Group Therapy

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides more than 20 different psychotherapy groups to assist students. In order to participate in group therapy, you must be a full-time, day-time student (enrolled for 9 or more semester hours). If you would like to join a group, please call 801.422.3035 or come to 1500 WSC to speak with the receptionist. They will be able to let you know the availability of the group and put you in contact with the group facilitator.

A variety of group therapy experiences are offered at CAPS. These groups can be either structured or unstructured and offer the student opportunities to learn from their peers and group leaders. A variety of issues can be successfully addressed in a group setting. Our groups are described in detail below:


General Therapy Groups


General therapy groups are intended to provide therapeutic experiences for people with diverse needs. The group format provides an atmosphere where individuals can practice interpersonal skills and gives them a chance to challenge and/or validate internal assumptions.


Meditation/Anxiety Group

This group utilizes meditation and mindfulness practices to help students struggling with various emotional difficulties with particular focus on anxiety. Students learn various meditation practices which they are encouraged to practice in session and at home. Members are encouraged to share their experiences with other members of the group.


Family of Origin/Painful Life Events Group

Individuals who have experienced or witnessed some form of single or repeated trauma or victimization while growing up receive support in this group. Problems can develop from experiencing trauma such as relationship difficulties, emotional numbing, perfectionism, self blame and guilt, maladaptive avoidances or withdrawal, nightmares, anxiety, other stress reactions, etc. The source of pain or trauma may be family members, peers, friends, dates, strangers, natural events, accidents, etc.


Body Image and Eating Concerns Group

This is a semi-structured group that focuses on body image and eating concerns. The group is intended as an adjunct to individual therapy or as support for individuals who have worked through issues with a therapist and would like to maintain their treatment gains. The format includes a psycho-educational component that focuses on topics such as healthy eating, perfectionism/achievement pressure, social and cultural influences, stress management, relationships, and identity. The group also has a component where participants can process feelings, impressions, and experiences. 


Trauma Recovery & Empowerment: For Women Only

This is a therapy and support group for students with a history of sexual abuse, sexual concerns, or previous trauma. The purpose of the group is to facilitate working through issues associated with victimization and vulnerability, including but not limited to issues of trust, relationship building, fear of intimacy, lack of assertiveness, identity and shame, the pain and anger associated with abuse, coping with post-trauma symptoms, current dealings with perpetrators, and family reactions to dealing with trauma. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy concepts will be utilized to help members define and articulate values and heal from trauma. Individuals referred to group may do better if they have had some prior therapy for their abuse and/or are in concurrent individual therapy.


Chronic Pain/Illness Group

The Chronic Pain/Illness Group is a discussion- and process-oriented support group designed to help its members more effectively handle the emotional and social problems associated with their chronic pain and illnesses. It is hoped the group interaction will help members gain strength in taking better care of themselves, progressing in school, establishing healthy relationships, finding satisfaction in life in spite of their physical afflictions, and seeing spiritual meaning in the suffering they experience.


Couples Group

This group will offer couples (married, engaged, or otherwise significantly committed) the opportunity to understand and resolve their relationship difficulties. The group format provides unique insight to marital processes generally while providing a response to specific issues.


Sexual Concerns Group

Individuals who are struggling with sexual behavioral excess are encouraged to join this 12-week group. The didactic format of the group places it halfway between a university classroom and a regular therapy group. We utilize some religious principles coupled with empirical psychological interventions coupled with eastern philosophy. It is the intent of this group to help participants begin to bring their behavior into harmony with their value system. This group meets once a week and begins shortly after the beginning of each semester.


ERP (Exposure/Response Prevention) for OCD*

This group is specifically for students who have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A major goal of the group is to teach students to “be their own therapists” in understanding the principles and application of exposure therapy for the treatment of OCD. There is a didactic component to the group, including self-help reading, psychoeducation about exposure and response prevention, and construction of anxiety hierarchies. There is also a process component to this group, allowing students to discuss their experiences as they participate in imaginal and live exposures.


Group Anxiety Program (GAP)*

The Group Anxiety Program (GAP) is a behavioral treatment program applying exposure therapy to anxiety problems. Treatment includes: (1) a psychoeducational component, such as readings on the nature of anxiety, film clips, and informational presentations about exposure therapy; (2) an experiential component in which clients learn and apply principles of exposure therapy and relaxation skills; (3) a process component in which group members talk about their experiences, share insights, and work on obstacles that may arise in the course of exposure practice. Two variations of GAP are offered as follows:

GAP - full course. This is an 8-week series beginning the 4th week of the semester. This includes psychoeducation about anxiety, information about lifestyle components which have impact on anxiety symptoms, and a major focus on exposure treatment. This is open to clients with any anxiety disorder (GAD, PTSD, social anxiety, specific phobia, panic disorder, and OCD). It may also be beneficial for someone with hypochondriasis/health anxiety. It is not recommended for OCD without insight, for someone with co-morbid depression who is not doing well enough for exposure, or for individuals with comorbid severe ADD.


Reconciling Faith and Sexuality

This psychotherapy group is designed to provide a space for students who identify as LGBTQ+ or who experience same sex attraction to openly discuss their sexuality and how it intersects with their faith. We strongly value agency and an individual’s right to self-determination. We also recognize the complexities that arise in trying to reconcile these two important aspects of identity. In group, we encourage students to thoughtfully explore their identities, help support one another in their individual journeys, and work toward psychological health.