Frequently Asked Questions about Group Therapy

Q: What is group therapy?

A: Group therapy is a widely used treatment for many psychological disorders and relational concerns.  Students meet in groups of 6-10 with 1-2 trained therapists.  Groups are structured to provide opportunities to give and receive support and examine patterns that keep you from functioning your best. 

Q: Is there any time commitment?

A:  Counseling & Psychiatry asks that students commit to at least 5 consecutive group meetings.  If at any point you would like to stop attending group we ask that you address your concerns in group to determine if changes can be made to improve your experience.  Additionally, rather than just stop attending we prefer for you to make an effort to say good-bye to your fellow group members. 

Q: Is there any cost associated with group?

A: Group therapy at Counseling & Psychiatry is completely paid for by your student health fee.  If you have paid your health fee for the school-year you will not be billed for any group.

Q: How are groups kept private?

A: Members will be asked to make a commitment to uphold the privacy and dignity of every individual in the group. This includes signing a privacy agreement together during the first group session.

Q: How do I join a group?

A: Just give us a call at 803-777-5223!  You’ll be asked to complete an initial telephone consult and then scheduled for a face-to-face assessment with a counselor.  At any point you can make your interest in group known and your intake counselor will facilitate your transfer to group. 

Q: What is a pre-group orientation?

A: The goal of group orientation is getting you adequately prepared to be successful in group therapy. During this appointment, the orientation leader will introduce to group rules and expectations, ask you to define your goals for treatment, and share some of the ways group will likely be beneficial for you. Group orientations occur in both individual and group format, depending on the group you’ve chosen. If you have any questions about your group orientation is the perfect time to ask!

Q: What is the difference between process groups, support groups, and skill-building groups?

A: Process groups use interpersonal interactions and the examination of those interactions to help students create change, relieve symptoms, and learn new behaviors.  Support groups allow students who are dealing with similar issues to come together and create safe space to talk about those issues.  Skill-building groups aim to teach students the skills necessary to manage symptoms.  Skill-building groups involve minimal interpersonal process. 

Q: How do you make decisions about referring student to group?

A: Group counseling is recommended when your intake counselor believes it is the best way to address your concerns. We do not put people into group counseling because we don't have space in individual counseling or because we want to save time. We recommend group when it is the most effective method to help you. Your intake counselor can discuss with you why group is what we recommend for you.

Q: Will hearing other people’s problems make me feel worse?

A: This is a very common concern among first-time group members.  Most members report that hearing others’ struggles and successes helped them feel connected and understood, increasing overall satisfaction.  Group is also a very good place to work on tolerating emotional experiences.