INFO

Phone: 805-756-2511
Fax:     805-756-6525
counseling@calpoly.edu

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM | M-F
Building 27

Group Therapy

We are committed to supporting student mental health while also responding to the current global pandemic and prioritizing health and safety for students and employees. To this end, Counseling Services is currently offering services in person and remotely by phone and HIPAA-compliant Zoom. When attending an in-person appointment, you are required to show a valid green campus pass and wear a facial covering during the entirety of the appointment. If you feel ill, or do not have a valid campus pass, please stay home and call 805-756-2511 to meet virtually instead. Group therapy is offered virtually at this time.

  

Group Therapy is when a group of no more than 8-10 students meet with 1-2 therapists for 60-90 minutes.  We offer a variety of groups including Therapy groups (i.e., support groups, psycho-educational groups, interpersonal process groups) and Drop-In groups.  Some groups are time-limited with a specific focus, while others are broader and open-ended.   

Please see the group descriptions below for more information about groups currently offered at Counseling Services.  If you are interested in a group that is not currently being offered, please email Dr. Paul Carbajal, Groups Coordinator.

  

DROP-IN GROUPS - FALL 2022 

Drop-in groups are open to interested students, and do not require a referral or Initial Consultation.  You may attend as many of the drop-in group sessions as you find helpful.   

How do I join a Drop-In Group? 
No pre-scheduling needed.  If the Zoom ID is listed in the drop-in group's description, you may join at the time of the group.  If the Zoom ID is unlisted, please contact the associated facilitator(s).  You will need an active Cal Poly email account to join. 
  
Drop-In Group Name Facilitator(s) Day Time Start Date

ADHD Support Group 

Isaac Brandt, Ph.D.

Fridays (Virtual)

2:00-3:30pm 9/23

Better Decisions

Shawna Dobson, LMFT

Thursdays (Virtual) 11:10am-12:00pm 9/29
Graduate Student Support Space Various Fridays (Virtual) 10:10-11:00am 10/7
ROOTS (Reclaiming Our Origins Through Self-Exploration: A BIPOC Support Group)

Ana Cabezas, Psy.D. 

Diana Menendez, Psy.D. 

Wednesdays (Alternating Weeks: Virtual/In-Person) 11:10am-12:00pm 9/28
Wise Minds: A DBT Life Skills Group

Sarah Colwell, Psy.D.

Cheri Love, MS

Fridays (Virtual) 10:10-11:40am 10/7
Yoga for Mental Health

Isaac Brandt, Ph.D., RYT

Thursdays 3:10-4:40pm 9/22


THERAPY GROUPS - FALL 2022 

How do I join a Therapy Group? 
If you are a current client, please speak to your current therapist about joining a group. 

If you are not a current client, please call to schedule a brief "Screening" appointment and mention your interest in joining a group to the therapist.  Call us at 805-756-2511 today to get started.

If the group you are interested in is still accepting new members and follows your recommended treatment plan, the therapist will advise you to schedule a “Group Screening" appointment, a 20-30 minute meeting with the relevant group facilitator to further answer any specific questions you may have about the group and to ensure that the group is the right fit. 
  

Therapy Group Name Facilitator(s) Day Time Start Date

Be Body Positive 

Amelia Ramirez, LMFT
Shawna Dobson, LPCC

Thursday

2:00-3:00pm

10/20

Connecting with Self & Others 

Shala Cole, Psy.D.

Sarah Colwell, Psy.D.

Tuesday 10:10-11:40am WIN 2023
Connecting with Self & Others 

Paul Carbajal, Psy.D.

Sarah Park, Psy.D.

Tuesday 2:10-3:40pm Running

Connecting with Self & Others 

Shala Cole, Psy.D.

Allison Parker, LMFT

Wednesday 2:10-3:40pm Week 4
Connecting with Self & Others

Paul Carbajal, Psy.D.

Diana Menendez, Psy.D.

Friday 1:10-3:40pm WIN 2023
Eating Disorders Treatment Support Group

Alison Aylward, Ph.D.

