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Group Counseling

Group Counseling

Working on issues within a group setting can be a highly supportive and productive way to address personal concerns.  Students who share common concerns meet weekly as a group with one or more counselors to explore a specific topic and develop coping skills.  Group offerings vary each semester and lists are updated a few weeks before the semester begins.

If you are interested in a group call 512-245-2208 to be added to the group list. A group leader will contact you to schedule a pre-group consultation.  Please consider activating your voice mail if you would like a message to be left when you are unavailable. 

Groups are free to currently enrolled Texas State University students. Confidentiality in group therapy is respected.


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  • Groups - Spring 2020

    • The practice of mindfulness has been linked to happiness, health, and psychological well-being. Research suggests that as little as twenty minutes of mindfulness practice daily reduces stress. This group is designed to help you transition from living life on "automatic pilot" to living life in the present moment. This 3-week mindfulness group offers you the opportunity to develop self-acceptance, patience and compassion.

      Facilitator: Sergio Barrios, LCSW

    • This group is designed for students who are struggling with connection with others and are seeking a supportive environment to work on improving communication and social skills. Topics addressed are thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may be preventing you from having  healthy, meaningful relationships. An emphasis is placed on applied practice of skills discussed in group.

      Facilitator: Richard Martinez, PhD

    • This group will provide a space for graduate students to come together to discuss the challenges of graduate school, including how graduate school affects personal identities/roles/interests (e.g., partner/spouse,parent,social and familial relationships, hobbies).

      Erica Mathis, PhD & Shana Varnell, PsyD

    • The goal of this support group is to create a confidential and safe space for students who self-identify as African American/Black. You may benefit from this group If you are a student who is looking to connect with other students who face similar challenges related to being an African American/Black TXSTATE student. Possible topics of discussion include conversations of discrimination, daily microaggressions faced, the psychological pressure of proving yourself, being AA/Black and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, stress from current political climate, coping with racial trauma, fear of police, harmful messages about sexual assault in the black community, the current campus climate, self-care etc...  The aim of the group is for students to create meaning and support for each other.

      Facilitator: Cordell Spears, PhD

    • This group is intended for students who identify as Latino/a/x which include biracial/multiracial identities, and gender-and-sexual-inclusive identities.  It is designed as an interpersonal process and support group that allows members to share common life experiences, examine issues related to one’s Latinx identity, explore and define one’s personal identity, examine interpersonal behavior, provide and receive support and feedback, and cultivate an inclusive and supportive community. Issues discussed in this group include but are not limited to racial/ethnic identity development, minority stress, internalized racism, legal status, first-generation status, mental health stigma, language barriers, and community building.

      Rebecca Gonzalez, PhD & Uriel Navarrete, Psychology Intern

    • The process of engaging in any creative activity is healing.  In this group students use a variety of art materials to express thoughts, feelings, concerns and hopes.  In the process of art-making and talking to each other, students gain self-understanding, and develop a sense of community. No previous art experience or skills are necessary.

      Facilitator: Colleen Conklin, Psychology Intern

    • Being a student often means “beating yourself up” when you feel like you have failed.  The Self-Compassion Group is intended to help students develop kinder relationships with themselves.  The group will be offered twice during the semester for 5-6 sessions at a time.  Topics will include increasing mindfulness of difficult emotions, calming the inner critic, and recognizing our common humanity.  We will talk about ways to accept our mistakes, increase self-forgiveness and explore new, self-nurturing behaviors.

      Facilitator:  Mark Provence, PhD

    • This group is designed to provide a safe space for students who are grieving the death of a loved one.  Each meeting will offer students the opportunity to share their personal stories of loss while receiving the support of fellow group members.  The group will address expectations of the grief process, coping skills and self-care, and common responses to loss such as anger, sadness, loneliness, confusion and guilt. The group will meet weekly.

      Facilitator:  Mark Provence, PhD

    • Getting Unstuck focuses on helping you understand depressive symptoms and build skills to manage these symptoms.  The three sessions are divided into content that builds upon itself.  The sessions include modules dedicated to: (1) understanding depression, (2) exploring how thoughts and behaviors impact depression, and (3) addressing how you can begin to make changes to thoughts and behaviors in order to better manage depression.  By the end of the three sessions, you will have your own individualized plan for getting unstuck!

      Facilitator:  Heather Aidala, PsyD

    • This support group is for students that identify on the autism spectrum or with a similar disorder. This will be a safe place for members to process their  personal challenges, associate with other students in similar situations, and gain support and skills to navigate college life, A formal diagnosis is not needed to participate in this group.

      Facilitator: Clare Duffy, PhD

    • This support group is for students diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Group provides a safe space in which members can process current challenges, develop strategies for effective management of bipolar symptoms, and support each other in navigating the demands of their academic work, relationships, and personal lives. 

      Facilitator:  Cordell Spears, PhD

    • This group is for students who have been impacted by dysfunction in their family due to drug, alcohol use, or mental health issues.  Members will gain support, understanding of how family patterns affect them and skills for developing healthier relationships.

      Facilitator:  Kate Cotnam, M.Ed., LPC

    • This three-session group helps individuals increase awareness of their emotions, build basic coping skills, and clarify potential personal growth goals. This is done through educating participants on psychological pain and distress, practicing coping skills, and engaging in exercises to explore values.

      Facilitator:  Erica Mathis, PhD, Post-doctoral Resident

    • Do you want to learn better ways to manage panic and worry? This group will focus on improving skills to help you cope with anxiety and provide support to others who may be experiencing similar difficulties. 

      Facilitator:  Rebecca Gonzalez, PhD

    • It can be empowering to join with others to discuss the impact that your sexual, romantic, and/or gender identities have on crucial aspects of your life.  This group will allow members to share life experiences, examine issues related to your LGBTQIA identity, explore and define your personal identity, improve your relationships with others, and be part of an inclusive and supportive environment.

      Facilitator:  Hillary Jones, PhD 

    • Would you like to better understand yourself and deepen your relationships with others? This group will help you gain self-understanding through interacting with other group members in the "here and now". You will learn to be authentic in sharing thoughts and feelings and to reflect on what you are experiencing and learning. The goal is for students to gain an understanding of their relationship patterns which can improve their relationships outside group.

      Facilitator: Richard Martinez, PhD & Katie Kainer, Psychology Intern

    • This group will provide a safe space to explore emotional, physical, and relational impacts of surviving sexual trauma.  Group goals are to improve healthy coping skills and to address common issues of recovery, including regaining a sense of safety, dealing with reactions from family and friends, and reducing shame and self-blame.

      Facilitator: Shana Varnell, PsyD, Post-doctoral Resident

Student Feedback on Group Experience