Counseling Center Groups

During the Fall 2022 semester, counseling groups will take place through secure video conferencing.

Why Group?

Counseling groups allow students to address their concerns through engagement with others. Some groups provide opportunities for students to explore personal issues and interpersonal relationships in a setting where honest feedback, reflection, and support from peers can occur; others provide a space for discussion, exploration, and providing support around common experiences; and still others offer skills that can be practiced and applied in lived experience.

Treatment groups are especially effective for those interested in exploring their interpersonal style and enhancing their approach to relationships in such areas as trust, intimacy, anger, conflict, assertiveness, taking risks, and improving self-esteem. Drop-in groups offer places to connect and to learn without as much of a commitment to developing cohesiveness with specific individuals. Please discuss your interest in joining a group at your initial appointment or with your current therapist.

Not sure if group counseling is right for you? Your therapist can discuss with you the ways in which one or more of our groups could be beneficial to you.

Group Confidentiality

One of the most important aspects of participating in a group is the trust and safety that is built between members. While group therapists have an ethical and legal obligation to uphold client confidentiality, group members must be prepared to make a commitment to respect the rights to privacy and/or confidentiality of other members in the group. As in any relationship, the development of trust, cohesion, and a sense of safety allows people to talk personally and honestly, and are essential to the process, no matter which group(s) you are attending. Depending on the groups, some other commitments might include agreeing to come for a minimum number of sessions, making an effort to attend every group meeting, and informing group facilitators and/or other members if you should need to miss a group session.

Available Groups

Listing of Treatment Groups

Below is the list of confidential counseling groups that are typically offered with a closed roster (i.e., therapist[s] as identified treatment provider[s]; group screening for fit required; some level of commitment expected).

These groups are open to KSAS, WSE, Peabody and School of Education students who are eligible for Counseling Center services and are located in Maryland (or other locations where the facilitator[s] are licensed or permitted to practice). For more information or to schedule a group screening appointment, please call the Counseling Center at 410-516-8278.

View listing of drop-in groups (i.e., non-treatment; no roster, less commitment).

Dissertation Group

Working on a dissertation can sometimes feel lonely, overwhelming, and can seem never-ending. Join other advanced graduate students to share suggestions, encouragement, and support. Topics discussed include motivation, time and workload management, self-doubt, perfectionism, dealing with faculty, and balancing dissertation with other things in your life.

Contact: Dr. Fred Gager

EMDR-IGTP-OTS-R (2)

The EMDR Therapy Groups at the CC offer the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Integrative Group Treatment Protocol for Ongoing Traumatic Stress – Remote (EMDR-IGTP-OTS-R) protocol modified to be open enrollment (join any time) and heterogeneous (open to all identities and types of experience).

EMDR Therapy is a gold standard trauma treatment that is also increasingly found to be effective for a variety of mental health conditions that are rooted in unprocessed, pathogenic memories. Using forms of bilateral stimulation, EMDR Therapy helps people work through traumatic experiences in a safe enough manner so that memories can be processed and integrated.

The EMDR Therapy Groups at the CC allow for individualized and confidential processing of traumatic experiences within the supportive container of the group setting. However, you will never be asked to tell your story to the other group members – in fact, you may not ever say a word to them! The group delivery of EMDR Therapy also allows this powerful treatment modality to be accessible to more people than could be served by individual EMDR therapy (which is generally not available at the CC).

These groups are available to clients of the Counseling Center after a group screening session to determine suitability and fit – some contraindications apply. Two sections of EMDR Therapy Groups are available.

If you are curious about the EMDR Therapy Groups, you can find more information here and/or discuss it with your CC counselor.

Contact: Karen Taylor, LCSW-C

Graduate Student Therapy/ USO Group (2)

These groups provide a space for graduate students to discuss and explore interpersonal concerns and challenges, while developing a better Understanding of Self and Others (USO). Themes might include, but are not limited to: observing and processing ways of managing conflict; developing more satisfying relationships (romantic, social, and familial); difficult family and social histories; coping with academic demands; and life transitions.

1 – Contacts: Dr. Shemika Brooks

2 – Contacts: Dr. Shemika Brooks

Living with Mood Disorders Group

This support/discussion group is designed for graduate and undergraduate students who have been diagnosed and treated for Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder. Questions addressed by the group include: How does my diagnosis impact how I feel about myself? How might mood disorder impact my future? How do I talk about my mental health concerns to others? How can I reach a greater level of self- acceptance? How can I manage my illness so that my life is satisfying? Am I different from others?

