Groups

Spring 2022 Update

The Counseling and Wellness Center offices are temporarily closed for renovation during spring quarter. However, we continue to provide virtual appointments for individual and couples counseling Monday–Friday. Students can schedule a drop-in phone consultation Monday-Friday, 10 am–4 pm, by calling 360-650-3164. After-hours crisis support is also available by calling 360-650-3164 and pressing or saying “1.” We have a full schedule of in-person groupsworkshops, and events. Learn more by following us on Instagram or by subscribing to our newsletter!

Spring 2022
Therapy Groups

Therapy Groups at WWU

Our quarterly therapy groups are designed to facilitate connection, promote personal growth and self-understanding, and build resilience.

If you're interested in joining a group, call 360-650-3164 to schedule a drop-in phone consultation with a counselor. 

Not finding the group you are looking for?

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of community-based and virtual groups.

Closed vs. Open Groups

Most of our therapy groups are closed groups, in which each weekly session builds on the previous one. Closed groups require a commitment to attend every week of the quarter. Please consider if this is a reasonable commitment for you.

Two of our groups—Divergent Minds and Take ACTion—are open groups, which means you may attend as many or as few of the sessions throughout the quarter as you would like once you are enrolled in the group.

Questions?

If you need any more information, please email Gabrielle Hope-Foucault, LMHC, Coordinator of Groups Program. 

We also maintain a list of mental health links and downloads that may provide information and/or support to better understand and cope with a variety of mental health topics.

Art-Based Support Group

A watercolor paint palette with a red-handled paint brush

Mondays
4–5:15 pm
Support Group

A support group for survivors of violence that is available to and affirming of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This group aims to foster connections among survivors of violence and focus on supporting one another in healing. Participants will engage in art-based activities and facilitated dialogue. 

All supplies will be provided and mailed to you ahead of group starting.

Facilitator: Deidre Evans, MSW

Build Your Social Confidence

A group of five people sit around a table outside. They are smiling and laughing.

Mondays
4–5:20 pm
Skills Group

This group is for students that experience fear, anxiety, and discomfort in social situations that contribute to isolation and feelings of loneliness and embarrassment. Learn and practice new skills to reduce social anxiety and strategies to increase social engagement.

Facilitators: CJ Swanlund, PsyD & Zach Brisson, MA

Divergent Minds Mondays

Perspective looking down on a spiral staircase

Mondays
4–5:20 PM
Online Open Skills & Support Group

Existing within systems that are catered to neurotypical ways of thinking can be exhausting and isolating for neurodivergent minds. This group aims to provide a ND positive space for students who have ADHD and/or exist on the Autism Spectrum to share common experiences, build connections with themselves and others, and learn helpful tools and coping skills. Each meeting will include facets of skill-building and peer support.

Facilitators: Angela Swan, PsyD & Jon Barry, MA, LICSW

Take ACTion Tuesdays

A path through the woods

Tuesdays
10:30–11:50 am
Open Skills Group

This group is for students who have concerns about things like anxiety, depression, identity, or life transitions. Learn to be in the present moment with full awareness and openness to experience and to take action guided by your values.

Facilitators: Teresa Hoffman, MS & Stephanie Bowser

Understanding Self and Others

A lone tree stands silhouetted in a misty morning sunrise

Tuesdays
2–3:20 pm
Process Group

Students of all identities can learn more about themselves, their relationships, and connecting with others in an experiential setting.

Facilitators: Gabrielle Hope-Foucault, LMHC & Zach Brisson, MA

Queer Connections

A photo of a heart shape composed of rainbow-colored chalk dust on a dark, grey background.

Wednesdays
2–3:20 pm
Support Group

A safe and confidential virtual space for students to discuss issues related to LGBTQIA identities. All are welcome, including those questioning their identity.

Facilitators: Jennifer Gildner, PhD & Brett Balter, MA

Divergent Minds Wednesdays

Perspective looking down on a spiral staircase

Wednesdays
4–5:20 PM
Online Open Skills & Support Group

Existing within systems that are catered to neurotypical ways of thinking can be exhausting and isolating for neurodivergent minds. This group aims to provide a ND positive space for students who have ADHD and/or exist on the Autism Spectrum to share common experiences, build connections with themselves and others, and learn helpful tools and coping skills. Each meeting will include facets of skill-building and peer support.

Facilitators: Angela Swan, PsyD & Jon Barry, MA, LICSW

Staying Afloat

The bow of a wooden boat with line coiled on the decks is pictured here resting in still blue water.

Thursdays
10:30–11:50 am
Skills Group

Develop and practice healthier and more effective coping skills for navigating difficult emotions and interpersonal relationships in a supportive space.

