Group Counseling

Group counseling involves a small number of individuals working together on common problems or concerns. Counseling groups may focus on a particular issue (for example, exam anxiety or relationship issues) or they can be less structured sessions that explore broader issues or student concerns.

Typically, groups meet for 90 minutes each week and are led by one or two staff counselors. Groups are offered throughout the academic year. The group counseling listing is updated each semester to reflect that semester’s offerings.

Spring 2017 Groups

Everyday Mindfulness Practices for Stress Management

This interactive group for registered students is an 8-week series that includes instructions and practice in formal and informal mindful awareness practices and group discussions on cultivating your inherent abilities to manage stress and live with greater well-being and present moment awareness. Commitment to weekly attendance and daily meditation practice are necessary.  Guided medication recordings are provided.  Recommended reading: "Wherever You Go There You Are," by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Students must register in advance and complete brief confidential surveys at the Decker Student Health Services Center.  We will meet weekly on Thursdays, 3-4 pm, February 16 -April 6, in room 104 Decker Student Health Services Center.

Facilitated by Rachael Leonard, who trained extensively at the Center For Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  For more information, contact Leonard at Resources for Living:

Sponsored by the Health Services

Medical Conditions Support Group

Medical concerns, whether acute or chronic in nature, are often the source of stress, anxiety and feelings of isolation.  Recent research shows that support groups, although unable to eradicate disease, can greatly improve the quality of life of those dealing with life-altering medical conditions.  Examples of medical conditions may include: Crohn's Disease, Lyme's Disease, Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes and others.  The goal of this support group is to provide a safe, respectful, and non-judgmental environment for students to express their emotional reactions, challenges, and concerns, as well as share similar experiences.  This group is dedicated to cultivating a sense of community and inclusion among its members

When: Every Wednesday, 4 pm - 5 pm

Where: Decker Student Health Service Center, B114 (Regular attendance is not required.  You are welcome anytime you can make it.)

Facilitator: Angelica Dellapenna, MS, NCC

A Peaceful Way Through Depression

This group is designed for individuals who are struggling with depression symptoms.  This program will use a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is an educational approach that focuses on present concerns.  This will allow one to learn to place emphasis on learning how to master one's internal world of thoughts, feelings, and motivation.  There will also be mindfulness exercises where you will learn how to live in the present and approach your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way.  The group will also provide skills that will help you take control of your depression symptoms and put the power back in your court.

Calming the Emotional Storm

This group is designed for individuals who have painful emotions that are very intense and/or for individuals who get intensely frustrated.  Sometimes these painful emotions are just so hard to understand, let alone regulate.  And telling ourselves not to feel them just doesn't seem to work.  This group is intended to help one learn to identify, label, and understand one's emotions, help one to identify obstacles that get in the way of changing emotions, and increasing positive emotional events.  It is also intended to help one to understand and learn that accepting, finding meaning for, and tolerating painful emotions may be the best way for getting through to the other side of an emotional event.  This can be learned through a series of distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills, taught through the DBT context.  This is an OPEN group, though all group members are asked to schedule a screening appointment prior to attending the group session.

Experience of Healing

This group is a semester long, weekly support group designed to help female survivors of sexual trauma navigate the healing process.  It is a structured group designed to help the survivors learn about trauma and develop skills for coping and healing.  It will begin with an introduction to sexual trauma and its impact on survivors' lives.  Sessions will facilitate the exploration of different aspects of the healing process while developing the tools to successfully deal with them.  Main themes will encompass normalizing the challenges survivors commonly cope with while instilling hope, learning and practicing emotion regulation skills, regaining self-worth, and redefining how to trust.  Group therapy is a powerful treatment, as participants have the opportunity to challenge the shame about what happened, identity with others who have had similar experiences, and gain needed peer support.  Participation in a group discussion or conversation is strongly encouraged for maximum benefit but not required.  Trauma stories are not told in group.  Prior screening is necessary to ensure safety and readiness.

Together: International Student Support Group

This support group invites international students at BU. Students will be provided with plenty of opportunities to interact with other fellow international students.  They will exchange advice, suggestions, tips and knowledge regarding school and/or life in general.  Through this process students can develop a sense of belonging and enhance English skills, and normalize their experience.  Dr. Sangmoon Kim, group facilitator, was also an international student.  He will share what it was like for him studying and living as an international student and how he addressed the problems/difficulties he encountered.  Weekly attendance is not required but highly recommended.

"Embrace Yourself"

Embrace Yourself aims to assist students in addressing personal and interpersonal problems which are associated with negative self-perception.  Personal and interpersonal problems include, but are not limited to, high self-criticism, difficulty self-appreciating or accepting compliments from others, feelings of inadequate/unattractive/flawed/inferior, difficulty speaking up/standing up for oneself, "people pleaser," difficulty making intimate relationships, and unrealistic perfectionism. 

