Group Counseling

Group counseling involves a small number of individuals working together on common problems or concerns. Counseling groups may focus on a particular issue (for example, exam anxiety or relationship issues) or they can be less structured sessions that explore broader issues or student concerns.

Typically, groups meet for 90 minutes each week and are led by one or two staff counselors. Groups are offered throughout the academic year. The group counseling listing is updated each semester to reflect that semester’s offerings.

Fall 2015 Groups

Everyday Mindfulness Practices for Stress Management

This highly interactive eight-week group will meet from Thursdays 3-4:15 p.m. in room 104 of Decker Student Health Services Center.  Attendance at all groups is required, as weekly topics build on one another.

Meditation and mindfulness skills and applications will be taught and practiced (e.g., how mindfulness helps manage stress and grow self-awareness).  Brief daily homework includes mindfulness medication (10-12 minutes daily will change your brain!, brief readings in "Wherever You Go There You Are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn and brief journaling.

Participants will receive guided meditation recordings and printed materials to support practice and are encouraged to purchase "Wherever You Go There You Are."  Also recommended, "Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World" by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

The group will meet Thursdays, 3-4:15 p.m., September 24-November 12.  Class size is limited to 14.  Students must register in advance and complete brief, confidential surveys at the Decker Student Health Services Center.

Facilitated by Rachael Leonard, who trained extensively at the Center For Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  For more information, contact Leonard at Resources for Living:

Sponsored by the Health Services

Mind and Body Yoga

Mind and Body is a yoga therapy group.  The session will begin with group discussion followed by a yoga class appropriated for all levels.  Beginners and those with no experience with yoga are welcome!  You will learn how yoga can be applied to manage stress by practicing breathing, calming techniques, building mindfulness, and developing a healthy relationship to your body.  Additionally, self-talk patterns will be explored in the context of "being on the mat" to learn how to manage it "off the mat."  To participate, you must first meet with Dr. Shinko (Staff psychologist and Certified Yoga Instructor) to discuss how this group may fit your needs.

Calming the Emotional Storm

This group is designed for individuals who have painful emotions that are very intense and/or for individuals who get intensely frustrated.  Sometimes these painful emotions are just so hard to understand, let alone regulate.  And telling ourselves not to feel them just doesn't seem to work.  This group is intended to help one learn to identify, label, and understand one's emotions, help one to identify obstacles that get in the way of changing emotions, and increasing positive emotional events.  It is also intended to help one to understand and learn that accepting, finding meaning for, and tolerating painful emotions may be the best way for getting through to the other side of an emotional event.  This can be learned through a series of distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills, taught through the DBT context.  This is an OPEN group, though all group members are asked to schedule a screening appointment prior to attending the group session.

Bereavement Group 

For students who have experienced the loss of a loved one: family or friend.  This group will provide a supportive environment for members to process through grief.  Group will meet weekly.  A group screen is necessary to start.

Survivors of Sexual Trauma

The "Survivors Group"provides a supportive and safe atmosphere for individuals who have experienced sexual trauma to heal together.  Trauma experiences may include past or recent sexual assault and/or childhood sexual abuse.  Surviving sexual trauma is often a painful and isolating experience.  The group provides a space to discuss the impact of the trauma, such as trust and flashbacks.  The support and understanding that is available in a survivors group often improves and accelerates the recovery process.

Together: International Student Support Group

This support group invites international students at BU. Students will be provided with plenty of opportunities to interact with other fellow international students.  They will exchange advice, suggestions, tips and knowledge regarding school and/or life in general.  Through this process students can develop a sense of belonging and enhance English skills, and normalize their experience.  Dr. Sangmoon Kim, group facilitator, was also an international student.  He will share what it was like for him studying and living as an international student and how he addressed the problems/difficulties he encountered.  Weekly attendance is not required but highly recommended.

Psychological Issues Group

The Issues Group is an on-going, once weekly therapy group for students with anxiety and stress about themselves and their life circumstances and interpersonal relationships.  The group will provide a warm and inviting environment for students to discuss various psychological issues.  Students in the group will receive support, feedback and insight from other students and the group facilitator.  The group may also incorporate various therapeutic exercises to promote creative thinking about psychological issues and self-awareness.  If you think you might be interested in this group, you may contact, Randi Scheiner, Ph.D. at

"Embrace Yourself"

Embrace Yourself aims to assist students in addressing personal and interpersonal problems which are associated with negative self-perception.  Personal and interpersonal problems include, but are not limited to, high self-criticism, difficulty self-appreciating or accepting compliments from others, feelings of inadequate/unattractive/flawed/inferior, difficulty speaking up/standing up for oneself, "people pleaser," difficulty making intimate relationships, and unrealistic perfectionism.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Kim at or Dr. Shinko at

Empowering Students of Color Support Group 

This support group is open for any students who identifies as a student of color.  It will discuss issues of cultural uniqueness and the impact it has on the balance work/academic/personal relationships.  Discussions include perceptions of competence, disparity, and identity development as they relate to physical and emotional health.  This group is a safe, confidential, and supportive environment for students to explore what it means to be a student of color on this campus and in the world. If you have any questions concerning this group, feel free to contact LeAnna Rice at

Graduate Student Process Group

This group is open to graduate students with a wide range of concerns and mental health issues.  Members of the group will have the opportunity to discuss many of the struggles that come with graduate student life: balancing academic and family obligations, interpersonal relationship problems, dissertation and adviser/program issues, as well as depression and anxiety that can intensify under the stress of graduate school.  The group will be a forum to receive and offer support and learn more about how they relate to themselves and others in a space that promotes growth and change.  For more information, please contact Rachael Day at to schedule a time to meet and see if the group can meet your needs.

