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Due to the University closure, most Student Affairs offices and buildings are closed on January 17, 2022. Before visiting, please confirm offices are operating. Virtual appointments and events may still be held. For information on specific buildings and services, please visit our campus closure information page

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CAPS Groups for Spring 2022

All groups are currently held online and are for enrolled University Park students. 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.

 

Topic-Based Groups

Pre-group meeting required. 

 

Women's Empowerment Group

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.

Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

  • Camille Sluzis, Clinical Services Provider
  • Alexis Leca, Postdoctoral Fellow


Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

  • Camille Sluzis, Clinical Services Provider
  • MaryBeth Grove, Doctoral Intern

     

    Loss Group

    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.

    Thursdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    • Maggie Doby, Clinical Services Provider
    • Alexis Leca, Postdoctoral Fellow

     

    Survival Guide to Complicated Families

    For students who identify as being a child of parents 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.

    Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • Janet Schwabenbauer, Clinical Services Provider
    • Alex Kinder, Psychologist

     

     

    Eating Disorder Recovery Groups

    Pre-group meeting required. 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. 

    Eating Disorder Recovery Process Groups

    Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

    • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
    • Sarah Hamrck, Clinical Services Provider

    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    • Laurie Meguro, Psychologist
    • Maggie Doby, Clinical Services Provider

    Thursdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

    • Sultan Magruder, Psychologist
    • Marissa Ferrito, Doctoral Intern
    Interpersonal Process Groups for Undergraduates

    Pre-group meeting required. 

     

    Understanding Self & 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.

    Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    • Caitlin Chun-Kennedy, Psychologist
    • Ray Schagen, Doctoral Intern

    Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • Ben Darling, Psychologist
    • Baron Rogers, Psychologist

     

    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.

    Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • John Mitchell, Psychologist
    • Ben Darling, Psychologist
    Interpersonal Process Groups for Graduate & Returning Students

    Pre-group meeting required. 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. 

    Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • John Mitchell, Psychologist
    • Marissa Ferrito, Doctoral Intern

    Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

    • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
    • Ray Schagen, Doctoral Intern

    Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • Stephanie Stama, Psychologist
    • Laura McGuigan, Doctoral Intern

     

    Interpersonal Mindfulness

    This is for 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.

    Mondays 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    • Caitlin Chun-Kennedy, Psychologist
    • MaryBeth Grove, Doctoral Intern

     

    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. A pre-group meeting with the group facilitators is required.

    Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • John Mitchell, Psychologist
    • Ben Darling, Psychologist
    Skills Clinics

    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. A pre-group meeting with the clinic facilitators is required.

     

    Self-Compassion

    This process-oriented clinic will focus on developing awareness and practice of self-compassion. At times, students struggle with perfectionism and unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. "Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings- after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?" (Neff, 2016). Members will develop skills in self-kindness through discussion, mindfulness practice, and experiential exercises. An intention will be to cultivate and empower the authentic self.

    Mondays 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    • Laura Briscoe, Psychologist
    • Henry Xiao, Psychologist


    Perfectionism 

    Perfectionistic tendencies can be both helpful and unhelpful in our daily lives. This clinic will help participants increase their awareness and insight into their perfectionism, as well as learn strategies for coping with perfectionism. We 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. 

    Mondays 1:30-3:00 p.m. (begins March)

    • Shannan Smith-Janik, Psychologist
    • Laura McGuigan, Doctoral Intern

     

    Stress Management

    This clinic helps students learn to identify stress, how it manifests in their daily lives, and strategies to help with stress management. These will include, but are not limited to, relaxation techniques, strategies for improving sleep, and examining how our thoughts contribute to our stress.

    Mondays 10:00-11:30 a.m.

    • Elana Szczesny, Psychologist
    • Samer Habib, Extern

     

    Steady: Emotional Balance and Success

    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.

    Wednesdays 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    • Corinne Creppage, Clinical Services Provider
    • Alex Kinder, Psychologist

    Thursdays, 2:30-4:00 p.m.

    • Alison Reese, Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Alison Horner, Extern

     

    Mindful Mood Management

    In this clinic members will develop emotion-regulation skills, allowing them to more effectively navigate difficult or overwhelming emotions, increase distress tolerance, and cultivate self-compassion. 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.

    Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 p.m.

    • Han Wingate, Clinical Services Provider
    • Alison Reese, Postdoctoral Fellow

     

    Anxiety 

    This clinic is 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.

      Mondays 1:30-3:00 p.m.

