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Spring 2018 Discussion Groups

Eating Disorder Recovery Groups

Pre-group meeting required. These groups are designed for students who have difficulties with bingeing and purging, anorexia, and other eating disorder issues. The group focus is on understanding and controlling dysfunctional patterns with food as well as dealing with feelings and issues that “eat” at you. Stress, body image, self-esteem, self-expression, relationships and academic pressure are all possible topics for the group. This is not a structured group. Weekly attendance is expected.

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

  • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
  • Sultan Magruder, Post-Doctoral Fellow

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

  • Julie Pelletier, Psychologist
  • Bethany Rallis, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Thursdays, 9:00-10:30 a.m.

  • Julie Pelletier, Psychologist
  • Sunie Kim, Doctoral Intern
Graduate & Returning Students Process Groups

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, dealing with problems and stresses in academic life, and how these issues affect feelings about ourselves and others. These groups run throughout the summer and continue into the fall.

Tuesdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  • Stephanie Stama, Psychologist
  • Lindsay Furlong-O'Hara, Doctoral Intern

Wednesdays, 12:45-2:15 p.m.

  • Natalie Hernandez DePalma, Psychologist
  • Sunie Kim, Doctoral Intern

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

  • Jill Hranicka, Psychologist
  • Daveon McMullen, Doctoral Intern

Fridays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

  • Desiree Howell, Psychologist
  • Wes Scala, Practicum Therapist
Skills Oriented Groups

Pre-group meeting required. This 4-session clinic will help members 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 nonjudgmentally" (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Mindfulness can help with depression, anxiety, social discomfort, self-critical thoughts, anger, and other distressing emotions. Members will engage in guided, experiential practice in the group and some between-group practice will be encouraged.

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

  • Han Wingate, Clinical Services Provider

Anxiety Clinic

These clinics are 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. 3-4 sessions in length.

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

  • Sultan Magruder, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Kathleen Dimattia, Practicum Therapist

Thursdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

  • Sarah Watson, Clinical Services Provider
  • Annie Poet, Psychologist

Insomnia

Having difficulty falling or staying asleep? The Insomnia Clinic will teach you strategies to improve your sleep quantity and quality, focusing on behaviors you engage in around sleep.

Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

  • Elana Szczesny, Psychologist
  • Lindsay Furlong-O'Hara, Doctoral Intern

Perfectionism

Perfectionistic tendencies can be both helpful and unhelpful in our daily lives. This 4-session 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.

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

  • Abby Costello, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Latoya Haynes-Thoby, Practicum Therapist

Relationships 101

This 4 session clinic is for individuals wanting to learn more about interpersonal relationships. Topics will include healthy communication skills, conflict resolution, setting boundaries, qualities of healthy and unhealthy relationships, showing care/affection, and more! Many types of relationships will be discussed including ones with romantic partners, friends, parents, roommates, and professors.

Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

  • Desiree Howell, Psychologist

Stress Management

This clinic helps students who are struggling to manage daily stress. Students learn various tools to cope with stress and learn a new relaxation exercise each session.

Mondays, 9:00-10:30 a.m.

  • Elana Szczesny, Psychologist
  • Christopher Good, Practicum Therapist
Exploring Interpersonal Relationship Groups for Undergraduates

Pre-group meeting required. 

Women's Therapy

This therapy group is intended for undergraduate women interested in gaining an understanding of themselves and ways of relating more comfortably to others. Issues regarding assertiveness, intimacy, self-acceptance, family of origin issues, and expressing feelings are examples of the concerns this group may cover.

Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  • Caitlin Chun-Kennedy, Staff Psychologist
  • Camille Sluzis, Clinical Services Provider

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.

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

  • Jordan Barnard, Staff Psychologist
  • Daveon McMullen, Doctoral Intern

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.

Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • Janet Schwabenbauer, Clinical Services Provider
  • Clare Cowen, Staff Therapist

Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • Bethany Rallis, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • John Loughlin-Presnal, Practicum Therapist

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

  • John Mitchell, Psychologist
  • Julie Scott, Doctoral Intern

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

  • Sarah Watson, Clinical Services Provider
  • Jason Yoder, Clinical Services Provider
Drop-In Support Groups

No pre-group meeting required. 

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. This group is held at the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) in Grange Room 217.

Wednesdays (Biweekly), 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  • Laura Briscoe, CAPS Psychologist
  • Dayze Florencio (MRC Staff)

First-Generation Student Support

This group will provide first-generation college students with a supportive space to explore their experiences and the unique challenges they face at Penn State. Members will engage in meaningful discussions and participate in professional development opportunities that will help foster their academic success and personal growth. This group is held at HUB Room 321.

Mondays, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  • Annie Poet, Staff Psychologist
  • Sultan Magruder, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Conversations on Culture and Belonging

This drop-in support group is for international students, naturalized citizens who are Penn State students and other Penn State students interested in gaining support from/giving support to those students who’ve experienced difficulty transitioning to culture in the U.S. The group will provide a safe, supportive environment where students can address some common cultural issues faced while living and studying at Penn State. This group is held at the HUB Room 131.

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

  • John Mitchell, Psychologist
  • Nadiya Tucker, Clinical Social Worker
Support Groups

Pre-group meeting required. 

Women's Empowerment Group

This is a semi-structured support group for female undergrad students who have some history of exposure to interpersonal 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.

Mondays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

  • Camille Sluzis, Clinical Services Provider

Thursdays, 3:35-5:05 p.m.

  • Desiree Howell, Psychologist
  • Abby Costello, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Penn State Students on the Spectrum

This is a weekly support group for undergraduate and graduate students at University Park who have been diagnosed with or identify as having autism spectrum disorder. In the group, members will gain increased social contact and can work on interpersonal skills in a relaxed, non-judgmental environment, as well as learning other new skills through both structured and unstructured discussions/activities.

Mondays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

  • Stephanie Stama, Psychologist
  • Julie Scott, 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.


Tuesdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m.

  • Maggie Doby, Clinical Services Provider
  • Abby Costello, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Interpersonal Mindfulness

This therapy group is for both undergraduate and graduate students who are 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 attendance at CAPS mindfulness workshop, group, or other introductory session is recommended.

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

  • Han Wingate, Clinical Services Provider
  • Bethany Rallis, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Social Anxiety (8 sessions beginning late February 2018)

Students with social anxiety often experience fear of being negatively judged by others, worry about embarrassment in social situations, and discomfort interacting with others. In this structured group, students will be educated about the origins of social anxiety and learn methods for tolerating and managing the distress that results from anxiety-provoking situations. Students will also have the opportunity to receive validation and support from others who share difficulties coping with social anxiety.

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

  • Shannan Smith-Janik, Psychologist