Group Counseling at University Counseling Services
In group counseling, a small number of people meet together with one or two of our psychologists to help themselves and one another. Joining a group provides opportunities to learn with and from other people, to understand one's own patterns of thought and behavior and those of others, and to perceive how group members react to one another. You learn that perhaps you're not as different as you think, or that you're not alone. You'll meet and interact with people, and the whole group learns to work on shared problems. Group counseling helps people make significant changes so they feel better about the quality of their lives.
Anxiety Toolbox is for students who struggle with overwhelming anxiety. In the group students will learn about anxiety and develop skills to better manage their anxiety. To schedule a brief meeting to learn more about the group, please call 617.552.3310.
WAVES: Learn to Surf Your Emotions
WAVES group is for students who struggle to control their emotions. The group uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a well-established treatment model in which members learn specific skills for reducing their suffering and regaining control of their lives. These skills address the following:
- Mindfulness for experiencing and accepting life as it is
- Distress tolerance for surviving pain and crisis without making things worse
- Emotional regulation for reducing vulnerability, reactivity, and suffering
- Interpersonal effectiveness for getting needs met, saying no and managing conflict
The group is structured like a class or workshop. Group time will be focused on teaching and practicing skills rather than on open discussion. Members problems will be seen as opportunities for learning and practicing skills.
Please contact the group facilitator, Adi Inbar, LICSW, for more information: 617-552-3310 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Podcasts and Blogs
To Hell and Back, a podcast hosted by Charlie Swenson, MD that covers DBT skills
NEA BPD Blog, a series of posts about how DBT helps people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
DBT Self Help: A non-professional website that provides lots of useful information.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: free guided meditations
The following videos explain some of the material covered in the DBT Skills Group. Please note that some of the videos have been created by mental health professionals (e.g., the ones featuring Dr. Marsha Linehan, the creator of DBT), while others were created by people who have been in DBT programs and want to share their non-professional knowledge.
Mindfulness: States of Mind
Mindfulness: "What" Skills
- Observe: just notice experiences in the present moment without labeling them.
- Describe: just name the things you observe without judgment or interpretation.
- Participate: throw yourself into the present moment completely and mindfully.
Mindfulness: "How" Skills
- Non-judgment: notice and let-go of evaluations (i.e., "good," "bad," or "should").
- One-mindfulness: focus your full attention on just one thing or task in the present moment.
- Effectiveness: focus on what works or what is needed to achieve your goals.
Mindfulness: Other Approaches to Mindfulness
- Loving Kindness: increase feelings of love and compassion for yourself and others. (Another video here.)
Emotion Regulation: Understanding Emotions
- Introduction to Emotion Regulation
- Figure out Your Emotions: observe that your emotions make sense and are important.
- Mindfulness of Current Emotions
Emotion Regulation: Changing Emotions
- Check the Facts: ask if your emotions fit the facts or your interpretations. (More videso here and here)
- Opposite Action: decrease an unjustified or ineffective emotion by acting opposite to an urge.
- Problem Solving: change a justified emotion by identifying and resolving its cause.
Emotion Regulation: Reducing Vulnerability
- Accumulate Positives: guard against pain by increasing pleasant experiences.
- Build Mastery: guard against helplessness by doing things that make you feel competent.
- Cope Ahead: prepare yourself by imagining difficult moments and rehearsing effective coping.
- PLEASE: increase resiliency by taking care of your physical needs.
- Let Go of Emotional Suffering: practice mindfulness and acceptance of painful emotions.
Distress Tolerance: Crisis Survival Skills
- Introduction to Crisis Survival Skills and What is a Crisis
- STOP: avoid impulses by Stopping, Taking a step back, Observing, and Proceeding mindfully. (More videos here and here.)
- Pros and Cons: make a wise choice by listing the pros and cons of two different options.
- TIP: reduce arousal rapidly by using Temperature, Intense exercise, or Paced breathing
- Distract: reduce contact with pain by turning your attention to something else.
- Self-Soothe: get relief from pain by doing something kind or comforting for yourself.
- IMPROVE the Moment: make pain easier to tolerate by creating positive experiences.
Distress Tolerance: Reality Acceptance
- Radical Acceptance: open yourself fully to experiencing the facts of reality as they are. (More videos here and here.)
- Turn the Mind: consciously re-commit to accepting reality over-and-over again.
- Willingness: actively prepare to participate in life, letting go of willfulness.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Clarifying Goals
- Clarify Priorities: rank-order your objective, relationship, and self-respect goals.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Objectives Effectiveness
- DEAR MAN: prioritize getting what you want by asking for it clearly and effectively. (Another video here, and an example DEAR MAN.)
- GIVE: prioritize your relationship by being Gentle, Interested, Validating, and Easy.
- FAST: prioritize your self-respect by being Fair, un-Apologetic, Stick to values, and Truthful.
- Discussion of Boundaries
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building Relationships
- Find Relationships: actively look for connections, make conversation, and join-in.
- End Relationships: recognize destructive relationships and end them skillfully.
Other Useful Videos
Want to improve your relationships or feel better about yourself? Interested in connecting in a deep and meaningful way with other students? Are you noticing a pattern in your relationships that you’d like to change or understand better? Do you struggle or get anxious in social situations? Would you like honest feedback about how you relate to others? This group will provide a safe, supportive space to explore your feelings, connect with others, and practice new behaviors that can ultimately lead to more fulfilling relationships.
In this group, members try to “think out loud” by expressing their thoughts and feelings about what others say or do in group. Members are also encouraged to ask other members for feedback in order to learn more about themselves and how others might perceive them. The main goal is for group members to determine possible changes that might improve their connections and interactions with others and themselves and then begin making these changes. Understanding Self and Others groups are a good match for those wanting a mixture of support and feedback regarding their goals and how they relate to others.
Please contact the group coordinator, Dr. Emily Kates, for more information: 617-552-3310 & email@example.com
Additional Resources on Group:
This page links to pdf files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader, if needed.
HEAL is a confidential, weekly, support group for BC students who have been directly impacted by sexual assault. This group is a collaboration between University Counseling Services and The Women’s Center. HEAL aims to assist members achieve the following goals:
- Members will not feel alone in their experiences, feelings, and reactions
- Members will feel supported
- Members will gain a better understanding of the effects of sexual assault
- Members will be better able to cope with the effects of sexual assault
- Members will feel like they can support others
- Members will feel less anxious and afraid
For questions related to HEAL please contact Eileen Suhrhoff, PsyD at eileen. firstname.lastname@example.org at University Counseling Services.
- Together is a student-centered grief support group; an opportunity for anyone carrying grief at BC to get to see that they’re far from alone in this experience.
- Sisters Let's Talk assists female students of color at BC to grow closer through discussing issues that are pertinent to their well-being.
- Dedicated Intellectuals of the People provides a space for AHANA males to discuss issues that affect their social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth and develop skills to navigate through a predominately White institution.
- PRISM & TRANSCEND offers private, reflective, and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ students to meet and engage in meaningful discussion around identity development in support groups facilitated by graduate students.
- Axios is a welcoming and affirming space for undergraduate students of the LGBTQ+ community and those who are questioning their sexuality to discuss the impact of religion and spirituality in their lives.
- Alcohol Anonymous Meetings for students who are in recovery or exploring ways to de-emphasize the role of drugs and alcohol in their lives.
- Restore is a confidential group that consists of members of the BC community who are children or siblings of someone who is or has been incarcerated, contact Professor Celeste Wells for group information.
- Zen Meditation is a group for students, faculty, and staff to learn together about the practices of mindfulness and meditation