Group Counseling

Group counseling provides a unique opportunity for students to receive multiple perspectives, support, and encouragement from other students in a safe environment. For many emotional concerns, personal struggles, and relationship issues, group counseling is the most effective treatment.

Group Counseling Sessions

Weekly group sessions are led by a mental health professional and range in size up to 10 students per session. Group members learn from and support one another in a setting guided by mutually agreed upon rules, practices, and procedures that promote respect, individual and group growth, and constructive exchanges.

Group counseling can help you:

  • Discover that you're not alone in your struggles, thoughts, and feelings
  • Learn from other students facing similar issues or problems
  • Gain multiple perspectives on your concerns
  • Feel more connected to others
  • Become more aware of yourself through genuine feedback from others
  • Develop new interpersonal skills that you can use in your daily life
  • Internalize the lessons you've learned by helping others in the group

Spring 2021 Group Counseling Opportunities

All groups are offered virtually through Zoom. Students must attend a group screen appointment with the facilitator before starting a group.

Fridays 3-4:30 p.m.
Sara Hirst, Psy. D and Will Spears, PhD.

Relationships with family members can have profound effects on our mental health. This group is open to any student who has difficult or strained relationships with their parent/primary caregiver or step-parent. The group will help you understand your family dynamics and how these dynamics impact your mental health, self-esteem, and other relationships (like friendships or dating). The group will help you better understand attachment theory (how the nature of family relationships contribute to our sense of safety or insecurity and give rise to feelings and beliefs about ourselves and others) and develop skills for interpersonal effectiveness, healthy communication, and boundary setting. Group members will receive and offer support and feedback as they work together to understand themselves and their relationships. 

Fridays 1-2:30 p.m.
Toni Gauthier, LCSW-R and Will Spears, PhD.

Explore concerns that are impacting your personal life and performance while in graduate school. Topics may include achieving work/life balance, returning to school as an adult learner, roadblocks to thesis completion, and the impact of family and financial concerns on one’s experience. Students in the group will examine how their interpersonal styles are related to their experiences in school and life in general.

Tuesdays 3:-4:30 p.m.
Feb. 16, Feb. 23, Mar. 2, Mar. 9, Mar. 16, Mar. 23
Toni Gauthier, LCSW

The RIT Counseling Center is offering a virtual Healing from Grief Support Group that can help make sense of loss and provide practical tools for coping.  Whether your loss happened recently or years ago, please join us.  This semi-structured group offers information on the grief process and emphasizes the unique nature of students’ grief experiences.  The group leader incorporates art projects to help with emotional expression.

Tuesdays 3-4:30 p.m.
Jaime Castillo, Ph.D, LMHC and AJ Pollard, trainee

Within this group, students will connect with other students who are experiencing overwhelming emotions, be it depression, anxiety, self-blame, etc, and learn concrete skills to identify unhelpful thoughts and implement new and individualized ways of regaining control. Because this group is grounded in CBT, it offers regular structure, education, reflection, and skills practice. Don’t worry though there is ample room for creativity, humor, and improvisation because life doesn’t happen in a vacuum!

Fridays 10-11:30 a.m. and Friday 2-3:30 p.m.
Raquel Bateman, Ph.D

This group uses the power of exposure and response prevention therapy to help students learn to live with anxiety – students will learn that leaning in to anxiety, instead of avoiding it, is the key to managing anxiety, instead of feeling like anxiety is managing you.  Students will receive support from others sharing similar struggles.

Tuesdays 1:30-3 p.m.
Amy Rosechandler, LMHC and Aliana Burgos, trainee

Skills group aims to support member’s insight into their emotions, behavior and thinking through discussion and activities on topics such as mindfulness skills, decision-making skills and values clarification.  Members often report greater sense of acceptance, control and balance.

Wednesdays 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Toni Gauthier, LCSW-R and Maggie Reilly, PA

This science-based program using rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and motivational interviewing helps promote individual choice and gain motivation for change. There is no sponsorship requirement and no spirituality or religious component.  The program uses hierarchy of values tool and change plan worksheet to help you move forward and create change in your life.

Mondays 3-4:30 p.m.
Grace Weinstein LCSW she/her/hers, and Yezenia Rodriguez, trainee

This group is a living laboratory to explore our default ways of being with one another, and to try out new ways of relating. It is an excellent place to explore what gets in the way in your relationships- have trouble advocating for yourself? Talking about personal issues? Telling someone they hurt your feelings? USO Group is a great place to try this out in a safe environment, and explore why these things might be hard for you. Students report feeling less alone in their struggles, understanding themselves better, and growing in their relationships. 

For more information, contact our groups coordinator, Amy Rosechandler, at

Virtual Drop-in Connections

Join Counseling and Psychological Services and NTID Counseling and Psychological Services for virtual drop-in connection events to help you thrive and connect during this time of transition. These groups are designed to create a safe space to discuss emotional reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and its many consequences, including:

  • abrupt transition to online learning
  • being forced to unexpectedly leave your college community
  • adjusting to living at home with family, friends, or alone
  • grief regarding important semester milestones being cancelled or postponed
  • fear about illness
  • uncertainty about co-ops and jobs

Register via CampusGroups to join one of our upcoming connections.

Mondays 4-5 p.m.
Being an Out-Of-State, Remote, or Quarantined Student in the COVID Era

Tuesdays 12-1 p.m.
Being an International Student in the COVID Era

Tuesdays 4-5 p.m.
Greek Life in the COVID Era

Thursdays 1-2 p.m.
Being a Student-Athlete in the COVID Era

Odessa Despot PhD, Isabel Chandler LMHC and MCAS Staff

Real Talk is a virtual series co-hosted by students Lauren Thompkins, Aja Lecointe-Wilkinson, Saranya Dadi, Natalie Robinson and CaPS therapists Isabel Chandler and Odessa Despot. Real Talk is a CaPS + MCAS initiative and focuses on the impact of current trends and news, social media hot topics, intersectionality, self-care, and mental health & well-being for students. Students gain support and community in sharing their diverse experiences as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Open to all students identifying as ALANA and BIPOC.

Contact for more information.

Fridays 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Isabel Chandler, LMHC and Odessa Despot, PhD.

5 Sessions starting February 26

Students identifying as women of color (WOC) are invited to participate in a healing circle with co-facilitators, Odessa Despot and Isabel Chandler, mental health professionals from Counseling and Psychological Services and visible women of color. Our healing circle is intended to be a safe place for women of color with intersecting identities to come together and explore identity trauma, healing, and wellness. Participants will receive a prompt each meeting (curious question, media etc.) and asked to reflect and discuss its personal relevance. Identity exploration as it pertains to race, ethnicity and gender are key features of this group. The intention is to provide a space for connection, appreciation, and unity while we explore ourselves in the context of shared experiences as women of color. By the 5th session the group will develop a collective action plan that reflects the needs and/or experiences of the group. This culmination could take the form of a personal or community initiative, project, form of media or alternate form of connection. Open to all students identifying as Women of Color.

Thursdays 4-5 p.m.
Lisa Rizzo, LCSW and Toni Gauthier, LCSWR

Improved sleep can have a beneficial impact on your mental, physical and overall wellbeing, including your academic success, memory and athletic performance. This virtual drop-in workshop is aimed to help RIT students enhance the quality of sleep, while also providing connection and support for those who are experiencing sleep issues.