Group Counseling and Drop in Spaces

The Student Health Center offers several different styles of groups focusing on emotional wellbeing.  Our goal is to serve all students at GW, with different styles and topics of groups. Groups are open to GW students, free of charge and unlimited. 

Groups have been shown to be very beneficial for students with depression, anxiety, social anxiety, identity concerns, and relationship concerns. Participating in group helps you improve your relationships, learn about yourself and others, and helps improve healthy communication and reduce isolation. 

Group counseling sessions typically last an 60-90 minutes and scheduled once per week. During this time group members talk about their concerns and are supported each other and by a facilitator or co-facilitators.  Group confidentiality is important and group members are expected to agree to keep the content and participation in the group private, to ensure that others feel safe and supported by each other.

The group counseling schedule varies each semester and may require an initial meeting with the leader to assess the best fit with the group.  If you are interested in joining a group speak with your counselor or come in for an initial meeting with a counselor.  

Spring 2023 CAPS Group Therapy

The Journey: A Grief and Loss Group

The Journey is a weekly, in-person, grief and loss group for GW students who have experienced the death of a family member (i.e. parent, guardian, grandparent, spouse/partner, siblings, and/or extended family members).  Grief is a natural response to loss. There is no right way to grieve and no set timeline. This group provides a safe environment where students can explore their story and express difficult feelings freely in a supportive environment.  The group provides a place for establishing a connection with others with similar experiences in order to decrease the feelings of isolation that come with loss.  It’s also a forum for understanding common myths about what grief is and how to grieve in a way that heals.  

If you have experienced the death of a loved one, this group may be the support you are looking for.  You can request to be scheduled for a pre-screening by talking with a SHC CAPS clinician during a virtual consultation by calling (202) 994-5300 (Monday through Sunday) from 12pm to 4pm, or you can request more information by contacting the group facilitators, Dr. Vaughn Miller at [email protected] or Jeremy Smith, LMSW at [email protected].    

In Person Group Therapy

Process Group Faciliatators: Dr. Vaughn Miller, Psy.D., Jeremy Smith, LMSW

Meeting Time: Thursdays 3pm-4:15pm

First meeting: February 9, 2023

Location: Student Health Center


Understanding Self and Others for Undergraduate Students

Understanding Yourself and Others (USO) is a weekly, in-person, process group for GW students who are looking for a safe and supportive environment to explore personal growth and gain awareness of how they function in relationships (with friends, family, romantic partners, classmates, etc.). Participants will learn about themselves by exploring their interpersonal patterns, getting feedback, and using the group to practice new behaviors, such as sharing honest thoughts and feelings. Individuals can benefit from membership in a therapy group in the following ways:

  • Gain greater self-awareness
  • Improve existing and future relationships
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Learn to trust others
  • Foster personal growth

The group typically has five to eight members and a facilitator (a member of CAPS staff). Group sessions are usually 1 ½ hours long, and are held weekly during fall and spring semesters. What group members talk about and when is up to each individual. Most find that once they feel comfortable in the group, they benefit from discussing issues that led them to counseling. All members agree to keep group content confidential. 

You can request to be scheduled for a pre-screening by talking with a SHC CAPS clinician during a virtual consultation by calling (202) 994-5300 (Monday through Sunday) from 12pm to 4pm, or you can request more information by contacting the group facilitator, Jeremy Smith, LMSW, at [email protected].

In Person Group Therapy

Process Group Facilitator: Jeremy Smith, LMSW and Sarah Litt MA, LGPC, NCC

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:30-5:00pm

First meeting: February 8, 2023

Location: TBA


Understanding Self and Others for Graduate Students

Understanding Yourself and Others (USO) is a weekly, in-person, process group for GW students who are looking for a safe and supportive environment to explore personal growth and gain awareness of how they function in relationships (with friends, family, romantic partners, classmates, etc.). Participants will learn about themselves by exploring their interpersonal patterns, getting feedback, and using the group to practice new behaviors, such as sharing honest thoughts and feelings. Individuals can benefit from membership in a therapy group in the following ways:

  • Gain greater self-awareness
  • Improve existing and future relationships
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Learn to trust others
  • Foster personal growth

The group typically has five to eight members and a facilitator (a member of CAPS staff). Group sessions are usually 1 ½ hours long, and are held weekly during fall and spring semesters. What group members talk about and when is up to each individual. Most find that once they feel comfortable in the group, they benefit from discussing issues that led them to counseling. All members agree to keep group content confidential. 

