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Supporting Student Wellness Series: Therapy and Community
We may at times face loneliness, stress, feelings of overwhelm and more, throughout each of our unique wellness journeys. Often these feelings are then exacerbated by coursework, life’s responsibilities and the cold winter months. As a supportive resource, the Barnes Center at The Arch offers a free and confidential space to be heard and to hear others, a welcoming student community and support network, through a variety of group therapy options.
While group therapy can be a resource to nurture nearly all Dimensions of Wellness, groups are an excellent way to explore Emotional Wellness and Social Wellness, while feeling validated within unique identities.
Why Is Group Therapy Important?
Leading offerings is Mansi Brat, Ph.D. LMHC, CGP, staff therapist and group therapy program coordinator. Brat strives to not only offer a diverse range of groups but encourages students, faculty, staff, parents and supporters to help promote these free opportunities to support student health and wellness.
“Groups are a microcosm of our world. They are supportive and confidential spaces for learning how to navigate mental health, interpersonal and individual holistic development goals,” Brat says.
How Does Group Therapy Differ From Individual Therapy?
Through daily conversations, media and more, individual therapy often receives more exposure and some may not even know that group therapy is an option—one that may actually be a better fit in comparison.
“Research shows that groups are far more beneficial than individual therapy in college counseling settings,” says Brat. “Group therapy helps individuals realize that they are not alone in facing certain problems and also provides a safe and real-world experience for practicing and improving skills. Additionally, it provides a means to express emotions more freely and have an opportunity to help one another, which can increase self-efficacy.”
A sampling of common issues addressed in group therapy includes the following. For a comprehensive list, visit the Counseling webpage.
- Difficulty in social situations and making friends
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Identity exploration
- Stress management
What Can I Expect From Group Therapy?
Therapists facilitate the groups, enrollment is free and confidentiality is strictly respected. Built on a foundation of community, group therapy respects individual experiences and uniquely supports each participant’s goals. Within this safe space, experiences can include developing insight, working on changing behavior, improving interpersonal skills, sharing and providing feedback.
Upon reflecting on their experience, an anonymous student said, “I was really anxious about joining a group, but it was really helpful. I really enjoyed the exercises and skills we learned.”
Undergraduate and graduate groups, averaging eight to 10 students, meet weekly for 90-minute sessions. Participation may be on a rolling basis or close a few weeks into the semester.
“It felt good to know others have these problems too, and the two [therapist] facilitators were really nice,” shared another anonymous student participant.
Group Therapy Opportunities
Space fills quickly and early action is recommended. To participate, students may schedule an initial consultation to meet with a therapist and discuss group options and possible hesitations, by calling the Barnes Center at 315.443.8000.
- Adventure-Based Counseling
- Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Students: Releasing the Invisible Weight
- Building Resilience Skills Workshop
- LGBTQIA+ Therapy Group
- Medication Education Sessions
- Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Workshop
- Options Prevention Group
- Options Recovery Group
- Sexual Violence Survivor’s Group
- Supporting Students With Anxiety
- The Daring Way
- Understanding Yourself and Others
About the Supporting Student Wellness Series
Through a student-focused lens of integrated health and wellness, this series explores a variety of Barnes Center at The Arch resources and services. In the pursuit of enhancing the student experience, topics empower faculty, staff, students, families and supporters as catalysts of health and wellness within their daily interactions.