      • Shannan Smith-Janik, Psychologist
      • Laura McGuigan, Doctoral Intern

      Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

      • Jason Yoder, Clinical Services Provider
      • Kristen Ashton, Extern
      Drop-In Discussion & Support Groups

      Any student enrolled at University Park can attend these drop-in groups no matter their current location. These groups focus on peer support and discussion. These are not therapy groups. 

      It's in the name: drop in! No CAPS appointment or pre-group meeting is required. You can simply stop on by at your convenience during the designated group time by clicking the associated Zoom link (please attend at the start time of the drop-in group meeting). Each group ranges in structure and format. Try one out to learn more!

      Drop-in groups are open to all enrolled students and operate on the assumption that attendance is self-initiated. To maintain confidentiality of all attendees, CAPS does not confirm attendance and will not allow screenshots of the group to be taken as a method for doing so.

       

      Racial Stress, Trauma, & Empowerment

      This group is designed for students to better understand the impacts of racism on their lives. Students will learn to identify helpful ways of managing and responding to racism.

      Dates, times, and location to be announced

      • Sultan Magruder, Psychologist

       

      Sexual and Gender Diverse Student Support Group

      This is a semi-structured support group for sexual and gender diverse (SGD) students who look to improve their wellbeing. The group aims to empower the members to discuss the unique challenges that SGD students face, to increase self-worth, strengthen sense of self, and process through social and political unrest. 

      Tuesdays 1:30-2:30 p.m.

      Join the Sexual and Gender Diverse Student Support Group via Zoom

      • Alison Reese, Postdoctoral Fellow
      • Eric Duran, Program Coordinator for Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

       

      SMART Recovery

      SMART Recovery is an international non-profit, volunteer-driven organization offering free face-to-face and online mutual self-help groups. 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
      4. Living a balanced life

      Mondays, 4:00-5:00 p.m. from February 7 – April 25 (not held during the week of spring break)

      Join SMART Recovery via Zoom

      • Lori Strayer, Clinical Services Provider
      • Jason Yoder, Clinical Services Provider

       

      Women of Color Empowerment

      This is a biweekly, open discussion group for Women of Color. This is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The goal is to provide a supportive space for Women of Color on a majority white campus to explore what this means for them (with regard to identity, relationships, and more), to empower and enhance their voice, and to fully embrace their Penn State experience through academic excellence and relationship-building.

      Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 p.m.  on the following dates:

      • January 19
      • February 2
      • February 16
      • March 2
      • March 16
      • March 30
      • April 6
      • April 27

      Join Women of Color Empowerment via Zoom

      • Laura Briscoe, Psychologist
      • Dayze Florencio, Multicultural Resource Center Staff

       

      Black and Latino Male Empowerment

      The biweekly Black and Latino Male Empowerment Group (BLMEG) is a facilitated open discussion environment for African American and Latino men to meet biweekly 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. 

      Thursdays 5:00-6:30 p.m. every other week

      Location to be announced

      • Sultan Magruder, Psychologist
      • Alex Kenney, Multicultural Resource Center Staff

       

      Interfaith Dialogues

      Monthly 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.

      • February 14 at 12:00 p.m.
      • March 1 at 12:00 p.m.
      • April 13 at 12:00 p.m.

      Location to be announced

      • Emma Progar, Psychologist
      • Rachel Galloway, Assistant Director, Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development

       

      Weekly Wellness: Strategies to Manage Stress and Enhance Your Well-Being

      CAPS and Health Promotion and Wellness' collaboration drop-in group will focus on all things college life, from conflict resolution to navigating COVID-19, to sleep. Join us for this weekly meeting where you will talk with staff and students to gain tips and strategies on overall wellness.

      Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 p.m.

      Join Weekly Wellness via Zoom

      • Elana Szczesny, Psychologist
      • Danielle Haluska, Assistant Director, Health Promotion and Wellness

       

      Body Image Reboot

      This educational workshop series is open to all Penn State students. 

      Mondays 1:30-2:30 p.m.  on the following dates:

       

      • February 7: Challenging Negative Self-Talk
      • February 14: Reconnecting with Emotions
      • February 21: Diet Culture
      • February 28: Body Image on a Spectrum
      • March 14: Drop-In Q & A / Review Part 1
      • March 21: Intuitive Eating
      • March 28: Self-Compassion
      • April 4: Self-Care
      • April 11: Setting Boundaries & Stress Management
      • April 18: Drop-In Q & A / Review Part 2

      Join Body Image Reboot via Zoom

      • Laurie Meguro, Psychologist
      • Sarah Hamrick, Clinical Services Provider
      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