Shawna Dobson, LPCC

Monday 2:00-4:00pm 10/03

Female-Identified Survivors of Sexual Assault Group

Courtney de Blieck, Psy.D. 

Ana Cabezas, Psy.D. 

Friday 1:10-2:40pm WIN 2023

Grief Group 

Becca Gillis, Psy.D.

TBD TBD TBD

LGBTQQIA+ 

Kimberli Andridge, Psy.D. 

Becca Gillis, Psy.D. 

TBD

TBD 

Weeks 3-4

Mindful Living 

Becky Sznejkowski, Psy.D.

Friday 2:15-3:40pm 10/07
Nourish Amelia Ramirez, LMFT Tuesday 2:10-3:00pm 10/18
Nourish Courtney de Blieck, Psy.D. Friday 3:10-4:00pm 10/21
Reclaim! Courtney de Blieck, Psy.D. Friday 9:10-10:00am 10/7

Romantic Relationships

Kimberli Andridge, Psy.D. 

Alison Aylward, Ph.D. 

Wednesday 2:00-4:00pm WIN 2023

Steady Steps

Becky Sznejkowski, Psy.D. 

TBD 

TBD 

TBD
Trans/Non-Binary Student Support

Kimberli Andridge, Psy.D.

Becca Gillis, Psy.D.

TBD TBD Weeks 3-4
Work In Progress

Sarah Colwell, Psy.D.

Cheri Love, MS

Monday 10:10am - 11:40am 9/26 or 10/3

  

GROUP DESCRIPTIONS  

 

ADHD Support Group 

This drop-in group is hosted by Counseling Services.  Students with a current or potential diagnosis of ADHD are welcome to give and get support around the impact of this diagnosis on daily functioning.  Please email Dr. Isaac Brandt with additional questions or for more information. Please access the Zoom Meeting ID at the designated time. 

Be Body Positive 

The Be Body Positive Model was developed to teach people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies to lead happier, more productive lives. It is a solution-focused, whole-person model that offers positive messages of hope and freedom, and provides an alternative to the mainstream weight-focused health model that most individuals are taught. The goal is for people to gather information from a place of trusting their own intuitive wisdom in order to develop balanced and lasting self-care practices so they can focus on the parts of life that have purpose and meaning. The content of the group is influenced by the 5 Core Competencies developed by The Body Positive: Reclaim Health; Practice Intuitive Self-Care; Cultivate Self-Love; Declare Your Own Authentic Beauty; and Build Community. 

Better Decisions 

Better Decisions is an ongoing weekly support group for students with substance misuse/abuse issues. Students will be met with a harm-reduction approach, where they can set goals to lessen the impact that their substance abusing behavior has on their life. Goals of group counseling are to: reduce stigma and isolation of substance abuse issues, assist in moving through stages of change, learn and implement healthy coping strategies, and remedy incongruence between values and behavior. Please access the Zoom Meeting ID at the designated time.

Connecting with Self and Others

This therapy group is designed for students who struggle in relating with others and for those who want to better understand themselves in the context of their relationships. Relationship is used as a general term and includes: romantic, familial, friends, roommates, classmates, coworkers, professors etc. Members of this group will benefit from the interactive nature of the group. Members have the opportunity to share and receive feedback and practice new ways of connecting with themselves and others within the context of a safe environment.  

Eating Disorders Treatment Support Group

The Eating Disorders Support Group is a space for individuals who struggle with disordered eating to connect with individuals who share similar struggles. The group is meant to provide emotional support to individuals on their treatment and recovery journey as well as skills to help manage difficult thoughts, emotions, and urges. Group is open to new members at any time and will continue in an ongoing manner. Students are expected to have an established treatment team in place as well. Interested members can speak with their counselor or can contact Shawna Dobson or Alison Aylward at Counseling Services (805-756-2511) for more information. 

