Joining a Group

Groups can be especially beneficial for students who learn from others or feel isolated, depressed, or anxious, or who are concerned about how they relate to other people.

During your initial appointment, your therapist will help you explore the options for group work. Even though some students are nervous at first about joining a group, many soon discover that it is the best approach for their particular concerns. Group counseling is often an effective way to experience growth and change in one’s life. In groups one can share common problems, safely interact with others, learn about oneself, and help others learn about themselves.

Some groups focus on specific concerns such as stress management, relationships, and depression. Other groups are designed to provide support for students with shared identities. Groups meet once weekly for approximately 1 to 1½ hours. A variety of group formats including psychotherapy, psychoeducational, support, and outreach groups are offered.

For some of our groups, prospective group members are required to attend a pre-group meeting. A pre-group meeting is a brief individual meeting with group leader(s) before the group begins. The pre-group meeting provides you with specific information about the group, and helps you and the group leaders determine if group therapy is the best way to work on your concerns.

Additional Group Information

Learn more about group therapy in university counseling centers:

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

Beyond Ring Road: Workshop Series for Graduating Seniors

For additional information about the workshop series, click on the following link and for registration click here.

Spring 2017 Groups

Groups marked with an ** require a pre-group meeting with the group leaders. For more information about Counseling Center groups, please contact: Yuli Liu, Ph.D. (Group Services Coordinator) or specific group leaders at (949) 824-6457


  • Overcoming Social Anxiety**


    Mondays, 1:30 - 3:00 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This 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. Group members will learn skills to help them address their anxiety and have an opportunity to practice these skills in and out of group.

  • Making Peace With My Body**

    Contact: JESSICA ORTEGA, PH.D.

    Mondays, 3:30 - 5:00 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    Are you tired of being preoccupied with food, weight and your body appearance?  If you are ready to explore, understand, and develop an active and satisfying relationship with yourself, body and food, this group may be for you.  Emphasis will be on enhancing body image and self-concept, assertiveness, confidence in relationships, and developing healthier coping styles.  

  • What’s Going On

    Contact: HEATHER JETT, PSY.D.

    Monday of Week 5 (May 1 at 5:00 PM) @ Cross-Cultural Center

    A forum for African American and other students interested in discussing issues that are of importance to the African American community.

  • Choices and Voices

    Contact: Mandy Mount, Ph.D.

    Mondays, 3:30 – 5:00 PM

    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.

    If you would like more information about this group, please contact Mandy Mount, Ph.D. at 949/824-7273.


  • Men's Group**

    Contact: ZER ALON, PSY.D. & Timothy Chen, M.A.

    Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This men's psychotherapy group designed to address the concerns of both undergraduate and graduate students. This group will help men develop insight into themselves and their relationship with others. Topics include academic and work issues, self-esteem, stress and anxiety, relationship and family issues, communication, and life transitions.

  • Grief and Loss Group**


    Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This group is for students who have been experiencing difficulty with loss and their own grief process around the death of a loved one. We will explore possible feelings of guilt and shame about their relationship with someone that has recently died, and identify tips and strategies for integrating and synthesizing loss into our UCI experience after experiencing loss. 

  • Graduate Women's Therapy Group**


    Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This group focuses on deepening self-awareness and relational styles.  Emphasis is placed on giving and receiving feedback as we cultivate caring and authentic relationships.  We will explore the use of boundaries and limit setting in relationships, as well as understanding expectations of self and others.

  • Estamos Unidas

    Contact: Jessica Ortega, Ph.D.

    Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5:00 PM

    Estamos Unidas is a supportive drop-in group for Chicana/Latina students that provides space for Chicanas/Latinas to share their cultural concerns and triumphs in a university environment, build community, address transitional issues between family and university life, empower one another to succeed academically and socially, and engage in peer mentoring.  


  • What is Love?**

    Contact: Annie Ahn, Ph.D.

    Wednesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    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.

  • International Student Therapy Group**

    Contact: KANWAR PAHWA, PH.D.

    Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This interactive, process-oriented group will address general personal concerns of international students (family, relationships, acculturation, academic adjustment, etc.).  This group is meant to provide a safe space to discuss shared experiences of international students.

  • Chronic Health Concerns Support Group**


    Wednesdays, 3 – 4:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This group is for students living with a chronic health concern (e.g. fibromyalgia, IBS) and/or chronic pain.  Connect with other students in a safe space to address such topics as maintaining balance, advocating for yourself with medical professionals, dealing with others who minimize or misunderstand your health concern, managing pain, and cultivating hope, gratitude and acceptance. 

  • Bye-Bye Culture Shock

    Contact: KANWAR PAHWA, PH.D.

    Wednesdays, 5:00 - 6:30 PM (4/12, 4/26, & 5/10 ONLY) @ Location: Student Center G303 - Student Life and Leadership Conference Room

    Bye-Bye Culture Shock is a drop-in discussion group that provides a safe and private space for international students to share their cross-cultural experiences, to discuss their concerns, and to support each other throughout the adjustment process.  Topics include but are not limited to cultural differences, making friends and dating, academic adjustment, building your confidence and where to go for help.


  • Finding Your Calm**

    Contact: YULI LIU, PH.D.

    Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:30 AM (Pre-group meeting required)

    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.

  • Authentic Connections**


    Thursdays, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    This interpersonally-focused group is for students interested in better understanding 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.


  • W.I.S.E.

    Contact: JAS TILGHMAN, PH.D.

    Fridays, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

    The WISE group is a support group for graduate Women in Science and Engineering and other STEM fields.  The purpose of the group is to come together as women studying in male-dominated fields, talk about your experiences and stressors, learn from other women, network and gain mentorship, and explore suggestions for being able to graduate successfully.  

  • International Coffee Hour

    Contact: KANWAR PAHWA, PHD.

    Fridays, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

    Come and meet interesting students from all over the world.  Relax and enjoy lively conversations and refreshments.  New members are always welcome!!

  • Stress Free Fridays


    Fridays 1:00 – 2:00 PM (Weeks 1 - 10)

    Stress Free Fridays is a drop-in workshop series where you learn and practice relaxation skills to help you manage stress and succeed.  

  • Women of Color Support Group**

    Contact: Karina Ramos, Ph.D.

    Fridays, 2:00 - 3:30 PM (Pre-group meeting required)

    Looking for a sense of community?  The Women of Color support group provides a supportive space in which women of diverse cultural backgrounds can discuss any topics relevant to their experiences.  Topics may include cultural adjustments, race relations, romantic relationships, academic concerns, career concerns, and overall issues related to being a member of the UCI community.  Open to UCI undergrads and graduate students of diverse backgrounds including but not limited to women of African, African-American, Asian/Asian American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Latina, Middle Eastern, and biracial/multiracial backgrounds.