Group counseling is a free and confidential service open to all students enrolled at ISU. Group is a therapy format that approaches issues of personal growth through the use of interpersonal interaction. Group interactions provide an opportunity to build relationships and receive interpersonal feedback about how we experience one another. You can gain specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals, explore areas that present personal challenges, and gain support and encouragement from others. Group therapy has been found to be an effective form of treatment and is as equivalent and sometimes more effective than individual therapy for certain concerns.
Common Questions and Answers about Group Counseling at SCS:
Who Can Participate?
Groups are open to any student enrolled at ISU. An SCS counselor can speak with you to see if group is the right fit for you.
When and Where Do Groups Meet?
Typically, groups meet once/week for approximately an hour and an half in one of several group rooms located at Student Counseling Services (SCS). Group sessions are offered year round and many groups are ongoing from one semester to the next. This allows group members to continue beyond one semester when it is therapeutically beneficial. Groups do not meet during university holidays or semester breaks.
What to Expect?
If this is your first experience in a therapy group, you probably have some apprehensions – most people do. Coming to group for the first time is often the hardest part about group. However, after getting past the first group meeting, many students describe it as a very valuable and helpful experience. Most groups consist of one to two therapists and six to eight group members. Feeling safe in group is very important to a successful group experience and all group members’ confidentiality is protected. Also, some group members will be ready to disclose their thoughts and feelings early on in group; others need more time to gain feelings of trust and security. Group members’ pace and readiness for sharing is respected. Regular, weekly attendance is expected of all group members.
How to Get Started?
SCS is happy to help you determine which group would be the best fit for you. If you are interested in joining a group, please come to the 3rd floor of the Student Services Building during our walk-in hours, fill out paperwork, and meet with a counselor to determine if group is the right fit for you. You can also contact the SCS Group Therapy Coordinator, Ian Nelson-Johnson, Psy. D., for more information.
What is the difference between SCS Workshops and Group Counseling?
Workshops at SCS help students learn skills that promote more effective living. Our workshops are typically 3-5 weeks while are groups are often semester long. Most of our workshops are more structured than our counseling groups and generally have a portion of time devoted to teaching and then applying skills. Please refer to the “Group Listings” tab to learn more about workshops being offered at SCS this semester.