Female-Identified Survivors of Sexual Trauma Support Group

This is a support group for female-identified survivors of sexual trauma, including rape, sexual assault, abuse, exploitation, harassment, etc. The focus of the group will be on providing support to group members, normalizing their experiences, and exploring ways of building positive self-esteem and healthy coping mechanisms.  Contact your primary therapist, Dr. de Blieck by email or Dr. Cabezas by email, if interested in participating. 

Graduate Student Support Space

This weekly group is a space for graduate students to connect, share and learn from other students going through similar circumstances. Graduate students can discuss a wide range of topics, some of which might include academics, stress management, relationships, career, cultural concerns, and coping.  Please access the Zoom Meeting ID at the designated time.

Grief Group 

This is a semi-structured therapy group for all undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced the loss of a loved one through death. The loss can be past or recent and involve anyone who was close to the student (e.g., family member, partner, friend, etc.). The first part of each group session focuses on strategies and activities to allow students to better manage and process their grief, while the second part is dedicated to group discussion of how to implement these strategies.  While this group is open to all students who have lost a loved one, it is especially tailored to students who feel that their loss was traumatic or is interfering with their functioning. *A support group for pet loss can be found through SLO Hospice*.

LGBTQQIA+

This group is designed to serve as a safe space in which students whom identify as LGBTQQIA+ are able to discuss specific concerns directly or tangentially related to their identities. Group is primarily support based, including some process components. Group discussion is based on student needs, with some topics created by co-leaders to encourage discussion. Previous topics have included: coming out and being out (family, friends, academically, in the workforce), dating at Cal Poly, intersections of identities, and media/social representations of LGBTQQIA+ individuals.  

Mindful Living

This 8-week psychoeducational and skills-based group is intended for individuals who are feeling stuck, generally unfulfilled, or distressed by any variety of psychological pain such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, isolation, etc.  The overall purpose of this group is to help individuals get unstuck and live a more fulfilling life by (1) enhancing their awareness of the psychological processes that contribute to feeling stuck; (2) helping them learn healthier ways to relate and respond to their distress; and (3) helping them commit to choices and actions that are guided by their deepest values.  Individuals will learn skills that help them connect to the present moment, understand how the content of their thoughts can trap them, and how their reactions to emotions can ultimately keep them stuck.  Through use of these skills and reconnection with their values, individuals will have more psychological flexibility to move their life in a fulfilling direction. 

Nourish

Nourish is a three-session group that was created to be helpful in learning how to recognize and better manage eating disorder symptoms. The main goals of Nourish are to allow students to develop more awareness of the impact of their eating disorder and to develop tools to begin to heal. Since treatment for eating disorders tends to be multi-faceted (e.g., individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, monitoring by a medical provider and Registered Dietician, etc.) and may require longer term treatment, Nourish is considered a supplement to individual therapy and focuses on providing psychoeducation about eating disorders, discussing individual motivations for change, and starting to design treatment strategies that are specific to each student. Feel free to download a PDF copy of the Nourish Student Workbook

Reclaim!

Recliam! focuses on helping you understand trauma’s impact on the brain and nervous system and on building skills to manage your symptoms. The sessions include modules dedicated to: (1) understanding trauma, (2) introducing a method for tracking nervous system cues to manage your trauma symptoms, and (3) creating a wellness plan to manage your trauma symptoms. By the end of the workshop, you will have a better sense of how trauma impacts your day to day life and how to use lifestyle habits and coping tools to improve quality of life.  Feel free to download a PDF copy of the Reclaim! Student Workbook

Romantic Relationships

This group is designed for those who are distressed about a current or recent romantic relationship.  It is meant to provide support for the painful, confusing, or frustrating emotions that arise from a difficult romantic relationship or recent breakup.  This group is also meant to help participants gain more insight into the factors contributing to these difficulties so they may move towards more fulfilling romantic relationships in the future.  Students will also have the opportunity to provide one another with interpersonal feedback. 

