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Group Therapy: Is it for you?

For many of the life concerns that college students often face, group counseling is one of the best treatments available. Groups offer a unique opportunity in a safe and supportive place to receive support and use peer interaction to help individuals work on the challenges that they are facing. Groups can help establish a sense of connection with other students and help give support and valuable feedback regarding common concerns as they navigate their academic and personal lives at ISU.

Although many students are initially hesitant to join a group they often find that it is a very beneficial and positive experience.

Groups at the ISU Counseling and Mental Health Center have an average of five to eight students and one to two counselors. They generally meet weekly, for 90 minutes, at a fixed time each semester. While our selection of groups varies throughout the year the center typically offers general therapy groups for ISU students, as well as theme-focused groups, and drop-in groups.

Benefits of Groups

  • Connect to others facing similar issues
  • See how others handle similar problems
  • Learn and practice new skills in a safe environment
  • Get multiple perspectives
  • Share your unique perspective
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Improve social skills
  • Enhance acceptance of yourself and others
  • Improve self-esteem

Research supports the effectiveness of group treatment and the ISU Counseling and Mental Health Center offers a variety of weekly groups in order to meet the various needs of the diverse students we serve. Groups are a powerful way to bring about meaningful change in the interpersonal, emotional, or personal challenges students face. For many concerns such as learning communication and social skills, overcoming anxiety, learning about interpersonal communication, getting social support, and learning life skills to improve personal well-being, groups are the recommended treatment that could help students overcome difficulties and benefit their lives. Please contact the Counseling and Mental Health Center at (208) 282-2130 to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors to discuss joining a group.


Groups Offered at CMHC


Understanding Self and Others (USO)

These groups are effective ways to gain support from other individuals dealing with a variety of personal concerns. It is an opportunity to address boundaries, emotional intimacy, increase self-awareness, and practice new behaviors in a safe, confidential environment.

Anxiety ACTion 

The Anxiety ACTion Group is focused on helping students understand their struggles with anxiety in new ways and learn new ways of acting to change their anxiety and pursue a full and meaningful life. This semi-structured group utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which teaches individuals to see their personal experiences and relationships from different perspectives, and to act in valued ways that allow them to relate differently to anxious feelings, depressed moods, worrying thoughts, and self-defeating behaviors.

Mindful Self-Compassion 

This group focuses on ways to be more compassionate with yourself through struggles, difficulties, and challenges. Mindfulness and self-compassion skills can help you quiet the voice of harsh criticism and negative judgment and help you learn simple ways and techniques for supporting yourself during difficult moments. This skills-based group uses practices and exercises from the Mindful Self-Compassion program. 


Fall 2023 Group Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday












Mindful Self-Compassion

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Kristin Stewart-Yates & Skylar Martinell







Understanding Self & Others

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Sally Bodkin & Mollie White


Understanding Self & Others

3:00 - 4:30 pm

Cameron Staley & Priya Kaur



Anxiety ACTion

3:00 - 4:30 pm

Matt Ashton & Emma Tussey






Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group*

4:00 - 5:00 pm

*Second Thursday of each month


Community for Survivors of Suicide Loss 

This monthly support group is open to any student, faculty, or staff member who would like to connect with others who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide. This group meets the 2nd Thursday of each month from 4 - 5 PM.

  • August 11
  • September 8
  • October 13
  • November 10
  • December 8

Click here to register for this group 

Meetings are held over Zoom. Register for the group by clicking on the link above. Upon registration you will be emailed a link for the Zoom meeting. For questions, please contact Rick Pongratz at rickpongratz@isu.edu