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How to Join a Group
If you express interest in joining a particular group, a counselor or our administrative specialist will inform you of the process to join that particular group. Some groups may have an information session/screening whereas others may schedule a pre-group screening appointment for you with the group's facilitator(s). During either of these screenings, you will meet the facilitator(s), learn about the group, as well as have the opportunity to discuss any concerns, ask questions, and determine whether or not the group is a good fit for you and your needs.
Group Counseling FAQs
What is group counseling?
Groups of 6 to 10 individuals regularly meet to discuss and/or work on concerns regarding a specific concern or set of concerns. Group counseling is typically used as a supplement to individual counseling, but it can also be done on its own. There are generally four types of groups offered:
- Counseling/Process Group - beneficial for those who would like to share personal experiences, give/receive feedback, and try new behaviors/skills in a safe environment
- Psychoeducational Group - beneficial for those who would like to learn more about a particular topic, gain additional resources, and/or build particular skills
- Support Group - beneficial for those who would like to give/receive support with others who are curently having or have had similar experiences
- Wellness Group - beneficial for those who would like improve and/or learn new skills to enhance their personal wellness
Groups can be open (always open to any interested inviduals) or closed (available only to a select number of individuals for the duration of the program).
Who will facilitate the groups and how?
All groups will be facilitated by one or more of the Stetson University Counseling Center staff. The facilitator's top priority is to encourage a safe and supportive environment for the group members. In doing so, the facilitator(s) will provide enough structure to keep the group moving forward, but enough freedom to encourage member participation and ownership. Some of the roles of the facilitator(s) are to ensure that the group expectations are set and upheld, facilitate the group discussion, provide feedback/observations, and assist group members as appropriate.
Why is group counseling beneficial?
Often times, individual concerns pertain to relationships or other skills that may be well-suited for a group setting. Groups can provide a welcoming and supportive atmosphere in which students may connect with others who may be experiencing similar concerns. Groups also provide the opportunity for new insights to be gleaned from others and/or new behaviors that to be "tested" with these supportive individuals.
How can my confidentiality be maintained?
During the first group session, expectations, including confidentiality, are clearly communicated. Due to the nature of groups, the group members must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the group discussions and process. In other words, all members are expected to agree that "what's happens in group stays in group," assuring the other group members that they will not divulge anything related to the group, including identifying information about its members, in any way outside of the group setting.
What will be expected of group counseling participants?
Students are expected to commit to upholding group standards and expectations. These general standards/expectations include, but are not limited to:
- upholding confidentiality of the group
- respecting the facilitators of and members of the group
- attending each group session for the duration of the program (if it is a closed group)
- arriving on-time
- contacting the group facilitator(s), in a timely fashion, in the event that the student cannot attend a group session
- participating openly and honestly and to the student's comfort level
Additional expectations may be created, agreed upon, and set by the members of each individual group.
What if I feel uncertain or uncomfortable about joining a group?
Given the group design, group members will be sharing personal information with other individuals that they may or may not know; this can make anyone feel uneasy. It is important to recognize that you likely aren't the only person feeling this way, and it's okay to share that! To help with this, the facilitator(s) will hold a discussion early in the group process about group member uneasiness and what can be done to help the group members feel more comfortable.