Group Counseling and Workshops

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Group Interest Form

Completing this form is a great way to learn more about the group, and it is not considered a commitment to join. Please be advised – email (and this form) is not a secure medium for transmitting confidential information.

Got Skills?

No sign-up, no sign-in required for workshops or drop-in groups. These are ongoing opportunities to learn helpful skills to manage stress.

Feel Better Workshops

Held Thursdays from 4pm to 5pm in the Trojan Conference Room, first floor of Engemann Student Health Center. These workshops are open to all undergraduate and graduate students who would like to learn basic skills or consider new approaches to improve their ability to manage stress or cope with adversity.
1st Thursday: Stress Management- tools to better manage inevitable life stress.
2nd Thursday: Managing Emotions – tools to manage difficult emotions and stay healthy.
3rd Thursday: Calm Your Anxiety- tools to manage anxiety and nervousness.
4th Thursday: Relationships and Connection- improving and sustaining your social support network.
5th Thursday: Preventing Procrastination and Perfectionism – understand how your mindset impacts academic anxiety and overcome procrastination (held only on months that have a 5th Thursday).

Mindfulness Drop-In

Monday 12:00-1:00pm – Student Counseling/ESHC – Robin Ward/Alise Cogger
An ongoing, mindful meditation practice, group that meets every Monday from 12pm to 1pm at the Student Counseling Center at Engemann Student Health Center. Meditation instructions are given in a supportive environment, no prior experience necessary. All students, faculty and staff are welcome. No registration necessary.

Let’s Talk: International Student Workshops:

Every third Wednesday @IRC – Yoey Cheng – Monthly Drop-In
A casual discussion workshop about common adjustment challenges that USC international students face, such as managing stress and connecting with others. Students do not need to sign up and can just show up to participate once per month.

Group Counseling

Group therapy offers students an opportunity to understand themselves, gain skills to manage stress and their emotions, or both. The group therapy format is an effective way to address many types of struggles. Some groups focus on developing effective coping mechanisms. Other groups focus on relationships and/or identity.

Summer 2018 Groups

Why group? Group can provide the following:
• opportunities to learn new and effective skills to manage stress and anxiety
• support from others who have had similar experiences and help remembering that you are not alone in your struggles
• a safe and supportive place to try out new behaviors and ways of interacting
• a place to deepen understanding about roles and patterns. Feedback to and from others about how you are perceived can be a catalyst for understanding and change
• a place to learn about closeness, trust, and intimacy

Summer groups are based on student interest and availability. Below are detailed descriptions of groups that are offered, if enough students are interested and available over the summer. If you are interested in participating in one of our groups, please call (213) 740-7711 and ask to speak to the facilitator of the group you are interested in joining or submit the Group Interest form which can be found at the top of this page. If you are not sure what group might interest you, please either complete the Group Interest Form short survey and someone will be in contact with you shortly, or contact Dr. Abbie Wolfson, Group Program Coordinator.

Group Offerings

Time/day to be based on the schedules of interested students

Support and Skills Groups

Anxiety: Taking Control of Anxiety: – Summer Zapata – Rolling admissions
The group blends strategies with self-reflection to allow participants to understand, cope with and learn ways to reduce their anxiety.

Social Confidence Group: – Broderick Leaks or Paul Zawacki
A structured skills group that focuses on the needs of individuals with social and performance anxiety. CBT strategies will be employed as well as exposure exercises. Group topics include anxiety management, assertiveness and communication skills.

Effective Living Skills: – Sarah Schreiber – Rolling admissions
The Effective Living Group is a group for students who feel that it is difficult to manage intense emotions. It is meant to teach a variety of skills adapted from DBT to assist individuals who struggle with emotional and interpersonal issues. Learning modules include Regulating Emotions, Tolerating Distress, Increasing Mindfulness, and Improving Relationships. Each week the group will review old material, teach new material, and assign practice exercises. Group members will interact with each other and help each other learn and grow during this process.

Managing Mood: – Andy Iskander
This skills group for students who experience anxiety and/or depression runs once during the first half of the semester and starts again half-way through the semester. This group uses an evidence-based model to help students identify emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components of distress. Students will also be taught new and more effective ways to respond to their emotions. The group begins both at the start of the semester and again at the mid-point.

