Group Counseling

Group Counseling

TCS offers a variety of groups for undergraduate, graduate and professional school students each semester.  Group therapy can be a powerful, highly effective way to learn new skills and address personal concerns while receiving support and feedback from peers.  Through group therapy, students have the opportunity to gain personal insight, practice change, and connect with others.  Groups are led by knowledgeable therapists who facilitate the growth of each individual member in addition to the group as a whole.

Types of Groups and How to Join

Groups can be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured in their design.  Structured groups are planned ahead of time by the facilitator(s).  Unstructured groups indicate that the students decide the topics of discussion and take a greater level of responsibility in choosing the direction of each session.  Semi-structured groups offer a combination of these two designs.

Skills-based psychoeducational groups primarily involve learning and practicing various skill sets to develop psychological wellbeing. 

Interpersonal process groups often focus on sharing and connecting with peers, while learning about the self and others.  TCS provides these types of groups in two formats of group therapy: drop-in and sign-up. 

Drop-in groups do not require registration and are available throughout the year.  To join, students must go through Walk-In Clinic and obtain a referral.  Students are encouraged to show up to our drop-in groups when they need some support, or want to learn and practice a skill to improve their mental health.  Students do not need to be enrolled in individual services at TCS in order to attend drop-in groups; however, students may be referred to these drop-in groups by their individual therapists.  Drop-in groups may also be helpful for students awaiting their first therapy session (intake) or in between sessions.

Sign-up groups require registration and members are asked to commit to attending for the full length of the group.  As each group session builds upon the work of prior sessions, it is important that students are able to participate in the entire series to receive the most benefit.  Additionally, the commitment to remain in the group is an important part of building trust, cohesion, and a sense of safety, which in turn allows people to talk personally and honestly.  The duration of each sign-up group varies and is indicated in the group description. 

  •  To join a sign-up group, students must go through Walk-In Clinic and attend a group screening appointment, in which the group therapist and student determine if the group is an appropriate fit for the student’s needs.  Students do not need to be enrolled in individual services to join a sign-up group; however, some sign-up groups require that members also participate in individual therapy.

Available Drop-In Groups for Spring 2018


This structured psychoeducational 50-minute group helps you learn and practice an assortment of helpful skills, with ideas presented from a range of therapeutic interventions.  Topics for the group are based on the unique experience of college students and relevant to the stressors they manage on a daily basis.  Each week throughout the semester, a different concept is provided for a total of 14 lessons.  Students may choose to participate during this group as much or as little as they want.  “Stressless” is TCS’s original drop-in skills-based group; it was developed with the goal of providing Temple students an opportunity to learn useful strategies and gain support in a user-friendly format.

When: Mondays at 12pm; Wednesdays at 4pm; Thursdays at 3pm


This structured psychoeducational 50-minute group provides students with education and practice in mindfulness, which increases personal awareness and self-compassion while training attention.  Students may choose to participate during these sessions as much or as little as they want.  Each week, a different set of strategies from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is explored for a total of 8 lessons.  Each lesson is designed to stand alone; however, it is most beneficial to attend the full series.  The series is offered twice each semester, allowing students to attend sessions as their schedules permit. 

When: Tuesdays at 11am; Fridays at 2pm

Be Effective

This structured psychoeducational 50-minute group offers specific strategies to cope with intense feelings, manage emotions, and improve relationships.  Students may choose to participate during these groups as much or as little as they want.  Each week, a different set of strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy is discussed for a total of 8 lessons.  Each lesson is designed to stand alone; however, it is most beneficial to attend the full series.  The series is offered twice each semester, allowing students to attend sessions as their schedules permit. 

When: Tuesdays at 1pm; Fridays at 9am

Live Well

This structured psychoeducational 50-minute group helps students learn how to move toward their values in life while lessening their suffering from difficult thoughts and feelings.  Students may choose to participate during these groups as much or as little as they want.  Each week, a different set of strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is reviewed for a total of 8 lessons.  Each lesson is designed to stand alone; however, it is most beneficial to attend the full series.  The series is offered twice each semester, allowing students to attend sessions as their schedules permit. 

When: Mondays at 10am, Wednesdays at 6pm, Thursdays at 12pm

Effective Decision Making

This structured 50-minute group helps students explore their substance use patterns and gain better understanding of the impact it has on them and those around them. Students will learn how to reduce harm and make effective decisions that align with their values and promote safety.

