Group Counseling and Workshops

Group work is a powerful tool for growth and change. For many emotional concerns, personal struggles, and relationship issues that college students face, group work can be more effective than individual counseling, because it works directly on improving interpersonal effectiveness! Having the support of other students who understand can also help you maintain the effort and motivation it takes to successfully overcome difficult personal or mental health concerns.

While many students prefer the social context of groups, we understand that some students may initially feel intimidated or hesitant about the idea of talking about sensitive concerns within a group. This is natural, as group work is usually a new experience. However, we have found that most students who attend counseling groups report that the relief and excitement of meeting others who understand their struggles quickly overshadows the initial anxiety. In fact, the students who are most hesitant about group or who tend to be shy or nervous about expressing themselves are often among the ones who benefit the most!

Because group work is so effective and popular, Counseling Services offers a wide array of groups and workshops to address the needs of our students. Some involve more open discussion and sharing, while others address a specific topic or are structured more like a class to teach you positive coping or mindfulness skills. Group offerings may change each semester. If you are interested in a type of group you don’t see listed, please feel free to let us know. 

For more information, or to inquire about joining a specific group, please contact the listed facilitator. If you have general questions or aren’t sure which group might be the best fit, contact Counseling Services at 203-392-5475  or  Groups planned for the current semester include:

Today’s Struggle, Tomorrow’s Strength!  (Grad students, Seniors, Juniors)

Come together to get peer support, feedback, inspiration, and accountability in working toward your personal goals! Concerns addressed will be determined by the members, and may include preparing for post-graduation transition, building confidence, improving relationships, coping with mental health challenges, and balancing the demands of work, school, and the rest of life. 

When/Where:  Time TBD;  EN B219, in person
How to Join: Set up a pre-group meeting with Elaine (  
Facilitators:  Elaine Allen, LSCW 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) For Anxiety

Ready to try a powerful new approach to dealing with anxiety?  ACT assumes that efforts to avoid, control or get rid of unwanted thoughts, feelings or sensations is what creates suffering. This 8-week group combines instruction, readings and in-and out-of-session practice and meditation to help members manage anxiety and stress.  For those with social anxiety, it offers a chance to participate in a group without being “put on the spot”; it is less about self-disclosure than learning new ways to lessen the discomfort and embarrassment felt when one is anxious.

When/Where: TBD, virtual, beginning in October (afternoons)
How to Join: Set up a pre-group meeting with Eileen (
Facilitators: Eileen Bonyai, APRN

Black Success

You are a black student who has made it to college! Maybe you are carrying the torch for your family as you are the first to attend college? Perhaps you feel like you don’t belong here because your life isn’t like everyone else’s? You have expectations and pressures that you think no one understands? Join peers and the coordinator of multicultural counseling as we explore the unique barriers that exist for you as a black college student and how to push through so that you can succeed! Get support as you navigate college life! Go from Surviving to Thriving as a Black student on campus!

When/Where:  TBD, in person
How to Join: Set up a pre-group meeting with Chrystal (  
Facilitators:  Chrystal Long, LPC Coordinator of Multicultural Counseling

Mourning Owls:  Grief and Loss Peer Support Group

Have you experienced grief and loss and feel that no one understands the pain you are feeling?  This group will: connect you to others who are experiencing grief and loss, normalize your reactions, provide education on grief & loss, develop coping skills to manage your feelings, help you identify meaning and purpose. 

When/Where:  TBD, in person
How to Join: Set up a pre-group meeting with Michelle (
Facilitator:  Michelle Lawler, LPC

Undergraduate Support Group

This group involves SCSU undergraduate students communicating with one another about various topics and concerns in a safe and controlled environment. Students will have an opportunity to help each other by providing alternative perspectives and feedback about their shared experiences. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to experiment with new ways of behaving and communicating while also gaining a deeper understanding about themselves and the world around them. 

When/Where: Time and Location TBD, in person
How to Join: Schedule a pre-group meeting with Matt (
Facilitator:  Matt Ouimet, LPC

Talk it Out!  (LGBTQIA+ and Questioning Group)

A positive, dedicated space for LGBTQIA+ and questioning students to discuss common concerns and seek support with all aspects of their lives – navigating school, family, dating, mental health challenges, coming out, transitioning, dealing with the impact of discrimination, etc.  We will celebrate and encourage everyone’s unique background, strengths, and path!

When/Where: TBD
How to Join: Set up pre-group meeting with Elaine (
Facilitators: Elaine Allen, LCSW 

T-Break Group

This group is focused on helping students who want to change or cut back on their use of marijuana, tobacco or alcohol or who may be considering changing unhealthy patterns of addictive behavior such as social media, gaming or gambling, etc. Learn new coping skills to manage stressors that will help you cut back on your use of substances to be a healthier you!

When/Where: TBD 
How to Join: Set up a brief pre-group meeting with Sarah (
Facilitators:  Sarah Keiser, LADC

Taming Trauma Reactions

Have you experienced a traumatic event that continues to interfere with your current life?  Maybe you get derailed by strong  anxious or angry feelings or have trouble trusting yourself or others?  This educational group for trauma survivors will teach you skills for managing your emotions, improving your relationships with others, and decreasing the frustrating impact of past experiences on your present life. (There is no expectation to speak about what you experienced, as the group focus is coping effectively with current trauma-related emotional challenges, rather than discussing the past events themselves). 

When/Where: TBD, in person
How to Join: Set up a brief pre-group meeting with Elaine (
Facilitators:  Elaine Allen, LCSW