Group Therapy

Group Therapy

“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.”

Group counseling/therapy provides an opportunity to be part of group of six to eight 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 general therapy groups, therapy groups for particular populations (e.g., graduate students, women, men, LGBTQ students), and therapy groups for particular issues/problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, self-esteem, stress management, family issues, substance abuse problems, history of sexual assault).   We also offer educational workshops on a variety of topics.   Group therapy participants are asked to commit to attending group therapy sessions regularly for the duration of the group.

CLICK HERE to go to Group Therapy Sign-Up.


For additional information, including how to get connected to a group or a workshop, please contact the Counseling Center at 412-648-7930.    We would be happy to give you more details!

ACT Anxiety/Depression Group:

ACT is a behavioral therapy approach that focuses on taking action.   ACT involves accepting what is out of your personal control and committing to value-guided behavior.   The aim of ACT is to help you create a rich, full, and meaningful life, while accepting the challenges that life inevitably brings.   ACT will teach you psychological skills to handle painful thoughts and feelings effectively in such a way that they have much less impact and influence.   ACT will also help you clarify what’s truly important and meaningful to you.

Anxiety Support Group:
(Monday 3-4:30pm,Tuesday 3-4:30pm)

Skills for coping with anxiety are reviewed (see Workshop: Anxiety Management 101 for details) with further opportunity to share personal experiences and relate to peers who struggle with anxiety.

Coping with College Support Group:

College can be a great time, but it can also be quite stressful.   Making and keeping friends, deciding on a major, independently living and trying to do well in classes can be overwhelming.   Coping skills, or coping strategies, help us learn to deal with and manage issues like stress, depression, anger, anxiety and more.   The goal of the support group is to bring college students together facing similar issues to get to a place of coping successfully.   In the group, students will learn some proactive coping strategies to help deal with problems as they arise and to have the necessary skills to help them through stressful times.   We will learn strategies that will help us better manage the stress of being a college student as well as building a bond with other students in this process.   The group will be a combination of psycho-education (teaching of a skill) and processing (discussion) about how we are doing implementing these skills.   If you find it hard to cope or are having trouble coping with the changing nature of college, this group is for you.

Coping With Grief:

For those who have lost family members or other loved ones, this group offers a space to share experiences of loss and receive support.

Depression Skills/Support Group:
(Monday 1:15-2:30pm)

Depression Skills/Support Group will provide psycho-education about the nature, causes, and treatment of depressive disorders from interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral perspectives.   Members will be coached through depression management skills including bringing awareness to early warning signs, identifying triggers, working with unhelpful thoughts, and making space for uncomfortable emotions.   Coping strategies, problem solving, and stress management will also be of focus.   Members will have the opportunity to receive and give support to others who also identify struggling with depressed mood.   Although this is a group, developing a personal care plan and goals will be a part of the group time.

Graduate Support Group:

For only graduate students, this group is ideal for exploring personal, academic, and practical challenges that can affect your work in graduate school.

Helpers, Healers, and People pleasers:
(Monday 10:15-11:30am)

“I find it easy to care for others but not myself,”…
“If I take care of my own needs, I feel guilty and selfish,”…
“If I say ‘no,’ people won’t want to be around me,”…
“Sometimes, I feel burned out and disconnected from myself, the world, and others.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?   This group is for people who experience the challenges of perfectionism, people pleasing, and self-neglect within relationships.   Come join us in a healing environment where you can expect to gain a better understanding of your interpersonal patterns with the goal of improving balance within your relationships and life.

Hoola Hoops and Clean Sidewalks:
(Wednesday 3-4:30pm)

These are parts of sayings from rehab and recovery programs, and have to do with how to balance your own well-being and self-care with your care of friends/loved ones who struggle with active addiction.   This support group is for anyone who wants to be his/her best self for that loved one and remain healthy while doing so.

Just Me (LGBTQIA+) Support:
(Friday 1-2:15pm)

This group provides a safe and affirming space to explore a variety of issues, including, but not limited to, relationships, self-acceptance, and coping with discrimination.   Allies are welcome!

Mindfulness for Depression:
(Thursday 2:30-4pm)

Mindfulness for Depression is an eight-week therapy group that primarily focuses on learning to use mindfulness and meditation exercises for the management of mild to moderate symptoms of depression.   The purpose of the group is to:
Learn skills to effectively cope with symptoms of depression, become more aware of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, from moment to moment, that contribute to symptoms of depression, and Learn how to change your relationship with the thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that contribute to symptoms of depression.

Pain and Illness Support:
(Wednesday 10-11:00am)

Juggling commitments to school, relationships and activities becomes more complicated when managing a chronic pain condition or illness. Oftentimes, pains and illnesses are invisible to others, and people struggling with these conditions may feel as though they are suffering in silence.   The intention of this group is to provide safety and support in discussing a variety of chronic health-related conditions, as well as provide psychoeducation about pain, illness, the mind-body connection and coping mechanisms.   Group members will also learn assertive ways to talk with friends and family, and advocate for themselves within the healthcare system.

Panthers with Kids:
(Not currently being offered)

If you are a student attending Pitt and have children this is the group for you.   This group will provide support for the stress that many students encounter attending higher education while raising a family.   Come and talk to others that are also experiencing some of the same challenging and successes.

Sanctuary Group:

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.

Sexual Assault Recovery Group:

This group provides a safe place for women who have experienced any type of sexual abuse or assault to move closer to healing.

Stumbling on Happiness:
(Wednesday 10-11:30am)

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.

Tools for uplifting your Mood:

This is a structured, skills-based group which provides information on depression and its impact on everyday functioning, and teaches a range of coping strategies that may help you navigate the experiences related to depression.

Transition to College
(Not currently being offered)

This group offers support to students who are new to University of Pittsburgh.   It is designed specifically for students who are struggling with leaving home, beginning college, and/or adjusting to living independently.   Group sessions will includes discussions about students personal experiences as new college students, time management, coping skills, building relationships, homesickness, academic differences at college, and other topics relevant to new college students.   Sessions also include tips for managing stress and building connections here at Pitt.

Understand Self & Others Group “U.S.O”:

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. 

  • Graduates Group (Thursday 3:15-4:45pm)
  • Mens Group- For those who identify as men (Friday 3-4:15pm)
  • Mixed Group (Thursday 1-2:30pm)
  • Seniors Group (Wednesday 3-4:30pm)