When: Fridays at 1 pm, starting February 9, 2018 

Creative Expressions 

This 50-minute group offers students the opportunity to learn more about themselves through creative expression. Each session will consist of an artistic activity intended to help members understand their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in new ways. Examples of artistic activities include drawing, collage making, beading, and coloring. Through this group, students can learn creative ways to cope with difficult emotions and express themselves constructively. No artistic experience or skill required.

When: Fridays at 12pm

Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice (MBSP)

This is 50-minute skill-based group that brings the practice of mindfulness and character strengths together. Students are encouraged to have completed a Character Strength Survey (The VIA) to help identify 24 distinct character strengths before participating. The group includes discussions, meditation, strength practices, and weekly exercises. The group address common themes of stress, mindfulness, and valuing relationships with self and others. The drop-in MBSP group is aimed at providing additional resources, support, and practice for students who want to learn more about being their best self in any given moment. The course teaches the bases of mindfulness and of character strengths while offering more practical ways to integrate the two. It presents a unique angle to living one's best life, re-discovering happiness, achieving goals, finding deeper meaning in life engagement, and coping with problems.

When: Wednesdays at 5pm, starting January 24, 2018  

Sign-Up Groups for Spring 2018

Process-Based Sign-Up Groups

Understanding Self and Others (USO)

This process-based group offers a powerful way to learn about ourselves and how we relate to others. The group is unstructured, meaning the students decide the topics of discussion and take a greater level of responsibility during the group process than they might in a more structured group format. Together, with the co-leaders, group members will work through a variety of issues that lead to psychological distress and dissatisfaction in relationships. This is done by mindfully paying attention to thoughts, feelings, and reactions as they occur moment to moment in the group and by offering each other support, feedback, and encouragement as each member works towards personal growth and increased insight.

When: Mondays 3-4:30pm

Facilitator(s): Michelle Wallace, PsyD; Alison Tripptree, PsyD

When: Wednesdays 3-4:30pm

Facilitator(s): Courtney Henry, PhD; Matt Golebiewski, MS

When: Wednesdays 6-7:30pm

Facilitator(s): Jaclyn Pembleton, PsyD; Jean Jho, PsyD

When: Thursdays 9-10:30am

Facilitator(s): Courtney Henry, PhD; Kai Thigpen, BA

Non-Traditional Student Group 

This process group offers a safe space for non-traditional college students to learn about themselves and how they relate to others, to work through various difficulties that increase distress, and to gain support and feedback from others.

When: Fridays 2-3:30pm.

Facilitator(s): Maria Drvoshanov, PsyD; Sheri Balsam, PsyM

Survivors Group

This is a group for women survivors of sexual violence. The group will be the best fit for women who experienced sexual violence between 6 months and 4 years ago. This group gives students a confidential space to discuss the impact of these experiences and to receive validation and encouragement. In this group, we will practice self-care and grounding exercises. Our hope is that group members will have space to explore their narratives and (re)claim a sense of ownership and safety. Each group member can share and participate at the level that feels most comfortable.

When: Wednesdays 4-5:30pm

Facilitator(s): Hillary Black, MSW, LCSW; Gabi Wachs, BA

ADHD Support Group

College can be a time of new experiences and discovery. It can also be stressful. This stress can be magnified if you struggle with symptoms of ADHD. The purpose of this group is to help students learn positive and healthy ways of managing their symptoms as well as developing strategies to assist in how they experience college life academically as well as personally. Topics to include: Time Management, Study Skills, Stress Management, The Stigma of ADHD and more.

When: Fridays 2-3:30pm

Facilitator(s): Clyde Beverly, PhD

Eating Concerns and Body Image Group

This group is an open, semi-structured support group for all-gender students to process their thoughts and emotions related to negative body image and disordered eating, and to develop greater understanding of how these issues affect themselves and their relationships. Topics might include self-esteem, intimacy, self-care, boundary-setting, and other concerns of interest to the group. The group is for students who have concerns about their relationship with food, eating, or body shape/size, or who are in recovery from any eating disorder. Medical stability is also a requirement.

When: Wednesdays 3-4pm

Facilitator(s): Lara Nalbandian, PsyD; Holly Hoffman, MA

Grief and Loss Group

This group is designed to provide a safe space for students who are grieving the death of a loved one. Each meeting will offer students the opportunity to share their personal stories of loss while receiving the support of fellow group members. The group will address expectations of the grief process, coping skills and self-care, and common responses to loss such as anger, sadness, loneliness, confusion, and guilt. We ask that members be able to commit to weekly meetings, maintain the confidentiality of things shared by other members, and be open to share experiences of loss and to listen to others who have experienced a loss.

