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George Mason Universityvertical bar Counseling and Psychological Services




Personal Growth Groups

Do you have questions or concerns about any of these issues?

Group participation can provide you with the support to deal with these or similar concerns. Groups generally form during the second month of classes. Initial psychological consultations are necessary before being referred to any group. A brief appointment with the group facilitator is also required before joining a group. To inquire about groups or schedule an initial consultation, call CAPS at 703-993-2380.

Below is a list of the groups planned for Spring 2014.

As you consider participation in a group, you may have a number of questions.  We hope that the following will answer some of them.

What is group counseling?  In a typical group, five to eight people meet face-to-face with one or more trained facilitators to discuss personal issues affecting school and personal life.  What makes the group situation unique is that it is a safe environment. The content of group sessions is confidential: what members talk about or disclose in not discussed outside the group.  The format of the group can be structured or process-oriented, depending on the facilitator’s style and the goal of the group.

How does group counseling work?  When group members interact, they often notice that they are not alone with their problems and that their concerns can be understood.  As the group progresses, members begin to offer support, generate alternatives, do problem solving and/or provide feedback to one another.  In this way, each member feels encouraged to develop more productive interpersonal skills and ways of coping.

What do I talk about in group counseling?  Some people tend to talk a lot in group while some may feel awkward and say little.  As everyone is different and unique, it is important to remember that you are ultimately the person responsible for letting other members know your concerns and your needs.  Unexpressed thoughts and feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties.  Revealing yourself—self self-disclosure—is an important part of group and affects how much you will be helped.

How does the group establish trust in order to make it work?  Trust does not come without effort.  Group members are asked to abide by certain ground rules.  Such ground rules include confidentiality, regular attendance, and commitment to continue in the group until the end of the semester or scheduled end of the group.  In the first group meeting, ground rules will be discussed and established.

What’s the advantage of being in a group?  Group counseling offers unique opportunities to apply interpersonal skills and to receive feedback and support from others in a safe setting.  This is often a great stepping-stone to using these skills and strategies in outside situations with family, friends and others you encounter.  Counseling and Psychological Services sets no session limits for group counseling.  If you have found it helpful, you may continue from one semester to another for maximum benefit.

How do I get into a group?  If you are already seeing a counselor at CAPS, you may discuss your interest with your counselor.  If you are not seeing a counselor, schedule an initial consultation appointment with CAPS to discuss your interest.

Which group is best for me?  It may seem difficult to choose the “right” one from the variety of groups offered by CAPS.  You may take the first step by reading the descriptor of each group and tentatively deciding on one that is of most interest to you. Initial consultations are necessary before being referred to any group. Once a specific group is identified, you may schedule a pre-group interview with the group facilitator.  You will then discuss in more detail your goals and expectations of the group and see if the group is a good match.

Personal Growth Groups For Spring 2014

Coping Skills

Are your thoughts and outlook on life often negative?  Do you have trouble accessing what you want in life?  If these questions describe you, the four-part Coping Skills Group might help you find some solutions.

In the Coping Skills Group you will learn how to recognize your negative thoughts and explore how these thoughts impact your feelings and actions. You will also learn strategies to effectively create more fulfilment in your life. 

Mondays 3-4pm Room A Brett Scofield


Understanding Self and Others

This group is designed to help students explore issues and dynamics that are affecting their personal lives. Specific areas of focus are generally determined by group members and may include relationships, intimacy, boundaries, communication, and self-awareness. The group also provides an opportunity for students to practice new ways of behaving within a safe and encouraging environment where they can receive and provide feedback and support.

If you are interested in learning more, please call Karen Bagley or David Wen at Counseling and Psychological Services at 703-993-2380.

Tuesdays 1:15-2:30pm Room A Karen Bagley and David Wen

Mindfulness Workshops

Does it seem like you are always anxious about the future or get stuck dwelling on the past? Do you ever become overwhelmed by strong emotions? Do these worries get in the way of relationships or contribute to stress in your life? Mindfulness workshops will teach you skills to live in the present moment, increasing your enjoyment in life, by learning ways to cope with stress, deal with relationship challenges, and regulate your emotions.

Mindfulness workshops are open to all Mason students, no initial consultation at CAPS necessary. Each session has different content and you may attend one, many or all. Registration preferred. Go to the link below to find available dates and to register.

Tuesday March 4 3-4pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Thursday March 6 3-4pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Wednesday March 19 2-3pm SUB 1 Rm 3129 CANCELLED
Wednesday March 26 2-3pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Wednesday April 2 2-3pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Tuesday April 8 2-3pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Thursday April 17 3-4pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Tuesday April 22 2-3pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Tuesday April 29 3-4pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  
Thursday May 1 3-4pm SUB 1 Rm 3129  

Women's Group

This group offers a safe space for women to join together in conversations about relationships, assertiveness, stress management, cultural dynamics, identity development, academics and the multiple roles of simply being 'women'! Group members will benefit from receiving feedback and support from each other.

Wednesdays 11:45am-1pm Room A Anchal Khanna and Jamie Citron

LGBTQA Process Group

This is an interpersonal process group for members of the LGBTQA (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Asexual) community, including allies and those questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity, who want to learn more about themselves and their interactions with others. In group, members will have the opportunity to share common struggles, gain support, and give and receive feedback in a safe environment. Group members may be dealing with a wide range of concerns including coming out, connecting with the LGBTQA community, depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and other concerns related to their LGBTQA identities.

Wednesdays 3-4:30pm Room A Rikki Mock and Karen Bagley


Relationships Process Group

This counseling group is for anyone who wishes to explore and improve personal relationships. Members will have an opportunity to better understand how past experiences impact their current quality of life. Members will receive feedback on areas of concern, and learn ways to cope with stressors that affect their academic and personal lives. This group provides a safe, confidential space for people to explore and practice strategies for interpersonal growth.

Wednesdays 3-4:30pm Room B Marlena Wu and Tamara Levin


Graduate Student's General Counseling Group

The graduate student's counseling group offers a safe and supportive environment in which group members explore issues related to coping with academic demands, managing moods, and improving interpersonal relationships.  Group members give and receive support and feedback and can use the group to practice new ways of expressing themselves and relating to others.

If you are interested in learning more, please call Joan Mizrahi or Laura Frasier at Counseling and Psychological Services at 703-993-2380.   

Thursdays 3-4:30pm Room B Joan Mizrahi and Laura Frasier


Self-Exploration Process Group

Thursdays 3-4:30pm Room A Kaitlyn Zito and Laura Diskin

This general process group provides a safe, supportive environment for individuals to share their personal struggles and to develop healthier ways of relating to others. This group is ideal for those who wish to gain self-awareness and want to learn how to cultivate more intimate, satisfying relationships with others and themselves. Individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, loneliness, relationship struggles, poor self-esteem/self-confidence, and trust issues can benefit from this group.

Relatively Speaking

This group is for students who would like to develop better self-understanding and awareness of current relationship patterns that may have been impacted by previous relationships. Members will explore past experiences with family and other important relationships, process unresolved concerns, and identify ways that these concerns might affect present ways of relating to self and others.

Fridays 1:30-3pm Room A Rikki Mock and Ayelet Krieger


Other Groups being offered at Mason

WAVES (Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education and Services)

Waves offers groups related to reducing alcohol or drug use. For more information about these and their other groups, go to

Center for Psychological Services

Mason's Center for Psychological Services is a training facility for graduate psychology students. They offer groups throughout the fall and spring semesters. For more information on current groups and workshops, go to

Spring 2014 Group offered by the Center for Psychological Services:

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