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. 

Animal Assisted Therapy

Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Eight sessions beginning October 3
Group Leaders: Tanya Bailey, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers Pronouns and Mary Utz, MSW, LGSW, She/Her/Hers Pronouns

Animal assisted interactions are a powerful therapeutic tool with known psychological benefits. This group offers animal assisted interactions with registered therapy animals within the supportive structure of group therapy. We aim to provide a space to process mental health, life transitions, family of origin concerns, loneliness, relationship conflicts, grief/loss, and other emotional challenges while navigating life as a student. Open to students of all ages and identities.

Building Resilience to PTSD Skills Group

Mondays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Eight sessions beginning October 8
Group Leader: Rachel Ans, MPS, LADC, She/Her/Hers pronouns

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.

Understanding Self and Others for Students of Color

Section One: Tuesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Ten sessions beginning September 25 (No group on November 20)

Section Two: Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Ten sessions beginning September 27 (No group on November 22)
Group Leaders: Reiko Hirai, PhD, LP, She/Her/Hers pronouns and Chiung Wang, MS, LMFT, She/Her/Hers pronouns

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: Mondays, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Ten sessions beginning October 1
Group Leader: Michelle Krypel, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Section Two: Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Eleven sessions beginning October 2
Group Leader: Mary Clark, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Section Three: Tuesdays, 2:45-4:15 p.m.
Eleven sessions beginning October 2
Group Leader: Lauren Azbill, MA, LMFT, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Are you searching for a place to learn about yourself and better understand your relationships in a safe and accepting environment? 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.

My Gender, My Way

Thursdays, 2:45-4:15 p.m.
Seven sessions beginning October 25 (No group on November 22)
Group Leader: Yvon Lonning, MS, LPCC, LADC, They/Them/Theirs pronouns

My Gender My Way is a space specifically for trans and/or nonbinary students to gather and discuss important topics, issues, and challenges unique to our community. We will share and learn resources for trans and nonbinary students on campus, in the community, and social media. We'll address physical, emotional, and chemical health, while exploring how we individually define and express our own gender, speak about ways to navigate healthcare as a trans and/or nonbinary student/young adult, how we live in a cis-heteronormative world while also facing sexism, racism, and other issues. My Gender My Way will create a supportive space to explore, share, and celebrate our lives and visions for the future.

LGBTQI Connections

Fridays, 2:45-4:15 p.m.
Ten sessions beginning September 21 (No group on October 12 and November 23)
Group Leader: Lauri Appelbaum, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Finding "your people" can be challenging on a university campus, particularly if you are LGBTQIA. And when you might also be managing depression, anxiety, stress, relationship and family issues, it can make it even harder. This group is for LGBTQIA-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.

The Daring Way

Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Ten sessions beginning October 2
Group Leader: Michelle Krypel, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

The Daring Way™ is based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. During the ten week group process, we explore topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame and worthiness. We examine the thoughts, emotions and behaviors holding us back and identify new choices and practices to move toward more authentic and wholehearted living. The primary focus is developing shame resilience skills and daily practices that transform the way we live and engage in relationships.

Practicing Self Kindness: Tapping Your Innate Strength

Thursdays, 1:15-3:15 p.m.
Eight sessions beginning October 4 (No group on November 22)
Group Leader: Mary Clark, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Imagine yourself, at your best, responding to a good friend who is having a difficult time, perhaps facing a failure. Would you like to learn how to respond to yourself with the same understanding and support? This kindness, compassion, arises when we feel safe enough to be with the pain of a moment. It is an innate human quality and our success in accessing it is supported by conditions we can learn to generate. The outcome is connection to the freedom to take the risks that connect us to what we most value. Practicing Self-Kindness is a therapy group that is based on the Mindful Self-Compassion course developed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. The group includes guided meditation, imagery and writing and sharing experiences and learning.

Be Happy Without Being Perfect

Wednesdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Five sessions beginning October 17
Group Leader: Reiko Hirai, PhD, LP, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Do you feel overwhelmed by high expectations of yourself? Do you fear failure and work to the point of exhaustion at the expense of your well-being? Do you procrastinate because of perfectionism? This group meets to discuss the impact of perfectionism and explores strategies to work toward a better balance between your well-being and drive for excellence. Your participation in this group involves experimenting with being more flexible with your standards, and supporting each other in this journey.

Medication Education Workshop

Section One: Tuesday, October 16 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Section Two: Wednesday, November 14 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Section Three: Thursday, September 27 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Group Leader: Janelle Jones, APRN, CNP, She/Her/Hers pronouns

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.

RIO (Recognition/Insight/Openness) Workshop

Wednesdays, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Three sessions beginning October 24
Group Leader: Jessie Saer, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

RIO focuses on building skills and creating flexibility in how you respond to distress. The three sessions include modules dedicated to: (1) helping you gain a deeper understanding of your concerns, (2) creating flexibility in how you view and approach these issues, and (3) helping you take steps toward living with a wide range of emotions. By the end of the workshop, you will have a better sense of your personal values and how you want to focus your energy.

B.R.I.D.G.E. (Building Relationship Intimacy and Dialogue Effectiveness)

Fridays, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Three sessions beginning November 2
Group Leader: Chiung Wang, MS, LMFT, She/Her/Hers pronouns

B.R.I.D.G.E. focuses on identifying ways to foster healthy relationships via self-monitoring, effective communication, and conflict resolution skills. The sessions include modules dedicated to help you: (1) better understand your values and boundaries in relationships, (2) learn the role of culture in communication, different styles of communication, and strategies for effective communication, and (3) identify common causes of conflict and effective conflict management techniques.

Anxiety Toolbox

Section One: Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Three sessions beginning October 10

Section Two: Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Three sessions beginning October 31
Group Leader: Merrily Sadlovsky, MSW, LICSW, She/Her/Hers pronouns

Anxiety Toolbox focuses on helping you understand anxiety symptoms and build skills to manage these symptoms. The three sessions are divided into content that builds upon itself. The sessions include modules dedicated to: (1) understanding anxiety, (2) introducing a method for slowing down and disentangling the experience of anxiety, and (3) developing alternative responses to anxiety. By the end of the workshop, you will have your own individualized plan for managing anxiety.

Stress Management Survival Kit

Section One: Tuesday, September 18 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Section Two: Monday, October 15 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Section Three: Friday, December 7 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Group Leader: Dominic Poulin, LPCC, He/Him/His pronouns

The Stress Management Survival Kit workshop focuses on identifying symptoms of stress and anxiety. The one-session workshop will cover strategies to understand and reduce unhealthy levels of stress. You will learn different methods to engage in relaxation strategies, which includes in-session practice and follow-up information for practicing these skills at home.

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.