When: Tuesdays 4-5:30pm

Facilitator(s): Karen Fishbein, MSW, LCSW

Graduate Student Group

This is a process-based group for all graduate students from any field who are facing the challenges and struggles of graduate student life. Students in any stage of their program are invited to join. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss ways to improve work/life balance, to strengthen professional relationships with advisers and colleagues, to enhance confidence and to reduce stress, while gaining support from others who are also developing their academic credentials. Additionally, the group will explore practical suggestions for progressing and thriving during the research and writing process.

When: Tuesdays 9-10:30am

Facilitator(s): Courtney Henry, PhD; Katie Bash, MA

Students of Color Group

Being a person of color in a predominately white environment is a complex and often stressful experience.  The Student of Color (SOC) support group serves as a way to openly engage in dialogues around what it means to be a student of color on this campus. This group offers a safe space for students to any specific challenge, social justice issues, and more. This group serves to increase the awareness of students to the fact that there are other individuals who share similar multicultural lived experiences.  The SOC ultimately serves as a resource for students of color to come together weekly in order to enhance their success at Temple.

When: Wednesdays 4:30-6pm

Facilitator(s): Clyde Beverly, PhD

Woman to Woman

This women’s process group provides a comfortable, accepting and safe space for members to share individual concerns while supporting each other. The members explore self-awareness and personal challenges with a focus on creating more fulfilling relationships.  There is opportunity to examine current assumptions and consider new perspectives intended to promote self-confidence with social interactions and emotional investments. Past themes for discussion included chronic stress, self-esteem, healthy relationships, violence, family conflicts, cultural influences, intimacy, assertiveness, role expectations and identity. There will be emphasis on self-acceptance, developing strengths, encouraging individual expression. The group is semi-structured and open to addressing relevant topics. Members will respect confidentiality.

When: Tuesdays 3:30-4:30pm

Facilitator(s): Jane Zakrzewski, MSSW, LSW

Queer-Identified Process Group

This group is for students who self-identify along the sexual and/or gender spectrum. Students at all stages of identity formation and expression are welcome. The purpose of this group is to explore common issues of LGBTQ+ individuals including coming out, dating, sexuality, gender identity and expression, discrimination, and personal growth.

When: Tuesdays 5-6:30pm

Facilitator(s): Lara Nalbandian, PsyD; Matthew Hanley, MPsy

Social Xchanges

This group addresses the recreational/leisure/social needs of students who carry a diagnosis of being on the Autistic Spectrum. The first hour is a discussion to help group members share their challenges and find out how other members may have solved similar problems. Topics include dealing with rejection, anxiety, loneliness, difficult interactions, and when to share your diagnosis with others, as well as sexuality. The second hour is a group activity/trip that is planned by the group members. Examples include rock climbing, attending movies, going to the Temple game room, bowling, having dinner out, playing mini-golf, and visiting museum exhibitions, just to name a few.

When: Fridays 4-6pm

Facilitator(s): Michael Hanowitz, LCSW

Skills-Based Sign-Up Groups


This is a 4-week mindfulness meditation course designed to help you manage stress and live more fully in the present moment. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that strengthens the mind’s ability to focus on the present moment without being swept away by thoughts about the past and thoughts and projections about the future. It’s a practice that helps us to open to what’s happening in the moment, with an attitude of kindness and non-judgment. This 4-week program will teach you mindfulness meditation practices and skills to help you manage stress and cultivate presence and wellbeing in everyday life. The program includes guided meditation practices and relaxation skills, discussion and support around practice, personal home practice and supplemental reading on mindfulness. Practices and skills that will be introduced include breathing practices, body awareness practices, practices that help to manage thoughts and emotions and gentle movement.Students are asked to attend all 4 sessions of the group. 

When: Thursdays 10-11:30am, starting February 8, 2018

Facilitator(s): Galen Born, MSS, LCSW;  Steve Hulcher, PsyD

Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice 

This is an 8-session group that brings the practice of mindfulness and the practice of character strengths together. It includes discussions, meditation, strength practices, and weekly exercises. This 8 week group is about engaging more deeply with life. The crux is self-awareness and self- discovery. The course teaches the bases of mindfulness and of character strengths, and offers more advanced, practical ways to integrate the two. It presents a unique angle to living one’s best life, re-discovering happiness, achieving goals, finding deeper meaning in life engagement, and coping with problems. Jon Kabat-Zinn (1990) explains that the purpose of mindfulness is not to point out what is wrong, but to help people find what is right. MBSP opens the door for participants to re-discover and uncover what is right within them.

When: Mondays 11:30-1pm

Facilitator(s): Brandon LeBarge, MS, MEd, NCC