Group Descriptions

GROUP DESCRIPTIONS

INTERPERSONAL PROCESS GROUPS (Require screening before participating in the group)

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.

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.

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.

Myself & My Body

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.

Expressive Arts 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. 

ACT on Life

This group is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an approach that teaches emotional and behavioral skills for living more effectively with life’s ups and downs.  This group can be especially helpful for individuals that are struggling with unpleasant thoughts and emotions often associated with depression and anxiety. Members will learn how thought process works and how to be less bound to unhelpful thinking. Discuss ways to respond effectively to our emotions, without being disconnected from them or entangled with them. Participants will recognize and let go of ineffective patterns of behavior, and to develop more effective behavior. Also, explore life values and learn how to live more congruently with those values to experience greater meaning in life. Members will support each other and work towards living a more meaningful life with less struggle.

Social Skills 101 for Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Students in the Social Skills 101 Therapy Group will work on developing social skills that focus on the basic fundamentals of human interaction.  Students will:

  • Learn to recognize interpersonal cues
  • Explore ways to manage emotions in interpersonal situations
  • Consider  how body language impacts relationships
  • Find ways to initiate conversations
  • Explore ways to establish relationships
  • Learn avenues for maintaining relationships

Students with Asperger’s Disorder, high functioning Autistic Disorders, or other Pervasive Developmental Disorders are welcome in this group. 

CLINICAL WORKSHOPS (Require screening before participating in the group)

Anxiety Toolbox

Anxiety toolbox is a clinical workshop designed to help students learn to better manage their anxiety.  The most common presenting concern we see at the UCS is anxiety, and this group is dedicated to helping students learn specific skills to actively address their anxiety.  This is a curriculum-driven series with structure and specific learning objectives for each week. All participants will receive a workbook to accompany exercises within the groups.  

Getting Unstuck

“Getting Unstuck” is a clinical workshop designed to provide support and skills aimed at addressing students who would like to learn ways be better manage their depression symptoms. Students will learn how to understand their depression, ways in which unhelpful thinking styles influence depression, and skills to actively reduce symptoms of depression. This workshop is curriculum-driven, designed with learning objectives and activities to work on each week. All participants will receive a workbook to accompany exercises within the group.

You Got This

You Got This is a clinical workshop designed to provide support and skills aimed at addressing students who are experiencing stress related to academics, relationship, and difficulty in everyday living.  The workshop will help students develop the tools that they need to cope with some of the challenges they experience in their day to day life.  Students will learn mindfulness, distress tolerance skills, self-care, and ways to manage different emotions.  The workshop also focuses on communication skills, increasing self-confidence, and self-respect. This workshop is curriculum-driven, designed with learning objectives and activities to work on each week. All participants will receive a workbook to accompany exercises within the group.

PSYCHO-EDUCATION AND SUPPORT GROUPS

ADHD Support Group (Require screening (phone or in-person) before participating in the group)

Living with ADHD can affect every part of life and, at times, feel isolating. By coming to a support group, you will be able to share coping strategies and meet like-minded people who are dealing with similar issues.  Come along to meet new people, learn strategies for success, expand coping skills, and share the challenges you’re facing regarding being a student at the University of Iowa.  This support group will provide you with the opportunity to share your story and receive support as well feedback from others.  Please consider joining us on Fridays during the fall semester from 3:00 to 4:20 beginning January 18th.  All meetings will take place in a private conference room at Student Disability Services (SDS) (3015 Burge Hall).

In order to join the support group, a brief screening appointment is required.  Please contact Kyle Votroubkey, LISW at University Counseling Service (UCS) (319-335-7294 or kyle-votroubek@uiowa.edu) to arrange a time to talk either in person or on the phone.

The ADHD Support Group is for enrolled University of Iowa students and is led by a UCS therapist.   It is a collaboration between UCS and SDS. 

Chronic Health Conditions Support Group

Mondays, Starting Feb. 11th from 3:00 - 4:30pm at SDS.