If you are interested, you can request to be scheduled for a pre-screening by talking with a SHC CAPS clinician during a virtual consultation by calling (202) 994-5300 from 12pm to 4pm (Monday through Sunday). For more information, please contact the group facilitator, Sarah Zoogman, PhD at [email protected]

In Person Group Therapy

Proccess Group Facilitator: Sarah Zoogman, PhD and Kortnie Parks LPC

Meeting Time: Mondays 10:30am-12:00pm

First meeting: February 6, 2023

Location: TBA


Spring 2023 Drop in Spaces

KALEIDOSCOPE: A BIPOC Drop-in Space

Kaleidoscope is a bi-weekly support space for GWU students identifying as Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) to come together to explore themes of self-worth and acceptance, pain, joy, healing, stigma, anger, self-discovery, and discrimination. There is no session commitment required, as students are welcome to join as many or as little group meetings they wish to attend. This space aims to provide a confidential, safe, and trusting environment, and dialogue that is open and honest about the unique experiences of BIPOC students at a predominantly white institution (PWI). Kaleidoscope seeks to help students foster community, support, and strategies to enhance mental health and the overall GWU experience for BIPOC identifying students. If you are interested in attending this space please fill out the following form: Kaleidoscope Interest Form. (Students must be logged in with their @gwu.edu email to access the form).

Please note that attending the Kaleidoscope drop-in space is not a substitute for individual or group therapy. If you have any questions regarding this space, please contact the facilitator ([email protected]) or call CAPS between 12-4 PM at 202-994-5300 to speak with a clinician. 

Support Space Facilitator: Adebukola “Buki” Olufotebi, MS,LGPC, NCC

Bi-weekly Wednesdays

4:00-5:00pm

Scheduled Meetings:

February 1, 2023

February 5, 2023

March 1, 2023

March 15, 2023

April 12, 2023

April 26, 2023

May 10, 2023 

Location: Meet at Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) 
University Student Center 5th Floor


In, Out, and In Between: A Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Space

The In, Out and In Between: A Gender & Sexuality Spectrum Space, is a LGBTQ+  drop-in space for LGBTQ+ students to find support and connection. There is no session commitment required, as students can come to whichever group meetings they wish to attend. This group welcomes all people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum; lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender/gender non-conforming, queer, asexual, and intersex students.

The purpose of this group is to foster connection and provide members with an affirming space. Topics typically discussed include identity exploration, coming out, dating, social groups, and family relationships. The group provides a confidential and safe space in which LGBTQ+ students can explore questions related to gender and sexuality, and also discuss issues related to societal and personal values, relationships, choices, self-esteem, and self-care. This is not thought of as a therapy group. The group is designed to foster healthier adjustment and self-development in its participants by providing the opportunity to share, and reflect on their experiences, thoughts, and emotions in some depth in an atmosphere that is non-judgmental and supportive in a drop in space.

Members of the group include those who are fully out to others, those who are out to only a few chosen people, and those who are only just coming out to themselves. If you have any questions regarding this group, please contact the group facilitator or call CAPS between 12-4 PM at 202-994-5300.

Support Space Facilitator: Tyler Kendrick

Biweekly Tuesday's

2:00pm- 3:00pm

Scheduled Meetings:

February 7, 2023

February 21, 2023

March 7,2023

March 21, 2023

April 4, 2023

April 18, 2023

May 2, 2023

Location: Meet at Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) 
University Student Center 5th Floor


First in the Family: A 1st Generation Student Support Space

First in the Family is a safe and nurturing environment for GWU’s first-generation college students to discuss the challenges of being the first in the family to attend college with others who “get it.” Our drop-in space is designed for first-generation students who are looking to process thoughts and feelings, get advice and feedback from peers and Counseling Center staff, and connect with others around shared experiences on an ongoing or as-needed basis. This space is designed to be as flexible as possible. That means you can have a snack, show up as you are, or even multitask while you’re with us – there are so many ways to take care of your mental health, and we want to meet you where you’re at!
Please note that attending the First In The Family drop-in space is not a substitute for individual or group therapy. If you have any questions regarding this space, please contact the facilitator RaShonda Riley ([email protected]) or call CAPS between 12-4 PM at 202-994-5300 to speak with a clinician. 

Support Space Facilitator: RaShonda Riley MSW, LICSW

Biweekly Thursdays

11:00am-12:00pm

Scheduled Meetings:

January 26, 2023

February 9, 2023

February 23, 2023

March 9, 2023

March 23, 2023

April 6, 2023

April 20, 2023

March 4, 2023

Location: Student Health Center: G30


International Student Support Space

The International Student Support Space is a weekly, in-person, drop-in support space for international students within the GW community.It is a safe space to process and discuss the challenges of adjusting to university life within the United States, as well as adjusting to living in the D.C. area. Students from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to join this space.

If you’re an international student and are/have experienced difficulty adjusting or maybe are just looking for a supportive space to explore your experience in the U.S., please feel free to drop in to this space.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the support space facilitators: Dr. Vaughn Miller at [email protected] or Dr. Sarah Zoogman at [email protected]

Support Space Faciliatators: Dr. Vaughn Miller, Psy.D., Dr. Sarah Zoogman, PhD

Weekly Tuesdays 

12:00-1:00pm

First meeting: January 24,2023

Location: SHC Group Room


Sharing Information with a Group

Some people are anxious about sharing in a group setting.  This anxiety has the potential to stop you from talking, which in turn can prevent you from experiencing the benefits of group counseling.  Know that you are in control of what, how much and when you share information.

Within a few sessions most group members typically find that they are able to talk in the group and receive support from other members as they begin to share. As trust develops we become more comfortable with taking risks, are better able to accept warmth, challenging feedback, and can present our needs to others more effectively.