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Current Group Offerings and Group Descriptions

Participation in a group is by appointment only.  Please call Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) at 585-475-2261, email,, or stop in our office on the second floor of the August Center if you are interested in joining a group or would like additional information. Group therapy is powerful tool for growth and change. Groups are offered through CaPS that address student concerns in a variety of areas although the needs of students determine the specific types and numbers of groups available in any given semester. The following list describes topical groups offered.



Anxiety Group

This group is designed for students who struggle with anxiety, in its many forms.  Anxiety can involve worry about the future, an expectation of something undesirable happening, which is a normal human experience, but when the anxiety is so great that it gets in the way of completing schoolwork, pursuing friendships, etc., it can be helpful to seek support.  Anxiety can, and often does, involve physical reactions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and these can vary widely from student to student – some students may have panic attacks, some may have specific fears, some may have rituals they engage in.  The group model is founded upon the idea moving TOWARD anxiety, instead of working hard to avoid experiencing anxiety, is a critical component to learning to manage it.  This group focuses on helping students learn mindfulness and cognitive behavioral techniques (with an emphasis on exposure), all approaches are supported by scientific evidence, to effectively manage anxiety and live life the way one prefers, without having to work around anxiety.  Finally, this group recognizes the value of support as changes are made, so some group time will be spent providing opportunity for discussion and building connections among group members.     Primary Contact:  Raquel Bateman, PhD  (



Interpersonal Process Group

This group offers participants opportunity in a safe, confidential space to share their thoughts and feelings about life struggles and find support and empathy from peers, who may share similar feelings and experiences, or helpful understanding. The group also focuses on interpersonal dynamics, where participants gain insight into who they are as individuals by getting honest feedback from others. The result is increased confidence in self-expression and a deeper understanding of the impact we have on others. The skill and insight participants gain in this group will improve all types of relationships.    Primary Contact:  Kate Buckley, LCSW-R  (

Skills for Intense Emotions and Relationships

This group targets three key areas to help participants feel more empowered and effective with: 1) communicating and responding to strong/painful emotions; 2) managing crisis/distress without resorting to damaging or unwanted behaviors; and 3) maintaining healthy and satisfying relationships that enhance self-esteem. This skills group aims to support participant insights into emotions, behavior and thinking through discussion and activities on topics such as mindfulness, decision-making, and values clarification. Participants often report improved sense of acceptance for self and others, relationship stability, and “life balance”.   Primary Contact: Amy Rosechandler, LMHC, CGP  (


Eating Concerns

Eating Disorders Group

This group is for students struggling with disordered eating, in its many forms (e.g, restricting food, binge-eating, purging), and dissatisfaction with their bodies. The group teaches strategies to help students make changes in whatever area they are ready to make changes in and also intends to foster a community of support for students as changes are made.  Strategies to help build awareness of, and help reconnect in a helpful way with, our thoughts, our feelings, our body, and our behaviors will be taught, with the intention of highlighting the importance of connecting with these different areas, even when there may be discomfort involved.  The group model is founded upon the idea that moving toward discomfort is a critical process involved in learning how to manage it. Mindful yoga will be utilized throughout the group to help build awareness of, and foster a more accepting connection with, our bodies.     Primary Contact:  Raquel Bateman, PhD  (



Unified Protocol Group

This group is for students who struggle with intense emotions (e.g. sadness, anxiety, fear, and anger) and want to learn how to manage these emotions more effectively. This evidence-based treatment, called the Unified Protocol (UP), combines cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and mindfulness. UP group is designed to help participants target emotional processes that underlie diverse problems and diagnoses, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and panic disorder. This is a very “hands-on” group, focused on understanding emotions, ways to approach emotions before they become overwhelming or lead to even less desireable behavior. The specific skills focused on include: developing the motivation to try out and maintain new behaviors, taking new perspectives on troublesome thoughts, remaining more mindful and aware when things get intense, and dealing with the uncomfortable physical sensations that often come along with intense emotions. The group emphasizes non-judgment and acceptance, and encourages members to support one another as we practice new skills and take steps towards our goals.  Primary Contact:  Susan Chapel, LMHC  (


Graduate Student Support

Graduate Student Support Group

This group intend to improve academic 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.    Primary Contact:  Toni Gauthier, LCSW  (


Grief/Loss Support

Grief Support: Life After Loss

This is a grief support group for students who have experienced the loss of a close friend or loved one. The group will involve processing one’s own experience of loss in a safe and supportive environment. Participants will also engage in education and exploration related to their grief reaction and moving forward with their lives after the loss. Art therapy techniques will be utilized during some group sessions as a means to creatively express feelings associated with loss.    Primary Contact:  Toni Gauthier, LCSW  (



Sleep Workshop

This two-part workshop is offered several times during each semester for those interested in learning more about sleep and ways to improve their sleep habits. Adequate sleep is essential to optimal academic and work performance. Sleep deprivation can contribute to reduced resources for managing stress, anxiety and depression and is associated with vulnerability to illness. Participants will explore their own barriers to adequate sleep and will be provided with general strategies for overcoming insomnia and developing healthy sleep habits. Those students who are interested in more intensive insomnia treatment will be referred for additional mental health services.    Primary Contact: Toni Gauthier, LCSW  (


Transgender Support

Trans Process Group

This group is designed to support any student who identifies as transgender, and is open to students at any phase of their transition (including students for whom transition is not currently possible or desired). Goals of this group include increasing confidence, building social connections, navigating interpersonal relationships with friends and family, providing education about campus and community resources, and developing a strong culture of support amongst group members. The group encourages open dialogue and personal reflection, and is a place for students to discuss both trans-specific and general topics.    Primary Contact: Sara Hirst, PhD  (



Healing through Empowerment

This group is designed to support individuals as they work to heal after experiencing interpersonal trauma. Whether these harmful life events have been one-time events or recurrent hurtful experiences over one’s development, the impact of these past harmful experiences can carry forward into the present. The group aims to assist participants in developing various empowerment skills and strategies to reduce potential for future harm and to heal from what has happened in their lives. Group members will also develop an understanding of the common impacts that abusive treatment from others can have on people and how to cope with its current impacts. Topics include: 1. Understanding trauma and how it impacts people; 2. Understanding your identity and what it means to you; 3. Boundary Setting: Physical and Emotional; 4. Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion; 5. Self-Soothing and Feeling Better; 6. Relationships, Intimacy, and Trust.  Primary Contact: Kristina Walker, LMHC (