10 simple strategies to get the most out of group therapy.
CAPS offers a number of groups to address student concerns in a variety of areas. Group therapy is a long term therapy treatment option at CAPS. Students can participate in the same group across multiple semesters or years, or participate in different CAPS groups across multiple semesters. Since group is a powerful therapy modality demonstrated to be as effective as individual therapy, this is a wonderful option for students to take advantage of (see "Common Misperceptions about Group").
A brief screening is usually required to join a group. All groups are confidential and free for eligible CAPS users.
Group therapy helps people who would like to receive support, increase self-awareness, and learn new ways to cope with personal or interpersonal challenges. Most students, though somewhat apprehensive at first, report that the group experience exceeded their expectations. Groups typically involve a combination of members sharing thoughts and feelings, giving and receiving support and feedback, and trying out new behaviors in a safe environment.
CAPS offers a variety of support groups focused on communication and relating to others as well as workshop-style groups which teach specific skills.
Student Feedback about Groups at CAPS
“Hope is what I walk out with every time I leave this group. I don’t know how to thank you for that.”
"I look forward to being a member of another group ASAP. I really like this feature of CAPS."
"I liked how diverse our group was. It was nice to have a group with many minorities in the Carolina Community. I also very much enjoyed our leaders, who were very open minded and supportive, and always willing to mold group to make sure that we got our needs fulfilled. "
"This was the first exposure I had to these topics (Meditation & Mindfulness), and I can surely say that it changed my life! While I ebb and flow with consistency in my practice, learning about mindfulness from you and the 8 Minute Meditation book completely shifted my perspective on the world around us. It is a gift that keeps on giving."
"I can look back over the last semester knowing that I have made intentional progress in working towards my goals which feels fantastic. I am thankful that I joined this group as it has been one of the most helpful support services I have engaged with at UNC. Being in group helped me stay focused on my behavior patterns and helped me learn how to ask for feedback from others. The group provided me with extra support and gave me a safe space to explore different ways of interacting and connecting with people."
“The safeness of being open and vulnerable was incredible. I don’t think I would be in school without group, it has seriously changed my life.”
“Having an open space to talk about LGBTQIA/gender issues was invaluable and I don’t have any other place to talk about that or how it impacts my daily life. The space helped me feel valid and express myself.”
“Group helped me realize that getting help doesn’t mean you’re weak. You are still improving yourself, but with guidance”
“The leaders were very open and comforting. They assured us that there are always options and to keep trying.”
“This has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had at UNC and at CAPS."
“This group really helped me better understand and communicate my feelings and emotions.”
“Made me feel like I belonged and am welcomed to something amazing. I grew along with others!”
“(The group) was designed to make us really examine shame, but also gave me the tools to deal with it and process without being overwhelmed.”
“I was nervous about group at first, but it ended up being a space where I made tremendous growth.”
“This group helped me a feel a sense of community and was a great reminder that I am never alone in my battles.”
"Another feature of group that took a few weeks for me to adjust to was the lack of structure. I was unsure how I was going to come to this meeting weekly and not know what was going to happen. As the group went on, the challenge of claiming time showed its true value to me as I saw myself and others decide on what we wanted to share with the group. Even though it was out of my comfort zone, I feel like the challenge to share about my life with others helped me work towards my goals more than a weekly power-point with discussion topics would have. "