Group counseling provides students an opportunity to be part of a small group (6-8 students) who meet regularly over the course of one academic term to share concerns, explore personal issues, and learn new skills under the guidance of one or two group leaders/facilitators. Each term, we offer a variety of therapy groups, including specific groups for depression, anxiety, trauma, LGBTQ+ students, and graduate students. Group therapy participants are asked to commit to attending group therapy sessions regularly for the duration of the group.
As with all UCC services, group counseling sessions are confidential. Every group participant makes a personal pledge to not share anything discussed during group sessions or any information about other group members to anyone outside of group. Adherence to the rules of confidentiality by all group members is critical to establishing a safe and trusting group therapy atmosphere in which all members feel safe and comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns.
Did You Know?
100% of surveyed Pitt students who were initially hesitant about group therapy, responded that the experience was helpful or more helpful than they thought it would be.
Spring 2021 Groups
If you are interested in Group Counseling at the UCC, please utilize our Virtual Drop-In Services by contacting 412-648-7930, Monday-Friday from 9a-4p.
ACT is a cognitive behavioral therapy approach that focuses on taking action. ACT involves committing to value-guided behavior. The aim of ACT is to help you create a full and meaningful life, while accepting the challenges that life inevitably brings including distressing thoughts and feelings. Consistent with the ACT approach, this group will focus on teaching skills to handle and accept distressing thoughts and feelings effectively in such a way that they have much less impact and influence. There will also be a focus on clarifying values and achieving goals.
- Mondays, 3:15-4:45p
Stressed out, racing thoughts, socially anxious? These groups provide skills focused on managing the physiological symptoms of anxiety, challenging anxious thoughts, and coping with anxiety.
- Mondays, 2-3:30p
- Tuesdays, 10:30a-12p
- Wednesdays, 5-6:30p
For those who have lost family members or other loved ones, this group offers a space to share experiences of loss and receive support.
- Fridays, 10:30-11:45a
Are you a maker, artist, creative, artisan, or crafter? Does creating stuff soothe you, give you energy, or provide a sense of purpose? This group is a space for novice and veteran makers to gather and find support through life’s challenges with the help of creative expression. Grab your latest project (or start one for the first time!) and join us to cultivate your creative outlet. We’ll work on and share our projects, while discussing broader themes of self-expression and how it enriches our lives.
- Mondays, 2-3:30p
This creative healing group offers artistic and alternative paths to healing for survivors of gender-based violence (including but not limited to child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, and intimate partner violence). Every other week we will have an interactive workshop from a creative healer / artist on how they use their practices to heal in relation to their experiences of surviving gender-based violence. The following week we will have a group debrief and reflection without the artist. Together we will explore yoga, mindfulness, writing, painting, working with plants to heal, performance art, and more. All artists are women, femme, genderqueer and/or trans*. Many are of color. People of all identities are welcomed.
- Thursdays, 5:30-7:30p
This group will provide students with skills for managing their emotions. Students struggling with anger, frustration, episodic depression, anxiety/irritability, stress and feelings of emptiness would benefit from this group. The group will be a combination of skills building and discussing how those skills have been effective towards their emotion regulation. Three categories of skills will be taught:
- Mindfulness: designed to teach a student how to focus their mind and attention.
- Distress tolerance: centered on accepting the current situation and finding ways to survive and tolerate the moment without engaging in problematic behaviors
- Emotion regulation: learning to identify and label current emotions, identifying obstacles to changing emotions, reducing emotional reactivity, increasing positive emotions, and changing emotions.
- Wednesdays, 3-4:30p
This is a support group for LGBQA+, trans/nonbinary, intersex, kinky, and non-monogamous/poly-identified students. It’s a space where students with marginalized sexual, gender, and relationship orientations can find comfort and understanding in the shared identities and experiences of their peers. No topic is off limits, and everything is up for discussion: navigating queerness, academics, making friends, transitions, depression, anxiety, body image, sex & relationships, etc.
- Fridays, 2-3:30p
For only graduate students, this group is ideal for exploring personal, academic, and practical challenges that can affect your work in graduate school.
