Group counseling is frequently the treatment of choice for college students; in many ways group counseling is the very best of what we have to offer. If group counseling has been recommended to you it’s because your counselor believes that it is the best way to address your concerns. What is talked about in group is confidential and not discussed outside the group.
Group counseling brings together a small number of individuals (usually 6-8) with one or more trained group leaders. Group members share what is troubling them. The process of sharing with each other, listening to each other, giving and receiving feedback, offering support and expressing their feelings about what someone else says or does can be extremely helpful. Group members begin to see that they are not alone. This interaction encourages individuals to develop new ways of behaving and learning more about how they interact with others. As a result, the original difficulties people brought to group become resolved.
In order to make group most effective, the first few sessions are geared towards establishing trust and safety. During this time, members usually work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group. Interested students are encouraged to commit to 6 sessions. If at that time you feel group is not adequately meeting your needs, we ask that you come to the group for one last session and say good-bye.
Counseling groups meet once a week for 90 minutes. Our groups are usually held late in the afternoon or early evening to accommodate student schedules. You can stay in group as long as you and the group leaders feel it is beneficial for you. Some members stay for a semester, while others stay for a year or more. However, our approach to counseling is to have you engage in either individual or group counseling, but not both. We believe this approach helps you fully focus your energies on making the most of group, and tends to maximize your therapeutic gain.
Reasons to join a group
Group works! In studies comparing group to individual therapy, group therapy has been shown to be as effective and sometimes even more effective than individual therapy. The following are brief descriptions of the groups currently offered at the Counseling Center.
Interpersonal Process Groups (IPGs) are for students seeking personal growth and social connection. Participants will help each other develop greater self-awareness and increased ability to develop satisfying relationships. The idea is that by interacting with others in a safe and trusting environment, participants can learn from each other, while giving and receiving support around the many personal issues that university students confront.
These insight-oriented process groups will provide a safe environment for interpersonal learning. Members will have the opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings that get elicited in all types of relationships, understand their relationship patterns (especially in the areas of trust, intimacy, anger, and assertiveness), receive feedback from other members, and practice “trying on” new behaviors in the safety and “social microcosm” of the group.
The following groups are being offered.
- Group 1: Tuesday 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
- Group 2: Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
- Group 3: Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Mindfulness Groups: Mindfulness groups are drop-in groups open to the entire RU community. These groups meet to focus on learning and practicing mindfulness for self-awareness, stress management, and general wellbeing. Groups are led by Counseling Center Staff and sessions may entail education, meditation, breathing techniques and other strategies to enhance awareness and cope with daily stressors.
How to join a group
If you are interested in joining a group and want to get more information please contact us by phone at (312) 341-3548 or stop by the Chicago Counseling Center in the Auditorium Building, Room 470 or the Schaumburg Counseling Center in Room 114. If you are not sure if group is right for you, ask to speak with Andrea Seefeldt, Psy.D., Clinical Coordinator. She can help you decide if group best fits your needs.