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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 Center 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
  • 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.
 

Body BaLancer Group

This is a confidential support and psychoeducation group for students experiencing body dissatisfaction, food or weight preoccupations, overly rigid exercise routines, compulsive over or under-eating, or purging behaviors.  Group members will find support and feedback through others who are dealing with similar issues.  Additionally, group members will gain knowledge about possible causes  of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, as well as strategies to cope with these issues.  The goals of the group include reducing and eliminating disordered eating behaviors and strengthening appreciation of one’s body. 

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. Walls-McKay at 434.395.2409.

 

 

Succeed Socially

College is a time of excitement, challenge, and growth—socially as well as academically.  It may be difficult to feel comfortable at times.  Loneliness and fear are common, normal feelings that many students experience.  Succeed Socially is a group designed to help make the process of forming friendships a little easier.  Each week, the group will focus on learning social skills to enhance and build friendships and explore new ways of being socially engaged on campus.

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. Davino at 434.395.2409.

 

 

ACT Group

This group was started as an office collaboration between the Counseling Center and Office of Disability Resources in the Fall '09 and will continue in the Fall '14 semester. The group is open to any student who has officially registered with the Office of Disability Resources. The group meets in the Office of Disability Resources conference room. 

Advocacy, Communication, and Transition are at the core of what we discuss in this support group format. The students who have committed to each other for once a week for the better part of two semesters have found the group to be therapeutic and comfortable enough to openly discuss ideas and conflicts in their lives and process them with each other.

For more information contact the Office of Disability Resources.

 

Mood Improvement Group

This group aims to help you improve your mood and energy levels, as well as help identigy and remove obstacles that may be interfering with your social or academic success.  If you have been feeling deperessed, down, hopeless, homesick, or are having problems with motivation, this group may be for you. 

If you are interested in the group and/or have questions, please contact Dr. Amanda McKinney at 434-395-2409.

 

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.