Understanding Self and Others

Understanding Self and Others is a co-ed interpersonal group in which students focus on their relationships with others, such as friends, romantic partners, co-workers, or family members.  Common concerns include, but are not limited to, anxiety in social situations, difficulty among friends, assertiveness, romantic relationships, and conflict with others.  An interpersonal group can be beneficial in several ways, including learning that other students are struggling with similar concerns, which can help you feel less alone.  During group sessions, members will explore how they relate to others both inside and outside of group.  This insight can help you build stronger, healthier relationships.

Process Group for Graduate Students

This Process Group of Graduate Students is open to graduate students of all departments, ages, and stages of study.  The group provides a safe space to learn more effective ways to relate to yourself and others, and to become more authentic and satisfied in your academic and personal lives.  Members of the group discuss various issues, including self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, isolation, advisor and departmental concerns, motivation, depression, and anxiety that can develop under the stress of graduate school.  Members of the group offer each other acceptance, support, guidance, and feedback.  Current members descibe the group process as open, supportive, helpful, and fulfilling.

LGBTQ Support Group

Are you struggling to come out to family, friends, or to other people in your life?  Counselors from the University Counseling Center know that coming out can be a challenging process, and we want to provide support.  This group is for anyone who is thinking of coming out or is new to the coming out process.  The group provides a safe, affirming space for students to share their experiences, thoughts, and questions about coming out.  If you could use support during this process, we really invite you to consider attending this group.  There is no need to register: just show up if your interested.  Potential discussion topics include but are not limited to the stages of coming out, discrimination and homophobia, who and when to tell about your sexual orientation or gender identity, creating a coming out plan, religion and culture, dating and intimate relationships, meeting other LGBTQ individuals, and community resources.  Please contact Tracy at or Edwin at for any question or inquiry.

Support Group for Students with Medical Condition

Medical concerns, whether acute or chronic in nature, are often the source of stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation.  Recent research has shown that, while support groups cannot eradicate disease, they can greatly improve the quality of life of those dealing with life-altering medical conditions.  This group aims to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for students to express their emotional reactions, struggles, and concerns, as well as share their experiences and skills with those in similar situations.  We also seek to promote respect and a sense of community and inclusion.  Active participation in group is strongly encouraged, as it would lead to greater benefits, but is not expected


Past Groups Offered Have Included:


Bereavement Group

Have you lost a loved one? Feel like there's no one to talk to, no one who understands? Consider joining this therapeutic support group for students who are dealing with loss. It was created to help students feel less alone, more supported, and to find hope and meaning. If you are interested in having a safe space to talk about your own loss and are looking for ways to cope, call the University Counseling Center at 607-777-2772 or e-mail Sefali Bhutwala at

Demystifying Relationships

Wish that you could communicate more effectively with your partner/parents/friends? Struggling with a long-distance relationship? Don't know how to say "NO" when you need/want to? Demystifying Relationships is an educational group that is designed to provide students with information regarding common relationship issues/problems (e.g., communication problems, negotiating boundaries, problematic patterns of interacting) as well as skills to help them to overcome these potential problems and improve the quality of their relationships. It is a group for individuals, not for couples, although we welcome students who are currently in relationships to participate and bring the information and skills that they learn from the group to any and all of their relationships. If you are interested in the group, contact Patricia Rourke: or Kate Shinko:

Anxiety Group

This group is for students who struggle with anxious thoughts, obsessive worrying, bodily symptoms of anxiety, avoidance of perceived scary situations and an overall sense that life events will have a negative outcome. The goal of the group is to help students address these worries and negative perceptions through awareness and analysis, and transform these anxious thoughts and perceptions into more positive and hopeful attitudes. For more information, e-mail Randi Scheiner at

"Hello, World!" – Location TBA

Graduating from college is a critical life transition, and life transition always comes with adjustment-related problems such as anxiety. Hello World aims to assist graduating seniors in addressing life transition-related problems/difficulties/concerns. If you are interested in participating, contact Dr. Sangmoon Kim at 777-2772 or

Dissertation Support Group

Are you struggling to make progress on your dissertation? Does it feel like procrastination, time management or anxiety is getting in the way? Come to the Dissertation Support Group, an open group where graduate students can connect with each other to find hope, support and advice. Potential topics include stress management, procrastination, motivation, burn out, assertive communication and more. The group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month through the end of the semester. It runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in UU-124. For more information, contact Tracy Lord at or simply show up to the next meeting.

Empowering African American Students Group

This group is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of African descent, including, but not limited to students who identify as African American, multiracial (in which at least one of their identified races is of African descent), Latino with African descent or Europeans of African descent interested in having additional support on campus. This group will discuss issues of cultural uniqueness and the impact that it has on the balance of work/academic/personal relationships. The group aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for students to explore feelings around racially oppressive experiences on campus, strengthen self-concept through activities and discussion, and help one another navigate academic and social experiences on campus. Group members will have the opportunity to examine and build on their strengths for success at Binghamton, while also having the opportunity to be supported by members who share their concerns and perceptions on campus. Contact LeAnna Rice at

Seeds of Courage - Sexual Trauma Support Group

This group is for women, survivors of sexual trauma who are looking for a safe place to discuss concerns and impact of sexual assault. This may include trust and intimacy issues, self-blame, shame and guilt, anxiety and depression, nightmares and flashbacks and/or other concerns. 

