Group Counseling Guidelines

Group therapy is often the treatment of choice for people who experience troubled relationships, loneliness, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and low self-esteem.  People who participate in groups have the opportunity to benefit from sharing personal experiences, giving and receiving support/constructive feedback, and experimenting with new interpersonal behaviors.  In order for group to work, a safe environment must be created and expectations for members and co-leaders must be understood by the participants.  The best way to create a safe environment for personal growth is for you to understand and to agree to these guidelines.

What’s said in the group stays in group

Feeling safe in group is very important to a successful group experience. Confidentiality is the shared responsibility of all group members and leaders.  Please keep discussions that occur in group confidential and keep names and identities of other group members confidential.  You are free to disclose to people that you are a member of a group and that you attend group, but to protect confidentiality, please do not discuss person-specific details of other group members to persons outside the group.

Weekly attendance is expected

Group members are expected to make a commitment to attend group the entire term.  Members also agree to come on time every week.  If you are running late or have an emergency/illness that prohibits you from coming to group, we ask that you call or email one of the co-leaders or let the front desk know.  If you know ahead of time that you will miss a later group session, we ask that you share the date of your absence with the group beforehand.  Individual and group sessions are provided at no charge but failure to attend group without cancelling will result in a $25 charge.  If you are unable to attend group consistently, you may be asked to discontinue group.

Group members do not socialize outside of group

Outside relationships between members can disrupt group cohesion and the therapeutic process. As long as group members are in group, relationships outside of group should be avoided.  This includes texting and social media.   If you do have contact with someone outside of group (e.g. see someone on campus), we ask that you share that contact with the group at the next meeting.

Safety of group members is important

If you experience thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or harm to others, it is expected that you will bring this up in group and/or make separate contact with an SCS counselor to discuss your thoughts.  If you are in crisis, you commit to seek out the help that is required to keep you and others safe.  Possible actions include coming to SCS for a walk-in crisis appointment (M-F 8:00-5:00), calling the National Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, calling 911 or going to the emergency room.