Group Counseling

Check back for more information on Fall 2024 offerings! 

What are Understanding Self and Others groups? USO groups provide a safe and confidential environment for group members to receive multiple people’s perspectives, feedback, and support and to experiment with new ways of behaving. Group members can develop insight into themselves and their relationship patterns, explore thoughts and feelings, and learn to communicate better.  

Here are some common concerns discussed in USO groups: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety or nervousness when talking to people  
  • Worrying about how you come across to others  
  • Finding it hard to make friends or connect with people 
  • Difficulty with dating or romantic relationships 
  • Low self-esteem or allowing others to treat you poorly 

It’s not uncommon for group members to tell us that they were skeptical at first about joining a group, but afterward they were really glad they did.  

How to join? 

Students are required to have an appointment with a CAPS clinician prior to joining a USO group. To get started, call CAPS at 330-672-2487 to set up a CAPS Consultation appointment. Your clinician will guide you through the process.  

For more detailed information and answers to common questions about CAPS’ USO groups, scroll down to read our Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact CAPS’ Groups Coordinator, Dr. Jen Grzegorek, at jgrzego1@kent.edu


FAQs: 

What is group therapy? 

Group therapy is a form of treatment in which a small number of people get together in a confidential and safe setting to help themselves and each other under the guidance of trained leaders. Group members can express their own feelings and reactions and give each other feedback. These interactions give group members opportunities to learn more about the way they interact with others. Group can be seen as a safe “laboratory” where you can experiment with new ways of behaving. As just one example, if you are a person who tends to act like everything’s fine on the outside even when things don’t feel fine on the inside, in group you might experiment with allowing your genuine feelings to show.   

Why should I join a USO group instead of individual therapy? 

Many people are surprised to learn that group therapy is as effective as individual therapy, and for some concerns it is more effective. Here are a few advantages of groups: 1) Group offers the opportunity to hear multiple people’s perspectives, while individual therapy can only offer you one perspective. 2.) Group can offer something that’s rare to find: people who will point out - in a respectful, gentle way - how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or your relationships. You and your fellow group members become invested in helping each other grow. 3.) In group therapy you can see that others share similar struggles as you. You learn that maybe you’re not alone or as different as you think. 

What is a typical USO group like at CAPS? 

USO groups start accepting new members at the beginning of each semester, and once they are full, they close. This helps promote bonding and a sense of safety. Each group is made up of about 5-8 students and 1-2 group leaders who meet for 90 minutes every week for the duration of the semester. Some groups are held entirely in person, while others are held entirely virtually.  

What if I feel anxious in groups? Will I be judged or criticized? 

It is normal to feel nervous about starting group therapy. When the group first starts, most new group members worry about saying the wrong thing or have fears that they will be judged. Almost without exception, though, members find that within a few sessions they begin to feel more comfortable and less anxious. Remember, too, that the group leaders are there to guide the process and create a safe environment for all members. 

I’m not comfortable sharing my feelings in front of a group of strangers. 

That’s okay - group members are never forced to share anything they do not want to. The leaders are there to make sure no one is pressured to talk, even when asked a direct question. You decide what and when you want to share. Remember, too, that your fellow group members probably won’t feel like strangers for long.  

What if I see someone I know in the group? 

Though uncommon, this does occasionally happen. If you see someone you know in the group, let the group leaders know as soon as possible so that the situation may be addressed. The group leaders, in consultation with the group members, will decide how best to handle the situation. Sometimes both people end up staying in the group, while at other times one of the members finds a different group to join.  

What’s the process for joining? 

Students are required to meet with a CAPS clinician prior to joining a USO group. Interested students should call CAPS at 330-672-2487 to set up a CAPS Consultation appointment. At your appointment, let your clinician know you’re interested in joining a group, and they will provide more information and guide you to the next step. You’ll meet with the group leader(s) to talk in more detail about the group so that you know what to expect. This meeting is an opportunity to get all your questions answered and to decide whether USO is a good fit for you. 

Is there a cost? 

Students recommended for individual or group therapy at CAPS are eligible for up to six covered sessions each academic year. Beyond that, group sessions are billed to insurance. For students who don’t have insurance, CAPS offers self-pay rates.