Yale Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a type of counseling in which a small group of people meet weekly to discuss their concerns and problems.  A therapist leads the group by helping to facilitate these conversations.  Group members use feedback from others in the group to develop new perspectives and reflect on their experiences.  Some groups offer concrete skills and strategies while others are less structured in nature, giving group members the time and space to explore ideas, gain insight and understand more about oneself. 

Why participate in group therapy?

Many emotional concerns have an interpersonal component. Group therapy can provide a safe setting in which to work on interpersonal relationships, dealing with social anxieties, or developing new skills. It can offer the opportunity to understand more about how you relate to others through specific feedback. Group therapy is also a place to work with others on learning strategies to deal with specific problems or difficulties.

What types of group therapy do you offer?

A variety of groups are offered each semester, designed to cover a wide range of topics.  Typically, our department offers groups which address anxiety issues, eating disorders, mood disorders, loss and bereavement, life transition issues, relationship issues and general psychotherapy concerns.  New groups can be started if there is enough interest in a particular topic. 

Isn't individual therapy better?

Many students find group therapy to be even more effective than individual therapy.  By listening to and responding to concerns of others in the group, students often gain insight into their own difficulties.  Students often find that they feel better just knowing that they are not alone in their concerns.  You may be anxious at first about talking in group, but most students find this goes away within a few sessions.

How many people are in a therapy group?

Typically, therapy groups have 5-8 members.  In certain circumstances, a group may be slightly smaller or slightly larger.  Care is taken to make sure that groups do not include two students from the same residential college, graduate or professional program. 

How long do groups last?

Some groups are designed to last for one semester and some groups last for the entire academic year.  Many students appreciate the opportunity for ongoing therapy through our yearlong groups.  A group therapy session typically runs for 75 minutes on a weekly basis.

How does confidentiality work?

Group therapy is confidential.  Everything and anything disclosed in group sessions must remain private and confidential with all of the members of the group.  It is expected that anyone who joins a group agrees to this condition of confidentiality.

What groups are offered this semester?

If you are interested in joining a group, please call 203-432-0290 and schedule an initial appointment in our department. The therapist you see will be able to answer your questions about group therapy and the group therapy options being offered. If you already see a clinician in Mental Health & Counseling, you do not need to schedule a separate appointment. Your current clinician can answer your questions and refer you to a group if appropriate. 

As the semester progresses, some groups may fill up. If you are interested in joining a group that has already started or has already been filled, we may be able to start another section of the same group.

The following are groups being offered this semester:

Making Peace with Food

This 8-week group will address eating issues that frequently come up for students such as binging, purging, and restricting.  The focus of the group will be to develop permanent, healthy eating habits, to better understand the thoughts and emotions that often accompany unhealthy eating, and to develop healthier ways to manage these thoughts and emotions.  The group aims to be a supportive place for those interested in better understanding their relationship to food and developing a healthier relationship to food and eating.   

 General Psychotherapy Groups

These year-long psychotherapy groups give the opportunity to explore issues common to students in a more open ended way.  Issues that are frequently covered include academic concerns, finding a balance between work and personal life, relationships with friends, significant others, and family.  Students frequently find this open ended group to be a helpful source of support and insight as stressful times come up throughout the year.

 Calm Your Anxiety With CBT

This 8-week group will focus on developing strategies for managing anxiety through cognitive behavioral techniques.  The goal of the group is to offer an overview of how to identify triggers and maladaptive ways of thinking that contribute to anxiety and then change either thoughts or behaviors to help reduce anxiety.  The format of the group will be largely didactic and will require both in group exercises as well as weekly take home exercises to practice what has been discussed in group.

 Healthy Relationships

This 60-minute, 8 week psychotherapy group will focus on issues associated with interpersonal relationships, including communication, accountability, support, mutual understanding, assertiveness, and connectedness. These weekly sessions will allow students to better understand and manage the complicated dynamics that inherently arise in relationships (romantic, familial, friendship, professional, etc.), and to process the thoughts and emotions that come up as a result. Above all, the group aims to be a supportive place for students interested in developing and maintaining healthy relationships.  

 Adjusting to Yale

Undergraduate
This 60-minute, 8-week psychotherapy group will focus on issues associated with adjusting to college and the Yale experience. These weekly sessions will allow students to discuss the challenges of beginning college with other freshman who are going through the same transition. Topics will include (but are not limited to) homesickness, imposter syndrome, fitting in, making friends, and coping with stress/anxiety. Above all, the group aims to be a supportive place for students interested in a smoother transition to Yale.

Graduate
This 60 minute, 8-week psychotherapy group will focus on issues associated with adjusting to graduate school and the Yale experience. These weekly sessions will allow students to discuss the challenges of beginning college with other 1st year graduate students who are going through the same transition. Topics will include (but are not limited to) imposter syndrome, building community, balancing academic responsibilities and personal life, and coping with stress/anxiety. Above all, the group aims to be a supportive place for students interested in a smoother transition to Yale.