Group Therapy & Workshops
In addition to traditional, individual counseling, the Health & Counseling Center hosts regular group therapy sessions for students facing similar circumstances or working toward similar goals, as well as workshops in which our staff counselors provide help with mental health issues to various groups around campus.
Group therapy is a highly effective means of addressing personal concerns — in fact, it has been proven equally effective to individual therapy, and even more effective in certain cases. The HCC offers a variety of group counseling options. Some of our groups are focused on a particular subject or skill, while others are more general in nature.
Group leaders help ensure each participant feels safe while facilitating self-exploration and providing feedback and support. Some take a more active role in guiding the group, while others make group members primarily responsible for self-exploration. No matter your level of involvement, our group leaders encourage cohesion, provide insight on interpersonal issues, and ensure each group is of value to its participants.
Group Members and Counselors Can:
- Help you obtain support
- Help you receive immediate, genuine feedback allowing an increase in your awareness of yourself and identification of aspects of your life you want to change.
- Help you see that you are not alone in your problems
- Help you resolve your difficulties, learn alternative ways of responding, and develop new ways of relating to others
What Does a Typical Group Session Look Like?
- A group typically consists of 5 to 8 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 group counselors to discuss their concerns.
- Group sessions are confidential: what is discussed in group may not be disclosed or discussed outside the group.
- Many groups last 8-10 weeks while others continue from one quarter to the next.
- You can participate in as many groups as you would like, there are no limits to group counseling.
Group Session Formats:
Understanding Self and Others
- No specific topic for each group session
- As a group member, you bring any issues to the group you feel are important
- The primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among you and other group members
- Mix of structured/unstructured activities
- Providing and receiving support from others around a specific shared issue/common experience
Structured Skills Workshops
- Focused on a particular topic
- Sessions may consist of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities
Groups and Workshops for Fall 2023
The HCC has a full range of groups and workshops for the 2023 fall quarter. Some groups are in-person and some are conducted online.
The following will be offered during the 2023 fall quarter:
Queer Community trauma-focused group
This is a support group for students who identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, questioning, and/or transgender and who have experienced trauma in their lives. This includes sexual, emotional, physical, neglect and/or trauma experience within their family of origin. This group is intended as a space for students to share community in order to cope with painful emotions associated with trauma.
Grief and loss group
This group helps participants express and explore emotions related to their experiences of bereavement. It is open to people who have lost a loved one (e.g., family member, friend). It combines sharing, discussion, support, and activities.
Stronger Together: A healing group for trauma survivors
This group is for women who have experienced chronic trauma in their lives. This includes sexual, emotional, physical, neglect and/or trauma experience within their family of origin. It is intended to provide a space to cope with depressive symptoms, anger, shame, guilt, and painful emotions associated with trauma.
Understanding self and others group
Past and present interactions with others contribute to shaping personality. This type of group is often the treatment of choice for people who experience troubled relationships (including romantic, family, and friend-related), loneliness, depression, social anxiety, difficulty expressing emotions, self-criticism, difficulty with vulnerability/intimacy and low self-esteem. They offer a protected environment to identify and explore feelings; to learn how to give and receive empathy; to give and receive support and feedback; to practice new, healthier ways of relating to others; and to foster connections to feel less lonely or isolated.
Student of color support and empowerment group
Students of color are often navigating a complex and difficult college environment. The focus of this group is on creating a space for students of color to connect over experiences of discrimination, oppression, racism, and inequity; support one another; and gain wisdom and energy from each other.
Queery: Exploring your queer identitiy
This is a support group for students who identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, questioning, transgender, or any other personally meaningful term who are navigating sexual and/or gender identity development and acceptance. Focus is on building a supportive community and sharing space with others as you integrate your sexual and gender identities in authentic and self-affirming way.
Fear-less: An anxiety management group
This group is for individuals who are motivated to learn new ways of relating to their anxiety in order to be more present and engaged in their daily lives. In this group, you will have the opportunity to connect with others who experience distress, frustration, and shame around their continued struggles and develop skills that allow you to better
manage your anxiety.
Managing graduate school: Both within and outside the classroom
Academic demands, career questions, and self-doubt frequently impact the health and functioning of graduate students. Additionally, relationships are often impacted outside the classroom, exacerbating experiences of stress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. This group provides a place to receive support from other graduate students and explore relationship issues that are common during this phase of life.
DBT/Emotional wellness group: Interpersonal Effectiveness
This workshop focuses on interpersonal effectiveness, teaching tangible skills to promote healthy relationship outcomes. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) participants will learn how to identify and manage challenging emotional experiences; and incorporate mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion-regulation skills to prioritize boundary setting, values clarification, and nonjudgmental self-inquiry.
ACT Workshop: Getting unstuck from depression and anxiety
This six-part workshop addresses anxiety and depression by helping students let go of strategies of avoidance and control, increasing the ability to relate more effectively to thoughts, emotions and sensations. It aims to bring more meaning, purpose and vitality to everyday life.
Koru Mindfulness/Meditation Workshop
This four week workshop, is an evidence-based curriculum specifically designed for teaching mindfulness, meditation, and stress management. Participants will ideally report being less-stressed, sleep better, and live with greater mindfulness and self-compassion.
Athlete Injury Recovery Excellence
This group is for varsity student-athletes at varying stages of the injury recovery process, in collaboration with sports medicine. The purpose of this group is to learn about the mental, emotional, and social aspects of injuries, learn and practice effective coping skills, and develop routines to optimize the recovery process. Additionally, support from peers can often be pivotal to a productive healing process.
Review our Group Brochure for more details.
Feel free to contact Dr. Anand Desai (group counseling coordinator) with any group-related questions.
Request a Workshop
The Counseling Services staff at the University of Denver Health & Counseling Center is available to speak on a variety of mental health–related topics at your residence halls, classrooms, student groups, athletic teams, and other campus departments. We have licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and supervised counselors-in-training with broad knowledge of mental health–related issues relevant to DU community members.
- Suicide prevention
- Body image and eating disorders
- Adjustment issues
- Issues concerning students of marginalized identities (e.g, LGBTQIA+, international students, students of color)
- Mood issues
- Substance use concerns
- Other mental health concerns.
Outreach can be customized to fit audience requests and needs. Additional topics can be addressed upon request. To request a workshop, HCC participation in your event, or interview an HCC staff member please complete the linked form, at least two weeks in advance.
If you require counselor support and/or facilitation in response to a critical incident please contact Dr. Alice Franks.