Group Therapy

“Thank you for all your help in group. I’ve been implementing the techniques we learned and I’m doing much better and feeling happier than ever.” - Yale student

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.

If you are interested in group therapy, please schedule an initial appointment. The therapist you meet with will answer your questions about group therapy and the group therapy options being offered.  If you already see a clinician in Mental Health and Counseling, you do not need to schedule a separate intake appointment.  Your current clinician can answer your questions and refer you to a group if appropriate. 

Group Therapy Options 2022-2023

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 descriptions of groups that we may offer in any semester:

CBT for Anxiety

This 60-minute group meets for 8 weeks and 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. 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression

This 2 hour and 15 minute group meets for 8 weeks and is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program that teaches skills to develop a different way of relating to one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that are frequently present when mood is low. MBCT is specifically designed to help people who suffer repeated episodes of depression and chronic unhappiness, and it combines principles of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes that cultivate mindfulness. Participants become acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them. MBCT format is a combination of structured class format and experiential mindfulness practices. 

DBT Coping Skills

This 90-minute group will meet weekly for approximately 10-12 weeks, depending on the start date and group member preferences. The DBT skills group is a behavioral skills training group intended to help individuals learn how to purposefully and non-judgmentally attend to the present moment, get through distressing situations without making things worse, understand and manage emotions, accept painful events and emotions, assert their needs, improve relationships, and maintain self-respect. These reflect a balance of both acceptance skills (i.e., mindfulness and distress tolerance) and change skills (i.e., emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness). This group will be helpful to those who struggle with chronic emotion dysregulation as well as those who engage in ongoing impulsive and harmful behaviors.  

Making Peace with Food

This is a 60-minute weekly group that 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 and to develop healthier ways to manage difficult thoughts and emotions. The group aims to be a supportive place for those interested in better understanding their relationship with food and their body.  

Grief/Loss Group

This 60-minute weekly group is open to both graduate and undergraduate students who have experienced the death of an immediate family member or caregiver. The group will offer a space to connect with other students who have experienced significant loss with the intention of providing support and to allow exploration of thoughts and feelings associated with bereavement. 

Thriving at Yale w/ ADHD

This semester-long, weekly, 50-minute, neurodiversity-affirmative group focuses on understanding the diverse ways in which ADHD can show up in your life; developing academic success strategies and accurate self-understanding; navigating a neuroptypical world; how neurodiversity and ADHD intersects with other lived identities; effective self-advocacy; and managing anxiety and social concerns.  Group is a great format to connect with others who “get it,” and you don’t need a formal ADHD diagnosis to attend.  Undiagnosed students, newly diagnosed folks, as well as long-time ADHDers are welcome. Group is open to graduate and undergraduate students.

Coping with Medical Issues

This is a 60-minute semester-long group that meets weekly for students managing chronic medical conditions or with a history of serious medical issues. The group offers a space for members to support each other and explore topics such as: how our illness affects our relationships with loved ones, how we cope with pain, how to get the support we need, and how to manage anxiety around our health. 

Women of Color Group, Separate Ug and Grad Sections

This 60-minute semester-long group meets weekly and focuses on the needs of students who self-identify as women of color and who are experiencing depression, anxiety, or stress.  This group offers a space for students to explore their experiences, navigating internal experiences and social interactions within and outside of the Yale community. Students are encouraged to give voice to feelings related to campus culture, racism, discrimination, racial/ethnic identity, oppression and privilege, relationships, family, self-esteem, and intersectionality. The group aims to provide therapeutic interventions focused on affirming each students’ cultural narrative, improving coping skills, and fostering resiliency and growth.

Being Biracial

This 60-minute, semester-long group meets weekly and centers around the distinct experiences of having biracial heritage. This group offers a space for students to explore how their racial identity has been shaped. Students are encouraged to consider how various aspects of identity and social context (e.g., ethnic identities, language(s), family culture, geographic location, socioeconomic status, politics, stereotypes, physical appearance, social validation/invalidation) impact their sense of self and sense of belonging. Students are also invited to reflect on how their experiences at Yale may influence their racial self-expression (or lack thereof). The right to choose whether/how students racially identify will be affirmed. 

Living Your Best Queer Life at Yale

This 60-minute semester-long weekly group is a space for LGBTQIA+ and questioning students to make connections, build relationships, explore gender and sexuality, and find resources at Yale. Topics may include understanding our identities, coming out, accessing medical care, navigating difficult conversations, gender identities, intersectionality, and more. The aim of this group is to support each other in realizing and living our best lives as queer people at Yale and beyond.

Interpersonal Skills for Students on the Spectrum

This 60-minute weekly group is for students on the autism spectrum (or for those who struggle with social interactions) to have a space to practice connecting with peers in a safe and supportive environment. It will be run like a Relationships/process group but co-leaders will more directly address interpersonal dynamics to facilitate learning and growth.

International Students Group

This 60-minute semester-long (with the option to continue for the next semester) group meets weekly and focuses on the needs of international students. This group offers a space for students who are experiencing acculturative stress, language difficulties, cultural misunderstandings, racial discrimination, and loss of social support within and outside of the Yale community. The group aims to increase social support, reduce cultural isolation, and normalize the challenges of studying abroad.

Undergrad General Therapy Group

This 60-minute, year-long group is an opportunity for undergrads to improve their ability to open up to others and connect. It is a space where students can share what they are going through and hear how others have dealt with similar situations. In the process, students will come to understand more about how they come off to others and what their role is in groups, allowing them to change patterns that aren’t working for them. Above all, the group aims to be a supportive place for students interested in developing and maintaining healthy relationships of all kinds.

Grad Relationships Group

This 60-minute, semester-long group (with the option to continue for the next semester) will focus on issues associated with interpersonal relationships, including communication, 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 of all kinds.    

My First Year at Yale- Graduate Students

Graduate students who are new to Yale University and the Greater New Haven area oftentimes may struggle to have a space that allows them to authentically share their feelings and concerns about starting this new graduate student chapter of life. This 60-minute, semester-long psychotherapy group is designed to provide a weekly confidential space where graduate students can receive support and feedback from their peers on the newness of life at Yale. Topics discussed in this group can range from adjustment to graduate school, adjustment to a new city, imposter syndrome, navigating your program, building a social life, coping with stress, identity development, and more. 

My First Year at Yale- Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students who are new to Yale University and the Greater New Haven area oftentimes may struggle to have a space that allows them to authentically share their feelings and concerns about starting this new undergraduate student chapter of life. This 60-minute, semester-long psychotherapy group is designed to provide a weekly confidential space where new students at Yale (first year students as well as transfer students) can receive support and feedback from their peers on the newness of life at Yale. Topics discussed in this group can range from adjustment to university life, adjustment to New Haven, homesickness, imposter syndrome, navigating your program, building a social life, coping with stress, identity development, and more. 

Cultivating Body Awareness through Gentle Yoga

This 90-minute therapy group incorporates gentle yoga and is offered for four consecutive weeks. This group is for anyone seeking to feel more connected to their bodies, cultivate self-acceptance, amplify self-affirmation, and challenge the socio-political messages that promote body dissatisfaction and feelings of being stuck and static. Through discussion and guided movement, group members will be encouraged to: notice their present moment experience, respond to needs rather than conforming to rigid structures, reclaim balance, observe strength, and engage in self-expression. We will reflect on how to cultivate these processes of holistic affirmation off the yoga mat and into daily life.