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.

SKILLS FOR ANXIETY MANAGEMENT GROUP

The Anxiety Management Group is for students who struggle with overwhelming anxiety. In the group students will learn about anxiety and develop skills to better manage their anxiety. The group meets on Monday afternoons. To schedule a brief meeting to learn more about the group, please call 617.552.3310.

DBT COPING SKILLS GROUP

The DBT Coping Skills Group is for students who struggle to control their emotions or behavior. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is 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.

Members must commit to (1) being in individual therapy for the semester, (2) attending every group session, and (3) completing homework practices each week. Members must also agree to follow a set of group guidelines (e.g., to maintain the confidentiality of the group). 

The group will begin a few weeks after the start of the semester and end when classes end. The group will meet weekly for 1 hour and 20 minutes in University Counseling Services (Gasson 001).

Please contact the group facilitator, Sandro Piselli, Ph.D., for more information: 617-552-3310  pisellia@bc.edu   

RESOURCES

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? 

How to Get the Most Out of Group

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.

Websites

Official DBT Website

DBT Self Help:  A non-professional website that provides lots of useful information.

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: free guided meditations

Apps

DBT Self-Help

DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

DBT Skills Card

Calm.com

The Mindfulness App

Headspace

Skills Videos

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

 

Emotion Regulation: Changing Emotions

 

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

 

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

 

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Objectives Effectiveness

 

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 & emily.kates@bc.edu

Additional Resources on Group:

Group as a Laboratory

How to Get the Most Out of Group

This page links to pdf files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader, if needed. 

 

HEAL

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 Johanna Malaga, PsyD at University Counseling Services malagaj@bc.edu.

  • 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

 

Several KORU Sessions, live and virtual, are being offered for Fall 2021. Please click the link below for more information about specific sessions and registration.

In Person Classes:

Koru Mindfulness for Beginners
Teachers: David Storey and Sheridan Wilbur
Dates: Mondays 5:15-630 pm, Sept. 13-October 4
Location: Stokes 228N
Sign up: https://student.korumindfulness.org/course-detail.html?course_id=5358

Koru Mindfulness for Beginners
Teachers: David Storey and Sheridan Wilbur
Dates: Mondays 5:15-630pm, Oct. 18-Nov. 8
Location: Stokes 228N
Sign up: https://student.korumindfulness.org/course-detail.html?course_id=5359

KORU for Law Students (information coming soon)

ZOOM Classes

UCS KORU Mindfulness for Beginners
Dates: Tuesdays: 9:30-10:45, Sept. 14-Oct 5
Teachers: Eileen Thompson and Patrick Manasse -Latham
Location: Zoom (Link will be sent to registrants)
Sign-up: https://student.korumindfulness.org/course-detail.html?course_id=5476

UCS KORU Mindfulness for beginners October 2021
Dates: Fridays: 10:45-noon, Oct. 22 - Nov 12
Teachers: Eileen Thompson and Patrick Manasse-Latham
Location: Zoom (Link will be sent to registrants)
https://student.korumindfulness.org/course-detail.html?course_id=5477