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 are 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.  Screenings must be completed prior to group registration.

Fall 2022 CAPS Group Therapy Schedule

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

Mondays 3:00pm-4:15pm

First meeting: 9/19

Location: TBA

International Student Group

The International Student Group is a weekly, in-person, support group for international students within the GW community who are looking for a safe space to process and discuss the challenges of adjusting to university life within the United States.  Students from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to join this group, as it will focus on the challenges of transitioning to the university's culture, as well as adjusting to living in the D.C. area.  Group therapy has the ability to help you during both difficult and positive life transitions; like leaving home to study in another country.  Sometimes even positive changes in one’s life (marriage, parenthood, job change) can be associated with difficulty in adjusting and bad feelings. This group is designed to help its members adjust to these changes and gain mastery over their new experiences at GWU.  

If you’re an international student and have experienced difficulty in adjusting to the new academic year, or maybe are just looking for a support space to explore your experience in the U.S. in a group setting, this support group may be the help 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 Dr. Sarah Zoogman at [email protected].   

In Person Group Therapy

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

Mondays 11:00am-12:00 pm

First meeting: 9/19 

Open for the first 4 scheduled sessions

Location: SHC Group Room

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

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3-4:30

First meeting: 9/21

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

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 3:00pm-4:30pm

First meeting: 9/20

Location: TBA

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

Are you the first in your family to attend college? If so, congratulations and welcome to The George Washington University!!  Being the first in your family to attend college can be an exciting and eye-opening journey, and can be a source of great pride and hope to a family.  However, it can also be a challenging and isolating experience.  The First in the Family group 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.” A support group provides an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information. The group will be a place to give and receive support while touching on topics such as financial stressors, maintaining boundaries, networking, and family conflicts, in order to help students to be successful academically, professionally, and personally.

We recognize that first-generation college students are pioneers in the journey of higher education, and as such, have unique needs in navigating the college experience. Join us at First in the Family to help develop your road map to success!

To join this group please fill out the following interest form: First in the Family Support Group Interest Form (Students must be logged in with their @gwu.edu email to access the form). You may also contact the group facilitator, RaShonda Riley ([email protected]) or call CAPS for consultation between 12-4 PM at 202-994-5300.  Members of the group must be registered prior to attending. This group requires an initial assessment at CAPS. The therapist will help you schedule a brief screening interview to see that the group will adequately address your reasons for coming to the group. 

Use the group interest form with questions or to express interest in this group to the facilitator(s).

In Person Group Therapy

Support Group Facilitator: RaShonda Riley MSW, LICSW

Wednesdays 5:00pm-6:30pm

Meetings:

9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21

Location: TBA

Fall 2022 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. 

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

Bi-weekly Fridays at 3 PM

September: 9/23

October: 10/7, 10/21

November: 11/4, 11/18

December: 12/2

Location: TBA

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.

Drop in Space Facilitator: Tyler Kendrick

Biweekly Tuesday's

2:00pm- 3:00pm

9/27, 10/11, 10/25, 11/8, 11/22, 12/6

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.