Contact: Dr. Fred Gager

(Social) Skills Quest: A Dungeons and Dragons Therapy Group

This group uses the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons to aid individuals in addressing their concerns in a safe and fun way. Through questing and working together with their party, individuals will be able to experiment with new ways of being and interacting, as well as learn from others. This group is a good fit for those struggling with social barriers and concerns, anxiety, and other issues such as depression or isolation. No experience with tabletop gaming is necessary, and all materials will be provided.

Contacts: Dr. William Nation

Undergrad Understanding Self & Others Group

This group provides a space for undergraduate and non-teaching graduate students to discuss and explore interpersonal concerns and challenges, while developing a better Understanding of Self and Others (USO). Themes might include, but are not limited to: observing and processing ways of managing conflict; developing more satisfying relationships (romantic, social, and familial); difficult family and social histories; coping with academic demands; and life transitions.

Contacts: Dr. Shemika Brooks

Undergrad USO Group (2)

These USO groups are for undergraduate students who want to gain a greater understanding of their relational styles and to explore interpersonal concerns and challenges. By examining interactions that occur within the group, participants develop skills that can lead to satisfying relationships with self as well as with others – including professional, peer, and romantic relationships.

1 – Contact: Dr. Fred Gager

2 – Contacts: Dr. Shemika Brooks

Yoga As Healing

Yoga as Healing is a six-week mind/body group for survivors of any type of trauma, self-defined. This group offers survivors a safe space to gain greater awareness around strength, stability, assertiveness, and mindfulness. Sessions will focus on different themes, various restorative and therapeutic postures, explore positive affirmations, and will be coupled with guided activities including readings, journaling, and creative exercises. No prior yoga experience necessary and students of all genders are welcome.

A group screening appointment must be scheduled in order to determine suitability and fit for the group. The Fall 2022 Group is forming now and is planned to start by late September/early October, as an in-person group on the Homewood campus. Please call 410-516-8278 for more information or for a screening appointment if you would like to join the Yoga as Healing group.

Contacts: Karen Taylor, LCSW-C & Nila Berger, E-RYT200

Listing of Drop-In Groups

Below is the list of drop-in groups that have been offered in the past (i.e., non- treatment; no roster, less commitment). You do not have to be a client of the Counseling Center in order to participate in these groups.

These groups are open to all JHU students and learners. For more information, please call the Counseling Center at 410-516-8278.

View listing of confidential treatment groups (i.e., therapist[s] as identified treatment provider[s]; group screening for fit required; some level of commitment expected).

Asian & Asian American Mental Health Discussion Series

Time TBD

This is a drop-in discussion series for Asians and Asian Americans of all ethnic backgrounds to explore the impact of their culture, heritage and identity on mental health and wellness. Co-sponsored by the JHU Counseling Center, UHS, Shepard Pratt and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Additional information will be updated soon!

Contacts: Dr. Susan Han

Emotional Adulting

Mondays 5:30 – 5:55pm, weekly on Zoom

Emotional Adulting is a brief, drop-in skills group designed to help you work with your emotions from a space of compassion, awareness, non-judgment, and curiosity. The skills taught in this group, which are generally drawn from mindfulness and trauma symptom management practices, are beneficial for our general emotional well-being as well for helping to manage distress related to depression, anxiety, trauma, and other experiences.

Each week will focus on a different practice and the curriculum will repeat. Come to all eight sessions, come to one, or pick and choose depending on your interest and schedule. Topics include Grounding, the Window of Tolerance, Containment, and Calm Place Imagery.

Registration for Fall 2022 Sessions here.

Contacts: Karen Taylor, LCSW-C

FLI Graduate Student Drop-in Group

Fridays 1-2:30pm, biweekly on Zoom

This is a drop-in group space for FLI (first generation, limited income) graduate students to receive support, build community, and increase empowerment. Group members will have the opportunity to connect with each other through open discussions of academic experiences, personal identity, and mental health. Register here for the drop-in group sessions you would like to attend.

Contacts: Dr. Morgan Christie

Sister 2 Sister

Thursdays 1-2:30pm, weekly on Zoom

A supportive and safe space for Black women (open to all undergraduate and graduate students) to build community as they freely explore and discuss challenges related to identity, academic life, current events, relationships, and mental health. Register here for the meetings you would like to attend to join this group.

Contacts: Dr. RaiNesha L. Miller