Facilitator: Ruby Casiano, PhD

Take ACTion Thursdays

A path through the woods

Thursdays
10:30–11:50 am
Open Skills Group

This group is for students who have concerns about things like anxiety, depression, identity, or life transitions. Learn to be in the present moment with full awareness and openness to experience and to take action guided by your values.

Facilitators: Teresa Hoffman, MS & Stephanie Bowser

After Silence

A budding leaf glows in the misty wet morning light

Thursdays
2–3:20 pm
Support Group

A confidential space for students who identify on the feminine gender spectrum to learn resilience skills and connect with others after experiencing interpersonal violence.

Facilitators: Nikki Cassidy, PsyD & Deidre Evans, MSW

Mindfulness

A stack of rounded stones sits in the forest.

Thursdays
2:30–3:50 pm 
Skills Group

Through a variety of experiential activities, meditation, and thoughtful discussion, group participants will gain understanding of the fundamentals of mindfulness practice, receive support for establishing a daily mindfulness practice, and learn ways to improve self-awareness, self-compassion, and emotional well-being.

Facilitators: Tonya Pepper, MA, LMHC & Gabrielle Hope-Foucalt, MA, LMHC

Anxiety Group

Closeup on the surface of water reflecting sunset

Thursdays
2:30–3:50 PM
Skills Group

A supportive space for students who exhibit symptoms of anxiety and who are interested in learning more about anxiety. Participants will learn new coping skills and other ways to manage anxious feelings through mindfulness and Acceptance Commitment Therapy techniques practiced in real time during the group as well as outside of the group.

Facilitators: Gwen Koenig, MA, LMHC & Stephanie Bowser

Breaking Free

Dandelion with seedlings blowing away in the wind.

Fridays
10–11:20 pm
Support Group

This support group is for students of all identities who struggle with issues related to food and body image. This group offers opportunities to connect with others, find connections between food/body image and your emotions, and help shift your relationship to food and your body.

Facilitators: Nikki Cassidy, PsyD

Family Ties

Puzzle pieces painted on a wall in yellow, pink, green, gray, light blue, and red

Recruiting for Fall Quarter!

For students of all identities impacted by challenging family dynamics who want support maintaining connection while doing what’s healthy for them.

About Group Therapy

Group Support

Every quarter, the Counseling and Wellness Center offers a variety of different groups. In group therapy, you can count on the expertise of the counselors who facilitate the group, and you can also get to know other students who are experiencing similar issues as you. Our therapy groups are designed to facilitate connection, promote personal growth and self-understanding, and build resilience. A common theme for group participants is wanting to learn how to change thinking, feelings, and/or behavior to feel better about themselves and cope more effectively with life. Now more than ever, it’s so important that we find ways to connect with others and remind ourselves that we’re not alone. 

Interested in Joining?

If interested in joining a group, call 360-650-3164 to schedule a drop-in phone consultation with a counselor who will recommend whether the group could be of benefit to you. Most groups start near the beginning of the quarter, so be sure you call within the first few weeks of classes. If a group has already started, you can ask to be placed on a waiting list for next quarter. Please note our groups require either a group screen and/or intake appointment to join following a drop-in appointment.

Types of Groups

Support Group

Members in similar circumstances can share in an open and unedited fashion. Support groups allow members to find self-acceptance as they are; these groups validate and normalize each person’s experience. They are a place for encouragement from other group members and group facilitators.

Skills Group

Group members have the opportunity to learn and develop their abilities in a particular realm of mental health. These groups are geared toward empowering students to better cope and care for themselves and are often experiential.

Process Group

The power of process groups lies in the unique opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, and feedback from other individuals in a safe and confidential environment. Process groups are typically 5-10 members and are generally unstructured; the primary focus of therapy is on the interactions among group members. Discussion flows according to what members would like to talk about — the group leaders do not, for the most part, assign topics for discussion. Members are encouraged to give support and feedback to others while also working with their own reactions to feedback that is received. These interactions can provide group members an opportunity to deepen their self-awareness and to learn how they relate with others.

Community-based Groups

Not finding the group you are looking for? The following are several community-based and virtual therapy groups that you might find helpful:

Grief & Loss Support

Our TreeHouse

Grief group located in Bellingham, WA.

Eating Disorders Support

Eating Disorders Hope

List of online eating disorder support groups.

Gurze Salucore Eating Disorders Resource Catalog

List of eating disorder support groups in WA.

Eating Disorders Resource Center

List of free online eating disorder and body image support groups.

National Eating Disorders Association

List of NEDA Network virtual support groups.

King Health Associates

Eating disorder online group with Kendra Corey, LMHC, and ED specialist. Email intakes@kinghealthassoc.com for more information.

The Eating Disorder Foundation

Calendar of virtual eating disorder support groups.

Survivor Support

DVSAS of Whatcom County

List of support groups for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.