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Group Counseling Services

A page within Counseling & Testing

CTC Group Counseling Services 

The Counseling and Testing Center offers multiple groups during Fall and Spring semesters. Check the schedule below for details.

For questions or to register for a group please contact the Counseling and Testing Center by calling 608-785-8073.

All groups are in person unless otherwise noted. 


Groups are held Fall and Spring semesters. Please check back at the beginning of Fall 2024 for the updated list of groups.

See below for past group options.

Coping to Calm

Description: Learn what anxiety really is and how to recognize the relationship that anxiety has to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Topics typically included: anxiety overview, the fear response, stress, coping strategies, social stigma, perfectionism, anxiety and the body, being present, challenging unhelpful thoughts, self-care, sleep hygiene, and people in our lives. Support one another and learn effective strategies to modify these patterns to improve functioning and move towards freedom and valued living.

Facilitator: Chad

Understanding Self & Others

Description: The main goals of USO is to assist students in becoming more confident and comfortable communicating and relating to others, recognizing unhelpful patterns, and learning strategies for connecting. Improve your relationships with yourself and others in this group as we explore identity, roles, and new behaviors. Members can count on a respectful environment that offers the support of understanding group members and facilitators.

Facilitators: Teresa & Ana


Monday & Wednesday 

12 p.m. to 1 p.m or 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday

12 p.m. to 1 p.m or 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Pathways is an educational, interactive workshop meant to accelerate the change process. This 3-session workshop is structured with specific learning objectives, with each session building on material from the preceding session giving you immediate strategies and tools to improve your well-being. 

For more information visit our Pathways page


Grief & Loss Support Group

Description: This group is for those who have lost a family member, caregiver, partner, or friend and are finding the grief process a struggle. During this 6-part series, members will explore the grief process and the many layers of loss, find support from other students who are navigating the grieving process, and identify coping strategies.

Facilitator: Kristine

Thriving Through Depression

Canceled due to low interest

please contact the Counseling & Testing Center for other options

Description: This group is for students struggling with depression, low motivation, or negative thoughts that are looking to learn coping strategies to begin to challenge thinking patterns. Students will learn skills to identify thinking patterns that are keeping them stuck, learn to challenge unhelpful thoughts, practice skills for reducing the intensity of symptoms, and ground themselves to the present moment. 

Facilitator: Kirsten

Living Social

Description: This group is formulated to assist students in understanding social situations, managing discomfort, and increasing their social confidence. Through CBT techniques, exposure, and assertiveness skills, students will strive to learn how to navigate social situations in a group environment and find encouragement to practice skills outside of group.

Facilitator: Iam

After Sexual Assault

Description: This group provides a safe and confidential space for survivors of sexual trauma identifying along the gender spectrum to meet other survivors and foster knowledge and skills for empowerment; survivors of all forms of sexual trauma are welcome. Topics commonly identified include disclosing trauma, sexual and emotional intimacy after trauma, coping strategies, self-compassion, and feeling connected to ourselves, our bodies, and others. 

Facilitator: Ashley

Mindful Eating

Description: This group addresses eating patterns and body image concerns which interfere with living a valued life.  Group members are offered an opportunity to connect with other students and learn strategies for effective coping.  Topics such as self-compassion, influence of social media, body neutrality/positivity, and coping with challenging food situations will be explored.  

Facilitators: Katelyn & Chelsea

Group Counseling FAQs

How does Group Therapy work?

Group counseling brings together a small number of individuals, usually eight to 10, with one or more trained group leaders.

While participating in group therapy, people begin to see that:

  • they are not alone and
  • others share similar concerns and difficulties in life

The group is able to:

  • teach skills
  • give support
  • offer alternatives
  • gently challenge group members

Through group interactions and group feedback:

  • new insights are gained
  • alternative behaviors are explored
  • new ways of relating to others are tried

When and how often do groups meet?

Group sessions are usually 60-90 minutes and scheduled once a week at varying times, Monday through Friday.

What are the benefits of Group Therapy?

Members have opportunities to:

  • learn useful skills to address your concerns
  • share concerns and listen to each other
  • give and receive feedback
  • offer support to one another
  • express feelings
  • develop new ways of behaving
  • learn more about how they interact with others
What do I talk about in Group Therapy?

