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What to Expect from Group Counseling

What is group counseling?

In group counseling a small number of people with similar life experiences meet together in a confidential setting with a professionally trained counselor/therapist to help themselves and each other pursue personal growth and improve their ability to meet life challenges. Counseling groups can help individuals to enhance their personal support systems, increase their understanding of self and others, and learn effective strategies for addressing specific issues that may interfere with optional functioning, such as self-esteem, assertiveness, grief, relationships, anxiety, depression, and academic stress.

What does it take for group counseling to be effective?

The primary ingredients of an effective counseling group are honesty and commitment to the group. Willingness to gradually take risks in a safe, supportive environment is helpful. Students who do not talk in group get less out of the process. Group facilitators are ready to help these students participate more fully, while respecting members’ personal boundaries about what information to disclose.