Group Counseling & Support Spaces
Led by our licensed clinicians, our groups and support spaces help you improve your relationships, learn about yourself and others, enhance your communication skills, and reduce isolation within a supportive, normalizing environment of peers.
Support Spaces are no-commitment spaces where students can receive assistance, encouragement, and guidance from from peers with the support of mental health professionals. These spaces are designed to be non-judgemental and empathetic, fostering a sense of trust and community
Let’s come together and discuss issues facing the GW and world community, with facilitation by staff from CAPS, HPE, or CLRE. Bring your lunch if you’d like, and let’s be in community together.
This space will delve into the power of empathy and effective communication, examine the nuances of cancel culture, and develop robust coping strategies to stay resilient through challenging world events.
- Community Conversations
This informal, community building space allows students to come together and discuss issues facing the GW and world community, with facilitation by staff from CAPS, HPE, or CLRE. Bring your lunch if you’d like, and let’s be in community together. Every other Tuesday, 12-1pm.
- February 6 - District House 1st floor lounge
February 20 - Thurston Conference Room off the 1st floor lobby
March 5 - District House B114
March 19 - South Hall 1st floor lounge
April 2 - District House B114
April 16 - District House B114
- Navigating the World Together
This support space is designed to empower students with the tools and skills needed to navigate the complexities of our modern world. Led by a licensed counselor, our sessions offer a safe and supportive environment to explore and discuss a range of vital topics. Engage in meaningful dialogues about managing difficult conversations, sustaining relationships amidst global stresses, and understanding the impact of social media on our lives. This space will delve into the power of empathy and effective communication, examine the nuances of cancel culture, and develop robust coping strategies to stay resilient through challenging world events. Join us in this journey of personal growth and community connection, where every voice is valued and every experience shared enriches our collective understanding. Bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 6-7pm.
- February 13 - Thurston Conference Room off the 1st Floor Lobby
February 27 - Fulbright basement
March 26 - Shenkman 1st floor lounge
April 9 - South 1st floor lounge
April 23 - Thurston Conference Room off the 1st Floor Lobby
- Open Wellness Space
Join CAPS at our Mount Vernon Campus! Our unique drop-in space is the ultimate chill zone where students can unwind, mingle, and explore the universe of mental health in a fun, relaxed setting. Whether you want to relax, meet new friends, or embark on a journey to wellness, join us in this exciting adventure and add a spark of joy to your student life!
Date: Tuesdays at 11 am
Location: Academic Building Room 223
Affinity Support Space
- What is an Affinity Support Space?
Affinity Support Spaces are an informal way for students to connect, share, and process their experiences in a safe and understanding environment of others with common interests and/or experiences. Affinity Support Spaces are offered across campus by GW CAPS clinicians in collaboration with campus partners. Previous spaces include: “First In The Family” (First Gen Students), “Kaleidoscope” students identifying as Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), and “The In, Out and In Between” ( LGBTQIA+ students)
- How are Affinity Support Spaces formed?
Affinity Support Spaces are formed based on shared characteristics, experiences, or identities. For example, there could be spaces for racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, survivors of trauma, individuals dealing with chronic illness, First Gen, or Veterans. Each space defines how they want to be in a community with one another and reflect on the experiences students’ intersectional identities.
- How can I set-up an Affinity Support Space?
Students can request Affinity Spaces through various channels:
- Requesting them through the CAPS Outreach Request Form.
- Coming through CAPS 12-4pm hours and speaking with a CAPS clinician.
- Emailing [email protected] for additional information.
We ask students to request this space at least three weeks in advance with time and date flexibility to help ensure the success of the space. We will do our best to accommodate student preferences of clinician identities in the space as well.