Understanding Self and Others

Understanding Self and Others is a co-ed interpersonal group in which students focus on their relationships with others, such as friends, romantic partners, co-workers, or family members.  Common concerns include, but are not limited to, anxiety in social situations, difficulty among friends, assertiveness, romantic relationships, and conflict with others.  An interpersonal group can be beneficial in several ways, including learning that other students are struggling with similar concerns, which can help you feel less alone.  During group sessions, members will explore how they relate to others both inside and outside of group.  This insight can help you build stronger, healthier relationships.

Men's Group

Description coming soon ...


Past Groups Offered Have Included:


Everyday Mindfulness Stress Practices For Stress Management - Decker Health Services, Rm 204

This seven-week small group for students offers mindfulness interventions for handling stress.  It will meet once a week, exploring how to recognize stress though increased self-awareness, and teach ways to respond rather than react to stressful situations using mindfulness meditations and other mindfulness tools.  There will be brief teaching, group discussion and practice.  Students are asked to commit to the entire seven weeks.  Facilitated by a community member trained at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School and sponsored by the University Counseling Center.  To sign up for more information, please contact Rachel Leonard at Resources For Living at

Bereavement Group

Have you lost a loved one? Feel like there's no one to talk to, no one who understands? Consider joining this therapeutic support group for students who are dealing with loss. It was created to help students feel less alone, more supported, and to find hope and meaning. If you are interested in having a safe space to talk about your own loss and are looking for ways to cope, call the University Counseling Center at 607-777-2772 or e-mail Sefali Bhutwala at

Demystifying Relationships

Wish that you could communicate more effectively with your partner/parents/friends? Struggling with a long-distance relationship? Don't know how to say "NO" when you need/want to? Demystifying Relationships is an educational group that is designed to provide students with information regarding common relationship issues/problems (e.g., communication problems, negotiating boundaries, problematic patterns of interacting) as well as skills to help them to overcome these potential problems and improve the quality of their relationships. It is a group for individuals, not for couples, although we welcome students who are currently in relationships to participate and bring the information and skills that they learn from the group to any and all of their relationships. If you are interested in the group, contact Patricia Rourke: or Kate Shinko:

Anxiety Group

This group is for students who struggle with anxious thoughts, obsessive worrying, bodily symptoms of anxiety, avoidance of perceived scary situations and an overall sense that life events will have a negative outcome. The goal of the group is to help students address these worries and negative perceptions through awareness and analysis, and transform these anxious thoughts and perceptions into more positive and hopeful attitudes. For more information, e-mail Randi Scheiner at

"Hello, World!" – Location TBA

Graduating from college is a critical life transition, and life transition always comes with adjustment-related problems such as anxiety. Hello World aims to assist graduating seniors in addressing life transition-related problems/difficulties/concerns. If you are interested in participating, contact Dr. Sangmoon Kim at 777-2772 or

Dissertation Support Group

Are you struggling to make progress on your dissertation? Does it feel like procrastination, time management or anxiety is getting in the way? Come to the Dissertation Support Group, an open group where graduate students can connect with each other to find hope, support and advice. Potential topics include stress management, procrastination, motivation, burn out, assertive communication and more. The group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month through the end of the semester. It runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in UU-124. For more information, contact Tracy Lord at or simply show up to the next meeting.

Empowering African American Students Group

This group is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of African descent, including, but not limited to students who identify as African American, multiracial (in which at least one of their identified races is of African descent), Latino with African descent or Europeans of African descent interested in having additional support on campus. This group will discuss issues of cultural uniqueness and the impact that it has on the balance of work/academic/personal relationships. The group aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for students to explore feelings around racially oppressive experiences on campus, strengthen self-concept through activities and discussion, and help one another navigate academic and social experiences on campus. Group members will have the opportunity to examine and build on their strengths for success at Binghamton, while also having the opportunity to be supported by members who share their concerns and perceptions on campus. Contact LeAnna Rice at

Graduate Student Support Group

This group aims to address the kinds of challenges that graduate students typically confront -- relationship issues, interpersonal conflicts, family concerns, academic/career anxieties, etc. The group offers an opportunity to benefit from differing interpersonal styles of interaction and seeks to cultivate an atmosphere wherein group-members can work together to enhance self-understanding, provide mutual support, and explore possible solutions to problems and concerns. For further information, contact Bill Russell at

Seeds of Courage - Sexual Trauma Support Group

This group is for women, survivors of sexual trauma who are looking for a safe place to discuss concerns and impact of sexual assault. This may include trust and intimacy issues, self-blame, shame and guilt, anxiety and depression, nightmares and flashbacks and/or other concerns. 

