Not sure if group is right for you? Check out this list of myth busters for group therapy!

Myth 1: I’ll have to tell my deepest and darkest secrets to the group.

Depend on your own readiness, trust, and comfort level with group participation, you have the free will to choose whether or not you’d like to share your “deepest and darkest secrets” to the group.  All people are encouraged to be genuine, vulnerable, and authentic during the group discussion.

Myth 2: I won’t be able to get enough of what I need out of the group if I have to share the time with others.

Group therapy is a dynamic healing process. The vicarious learning opportunities often enrich your experience and help you to work through your own concerns as well as others.

Myth 3: If I don’t speak, the group won’t be helpful to me.

Group therapy is a place for all members to respect each other, whether you speak or not.  Your body languages may also speak for you (communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% words). Your participation, with words or without, will contribute to the group dynamics and the collective healing process.

Myth 4: I’ll be forced to talk when I don’t want to.

One of the group ground rules: it is your responsibility to at least discuss your therapeutic goal(s) and reason(s) for attending group therapy. But no one is going to force you to reveal additional information before you are ready to do so.

Myth 5: It is so anxious for me to talk to new people; I'll never be able to share in a group.

Group Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment options for social anxiety because attending a group meeting requires courage, commitment, and authenticity.  All people deal with (or have dealt with) some level of anxiety or fear when they enter a new situation or meet new people. You are not alone!

Myth 6: Group Therapy is not as good as individual therapy

Studies show group therapy is as good as individual therapy. In some cases, group can be better than individual counseling because you can: 1). connect with others with similar or different concerns, 2). learn from others, 3). help and support others, 4). practice desired interpersonal behaviors in a safe space with therapists present, and 5). receive feedback from others regarding your strengths or blind spots, and more.

Myth 7: When so many people with so many problems get together in one room, it will all be too overwhelming.

Most therapy groups consist of five to eight members with two therapists (co-facilitators).  Group members and therapists will work together to decide what to prioritize and how to share time in each group meeting. Learning when to ask for more space and when to give space is part of the growing and healing too. Over the course of the group therapy, everyone will have equally shared opportunities to work on their concerns or problems.

Myth 8: Other people will be confrontational and overly aggressive.

Respect is an essential factor when voicing differences and disagreement.  To maintain the integrity and safety of the group for all members, it is imperative that all members demonstrate respect for individual differences amongst group members.  By this ground rule, all members are willing to work on the difference and agree to disagree.

Myth 9: The group therapists will be the only ones to help me resolve my problem.

Group therapy is a multichannel, interactive learning experiences from all members and therapists with equal shared opportunities and responsibilities to provide a safe, vulnerable and meaningful learning and healing process for all participants.

All therapy groups require a group screening before participation. To schedule a screening and talk with a group facilitator, please call our office at 319-335-7294 (see make an appointment for details).

Summer 2024 Group Therapy Schedule

UCS will be running the weekly “Myself and My Body” therapy group this summer pending client interest. Please see below for group description. Day & time is TBD and will be determined based on client schedules. If you are interested in group, please contact UCS at 319-335-7294 to schedule a group screening, or email holly-nicely@uiowa.edu & susanna-kahnke@uiowa.edu

The Myself and My Body therapy group is designed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who are recovering from eating disorders, disordered eating, and/or body dissatisfaction. In this group members will learn how to improve our relationships with our bodies, food, and/or exercise. They will identify disordered eating cycle and learn ways to disrupt the pattern. Also, members will explore emotional experiences and its relation to eating and body concerns. Members will support each other towards recovery.

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Therapy groups are typically offered in-person or via Zoom. Students interested in joining group via Zoom will need to have consistent and secure internet access and video/web cam capabilities, in order to participate in group.  

Learn more about the following groups by reading the descriptions below.

Group therapy descriptions

General Therapy Group

Open to graduate and undergraduate students of all genders, general therapy groups tend to focus on relationships, intimacy, boundaries, self-awareness and other components of interpersonal process. These groups are designed to help members learn to deal with a variety of concerns including feelings of depression and anxiety, relationship issues, and other personal and academic concerns.

Video: What are general therapy groups?

Video: Another perspective on general therapy

Men’s Therapy Group

In this group, members have the opportunity to form close relationships with each other, to realize that they are not alone with their problems, issues, and concerns. Members will receive support and discover that others also struggle with not being able to get in touch with their feelings, or to identify and know that they are, in fact, anxious or depressed, or full of anger or sadness. This group is open to trans-men and cis-men.

Video: Men's Therapy Group

General Therapy Group: Black Students General Process Group

The Black Student Therapy Group will serve as a space for Black identifying students of all gender identities to respectfully listen to each other, share thoughts, feelings, provide validation, and offer encouragement to fellow Black students at the University of Iowa. The group is open for Black students to discuss a wide variety of presenting concerns, including, but not limited to anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, and serve as a space for Black students to process the violence, police brutality, and racism experienced during this time of social and political unrest as it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Expressive Arts Therapy Group

Expressive Arts Therapy group uses various mediums (clay, painting, mask making, and other) in a supportive setting to facilitate self-awareness, growth, and healing/stress-reduction. In this group, members have the opportunity to use their own creative, emotional, and intuitive aspects to discover and express themselves. This group is helpful to address concerns of, but is not limited to, assertiveness, social anxiety and isolation, identity development, emotional regulation, self-esteem, and create meaning to one’s experience through engaging in an expressive arts intervention and group processing after the activity. No previous experience with art is needed.

Women's Therapy Group

In this group, members have the opportunity to focus on interpersonal skills, address low self-esteem or low self-confidence, explore trauma experiences, develop assertiveness skills, and address issues related to depression and anxiety. Women support women in addressing personal issues and impact of sociocultural structures on their identity and coping. This group is open to trans-women and cis-women.

Video: Women's Therapy Group

Myself & My Body Therapy Group

The Myself and My Body therapy group is designed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who are recovering from eating disorders, disordered eating, and/or body dissatisfaction. In this group members will learn how to improve our relationships with our bodies, food, and/or exercise. They will identify disordered eating cycle and learn ways to disrupt the pattern. Also, members will explore emotional experiences and its relation to eating and body concerns. Members will support each other towards recovery.

Video: Myself & My Body

Graduate, Professional Student, and Postdoc Therapy Group

In this group, graduate students, professional students, and postdocs will have the opportunity to engage in self- and interpersonal-exploration and processing. All members may bring different types of concerns and topics to the group, as the spirit of an interpersonal processing group focuses not only on the content of what we discuss, but how we interact with one another within the group. Group members will be able to examine interpersonal and relationship patterns, receive feedback and support from others, and develop awareness and new ways they may wish to approach stressors and people in their lives. Undoubtedly, themes specific to graduate students, professional students, and postdocs may arise, including work/life balance, advisory/supervisor relationships, imposter syndrome, self-confidence, navigating cultural differences and adjustments, and more. This group is open to graduate students, professional students, and postdocs of any identities, any area of study, and any phase of their academic development.