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 are 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 except for certain support groups 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.
Spring 2013 Schedule
Understanding Self and Others (Undergraduates) - Mondays 1:00-2:30pm
Contact: Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D. & Carolyn O’Keefe, Psy.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.
Making Peace With My Body - Mondays 3:30-5:00pm Contact: Jessica Ortega, Ph.D. 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
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.
"What's Going On?"
Contact: James H. Cones III, Ph.D.
A forum for African American and other students interested in discussing issues that are of importance to the African American community.
Graduate Women's Therapy Group - Tuesdays 1:30-3:00pm
Contact: Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D. and Krystle Rivera, M.A.
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.
Dissertation Group - Tuesdays 1:00-2:30pm
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.
Peace of Mind Workshop Series (Undergraduates) - Tuesdays 3:00-4:00pm, weeks 4-10 @ Counseling Center
Contact: Amy La, Ph.D.
This 7-week series semi-structured workshop will focus on ways to regulate emotions, cognitions, and develop present-moment awareness. Each session will focus on helpful skills. Workshop topics will cover the following: mindfulness, mood management, interpersonal skills, and stress tolerance.
Estamos Unidas - Tuesdays 3:30-5:00pm
Contact: Jessica Ortega, Ph.D.
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.
Overcoming Social Anxiety - Thursdays 10:30am-12:00pm
Contact: Debbie Liu, Ph.D.
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.
Peace of Mind Workshop Series for Graduate Students - Thursdays 11:00am-12:00pm, weeks 4-10 @ Student Center
Contact: Sara Hernandez, Ph.D. and Lauren Jensen, M.A.
This 6-week series semi-structured workshop will focus on ways to regulate emotions, cognitions, and develop present-moment awareness. Each session will focus on helpful skills: mindfulness, breathing relaxation, sensory appreciation, and non-judgmental acceptance.
Grief Group - Thursdays 2:00-3:30pm (Begins May 2)
Contact: Dianna Gonzalez, Ed.M. a nd Jeanne Manese , Ph.D.
This 5 week 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 loss. Group is open to both undergraduates and graduate students. No group screening is necessary but loss should be within the last year.
International Coffee Hour - Fridays 12:00-1:30pm
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!!
Relationship Group (Undergraduates) - Fridays 1:00-2:30pm
Contact: Annie Ahn, Ph.D.
This is a supportive group for students who would like to learn how to maintain a healthy romantic relationship. Emphasis will be on effective conflict resolution, communication, negotiation, intimacy, and balancing. Group members are also encouraged to bring in their own topics of discussion.
LGBT Graduate Students Discussion Group- Fridays 2:00- 3:30pm
Contact: Jonathan Flojo, Ph.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.
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