Group Counseling

It can help to talk things through with a trusted support network when you're struggling. Group counseling can create that network for you, offering a safe environment where you can share your challenges and get feedback from fellow Cougs who are experiencing similar issues – all under the guidance of a mental health professional.  

CAPS offers a wide variety of groups and workshops designed to help you alleviate stress and anxiety, teach you new skills, and let you try out new ways of approaching challenges.  

Want to join a group?

If you’re interested in group counseling at CAPS, please call 509-335-4511 to schedule your initial consultation appointment for more information.

If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 911. If you need urgent help, please let us know when you call. 

What to Expect

In group counseling, you’ll address personal issues through interpersonal interaction, education, and skills training. Group counseling provides a safe and confidential environment where you can deepen your self-awareness, enhance your coping skills, increase your sense of self-acceptance, and reduce your feelings of isolation or anxiety. If a mental health provider recommends group therapy to you, they will work with you to find a group that fits your schedule and needs. 

CAPS offers two types of groups: counseling groups and skills-based workshops. You can read more about each below. 

Counseling Groups

Counseling groups are safe spaces for you to share your feelings and find support from others facing similar situations. In counseling groups, you will: 

  • Share experiences and broaden your perspectives.
  • Receive feedback and support from other group members.
  • Identify new ways to improve your relationship with yourself and others.

Counseling groups are typically composed of 6-10 members and 1-2 professional group leaders. They meet once a week for either 60 or 90 minutes.  

  • Understanding Self & Others (USO)

    Undergraduate Students: Mondays, 3:10-4:30 (in person)

    This semester-long group is appropriate for undergraduate students with a wide range of concerns such as dissatisfied relationships, loneliness/social isolation, low self-esteem/confidence, or concerns with “not good enough” or judgment.

    Graduate Student Therapy Group: Thursdays, 3:10-4:30 p.m. (in person)

    This semester-long group is a good fit for graduate students facing challenges related to academics and personal and professional relationships, self-esteem/confidence, identity development, and career issues.

  • POINT- Processing of Interpersonal Trauma

    Tuesdays 3:10-4:30 

    This semester-long group is appropriate for survivors of interpersonal violence including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or childhood emotional/physical/sexual abuse. This group will focus on providing support to survivors, including establishing a “new normal” and enhancing compassion towards self.

  • Grief and Loss

    Wednesdays 2:10-3:30 

    Gathering in the shared experience of living with and adapting to the loss of a significant member (e.g., family, friend, or romantic partner) of one’s life. We invite undergraduate and graduate students into a relational processing of their grief; to join alongside peers in the shared experience of living with and making meaning of their loss.

  • Trans*cend (Gender Diversity Support)

    Fridays 4:10 - 5:00 

    This semester-long group provides a safe and welcoming space for students who identify as trans*, non-binary, intersex, gender-non-conforming, gender fluid, and/or gender questioning. The group is discussion based with topics brought up by group members and opportunities to share experiences, give advice, and offer support. This group remains open and continues to accept new members throughout the semester.

  • Cougs Affirming Neurodiversity (CAN)

    Tuesdays 1:10 - 2:30

    This student-centered support group is for students with or without a formal diagnosis (for example, ADHD, ASD, etc.) who identify as neurodivergent. Neurodiversity takes into account the natural and necessary variation in humans that make us unique and informs our lived experiences. Topic areas may include identity exploration, discussing strengths of the neurodiverse populations, navigating college life and connecting students to resources.

  • Res' Life Support Group (for Resident Advisors)

    Tuesdays 1:10 - 2:30

    This group is to discuss, process, and intervene in the unique struggles and stress that resident advisors encounter. We will provide support for the work life balance needed to be both a student and an employee. This group offers the help and guidance for RA's dealing with residents and their diverse issues.

Skills-Based Workshops

Our skill-building groups focus on giving you tools that help you face challenging situations with confidence. In our skill-building groups, you will: 

  • Learn and practice new skills to ease distress.
  • Learn to not react to unwanted thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
  • Shift your focus to what matters most to you.

Workshops can have between 6-18 members. Once a workshop starts, it meets weekly for 5-7 weeks (depending on the workshop). Some workshops follow a set schedule and are closed once the workshop starts; other workshops are open throughout the semester, and you can join at any time. 

  • CBT Anxiety

    Tuesdays 2:10 - 3:00 (in person) Wednesdays 1:10 - 2:00 (Zoom)

    This 6-week group utilizes cognitive-behavioral treatment that focuses on helping students challenge unhelpful thoughts and learn CBT skills and relaxation techniques to cope with anxiety more effectively. It is best suited for students having issues such as test anxiety, generalized anxiety, social anxiety/public speaking, panic disorder, and other depressive or adjustment disorders with anxiety features.

  • Mindfulness

    Thursdays 11:10 - 12:00 

    This group runs until the end of the semester and helps students learn mindfulness techniques (e.g., mindful breathing, sitting meditation, body scan, loving-kindness, mindfulness of thoughts, etc.) to relieve stress and worry, find a sense of calm, improve concentration and clarity, and increase self-compassion. It is well-suited for students with concerns relating to stress, anxiety, depression, and pain management.

  • Mood Management

    Thursdays 1:10-2:00 

    This 8-week group focuses on balancing wisdom from logic and emotions, shifting focus from autopilot, increasing distress tolerance, and improving relationships while acting congruently with values. It offers both information and discussion components and is ideal for students struggling with anxiety, depression, and emotional dysregulation. It is a drop-in group, meaning students can choose to join at any point depending on their interest in particular topics covered in this group.

  • Getting Unstuck

    Tuesdays 3:10- 4:00 (via Zoom)

    This 5-week group helps students “get unstuck” by teaching you skills to manage difficult thoughts/feelings/behaviors (e.g., anxiety, perfectionism, shame, procrastination) through acceptance and mindfulness strategies. These skills serve as a roadmap to help you identify what is important to you and actively create a meaningful life. Each week is a new skill/topic and students can join at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I join a group?

    Groups are open to all currently enrolled WSU students who have paid the student health fee. All potential group members will be asked to complete an initial consultation, which consists of paperwork and meeting with a counselor in order to determine if a group is the right fit for them. 

    • Skill-Building Groups: After meeting with a counselor, students will be placed in a workshop of their preference. 
    • Counseling/Support Groups: After meeting with a counselor, students will also meet with the group facilitator for a pre-group screening/orientation to find out more details about the group, discuss any concerns or questions about joining group, and review group agreements. 

    For more information, please contact us

  • Is this service included if I paid the student health fee?

    Yes, groups and workshops are included in the student health fee and there is no additional cost.

  • Can I join multiple groups?

    If you are interested in multiple groups, we recommend that you try them sequentially. Try a group one semester and then try the other group you are interested in the following semester.