Group Therapy FAQ’s

As you consider participating in one of our groups, you may have a number of questions. We hope that the following descriptions will provide clarification! We invite you to contact our office if you would like to learn more.

What is group therapy?

  • Group therapy offers an opportunity for students to provide and receive support from each other under the guidance of trained counselors.
  • Group size is typically 5-10 students who meet weekly for 90 minutes.
  • You may feel nervous about participating in a group. It is likely that other members feel nervous too! It can be hard to share your concerns with other students you do not know. Within a few sessions, students generally find that they have connected with other group members. They feel less nervous and more comfortable sharing in the group.
  • Group can be a safe and supportive place to experiment with new ideas and ways of interacting with others. See The Group as Laboratory (link to PDF document) for examples about how to do so! (a document used with permission of the University of Florida Counselling and Wellness Center).

Is group therapy effective? Why should I join a group?

YES! Research has shown that group therapy is as effective or can be more effective than individual therapy for specific presenting concerns. At CAPS, we believe that groups are uniquely situated to help students:

  • Decrease social isolation
  • Learn healthy coping skills
  • Gain an understanding of problems and explore solutions
  • Practice interpersonal skills in a safe group setting
  • Develop/practice healthy communication skills.

What do I talk about during group sessions?

Structured groups focus on learning skills and strategies, and there are opportunities to discuss your reactions to what you are learning.

In Process groups, members are encouraged to discuss the concerns that led to them seek support. You may find that other people have similar experiences or that you bring a unique insight or viewpoint to a topic discussed during the group.

How does the group establish trust in order to make it work?

Group members are asked to follow certain group norms that are established to help build trust among group members including attending regularly to build connection and maintaining the confidentiality of group members.

How do I make the most of group therapy?

Attend regularly. Joining group is a commitment to other group members and yourself.

Participate actively. You are more likely to make progress if you are an active group member. Participating actively could include actively speaking or actively listening. 

Be open and honest. Allow other group members to get to know you. Speak using “I” language, which makes what you say more personal and powerful. Express your feelings about what is happening in the group. 

Give support and feedback, rather than advice. Offer support to others. Phrase your feedback so that it is respectful and about your experience others, not a judgment. 

Ask for feedback! Group is an opportunity to learn about how others perceive you and increase self-awareness.

I’m interested! How do I get started?  

What groups are offered at CAPS?

  • Our office offers a range of groups to support students! Please review the list of our current groups available (link to group section) 

How do I determine which group is best for me? 

  • Review our available groups and see which one(s) are of interest to you.
  • Call our office to share your interest and learn more about joining a group.
  • If you are already meeting with a clinician, discuss your interest with your clinician who can share additional information with you.

In Crisis?

Emergency Contacts

Online Crisis Chat

Crisis Text Line

    Text 741-741

CrisisLink

    703-527-4077

National Suicide

    Prevention Lifeline
    800-273-8255

Veterans Crisis Line

    800-273-8255, Press 1

Mason Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line

    703-380-1434

TrevorLifeline

    866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline

    877-565-8860

Non-Emergency Contacts

Counseling and Psychological Services

    703-993-2380

Student Support and Advocacy Center

    703-993-3686

Mason Police

    703-993-2810