Healing and Grieving

Have you lost a loved one? Feel like there's no one to talk to, no one who understands? Healing and Grieving is a therapeutic support group for students who are dealing with loss and was created to help students feel less alone, more supported, and able to find hope and meaning. 

The Body Positive

This group is for students who want to create and embrace a more positive body image. The group will meet weekly for four weeks; each group meeting will last about one hour. During these meetings, participants will engage in written, verbal and behavioral exercises designed to help students change the way in which they think about their bodies. Each group session will typically involve education provided by the group leaders and discussion/interaction among the group members and leader; willingness to participate is thus important. 

Mindfulness Meditation & Stress Reduction

Mindfulness meditation is a unique way of paying attention that involves full awareness of the present moment and open-minded acceptance. Research has shown that mindfulness can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote clear thinking, enhance concentration and skillfully regulate emotions, among other benefits. This group is for students who would like to learn how to utilize mindfulness meditation techniques and the principles of mindfulness and acceptance in order to reduce stress. 

Asperger's Transitions Group

This drop-in group aims to address challenges unique to this population in college life. Issues addressed will include connections to resources, advocating for themselves and social skills.   

Sexual Trauma Support Group

This group is for women who are survivors of sexual trauma who are looking for a safe place to discuss concerns and impact of sexual assault. This may include trust and intimacy issues, self-blame, shame and guilt, anxiety and depression, nightmares and flashbacks and/or other concerns.

Anxiety 101

Overwhelmed by your nerves . . . and want a better way to deal with them? Have you lost a loved one? This group is for students who want to learn more about anxiety and how to cope with it in a healthful and effective manner.  

Cultures and Conversations
A Dialogue and Support Group for International and Internationally-minded Students

This new group welcomes students who would like to discuss their experiences at Binghamton University as international students and who are looking forward to meeting new friends. We are a welcoming and inclusive group that aims to promote feelings of connection and belonging and welcome those who are "international at heart." We will explore typical issues that international students encounter: homesickness, loneliness, academic stress, language and communication difficulties. 

Sexuality and Identity Group

Searching for a discreet place to talk about your sexual identity? Dealing with religious issues and your sexuality? Conflicted about disclosing to loved ones? If you are interested in attending a group devoted to exploring these concerns, this is a good group for you!

Relaxation Group

Feeling stressed? Need to relax? Come learn how to relax through a variety of techniques that will vary weekly, including guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and more. All students, faculty and staff are welcome to be part of this relaxation community any week they wish – no appointment is necessary.

Reduce Your Gambling-Related Problems

The University Counseling Center is now holding open enrollment for a specialized group therapy targeting the common problems associated with gambling. If you experience any financial stress, academic problems or interpersonal conflict related to your current or past gambling behavior, then you may benefit from this group.

Resolving Sexual Trauma

This group is for female survivors of rape or sexual assault (recently or in the past) who feel this traumatic event is currently having a negative impact on their life.

Finish That Dissertation

This group is for doctoral students who are beyond the preliminary stage of their work and need an extra push to finish their dissertation.

Comfort Zone

This is a support group for students who have a loved one in the Iraq/Afghanistan combat zone.

Interpersonal Group

This group addresses issues of interpersonal relationships, covering a wide spectrum of concerns such as trust, intimacy, isolation, relating to others, relating to groups and loneliness.

Insight and Healing Through Storytelling

This group explores life issues through the sharing of life stories.

Mission Meltaway

Mission Meltaway is a free, 8-week jump-start weight-loss program that supports a team approach to healthy eating and increased physical activity. Meetings cover a broad range of topics including menu planning, nutrition, physical activity and behavior modification. All participants receive a physical assessment of their blood pressure, body mass index and weight before starting the program and again on completion of the program.

Finding Your Path

This non-traditional workshop helps students negotiate the rites of passage of young adulthood and how to initiate relationships with crucial life tasks, world arenas and dimensions of self. Issues addressed include love and sex, negative emotions, parents and mentors, self-empowerment, calling and character, freedom and choice, self and others, and power.

Food For Thought

This is a 5-week workshop that explores the personal and social attitudes and behaviors that shape our eating. Sessions include lecture presentation and discussion time.

Finding a Heroic Path

This group helps men define and forge meaningful life directions, as well as explore sacred aspects of relations, careers and self. Self-awareness will be cultivated through exploration of differences.

Resolving Sexual Abuse

This group helps participants work through current issues as well as change the impact the abusive experience is having on them. The group strives to help members move past seeing life through the lens of trauma so they may regain the ability to experience joy and hope for the future.

Male Graduate Student Support Group

This group addresses the needs of male graduate students who are struggling with marital or relationship issues, interpersonal conflicts, performance anxieties, professional objectives, or the completion of research or dissertation/thesis.


Last Updated: 2/23/17