- Tuesdays, 2-3:30p
This group combines Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and a focus on how our interpersonal relationships help you cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety. You will be invited to learn the philosophy behind ACT, which involves committing to value-guided behavior and taking intentional action, and to reflect on how you relate to yourself and others through your interactions with other group members and the co-facilitators. The aim of ACT is to help you create a full and meaningful life, while accepting the challenges that life inevitably brings. ACT teaches skills to handle and accept painful thoughts and feelings effectively in such a way that they have much less impact and influence. Learning about ACT and re-evaluating the way you navigate relationships will also help you clarify what’s truly important and meaningful to you.
- Tuesdays, 3-4:30p
This group will utilize self-reflection, visualization, and introspection to understand who you are in all the various parts of your personality and inner experiences. As a group we will talk through themes that emerge to understand how others experience themselves as well. This group will be great if visualization is something you feel drawn to, and maybe more difficult if visualizing is a challenge.
- Tuesdays, 10-11:30a
No Body is Perfect is a group that aims at supporting students in working towards establishing a kinder and healthier relationship with their body. We will collectively embark on the journey of exploring what body image is, learning different coping skills and tools to manage our negative body image, and gradually learn to treat our body with more kindness, care, and compassions.
- Fridays, 10-11:30a
Many BIPOC students experience racism as a fact of reality and a prevailing wound that refuses heal. As a result, the burden is experienced as exhaustion, numbness, and overwhelming stress and anger. We experience this as trauma. Yet some people dismiss our pain, excuse our suffering, and minimize our humanity. This group focuses on such hardship and will provide a space for BIPOC students to understand and process their experiences of racism as a trauma, identify how it impacts them, find ways of strengthening their resilience and regain a sense of agency.
- Thursdays, 3-4:30p
This group will combine talk therapy with movement. This is not an exercise or a running program, but a therapy program that utilizes the benefits of physical exercise. We replace the traditional group setting of an office with the outdoors. The clients set the pace whether it’s running, walking or combination of both. The group will help foster a positive mood, help one gain insight into their thoughts and feelings as well as practice mindfulness.
This group can help manage the following:
- Physical symptoms related to mental health concerns (chest tightness, restlessness, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle tensions, body pain, constipation)
- Emotional symptoms (anger, fear, hurt, low self-esteem, loss of interest, sadness, worries, loneliness, loss of direction, hopelessness)
- Interpersonal challenges (companionship, communication, conflict resolution, relationship difficulties, mistrust, disconnectedness, negative self-comparison to others)
- Wednesdays, 10-11:30a
What is Sanctuary? Most dictionaries define it as a place of safety, a refuge. It can be a place to retreat, re-examine and re-charge. And that’s exactly what this group is all about. If you are questioning whether or not some of some of your coping behaviors are actually helping or hurting, Sanctuary is the ideal destination for you. Here in this safe, confidential, non-judgmental environment, we will explore, process and identify alternatives to your unhealthy relationship with drugs, alcohol, food, video games or any other object or process that may no longer be working for you. Here you can speak freely and honestly about your questions, concerns and observations, and benefit from the support and input of others struggling with similar issues.
- Fridays, 3-4:30p
Have you been seeking happiness but just can’t seem to find it? If so, this group is for you! In this group, members will learn skills designed to help them embrace their lives more fully and experience the happiness they’re waiting to stumble on. This group will explore the concept of happiness and well-being by utilizing the theory of PERMA: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. Happiness is all around us, sometimes we just have to look for it! So let us help you find it.
- Mondays, 2-3:30p
The primary focus of this group is to provide education and support to any Pitt student who has experienced trauma (i.e. sexual assault/ interpersonal dating abuse/emotional abuse) to increase empowerment and learn coping skills about the healing process. All gender identities are welcome to join.
- Wednesdays, 3-4:30p
- Fridays, 10:30a-12p
This group can be a valuable way for members to learn about how they experience others and how others experience them. Such experiences can enhance members’ abilities to create and sustain satisfying relationships and manage the variety of challenges that often arise in relationships, whether they be with friends, classmates, co-workers, supervisors, partners, or family members. Specific USO groups include:
- Graduate students:
- Mondays, 3-4:30p
- Male identified students:
- Fridays, 2-3:30p
- All students:
- Tuesdays, 3:15-4:30p
- Wednesdays, 9:30-11am
- Wednesdays, 2-3:30p