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CAPS Groups for Spring 2024

Most groups and clinics have openings for 6 members and will close once filled. Learn more about group therapy at CAPS and how to get started.

Faculty and staff with questions about our groups can contact CAPS.

Interpersonal Process Groups
  • Pre-group meeting required.

Undergraduate Understanding Self and Others

These groups are for undergraduates who are interested in gaining a greater understanding of themselves and ways of relating more comfortably to others. These groups are designed to help students learn to deal with a variety of concerns involving feelings of depression and anxiety, resolving relationship issues, and other personal concerns.

  • Monday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m
  •  Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Graduate Interpersonal Process

These groups are designed for personal growth and self-awareness for students who are older than the typical 18-22-year-old undergraduate population. Issues that will be addressed include relationships, life transitions, family of origin issues, managing stressors both in and outside of academic life, and how these issues affect feelings about ourselves and others.

  • Monday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m
  • Thursday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

Men, Talking

This therapy group is open to both undergraduate and graduate male students. The purpose of this group is simply to get men together talking about different issues that may be impacting their life as a student at Penn State. Topics can vary from week to week and are based on group member needs. Sample topics include school and personal stressors, relationship issues, understanding and healthy expression of emotions, and dealing with the pressures associated with masculine ideals and stereotypes.

  • Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Interpersonal Mindfulness

This therapy group is open to both undergraduate and graduate students interested in using mindfulness to increase self-acceptance and relate more comfortably to others. Sample topics include working with social anxiety, self-critical thoughts, mindful communication, and present-

centered awareness. Previous experience with mindfulness encouraged, but not necessary to join.

  • Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

International Graduate Student Process Group

This therapy group is open to international graduate students. The purpose is to get international graduate students together talking about different issues that may be impacting their lives as students at Penn State. Issues that will be addressed include relationships, life transitions, family of origin issues, managing stressors both in and outside of academic life, and how these issues affect feelings about ourselves and others.

  • Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Queer Space

Open to both undergraduate and graduate sexually and gender diverse students. The purpose of this group is to bring together like-minded and identifying individuals to provide a safe, supportive, and empowering space to process different issues (i.e., coming out, spirituality, family relationships, school and personal stressors, depression, self-esteem, oppression/discrimination, etc.) and life circumstances. Topics can vary from week to week and are based on group member needs. Goals include reducing isolation; finding support, particularly in dealing with the pressures associated with being sexually and/or gender diverse; and making positive changes.

  • Monday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Population/Topic Specific Groups
  • Pre-group meeting required.

Eating Disorder Recovery

These groups are designed for students who have difficulties with binge eating, purging, anorexia, and other eating disorder issues. The group focus is on understanding and managing dysfunctional patterns with food, as well as dealing with difficult emotions. Stress, body image, self-esteem, self-expression, relationships, and academic pressure are all possible topics for the group. This is not a structured group.

  • Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Survival Guide to Complicated Families

For students who identify as being a child of a parent(s) with substance use disorders or mental illness. Members will be provided with a safe space to explore and discuss the emotional struggles, relationship difficulties and other ways they have been impacted by growing up in this type of environment.

  • Monday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


This group is for students who have experienced the death of a friend, relative, or close association. It is also appropriate for those who continue to struggle with painful memories of the death of a loved one. The group will focus on adjustment to the loss and reduction in feelings of guilt, anger, depression, and powerlessness.

  • Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Women’s Empowerment

This is a semi-structured support group for female students who have some history of exposure to sexual abuse and/or trauma. The group aims to empower the members to find their voice, increase self-worth, strengthen sense of self, and process through societal messages, pressures, and influences.

  • Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Unmasking: Connecting Confidently and Authentically

This group is for people who may feel uncomfortable or insecure showing up authentically in their relationships. Have you ever had challenges connecting with others? Have you ever felt drained from conforming to social expectations? This group will offer the opportunity to learn and practice strategies for developing authentic connections and reconsidering the role of social "masks." Individuals who identify as neurodivergent have benefitted from this group, but this is not a requirement to participate.

  • Thursday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Skills Groups

These structured clinics typically run for four to six consecutive weeks with a focus on education about and development of skills for improving your mental health and wellbeing.

  • Pre-group meeting required.

Stress Management/Sleep

Learn strategies to improve your sleep quantity and quality, focusing on behaviors you engage in around sleep. Learn tools to cope with stress and discover a new relaxation exercise each session.

  • Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


Designed for students who are struggling with various forms of anxiety. Students will learn more about symptoms of anxiety, how anxiety impacts daily functioning, how anxiety works in the

body, and learn ways to manage and reduce anxiety. The clinic will also provide an opportunity for students to talk with and receive support from other students who have similar difficulties with anxiety.

  • Monday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (1st half of semester)


Perfectionistic tendencies can be both helpful and unhelpful in our daily lives. This clinic will help students increase their awareness and insight into their perfectionism, as well as learn strategies for coping with perfectionism. Students will explore the origins of perfectionism, the impact of perfectionism in daily life, and learn to identify and intervene with thoughts and behaviors that maintain perfectionism.

  • Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (2nd half of semester)

Mindful Mood Management

In this clinic members will develop emotion-regulation skills, allowing them to navigate difficult or overwhelming emotions, increase distress tolerance, and cultivate self-compassion more effectively. Members will be introduced to the practice of mindfulness, which has been described as "paying attention, in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Mindfulness can help with depression, anxiety, social discomfort, self-critical thoughts, anger, and other distressing emotions. Guided, experiential practice in the group will occur and some between-group practice will be encouraged.

  • Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Self-Compassion: A Tool for Coping & Resilience

This process-oriented clinic will focus on developing awareness and practice of self-compassion. Self-compassion can help with critical self-talk, perfectionistic tendencies and feeling like an imposter who is inadequate. Members will develop skills in self-kindness, managing unhelpful thoughts, mindfulness practice, and other coping skills. An intention will be to cultivate and empower the authentic self.

  • Monday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Adjustment to College Life

This 4-week clinic is aimed at helping first year and transfer/change of campus students address common areas of adjustment by learning skills and strategies to facilitate a successful transition to University Park. Topics addressed include time and stress management, lifestyle choices, building interpersonal relationships and communication, homesickness, cultural shifts, and self-care/personal wellness among others.

  • Thursday, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Steady (DBT)

Drop-in, screening required. This group is intended for students who want to improve mood management and interpersonal success by learning skills to promote distress tolerance, mindfulness, and emotional regulation. Learn to deal with stress without losing control or engaging in destructive behaviors but instead, by showing more self-compassion and gaining the ability to learn and practice ways to prepare yourself for life’s challenges.

  • Friday, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Romantic Relationships 101

This informative and interactive clinic is intended for anyone interested in learning essential skills for building and maintaining thriving romantic relationships. Over the course of 4 sessions, participants will learn helpful tools related to communication and conflict resolution; gain insight into personal expectations and beliefs about relationships; and acquire strategies for connecting emotionally with partners. The aim of the clinic is to promote individual skills and self-understanding, and therefore is not intended to be used in place of couples counseling. The clinic is open to all students, regardless of current relationship status (single, seeking a relationship, partnered, recently de-committed). Individuals with all gender and sexual identities are welcome.

  • Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. -3:00 p.m.

Bouncing Back and Moving Forward

Bouncing Back and Moving Forward

This is a 4 to 5-session clinic designed to identify and enhance coping skills to increase resilience and improve mood. Students will learn and practice strategies to help foster wellness; practice countering unhelpful self-talk by engaging in self-enhancing statements and utilizing methods for challenging unhelpful thoughts; develop a greater understanding of personal strengths/values and living a life in accordance with those; learn the function of emotions and increase positive emotions through practice; and explore ways to foster increased connection with others.

  • Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Drop-In/Support Groups

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery supports individuals who are considering abstinence - or already have chosen to abstain - from any type of addictive behaviors (substances, activities, or both) by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions and actions while working toward long-term satisfactions and quality of life. SMART teaches tools to stop problematic alcohol and drug use - and activities that have become compulsive, such as: smoking, overeating, gambling, sexual behavior, and internet use. SMART Uses a Four Point Program: 1) Building and maintaining motivation, 2) Coping with urges, 3) Managing thoughts, feelings, and actions, and 4) Living a balanced life.

  • Monday, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact CAPS for additional information.

Women of Color Empowerment

The Women of Color Empowerment Group (WOCE) is a discussion group for both graduate and undergraduate students. Our goal is to provide a supportive space to center on the experiences of Women of Color on a majority White campus. Our intent is for attendees to explore topics such as identity, relationships and more; to empower and enhance their voice; and to fully embrace their Penn State experience through academic excellence and relationship-building. This group is not intended for journalistic, research or course credit purposes. Information shared during these private meetings is considered confidential. This group has been a long-standing collaboration between Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). Learn more about the Women of Color Empowerment group online here

  • Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
    Spring Meeting Dates: January 31st, February 14th, February 28th, March 13th, March 27th, April 10th, April 24th
  • 217 Grange Building

Black and Latino Male Empowerment

The Black and Latino Male Empowerment Group (BLMEG) is a facilitated open discussion environment for African American and Latino men to meet within a brave space. The Black and Latino Male Empowerment Group explores shared experiences as Black and Latino men in the United States, particularly on a majority White campus. The goal is to assist men of color with identifying ways to fully embrace the Penn State experience through academic success, the development of community service initiatives, and relationship building, while taking advantage of all academic and social opportunities within the University. Learn more about the Black and Latino Male Empowerment group online here.

  • Contact CAPS for additional information.

Interfaith Dialogues

Dialogues aim to bring people of different religious, spiritual, and/or humanistic backgrounds together in ways that respect different identities, build mutually inspiring relationships, and engage in common action around issues of shared concern. Interfaith dialogues are not intended to be proselytizing, but a time to hear from one another and appreciate what everyone brings to the table.

  • Contact CAPS for additional information.
Explore in this Section
Current Counseling Groups
Penn State Student Affairs
Counseling & Psychological Services
Main Location

501 Student Health Center
University Park, PA 16802

Additional Locations

3rd Floor Bank of America Career Services Building
University Park, PA 16802

Allenway Building (Downtown)
315 S Allen Street
State College, PA 16801


Our events and programs are open to all students regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected class. Student Affairs is committed to building a community of belonging for all.