, and experiences of marginalization. The group will be facilitated by two psychotherapists who identify as a person of color.

Understanding Self and Others

Section One: Tuesdays, 2:30–4:00 p.m.
Twelve sessions beginning January 30 (no group on March 13)
Group Leaders: Brian Post, PhD and Sarah Nelson, MS

Section Two: Wednesdays, 2:30–4:00 p.m.
Twelve sessions beginning January 31 (no group on March 14)
Group Leader: Brian Post, PhD

Are you searching for a place to learn about yourself and better understand your relationships in a safe and accepting environment? This group brings students together to offer mutual support. You will have the opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings, as well as build confidence in an encouraging atmosphere. The goal is to gain awareness of how you relate with others in the group and understand how these patterns reflect how you relate with others in your life. Attention will be paid to feelings, thoughts and experiences that arise in the group—there will be opportunities to explore the meaning of these behaviors. With the help of the group leader, you will practice giving and receiving support and feedback.

Building Resilience to PTSD Skills Group

Mondays, 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Eight sessions beginning February 26 (No group March 12)
Group Leader: Rachel Ans, MPS, LADC

Many individuals experience traumatic events in their lifetime; however, not all develop PTSD. Those who do develop PTSD often find the way they think and feel has changed. While you may feel alone, many of the symptoms you are experiencing are normal reactions, and there are ways to manage them. In this group, we will NOT be discussing your individual traumatic events, but rather discovering others who can understand. This group will be a safe place to confirm that you are not alone in your reaction to what happened, gain support and learn skills to combat difficult symptoms.

Building Social Confidence Group

Fridays, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Seven sessions beginning March 2 (no group on March 16 or April 27) 
Group Leader: Meg Benefield, LICSW

Do you have trouble understanding unwritten social rules? In this group, you will learn practical ideas to help you feel more socially confident. Building Social Confidence is designed for students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder or similar challenges, who want to improve their interpersonal skills. Topics include starting and maintaining conversations, reading social cues, and building relationships. This group provides a safe and supportive environment for experimenting with new ways of interacting with others.

Medication Education Workshop

One 60 minute session, 3–4:00 p.m.
Three dates:  

  • Wednesday, February 21
  • Thursday, March 1
  • Wednesday, April 4

Group Leader: Janelle Jones, APRN, CNP

Has your mood been lower than usual? Do you constantly have a stream of worried thoughts running through your mind? Have you tried to deal with these feelings, but nothing seems to be working? Have you considered taking medications but need more information? Do you have questions about medication that you'd like answered in an informal setting? Come join us for Medication Education, where you will learn about symptoms of anxiety and depression and an overview of various medication options. 

LGBTQI Connections

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Ten sessions beginning February 16 (no group on March 16)
Group Leader: Lauri Appelbaum, MSW, LICSW

Finding "your people" can be challenging on a university campus, particularly if you are LGBTQI. And when you might also be managing depression, anxiety, stress, relationship and family issues, or anything else that effects your emotional health and sense of who you are, it can make it even harder. This group is for LGBTQI-identified students, a place to come together to discuss issues and challenges, those that are affecting you, your academic work, your relationships, and your emotional and mental health. We’ll explore how we build our sense of wholeness and identities, and how we build connection and a community of support and validation. We’ll explore how we do this while facing Homophobia, Sexism, Racism, Xenophobia, AIDSphobia and other issues—on campus, in the community, and in our culture. And, we’ll celebrate our hopes, goals, achievements, and our vision for our futures.

Other On-campus Group Counseling Options

Student Counseling Services offers group counseling services and workshops.

Group Therapy Videos

Watch videos about Boynton therapy groups.


How do groups work?

Our groups typically meet for 90 minutes once a week. Some groups meet for most of the semester, while others are short term—four to six sessions. Most groups consist of four to eight members. Process groups provide an environment for students to identify and explore emotions, give and receive support, and practice healthy ways of relating to others. Psychoeducational groups focus on developing skills around a particular concern and often involve discussions and experiential activities to apply the skills you are learning.

How do I get started?

If you are currently a Mental Health Clinic (MHC) client, ask our front desk staff to set up a group screening appointment with a group leader. These screening appointments take place over the phone or in person and typically last 15 to 30 minutes. The screening gives you a chance to ask questions and determine if the group is a good fit for your needs. Students who are new to the MHC should discuss their interest in group during Brief Consultation. Your consultant will arrange for you to meet with the appropriate group therapist for an Intake Appointment. You can also call the group coordinator, Michelle Krypel, at 612-624-1444 with general questions about group therapy.

Why should I try a group? Will it be as effective as individual therapy?

Group therapy is considered to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for many issues that confront undergraduate and graduate students, such as depression, anxiety, grief/loss, low self-esteem and troubled relationships. Students who try group therapy find that it provides a safe and supportive place to explore their concerns and learn new strategies for overcoming challenges.

Do I have to reveal all my deepest secrets and feelings to the group?

No. You can decide how much and when to share your feelings with the group and no one will force you to share more than you feel comfortable with. Most students are apprehensive about attending a group for the first time and wonder what it will be like to share with people they do not know. However, most find they become more comfortable over time and value the support and feedback they get from their peers. All group members are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the group so everyone can feel safe sharing.

Still have questions?

Contact us at 612-624-1444.