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Group Counseling

Why Group?

Group approaches to personal growth are frequently the most effective way to explore and support changes you may wish to make in your life. The Longwood University Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) hosts a variety of groups in which students can gain specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals, explore interpersonal challenges, and gain support and encouragement from other students on campus.

What is Group?

  • Groups tend to have 4 to 10 students who meet face-to-face weekly for 60-90 minutes.
  • One or more trained professionals assist group members in helping themselves and one another.
  • There are many types of groups, and each one is conducted somewhat differently.

How will Group help?

  • Some groups focus on personal growth through interpersonal relationships, where much of the learning comes from the interaction of members themselves.
  • Other groups focus on building skills and addressing how to control self-defeating thoughts and alter troubling behaviors.
  • Others might focus on providing a place for individuals working through similar circumstances to provide support and understanding for one another.

How do I get the most out of Group?

  • It is normal to feel nervous when starting a group. You can test the waters while challenging yourself to open up.
  • Use the group to "try out" new behaviors and take the opportunity to hear others’ reactions to it.
  • Help create a sense of trust and safety by honoring each other’s confidentiality.
  • People often have different thoughts about the group after the meeting. It is much more helpful to hold on to those thoughts and discuss them during the next group meeting rather than discussing them outside of group.
  • Be honest and direct about your feelings in the moment.
  • Listen and contribute. Share the time and the work.
  • Commit to attending at least three sessions. The first session can often be intimidating and is not a good gauge of how group will be helpful.

How do I join?

  • If you are interested in one of our groups, want more information, or are curious about which group will be the best fit for you, please contact 434.395.2409 or longwoodCAPS@longwood.edu.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet with the group co-facilitators before making a decision to commit to a group. They can answer any questions, prepare you for what to expect and how to get the most out of group, and explain the guidelines of that particular group in more detail.

ACT Group

This support group was established at Longwood in the Fall '09 as a collaboration between CAPS and the Office of Disability Resources.  The group is open to any student who has registered with the Office of Disability Resources. Advocacy, Communication, and Transition (ACT) provides a safe place for students to openly discuss issues, share concerns, and receive support.

This group meets Thursdays starting at 3:30 in the Office of Disability Resources.  If you are interested in ACT and/or have questions, please contact Lindsay Farrar 434.395.2391 trs: 711 or Dr. Maureen Walls-McKay at 434.395.2409.



Trauma Support Group

It is not unusual for many of us to experience traumatic events in our lives; however, for some, the process of recovery can be more challenging. The college environment and life stressors can make it even more difficult for students to begin healing from trauma. The Trauma Support Group will combine psychoeducation about traumatic experiences and the effects on our bodies, minds, and relationships, with a supportive environment for students to feel comfortable discussing their experiences and the impact of trauma on their lives. This group will be open to students who have endured various types of trauma, including (but not limited to), verbal abuse, physical or sexual assault, and witnessing or involvement in horrific experiences. The goal of the Trauma Support Group will be to provide a safe place for students to come together and support one another in recovery.

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. Glass at 434.395.2409 or longwoodCAPS@longwood.edu.


Balanced Living Group

We’re all doing the best we can and most of us want to improve, but sometimes, we find ourselves repeating the same ineffective patterns. This group is based on the notion that all thoughts, actions, and emotions are caused by something, and that figuring out and changing the causes of behavior work better than judging and blaming ourselves and others. Designed to supplement individual therapy, this structured group will teach students skills in the following areas: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. This group will teach students to use more effective behaviors and eliminate those that are unhelpful or destructive with the goal of building a life that feels more worth living.

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. Glass at 434.395.2409 or longwoodCAPS@longwood.edu.


Grief and Loss Support Group

College campuses can be a difficult environment to find a place to stop and reflect on the impact of losing someone. Students can often experience difficulties after losing someone, such as isolation and depression, since healing from grief is not an easy process. Sometimes the process can be long and painful. This  grief group is designed to help students set aside a time and place to reflect, remember, and heal. This group provides a confidential and safe environment for students to explore their grief.  We hope to help students along their journey towards healing by establishing a supportive place for students to discuss their loss.

The group meets on Tuesdays starting at 3:30pm in CAPS's group room.  If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. McKinney at 434.395.2409 or longwoodCAPS@longwood.edu.


Stress & Anxiety Management

The group's primary theoretical focus will be cognitive-behavioral as well as be a support group for students who have difficulty managing stress and anxiety.  This will be an open group and each week will introduce new techniques on managing stress.  The first week will be an introduction which will discuss and formulate the rules of the group as well as go over issues of confidentiality.  First week will also have each member introduce themselves and discuss how stress is impacting them.  In the following weeks information on stress/anxiety management as well as cognitive-behavioral interventions will be introduced.  The objective of the psychoeducational information is to help students be aware of healthy vs. dysfunctional stress, how to much stress impacts our functioning, and the physiological impact of stress on the body.  Interventions will include learning stress tolerance, meditation Mindfulness exercises, importance of physical exercise, and deep breathing.

A stress management plan will also be discussed from a strength-based approach.  The stress management plan will make group members aware of how stress impacts them physically, emotionally, cognitively, behaviorally, and socially.  The stress management plan also will address from a strength based approach of adopting new as well as past successful strategies to help group members deal with stress in all areas of functioning. 

The second phase of the group will be a support group where each one discusses their stress each week and how they coped with their anxiety as well as receiving and providing support for other group members.  Issues of time management and procrastination may also be addressed as additional topics if necessary as they are often related to stress/anxiety.

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. David Davino at 434-395-2409 or longwoodCAPS@longwood.edu.