Groups at UC Irvine Counseling Center
Many students elect to participate in group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy can be especially beneficial for students who feel isolated, depressed, or anxious, or who are concerned about how they relate to other people. Even though some students are nervous at first about joining group counseling, many soon discover that it is the best approach for their particular concerns. A number of counseling groups are offered each quarter. Some groups focus on specific concerns such as stress management, social anxiety, or graduate women's issues. Some groups are designed to provide support for students with shared identities. Groups meet once weekly for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
There are several kinds of groups we offer at our Counseling Center: psychotherapy, support, outreach and structured groups. Groups meet regularly and run on both a quarterly and yearly basis.
Q: What are psychotherapy groups?
A: Members meet to explore personal problems with others who can offer fresh perspectives and objective opinions. Members support and encourage each other in the personal growth process. Psychotherapy groups, in essence, become micro-learning labs wherein members can correct ineffective communication patterns while practicing more productive ways of interacting with others.
Q: What are Support Groups?
A: Support groups allow students who share a specific characteristic to discuss problems frequently encountered by others in their situation. Members offer the sort of support, empathy, and encouragement that can best be provided by those who have an insiders understanding.
Q: What are outreach groups?
A: These groups are offered to the UC Irvine community and provide support, consultation, and a sense of community. Some outreach groups may be offered outside the center, including Peace of Mind workshop series and What’s Going On? Both Estamos Unidas and International Coffee Hour are offered in the Counseling Center, Student Services I, Room 203.
Q: What are Structured or Psycho-educational Groups?
A: The format of these psycho educational groups is well defined. Each session is similar to a mini-workshop. Pertinent information is provided via short lectures. Members participate in exercises designed to help them practice skills and/or gain greater insight into their problems. Structured groups are time-limited; they meet for a set number of sessions.
All prospective group members in groups marked with an asterisk (*) are required to attend a pre-group screening session. A pre-group screening and orientation session is a brief meeting with leader(s) before the group begins. Its purpose is:
(1) to provide information about the group and (2) to determine if group counseling is the best way to work on your concerns.
For more information about Counseling Center groups, please contact:
Yuli Liu, Ph.D.
Fall 2013 Schedule
Being a Student Athlete* - Mondays 8:30-10:00am
Contact: Casey Cooper, Ph.D. & Milo Dodson, M.S.
This group is for student-athletes who are a member of a recognized UCI sports teams (clubs included). The group will offer a supportive and safe space to explore the unique needs, culture, and stressors of being a student-athlete. Topics may include managing coaching relationships, maintaining a balanced schedule, and fighting back from injury or setbacks. Click here for additional information.
Finding Your Calm (Undergraduates) * - Mondays 12:30-1:50pm
Contact: Yuli Liu , Ph.D. & Meg Stein, M.A.
The goal of this group is to help students increase awareness of their personal reactions to stressors, learn anxiety management techniques, practice breathing and relaxation exercises, and gain support from others.
Asian American Women's Support Group* - Mondays 3:00-4:30pm
Contact: Yuli Liu, Ph.D.
The goal of this support group is to provide a safe and supportive environment for Asian/Asian American women to explore social and cultural issues related to values, family concerns, intergenerational conflict, academic stress, career concerns, dating, sexuality, religion, immigration, gender roles, identity, etc.
Choices and Voices - Mondays 3:30-5:00pm
Contact: Mandy Mount, Ph.D. at (949) 824-7273
This group, sponsored by Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE), provides a safe and secure environment to discuss the ongoing needs of survivors of sexual violence.
Estamos Unidas - Tuesdays 3:30-5:00pm
Contact: Jessica Ortega, Ph.D. & Lissa Lim, M.A.
Bienvenidas! Come join an outreach group for Chicana/Latina students. In this group, you will have the opportunity to connect with other women who are seeking to create community with one another and address a host of concerns. Some areas of focus are cultural concerns in a university environment, transitional issues between family and university life, relationships, identity, ways to succeed academically and socially, and mentoring.
Understanding Self and Others (undergraduates)*- Wednesdays 12-1:30pm
Contact: Rodolfo Victoria, M.Phil. & Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D.
This process-oriented group is for students interested in deepening their understanding of themselves and their relationships with others. The group offers a safe environment where members can express their thoughts and feelings and provide support and feedback to one another. They are also encouraged to experiment with new ways of relating to others.
Transitioning to the University - Wednesdays 2-3:30pm
Contact: Dianna Gonzalez , Ph.D.
Transitioning to a university can include many challenges for first year, transfer, and first-generation college students: connecting with others like you, new academic demands, moving from the semester system to the quarter system, finding your way around, to name a few. This group hopes to provide a safe space in which we can discuss our collective struggles as well as celebrate our strengths, resources, and resilience. No pre-group screening necessary. Open to undergraduate students only. Group is offered on a drop-in basis.
Overcoming Social Anxiety* - Thursdays 10:30am-12:00pm
Contact: Debbie Liu, Ph.D. & Meg Stein, M.A.
This 9-week structured, skills-focused group is designed to help students overcome anxiety in a variety of social situations including public speaking, meeting new people, initiating and maintaining conversations.
Grief Group* - Thursdays 2:00-3:30pm
Contact: Dianna Gonzalez, Ph.D. and Bonny Chang, M.Ed.
This group provides a space and place for students to process the loss of a loved one. The group will include psychoeducation and group member discussion around topics such as common reactions to grief, identifying social support and healing paths, and moving forward in the world after the loss. Loss should be within the last year. Group is open to both undergraduates and graduate students throughout the quarter.
My Half-Full Life: Beating the Blues * - Thursdays 3-4:30pm
Contact: Amy La, Ph.D. & Lissa Lim, M.A.
If you're feeling sad or depressed, please consider this group as a forum for receiving support and for learning new tools to help you feel better. This primarily CBT group provides both educational and therapeutic facets of a group experience, teaching effective behavioral activation and rational thinking skills, and how to utilize them in overcoming depression and related negative moods and emotions.
Dissertation Group - Fridays 9:30-11:00am
Contact: Frances Diaz, Psy.D.
This is an interactive drop-in group designed for graduate students to obtain support and to address dissertation challenges. Education will be provided on typical dissertation challenges and coping strategies.
LGBT Graduate Students Discussion Group - Fridays 11:30am-1pm
Contact: Carolyn O'Keefe, Psy.D.
This "brown bag" discussion group is for LGBTQ graduate students. This is a drop-in group where students can discuss relationships, academic life, family, career and managing one's identities at UC Irvine.
International Coffee Hour - Fridays 12-1:30pm
Contact: Jonathan Flojo, Ph.D.
Come and meet interesting students from all over the world. Relax and enjoy lively conversations and refreshments. New members are always welcome!!
What is Love?* (Undergraduates) - Fridays 1-2:30pm
Contact: Annie Ahn, Ph.D. & Milo Dodson, M.S.
This is an interactive and supportive group for individuals who are interested in talking about the subject of love and romantic relationships. Common topics include how to find love, maintain love, and/or recover from a lost love. Members do not have to be in a relationship to join this group.
Graduate Women's Therapy Group* - Fridays 2-3:30pm
Contact: Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D. & Bonny Chang, M.Ed.
This is a process oriented therapy group for graduate student women who wish to deepen awareness of self and relationships. Emphasis is placed on identifying and understanding multiple roles, including student, teacher, family member, friend, and partner in order to better understand needs. We will explore the use of boundaries and limit setting in relationships, as well as understanding expectations of self and others.
Additional Group Information
American Group Psychology Association
For additional information about group therapy in general as well as the ability to locate group therapists in the U.S. you can visit www.AGPA.org