Why Groups?

Group therapy helps people learn about themselves and improve their interpersonal relationships. It addresses feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety, and it helps people make significant changes so they feel better about the quality of their lives. 

SHAC offers a variety of groups and workshops throughout the academic year. If you would like a counseling group for an area of interest, please talk with any of our counselors.

Current Therapy Groups

Bloom Up Therapy Group

Bloom Up is a therapy group for first year students. It is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges of leaving home and starting college. This is an open process group where topics will vary depending on the students’ needs. Topics may include challenges in social situations, navigating friendships and academics, learning about resources on campus, as well as supporting the transition of separation from caregivers into independent college students. Bloom Up will give the opportunity for peers to support each other during this transitional time. Bloom Up will be facilitated by licensed therapists Lucy Baquero Oja, LMFT and Leah Ernste, LPCC and consist of 5-10 first year students.

Group will be held on 6 consecutive Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30, starting week 2 (9/19).

Contact Lucy Baquero Oja to register. 
Location: SHAC Group Room (Davis 03) –Registration Required

RAP (Reflect, Affirm, and Process) for all students

RAP is an opportunity to reflect about your experiences at Carleton, talk through the challenges with your peers, affirm you are not alone by collaborating with other students and process it together with peers and our mental health therapists. This group is for all students who are looking for community, connection and support throughout their time at Carleton. RAP group is a way to be proactive in your mental well being. The therapists will guide weekly check-ins where you can bring current successes and challenges you faced throughout the week, get feedback and support and learn skills to manage future weeks on campus. The RAP group consists of anywhere between 5-10 students. RAP will be facilitated by licensed therapists Kenneth Hanna, LICSW and Leah Ernste, LPCC.

Group will be held on Mondays ,from 4-5pm, starting week 2 (09/18).

Contact Kenneth Hanna with questions or to register.

Location: SHAC Group Room (Davis 03) –Registration Required

Craft and Chat Therapy Group

Craft and Chat is a therapy group designed to be a place to connect and process current stressors while also using whatever creative means can feel like a release to you. The group encourages you to bring any crafting project you are currently working on, or to engage in drawing and coloring in a community space. The group allows peers to check in about current stressors throughout the term, how they are able to support themselves, while also supporting their peers in learning about similar stressors and struggles. The group is an open-process group, guided by weekly check-ins and some prompts to provide space to express whatever is on your mind. The Craft and Chat Therapy Group will consist of 5-10 students and will be run by licensed clinician Lucy Baquero Oja, LMFT.

Group will be held on 6 consecutive Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00, starting week 6 (10/18).

Contact Lucy Baquero Oja with questions or to register.

Location: SHAC Conference Room (Davis 03) – Open Group, all sessions not required

Disordered Eating Support Group

Disordered Eating Support Group is ideal for anyone who is struggling or in recovery from an eating disorder, disordered eating, or body image concerns. We offer a place to connect and process within a safe community, troubleshoot challenges, and learn practical tools to use in the recovery process. This is a five week group consisting of 5-10 group members and will be run by Marit Lysne, PsyD and Alissa Petee, LPCC.

Group will be held on 5 consecutive Thursdays from 3:30-4:30, starting week 6 (10/19).

Contact Alissa Petee for more information. 

BIPOC Mental Health Collective (BIPOC MHC) 

The BIPOC Mental Health Collective (BIPOC MHC) at Carleton College provides a community for Black Indigenous and People of Color students to engage in restorative practices that support their mental health and well-being. The BIPOC MHC is led by staff from Student Health and Counseling, and the Office of Intercultural Life. No registration required.

Group is held 3 times throughout the term on Thursdays during common time 12:00-1:00 pm.

Dates: September 28, October 26, November 9

Location: TBD

Current Workshops, Presentations & Other Resources

Koru Mindfulness Course: Learn to Meditate

This is a 4-session course that will teach you the skills of mindfulness. It will also help you build the habit of using it in your life on a regular basis. Developed for emerging adults; useful to all.  There are 2 spots reserved for staff and faculty each session. More details about Carleton’s Koru offerings are available, as well as general details about Koru Mindfulness.

Silent Retreat options, as well as Koru 2.0 information, can also be found on the Koru Mindfulness page

Time to Meditate

Practice moment-to-moment awareness, without judgment. No experience necessary, and any experience welcome. Gently guided by Chaplain’s Associates. This is a drop-in group, and one can participate once or as many times as desired. No sign up required. Sponsored by SHAC and Chaplain’s Office.

Visit the Time To Meditate page on the Chaplian’s Office website for days/times.

Registration Not Required

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

We are happy to help you determine which group would be the best fit for you. Please contact Student Health and Counseling to schedule an initial meeting with a counselor.

What is group therapy?

A therapy group is usually comprised of 5-10 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 trained facilitators and talk about what is concerning them most. Members listen to each other and openly provide each other feedback. These interactions give members an opportunity to increase understanding, try out new ways of being with others and learn more about the ways they interact. The content of group sessions is confidential: members agree not to identify other members or their concerns outside of group.

How effective is group therapy?

Group therapy has been proven effective in helping people deal with a broad range of issues from mild adjustment and developmental concerns to severe or chronic mental health concerns. It has been shown
to be as effective as individual therapy, and for some issues, it is even more effective than individual therapy.*

*It is well documented that group therapy is equally effective, and sometimes more effective, than individual therapy (e.g. Burlingame, Fuhriman, and Mosier, 2003). 

Common reasons for joining a group?

Group therapy is often the most effective treatment for interpersonal concerns, anxiety, social skills, eating disorders, and life adjustment. It is also helpful for depression, poor self-esteem, perfectionism, grief, trauma recovery, and substance use. 

What can I expect if I join a group?

If this is your first experience in a therapy group, you probably have some apprehensions — most people do. Walking into the first session is sometimes the hardest part about group. A primary goal of any group is to help establish feelings of safety and trust. Some members will be ready to open up about their concerns early in group, others may need more time. Each group member’s pace and readiness for sharing is respected. Members tend to quickly develop deep and supportive connections with each other and learn to improve their ability to connect with (and care for) themselves and others. Leaders and members will help each other to face challenges (particularly those that brought them to therapy) and to make the changes they desire. It is usually a difficult thing for group members to say goodbye at the end of a term due to how much they have valued each other and valued the work they have done together.

Other Groups that have run in the past:

Groups will be created as needed to meet student requests. If you would like a group that you don’t see here, call Student Health and Counseling (507-222-4080) and request it. Past Groups have included: Coming Out, Mastering The Transition To College, Self-Esteem Workshop, Grief Support, Off-Campus Programs Re-entry Support, Men’s Group, Overcoming Social Anxiety