Skip to main content
Search

CAPS Groups for Fall 2021

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
  • Mary Grove, Doctoral Intern

 

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.

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

  • Sultan Magruder, Psychologist
  • Baron Rogers, Psychologist

 

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, 1:30-3:00 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, 2:30-4:00 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.

  • Emma Progar, Psychologist
  • Ray Schagen, 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.

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, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

  • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
  • Ray Schagen, Doctoral Intern

Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

  • Emma Progar, 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.

  • Emma Progar, Psychologist
  • Mary 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 October)

  • 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.

  • Mandy Milner, Clinical Services Provider
  • Allison Horner, Extern

Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

  • Corinne Creppage, Clinical Services Provider
  • Alison Reese, Postdoctoral Fellow

 

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 3:00-4:30 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.

     

    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 us via Zoom! 

    • Michael Accardo, Psychologist
    • 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. starting September 20, 2021

    Join us 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:

    • September 8
    • September 22
    • October 6
    • October 20
    • November 3
    • November 17
    • December 1

    Join us 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.

    Once monthly, dates to be determined

    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 & Wellness' (HPW) 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 us via Zoom!

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

     

    Eating Disorder Recovery Skills

    This four-week clinic will provide 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.

    Time to be determined

    • Laurie Meguro, Psychologist
    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