Mindfulness Skills for Daily Living: – Yong Park – Rolling admissions
A structured and experiential group class using mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and to build relation and well-being skills. Students will learn ways to be more present, aware, accepting, and compassionate of their experiences. Students will have the opportunity to learn and engage in different types of mindfulness practices each week. This group/class has rolling admissions.

Mindful Well-Being: – Robin Ward
Through mindfulness practice, activities, and group discussion, the group will help participants to cultivate self-compassion in meeting life’s difficulties. It can be especially helpful in addressing self-criticism and judgment, as well as perfectionism. It will also assist members in developing the ability to be present in the moment, leading to greater self-kindness, confidence and well-being.

New Choices: Substance use support (not 12 step or abstinence-based):
– Alise Cogger
This group provides support for students who are reassessing their use of alcohol or other substances (not other addictions at this time). Focus is on building motivation, increasing awareness of use and triggers, providing strategies for making/maintaining desired changes, and living a more balanced and satisfying life.

Empowerment: Skills and Support for Survivors: (RSVP) – Emily Shinne.
This group is for undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced sexual assault during college and hope to gain skills to improve their mental and emotional well-being. This group also provides an opportunity to connect with other students with similar experiences.

Support and Therapy Groups

Men of Color: – Drop-In
The Men of Color group is a weekly, drop-in space for all male-identified students of color to work toward a better understanding of themselves and others at the intersections of gender, race, culture, and social pressure. We will explore how the complex experience of masculinity in today’s society shapes how we think, feel, and relate to others, as we consider areas of growth, and strength.

Women of Color: – Drop-In
The Women of Color group is a weekly, drop-in group for students who, they themselves, identify as women of color. The group offers space for students to support and empower one another and to discuss personal and universal experiences as women of color at USC. Topics discussed include identity, body image, stress management, and resiliency/growth.

Grad Relationship Group: – Bryce McDavitt
This process group helps graduate students achieve fulfillment in relationships with partners, family, friends, mentors, and others. Students develop healthy relationship capacities through the interaction of group members in a supportive space. You will be invited to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and speak up authentically in order to understand the roles you tend to take in relationships and why you react the ways you do. Learn to navigate emotionally-intense interpersonal issues, such as trust, intimacy, assertiveness, anger, and loss. The group accommodates 6-8 members, who participate for the whole semester.

Women Grad Student Support Group: –Christina Mohajerani/Abbie Wolfson – Rolling admissions until full
This support group is a space where female-identified students can support and learn from one another about managing the demands of being in a graduate program, specifically: how to balance school and other parts of their life, develop and maintain a social support network, cope with feelings of being an imposter, discuss difficulties with advisors and/or peers, or other topics group members would like to explore together.

Undergraduate Relationships Group: – Elizabeth Reyes
This group focuses on learning how to have vital, rewarding, authentic relationships. We talk about friendships and romantic/sexual relationships, as well as professional, academic, and family relationships. Relating to others effectively and fulfillingly is an ability that can grow through practice. Group members work on improving this ability through the interactive nature of the group itself, and by giving and receiving honest feedback about each other’s style of relating.

International Tea Time Weekly group: — Yoey Cheng — weekly — Rolling admissions
A therapeutic discussion and support group to provide space for international students to share their experience here at USC. This is a chance to discuss anything that is confusing, difficult, or amusing. Themes commonly discussed include communication, relationships, homesickness, identities, and adjusting to USC in general.

Sexual Orientation Support Group: – Bryce McDavitt
This group addresses life and relationship issues related to sexual orientation. Talk openly with other students about being pansexual, asexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or other sexual identities. Topics are based on students’ interest and can include exploring your identity; trust and relationships; dealing with heterosexism or internalized homophobia; dating; family and societal expectations; and self-esteem. The group accommodates 6-8 members, and participation is confidential.

Gender Spectrum: Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Support Group: – Bryce McDavitt
A supportive space to talk with other students about life and issues related to gender identity. Topics are based on students’ interest and can include exploring your identity; trust and relationships; dealing with cisgenderism or internalized transphobia; coping with stresses of campus life; transitioning and hormones; coming out; dating; family and societal expectations; and life in general. Accommodates 6-8 members; participation is confidential.

Living with Loss: – Yong Park – Rolling admissions
For students who have lost a loved one in any point in their lives. The loss could be a parent, friend or relative. Group provides a place for students to meet with others who are experiencing grief, learn about the grieving process, and share coping strategies.

Disability Services and Programs

Please visit the Office of Disability Services and Programs for information about their available groups.



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