School, work, and simply managing everyday demands can feel overwhelming. It can be even more challenging when you have a chronic health condition. Do you feel alone, and believe that others don’t understand your struggle because of your health conditions? If so, come and join others who also experience chronic health conditions. Our hope is to create a space where you can meet other students who may validate, encourage, and understand your difficulties. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Maria Bruno at maria-bruno@uiowa.edu.

Living Through Loss (does not require a group screening to participate in the group)

Loss and grief touch all of our lives in different ways and have a variety of impacts.  Losses may be new or years old, but they may still impact our daily lives.  Grieving is a journey that affects us in varying degrees at different times of the year and different points in our lives.  Sometimes it can be helpful to have support and guidance on that grieving journey.  Living Through Loss offers that support to University of Iowa students.

Living Through Loss is an open support group, providing some education about the grieving process and support from a facilitator and other group members.  You are not required to commit to attending a certain number of group sessions, but are invited to attend when you feel you need support, for as long as it is helpful to you.  The group meets weekly for an hour and twenty minutes with some time focused on a topic related to grieving and then offers time for interested group members to share what is important and salient to them that week.  You are welcome to share about your loss in group, but you may also prefer to be quiet and be present with others.

The group meets on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the Currier Hall North Lounge and is facilitated by Dawn Bates, Ph.D.  It will start on Thursday, January 31, 2019.  If you have questions or concerns or if you need accommodations, please feel free to email Dawn at dawn-bates@uiowa.edu or contact UCS at 319-335-7294.

Success, Not Excess: Making Changes in Substance Use  (does not require a group screening to participate in the group)

This group provides a safe and supportive space for UI students wanting to make or considering changes in their alcohol or other drug use. The group emphasizes success in academics, relationships, mental and physical health, and other goals through abstaining or reducing alcohol and other drug use.

The group operates from a “no pressure” approach by encouraging discussion of shared experiences and achieving success on campus by removing the barriers created by substance use.

Is this group right for you?

The best way to know is to check it out, but answering yes to the following questions might indicate benefit from the group:

  1. Is my use interfering with my academic performance? My work performance? My relationships?
  2. Do I use for a “pick me up”? Out of boredom? Because I’m stressed? To fit in with others?
  3. Do I ever regret my actions after using? Blackout and not remember my actions? Get into fights after drinking/using? Get angry or embarrassed when others bring up my drinking/using?

In this group we will:

  • Learn alternative paths to have fun, socialize, and cope with stress outside of substance use.
  • Identify problems created by using and establish skills to avoid/prevent those problems.
  • Explore connections between our emotional experiences and our substance use.
  • Support each other as we work towards reducing harmful outcomes of excessive alcohol and other drug use and celebrate the successes that follow making changes.

This is not a treatment group and will not satisfy legal or other disciplinary mandates. This is a “drop-in” group with no attendance requirements. We ask students not attend the group under the influence. If you have questions or concerns please contact Heidi Schmitt, LISW at University Counseling Service (UCS) (319-335-7294) or at heidi-r-reynolds@uiowa.edu

SMART Recovery® (does not require a group screening to participate in the group)

SMART Recovery® is an abstinence-based, not- for-profit organization with a sensible self-help program for people having problems with drinking and using. It includes many ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self- destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying.

SMART Recovery® is not a spin-off from Alcoholics Anonymous. No one will label you an "alcoholic", an “addict” or “diseased” nor “powerless”, and if you do not believe in a religion or spirituality, that's fine, too. We teach common sense self-help procedures designed to empower you to abstain and to develop a more positive lifestyle. When you succeed at following our approach, you may graduate from the program, or you may stay around to help others. For more information go to: https://www.smartrecovery.org/.  This is not a treatment group and will not satisfy legal or other disciplinary mandates. This is a “drop-in” group with no attendance requirements. We ask students not attend the group under the influence. If you have questions or concerns please contact Heidi Schmitt, LISW at University Counseling Service (UCS) (319-335-7294) or at heidi-r-reynolds@uiowa.edu