Common topics for group therapy include conversation about:

  • what brought you to the Counseling & Testing Center
  • what is bothering you
  • what your goals are
  • what you need, be it support or confrontation and
  • what you expect to gain from group therapy

Unexpressed feelings are a major reason why people experience difficulties. The most appropriate disclosures will be those that directly relate to your present difficulty. It is important that you feel comfortable with your level of self-disclosure.

Can I do both Group and Individual Therapy at the same time?

Students most often participate in either group counseling or individual counseling. You and your counselor will discuss what treatment options are most appropriate 

What are the common misperceptions about Group Therapy?
  • "I have so much trouble talking to people, I'll never be able to share in a group."

Most people are initially anxious about talking in group therapy. Almost without exception, within a few sessions new members find that the group process draws them in and they begin to share with the group in ways they never anticipated.

  • "I will be pressured to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with the group."

You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. Many group members find that when the group feels safe enough for members to share what they are most apprehensive about, the group can be very helpful and affirming. At the same time, you can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how their experiences might apply to you. 

  • "Group therapy is second-best to individual therapy."

Group therapy is recommended by counselors when they believe it is the best way to address your concerns.  Group therapy is not used at the Counseling & Testing Center as a means of dealing with individual therapy over-flow. Rather, we recommend group therapy when we believe it is the most effective treatment method to help you. In fact, group is frequently the treatment of choice, and group is in many ways the very best of what we have to offer. 

  • "Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy because I will have to share the time with others."

Group therapy is often more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons. First, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others. You will find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself. Second, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but which you might not have been aware of or brought up by yourself. Therefore, learning from others can be a powerful therapeutic experience and often enhances the work. 

  • "I will be judged, criticized, or verbally attacked by the leaders and by other group members."

It is important that group members feel safe. Group leaders are there to create a safe environment for all involved. As group members come to trust the group, they generally experience feedback and even confrontation as if it were coming from a good friend. One of the benefits of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from others in a supportive environment. It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others, but this is precisely what group therapy can offer. This will be done in a respectful, gentle way, so that you can hear it and make use of it. 

How do I sign up for a Group?

If you are interested in signing up with group please call the Counseling and Testing Center at 608-785-8073. A pre-group meeting or Triage appointment is required before groups unless otherwise noted. 

Need More Information?

Group therapy sessions are provided through UWL’s Counseling & Testing Center.  If group therapy interests you, your first step is to schedule a pre-group meeting with one of the counselors who will lead/facilitate the group you are interested in.  This meeting is not only to meet each other but also to answer any questions you may have, and further determine if this is the best group for you.  

If you are not sure which group to join or have not been to CTC before, set up a triage appointment with any of the counselors and they will help you decide what service or group is right for you. 

Call our office at 608-785-8073 to get connected with a counselor. 

Emergency & on-campus resources

Emergency Resources 

  • Off-Campus EMERGENCY: 911
  • On Campus EMERGENCY: 608.789.9999 (UWL Police)
  • UW Mental Health Support 24/7: call/text 888.531.2142
    • UWL Mental Health Crisis and Emotional Support for UWL Students.

On Campus Resources

  • ACCESS Center: 608.785.6900
    • Help with accommodations for students with disabilities
  • Center for Transformative Justice: 608.785.5094
    • Support with belonging on campus and reporting a hate or bias incident.
  • Student Life608.785.8062
    • Resource for students in distress and needing resources, faculty with concern about a student disruption, help with meeting basic needs, and campus CARE team.
  • Student Health Center: 608.785.8558
    • Medical providers available for student health care needs including primary care, mental health, and same-day care. 
  • Violence Prevention: 608.785.5126
    • Confidential support and advocacy for anyone in the campus community who has experienced sexual assault, stalking, violence, abuse, or threats. 


More 24/7 Crisis Resources 

  • La Crosse County Mobile Crisis: 608.784.HELP (4357)
    • Local mental health support and evaluation of risk via phone and/or in person.
  • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
    • Nationwide mental health support and crisis intervention via phone, text, or chat. Veterans and other service members and their families, press 1 to be connected with specific supports. 
  • Trevor Lifeline: 866.488.7386
    • Crisis and emotional support for LGBTQ+ youth up to age 25.
  • The Steve Fund: Text 'STEVE' to 741741
    • Crisis and emotional support for students of color.
  • Text ‘Hopeline’ to 741741 
    • Nationwide text-based mental health support
  • Great Rivers 211 Helpline: 211 or 800.362.TALK (8255)
    • Local support and help in connecting with resources for meeting basic needs for food, housing, healthcare, childcare, etc.