Community Comfort Zone: Post-Crisis Support Space
CAPS Clinicians are available to provide support and Psychological First Aid* to GW students following impactful, traumatic, or tragic events that occur on campus or community events that have greatly impacted our students' well-being. This support can include talking with groups on campus (e.g., student organizations, departments, classes) about coping with unjust, violent, or traumatic situations, grief/loss, and/or facilitating conversations about current emotions. Please call us directly at (202) 994-5300 for more immediate assistance if your request is related to a crisis or urgent situation.
Examples of Critical/Urgent Situation:
- Death of a student, faculty, or staff member
- Aftermath of natural disasters or terrorism events
- Impactful world events (ie: Social Injustice and Racial Tensions, Political Unrest)
Additionally, if you or your department/organization are planning an activity or other response to recent tragedies or events, CAPS can provide collaboration, presence, and/or resources to support your activity.
THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A REPLACEMENT FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES. If you are or someone else is in crisis or experiencing a life-threatening emergency please call GWPD at 202-994-6111, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
At CAPS, we offer group therapy as a valuable opportunity for self-discovery and addressing concerns in a supportive and collaborative environment. Our group sessions typically consist of 4-10 students who meet weekly throughout the semester, all under the expert guidance of our CAPS clinicians. Joining a group allows you to gain valuable insights into yourself and others, fostering personal growth and understanding in a nurturing setting. To take advantage of this transformative experience by participating in our group therapy sessions, you can complete our Group Interest Form or by emailing our Group Coordinator Kortnie Parks, LPC at [email protected] for additional information.
- 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.
Initial Meeting: Wednesday Feb 7 at 4 pm
Location: Student Health Center/ Group Room
- Healthy Relationships
The Healthy Relationships Group is a semi-structured processing space that helps students gain insight and tools to improve any kind of relationship. Group topics will include self-awareness, self-esteem, communication, boundary setting, and making connections.
Initial Meeting: Tuesday Jan 30 at 4 pm
Location: Student Health Center/ Group Room
- Sexual Assault Survivors Group
This group is a support and healing space for femme/female identifying people who have experienced a sexual assault within the past 2 years. This group is going to be a collaborative space where students can learn more about trauma, cope and process all the complicated feelings that come following a sexual assault, and learn to move forward by integrating the traumatic event into a healthier version of self. This group will use the foundations of Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and the openness and presence of those who have been through a similar experience to provide healing and meaningful support. This group is meant to be a safe space where students feel understood and less isolated by their traumatic assault.
First Initial Meeting: Wednesday Jan 31 at 4 pm
Location: Student Health Center/G32
- Collegiate Recovery Community
The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) is a student-driven group to support students who are in recovery from alcohol and other drugs or who have concerns about their substance use. The group is an inclusive, peer to peer environment that helps students effectively navigate their recovery and substance use challenges, and seeks to help facilitate a rewarding collegiate experience, academically, personally and socially. While its primary mission is to support recovery or engagement in low-risk substance using behaviors, the CRC is also intended to be a safe, relaxed space where students can feel welcome, forge connections, and receive resources, encouragement and understanding.
First Initial Meeting: Wednesday Jan 31 at 6 pm
Location: Student Health Center/ Group Room
- OUT & About - LGBTQIA Support
Process space for any student who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This space is meant to be a safe space for students to share identity-related experiences, such as coming out, safety, relationships, labels, and more. Students will have the opportunity to process with and receive/give support and feedback with other members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
First Initial Meeting: Friday Jan 26 at 12 pm
Location: MSSC | 5th Floor USC
*As defined by the American Psychological Association, Psychological First Aid (PFA) is “an initial disaster response intervention with the goal to promote safety, stabilize survivors of disasters and connect individuals to help and resources. PFA is delivered to affected individuals by mental health professionals and other first responders. The purpose of PFA is to assess the immediate concerns and needs of an individual in the aftermath of a disaster, and not to provide on-site therapy.”
Support Spaces are offered by GW CAPS clinicians, in collaboration with campus partners. Support Spaces are not group therapy, but a space to be utilized for support, resources, and community building with the support of a licensed clinician.