If you are interested in joining or learning more about the groups described below, simply call the Marquette University Counseling Center at 414-288-7172 and ask to speak to the on-call counselor. Just say that you are calling about groups and the on-call counselor will be able to answer any questions you may have and explain how you can get signed up for a group. If you are already working with a therapist at the Counseling Center, talk to your therapist about your interest in group.
Do you want to:
This group offers you the opportunity to meet confidentially with other students who have similar experiences while providing a space to share and learn from each other.
Multiple sections of Taking Action will run this semester, so call the Counseling Center today to find out which section will fit best with your schedule.
Then this support group is for you! This group will provide not only support, but also skills for reducing stress so that you can create the experience you want in graduate and professional school. To learn more, simply call the Counseling Center and say you are interested in the Graduate and Professional Student Support Group.
Topics included in this 6-week group include:
If you'd like to find out more about this group, or are interested in joining, just call the Counseling Center say that you are interested in the Authentic Happiness Group.
In group therapy, approximately six to eight individuals meet face-to-face with one or more group therapists and talk about what is troubling them. Group members will have the opportunity to learn skills and tools to make positive changes and feel better. Members also give feedback to each other by expressing their own feelings about what someone says or does. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving and to learn more about the way they interact with others. The content of the group sessions are confidential; what people talk about or disclose is not discussed outside the group.
The first meeting is called an "Information Session" and is a time for you to meet the group leader(s) and the other students who will be in the group. Group leaders will describe in detail what to expect in group and potential group members will have a chance to ask any questions they may have about group. There is no commitment necessary to attend an Information Session. Students are welcome to come to the Information Session even if they are not certain they want to join the group.
For the students who decided that group is right for them, the next few sessions of a group usually focus on the establishment of trust. During this time, members usually work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group.
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the first place. Under the skilled direction of a group therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the person. In this way the difficulty becomes resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the person develops new social techniques or ways of relating to people. During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone. Many times people feel they are unique in their problems, and it is encouraging to hear that other people have similar difficulties. In the climate of trust provided by the group, people feel free to care about and help each other.
Talk about what brought you to the Counseling Center in the first place. Tell the group members what is bothering you. If you need support, let the group know. If you think you need to be challenged, let them know this also. It is important to tell people what you expect of them.
Unexpressed feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties. Revealing your feelings, self-disclosure, is an important part of group and affects how much you will be helped. The appropriate disclosures will be those that relate directly to your present difficulty. How much you talk about yourself depends upon what you are comfortable with. If you have any questions about what might or might not be helpful, you can always ask the group.
"I will be forced to tell my deepest thoughts, feelings, and secrets to the group."
You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. Most people find that when they feel safe enough to share what is troubling them, a group can be very helpful and affirming. We encourage you not to share what you are not ready to disclose. However, you can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how what they are saying might apply to you.
"Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy because I will have to share the time with others."
Actually, group therapy is often more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons. First, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others. You will find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself. Secondly, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but that you might not have been aware of or brought up yourself.
"I will be verbally attacked by the leaders and by other group members."
It is very important that group members feel safe. Group leaders are there to help develop a safe environment. Feedback is often difficult to hear. As group members come to trust and accept one another, they generally experience feedback and even confrontation as positive. One of the benefits of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from others in a supportive environment. It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others, but this is precisely what group can offer. This will be done in a respectful way, so that you can hear it and make use of it.
"Group therapy is second-best to individual therapy."
Perhaps group therapy is being recommended to you because your individual counselor believes that it is the best way to address your concerns. We do not put people into group therapy because we don't have space in individual therapy, or because we want to save time. We recommend group when it is the most effective method to help you. Your counselor can discuss with you why group is what is recommended for you.
"I have so much trouble talking to people; I'll never be able to share in a group."
Most people are anxious about being able to talk in group. Almost without exception, within a few sessions people find that they do begin to talk in the group. Group members remember what is is like to be new to the group, so you will most likely get a lot of support for beginning to talk in the group.
If group is to be effective, your commitment to the following is essential:
We hope the group experience is a good one for you! This text was developed by Jack Corazinni, Virginia Commonwealth University; slight modifications have been made to accommodate MU groups.