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 group screening phone appointment 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.
For students of all identities impacted by challenging family dynamics who want support maintaining connection while doing what’s healthy for them. Examples of challenging dynamics include families impacted by addiction, abuse, neglect, mental illness, chronic physical illness, violence, chronic caregiver conflict, and separation from caregivers.
Facilitator: Gabrielle Hope-Foucalt, MA, LMHC
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.
Facilitator: Angela Swan, PsyD
Understanding Self and Others
Students of all identities can learn more about themselves, their relationships, and connecting with others in an experiential setting.
Facilitators: Gabrielle Hope-Foucault, LMHC
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.
Facilitator: Gwen Koenig, MA, LMHC
A safe and confidential space for students to discuss issues related to LGBTQIA identities. All are welcome, including those questioning their identity.
Facilitators: Jennifer Gildner, PhD and Sanjana Satishkumar
Art-Based 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.
This group does not require a 30-minute phone screening appointment. To enroll in this group, please contact Deidre Evans by email or phone.
Facilitator: Deidre Evans, MSW
Develop and practice healthier and more effective coping skills for navigating difficult emotions and interpersonal relationships in a supportive space.
Facilitator: Ruby Casiano, PhD
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
Learn more about depression and nurture your self-compassion in this psychoeducational skills group.
Facilitator: Nikki Cassidy, PsyD
Build Your Social Confidence
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.
Facilitator: CJ Swanlund, PsyD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Grief group located in Bellingham, WA.
Eating Disorders Support
List of online eating disorder support groups.
List of eating disorder support groups in WA.
List of free online eating disorder and body image support groups.
List of NEDA Network virtual support groups.
Eating disorder online group with Kendra Corey, LMHC, and ED specialist. Email email@example.com for more information.
Calendar of virtual eating disorder support groups.
List of support groups for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.