ROOTS (Reclaiming Our Origins Through Self-Exploration: A BIPOC Support Group)

A drop-in space for BIPOC students to explore their intersecting identities and gain support through shared stories in the current political climate. Students will gain support through building community and fostering resilience. Each session will start with a reflection exercise followed by exploration through group dialogue.
** Held In-Person (9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/09, 11/30) @ Counseling Services (Bld. 27)
** Held Virtually (10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16) via Zoom

Steady Steps

This group is designed as a psychiatric disability advocacy/support group. Participants have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder that has an ongoing impact on some aspect of their functioning (academic, social, occupational, self-care, self-image, etc.). Participants have experienced their symptoms for an extended period of time, or anticipate that their condition will be ongoing (although not necessarily life-long). Examples of diagnoses can include, but are not limited to, psychotic disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, autism/Asperger's disorder, and personality disorders. The purpose of the group is to provide support to students with ongoing mental health concerns, explore resources both on and off campus, discuss strategies for dealing with symptoms, and examine how students can reach their academic and personal goals while simultaneously living with a mental illness. 

Trans/Non-Binary Student Support Group

An affirming, supportive, space for transgender, non-binary, gender-expansive, and gender questioning students to connect with, and receive support from, other students with similar lived experiences.

Wise Minds: A DBT Life Skills Group 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or confused about what you are feeling and why? Have you noticed you’re not feeling as present in your life and are not enjoying things as much as you used to? Is it hard for you to recognize your needs or share your needs with others? Then Wise Minds: A DBT Life Skills Group may be right for you! Drop-in for the first time to any of the 8 weeks we meet. Each meeting in 90 minutes (must join at start time for entry). We have 4 topics (see below) that each have two different sessions. For more info, email Dr. Sarah Colwell (she/they) at sjcolwel@calpoly.edu.

  • Getting Present (Oct. 7th & Nov. 4th) – Do you feel like you are constantly in autopilot? Is it difficult to connect meaningfully to the moment when you’re feeling stressed? Learn the Wise Mind Skill of Mindfulness and how it can help enhance your relationship with yourself and your world.   
  • Calming the Overwhelm (Oct. 14th & Nov. 18th) – Are your typical coping strategies of calming your overwhelm or big feelings not working reliably anymore. Learn the Wise Mind Skill of Distress Tolerance to help you soothe yourself when it all feels like too much.   
  • Understanding your Emotions (Oct. 21st & Dec. 2nd) – Are emotions uncomfortable or confusing to you? Learn the Wise Mind Skill of Emotional Regulation to learn how to use your emotions as a helpful guide as you navigate your current circumstances.   
  • Building Healthy Relationships (Oct. 28th & Dec. 9th) – Is it hard for you to express yourself and your boundaries with other people? Learn the Wise Mind Skill of Interpersonal Effectiveness to enhance your ability to communicate who you are and what you need to others.   

Please access the Zoom Meeting ID at the designated time.

And please access worksheets for group here: Wise Minds Drop-in Group Worksheets.

Work In Progress

Clients will increase self-understanding and cultivate healing through the artistic process. This group is geared towards clients who struggle with self-worth due to developmental wounds and family experiences. A variety of art approaches will be used and each week will begin with artmaking. Clients will explore feelings, foster self-awareness, and resolve internal conflicts through artmaking and the creative process. Clients will discuss their therapeutic concerns, share their art with one another, and offer support and feedback to each other.

Yoga for Mental Health

Where: Campus Health & Wellbeing (CH&W): Front Lawn (adjacent to the rock climbing wall)

Come join Isaac Brandt, PhD RYT, for a free drop-in yoga class focused on increasing mindfulness and improving mental health. Each week class will offer support as needed for the yoga postures and/or mental health support if anything comes up as you mindfully connect with yourself. 

Please bring something to practice on (mat, blanket, towel, etc.). Also - there will be some mat giveaways randomly during the quarter!?

 


Group Satisfaction Survey - FALL 2022 (COMING SOON)

Please take a moment and share your experience in group(s) with us!  This anonymous survey takes between 3-5 minutes, and is used to update and adapt our group offerings to best meet the needs of students.  Thank you for your feedback!

 

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