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CAPS Groups for Fall 2022

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, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Emma Progar, Psychologist
  • Allison Horner, Clinical Services Provider

Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Nicole DeFerrari, Psychologist
  • Lori Wieder, Extern
     

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, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Caitlin Chun-Kennedy, Psychologist
  • Wilson Trusty, Intern

Tuesday, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Emma Progar, Psychologist
  • Jungyeong Heo, Intern

Thursday, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
  • Eric Smith, Intern

Friday, 2:30-4:00 PM

  • John Mitchell, Psychologist
  • Tia Rivera, 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.

Tuesday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • John Mitchell, Psychologist
  • Baron Rogers, Psychologist

 

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.

Thursday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Emma Progar, Psychologist
  • Jessica Vanderah, Intern

 

Topic-Based 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, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
  • Tia Rivera, Intern

Wednesday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Caitlin Chun-Kennedy, Psychologist
  • Jungyeong Heo, Intern

Thursday, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Sultan Magruder, Psychologist
  • Sarah Hamrick, Clinical Services Provider

 

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.

Tuesday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Alex Kinder, Psychologist
  • Laura McGuigan, Postdoc

 

Grief/Loss

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, 1:00-2:30 PM

  • Maggie Doby, Licensed Clinical Social Worker  
  • Julianna Carpenetti, Extern

 

Women of Color Empowerment  

This is an open discussion group for both graduate and undergraduate students. The goal is to provide a supportive space to center on the experiences of Women of Color on a majority campus. The intent is 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 has been a long-standing collaboration between Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). CAPS is supporting the group in the interim and looks forward to future MRC co-leadership.  

Bi-weekly Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 PM, Location may be Zoom or in-person- see details below

  • Laura Briscoe, CAPS Staff Psychologist  
  • Tia Rivera, CAPS Doctoral Intern  

Meeting dates: 

 

Connecting Confidently

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? Or not feeling that your relationships are fulfilling? Have you ever felt drained from conforming to social expectations? This group will offer the opportunity to learn more about how to connect with others through exploring your inner self, developing social skills, interpreting communication dynamics, and- ultimately- enhancing your confidence to be your genuine self in the world.

Thursday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Stephanie Stama, Psychologist
  • Laura McGuigan, Postdoc

 

 

Skills Clinics

Pre-group meeting required.

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.

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, 10:00-11:30 AM

  • Elana Szczesny, Psychologist
  • WanHsuan Huang, Extern

 

Anxiety

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, 10:00-11:30 AM

  • Jason Yoder, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 
  • Amber May, Extern

Thursday, 1:30-3 PM (1st half of semester)

  • Shannan Smith-Janik, Psychologist
  • Wilson Trusty, Intern

 

Perfectionism

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. 

Thursday, 1:30-3:00 PM (2nd half of semester)

  • Shannan Smith-Janik, Psychologist
  • Wilson Trusty, Intern

 

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, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Han Wingate, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Eric Smith, Intern

 

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.

Monday, 3:00-4:30 PM

  • Laura Briscoe, Psychologist
  • Henry Xiao, Psychologist

 

Eating Disorder Skills

Hands on practice of daily living skills to help with recovery from disordered eating and negative body image. These skills include identifying your values, mindfulness, working with strong emotions and thoughts, self-compassion, and intuitive eating.

Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM

  • Maggie Doby, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 
  • Sarah Hamrick, Licensed Social Worker

 

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, 2:00-3:00 PM

Corinne Creppage, Licensed Professional Counselor

Alex Kinder, Psychologist

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, 4:00-5:00 PM, 105 Pasquerilla Center

  • Lori Strayer, Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Jason Yoder, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

 

Sexual and Gender Diverse Student Support Group

This is a semi-structured, drop-in support group for sexual and gender diverse (SGD) students who are looking to improve their wellbeing. The group aims to empower its members by providing opportunities to connect with others, discuss the unique challenges that SGD students often face, increase self-worth, strengthen sense of self, and process new and ongoing social and political unrest.

Biweekly Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 PM, can attend In-Person or Remote.

Remaining dates-  Thursdays 11/17 and 12/1
In-person- Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, HUB - LL011
Remote- Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/s/95625996612

  • Raynalde Schagen, Psychologist
  • Eric Duran, Assistant Director, CSGD

 

Women of Color Empowerment  

This is an open discussion group for both graduate and undergraduate students. The goal is to provide a supportive space to center on the experiences of Women of Color on a majority campus. The intent is 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 has been a long-standing collaboration between Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). CAPS is supporting the group in the interim and looks forward to future MRC co-leadership.  

Bi-weekly Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 PM, Location may be Zoom or in-person- see details below

  • Laura Briscoe, CAPS Staff Psychologist  
  • Tia Rivera, CAPS Doctoral Intern  

Meeting dates: 

 

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.

Monthly, Day/Time, TBD

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