Frequently Asked Questions
Q. WHAT IS GROUP COUNSELING?
A. Group counseling is a type of counseling in which 5-7 people with common concerns meet on a regular basis with group facilitators. The participants share thoughts and personal feelings about their lives and about issues within the group. Groups are typically offered in the lengths of 10, 8, or 6 weeks throughout the Fall and Spring semesters.
Q. FOR WHOM IS GROUP COUNSELING APPROPRIATE?
A. Group counseling can be helpful for many people for a variety of issues, including learning more about yourself or others around you, reducing feelings of loneliness, gaining insight and personal growth, and a desire to get support from others with similar experiences.
Q. IS THERE ANY LIMIT TO HOW MANY GROUPS I CAN BE IN?
A. While there is no limit to how many groups you can join, the majority of CAPS groups require a commitment to attending each group session (with the exceptions of illness and emergencies) for the length of the entire group (and groups are often 12, 8, or 6 weeks long). Therefore, it is important to determine whether you feel you can fully commit to a group before joining. Some students with issues that they would like support with over a longer period of time often choose groups as their counseling method of choice because of the option of attending multiple group courses.
Q. IS THERE A FEE FOR ATTENDING GROUPS?
A. No. Similar to individual counseling and health services, group counseling is available free of charge to all current TCNJ students.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IN GROUP COUNSELING?
A. A group will usually begin by discussing some basic ground rules, such as confidentiality, attendance, and level of participation. Structure varies according to the topic of the group. Members are encouraged to speak honestly and freely about their concerns and feelings. The counselors act as facilitators, helping to focus the questions and comments with the goal of greater clarity and understanding of oneself in relationship to others.
Q. WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT FROM GROUP COUNSELING?
A. Group counseling takes time and commitment but, depending on the particular issue(s) that have brought you to group, you may see results faster than from individual therapy. While some students may initially feel anxious about their first time in group counseling, most end up discovering the group experience was more helpful than they could have imagined. It is important to remember that you will get out of the group what you put into it. In exchange, group counseling can help you feel more confident, more comfortable with yourself, more aware of the effect you have on others, and more able to know and express your feelings.
Q. HOW CAN I GET THE MOST BENEFIT FROM GROUP COUNSELING?
1. Think about what you want to get from the group.
2. Decide what level of risk you feel comfortable taking.
3. Ask for help when you need it.
4. Remember the group is a safe place to try out new behaviors.
5. Don’t be afraid to offer feedback to others.
6. Learn to understand and appreciate the differences that exist within the group.
Q. HOW DO I JOIN A GROUP?
A. First, fill out a Request for Services Form (RFS) that can be found by following the directions listed here: http://caps.pages.tcnj.edu/counseling-services/request-for-services-form/ . Then, email CAPS secretary Ms. Rita Ma at email@example.com, call 771-2247, or stop by the office in Eickhoff Hall, Room 107. Or, if you are currently seeing a CAPS therapist, ask him/her about joining a group. Prior to joining a group, a brief meeting will be scheduled with you and the group facilitator(s). During this meeting, you will have a chance to discuss your interest in the group, ask questions, identify goals, and determine if group is right for you.