Healing and Grieving

Have you lost a loved one? Feel like there's no one to talk to, no one who understands? Healing and Grieving is a therapeutic support group for students who are dealing with loss and was created to help students feel less alone, more supported, and able to find hope and meaning. 

The Body Positive

This group is for students who want to create and embrace a more positive body image. The group will meet weekly for four weeks; each group meeting will last about one hour. During these meetings, participants will engage in written, verbal and behavioral exercises designed to help students change the way in which they think about their bodies. Each group session will typically involve education provided by the group leaders and discussion/interaction among the group members and leader; willingness to participate is thus important. 

Mindfulness Meditation & Stress Reduction

Mindfulness meditation is a unique way of paying attention that involves full awareness of the present moment and open-minded acceptance. Research has shown that mindfulness can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote clear thinking, enhance concentration and skillfully regulate emotions, among other benefits. This group is for students who would like to learn how to utilize mindfulness meditation techniques and the principles of mindfulness and acceptance in order to reduce stress. 

Asperger's Transitions Group

This drop-in group aims to address challenges unique to this population in college life. Issues addressed will include connections to resources, advocating for themselves and social skills.   

Sexual Trauma Support Group

This group is for women who are survivors of sexual trauma who are looking for a safe place to discuss concerns and impact of sexual assault. This may include trust and intimacy issues, self-blame, shame and guilt, anxiety and depression, nightmares and flashbacks and/or other concerns.

Anxiety 101

Overwhelmed by your nerves . . . and want a better way to deal with them? Have you lost a loved one? This group is for students who want to learn more about anxiety and how to cope with it in a healthful and effective manner.  

Cultures and Conversations
A Dialogue and Support Group for International and Internationally-minded Students

This new group welcomes students who would like to discuss their experiences at Binghamton University as international students and who are looking forward to meeting new friends. We are a welcoming and inclusive group that aims to promote feelings of connection and belonging and welcome those who are "international at heart." We will explore typical issues that international students encounter: homesickness, loneliness, academic stress, language and communication difficulties. 

Sexuality and Identity Group

Searching for a discreet place to talk about your sexual identity? Dealing with religious issues and your sexuality? Conflicted about disclosing to loved ones? If you are interested in attending a group devoted to exploring these concerns, this is a good group for you!

Relaxation Group

Feeling stressed? Need to relax? Come learn how to relax through a variety of techniques that will vary weekly, including guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and more. All students, faculty and staff are welcome to be part of this relaxation community any week they wish – no appointment is necessary.

Reduce Your Gambling-Related Problems

The University Counseling Center is now holding open enrollment for a specialized group therapy targeting the common problems associated with gambling. If you experience any financial stress, academic problems or interpersonal conflict related to your current or past gambling behavior, then you may benefit from this group.

Resolving Sexual Trauma

This group is for female survivors of rape or sexual assault (recently or in the past) who feel this traumatic event is currently having a negative impact on their life.

Finish That Dissertation

This group is for doctoral students who are beyond the preliminary stage of their work and need an extra push to finish their dissertation.

Comfort Zone

This is a support group for students who have a loved one in the Iraq/Afghanistan combat zone.

Interpersonal Group

This group addresses issues of interpersonal relationships, covering a wide spectrum of concerns such as trust, intimacy, isolation, relating to others, relating to groups and loneliness.

Insight and Healing Through Storytelling

This group explores life issues through the sharing of life stories.

Mission Meltaway

Mission Meltaway is a free, 8-week jump-start weight-loss program that supports a team approach to healthy eating and increased physical activity. Meetings cover a broad range of topics including menu planning, nutrition, physical activity and behavior modification. All participants receive a physical assessment of their blood pressure, body mass index and weight before starting the program and again on completion of the program.

Finding Your Path

This non-traditional workshop helps students negotiate the rites of passage of young adulthood and how to initiate relationships with crucial life tasks, world arenas and dimensions of self. Issues addressed include love and sex, negative emotions, parents and mentors, self-empowerment, calling and character, freedom and choice, self and others, and power.

Food For Thought

This is a 5-week workshop that explores the personal and social attitudes and behaviors that shape our eating. Sessions include lecture presentation and discussion time.

Finding a Heroic Path

This group helps men define and forge meaningful life directions, as well as explore sacred aspects of relations, careers and self. Self-awareness will be cultivated through exploration of differences.

Resolving Sexual Abuse

This group helps participants work through current issues as well as change the impact the abusive experience is having on them. The group strives to help members move past seeing life through the lens of trauma so they may regain the ability to experience joy and hope for the future.

Male Graduate Student Support Group

This group addresses the needs of male graduate students who are struggling with marital or relationship issues, interpersonal conflicts, performance anxieties, professional objectives, or the completion of research or dissertation/thesis.


Last Updated: 9/10/15