Frequently Asked Questions
Q. WHAT DOES THE GROUP AND WORKSHOP PROGRAM OFFER?
A. This Program offers 3 different options: traditional supportive group counseling, drop-in groups, and workshops.
- Support groups comprise the majority of MHS groups and often involve 5-7 people with common concerns meeting on a regular basis with group facilitators. The participants share thoughts and personal feelings about their lives and about issues within the group. Often, this also includes learning new skills and information. These types of groups are typically offered in the lengths of 10 or 8 weeks throughout the Fall and Spring semesters.
- To join a support group (which are the majority of the MHS groups): Please fill out a Group Request for Services Form (GRFS) that can be found by following this link. FOR THESE GROUPS, WE MUST FIRST MEET WITH ALL POTENTIAL GROUP MEMBERS.
- Drop-in groups are a type of supportive counseling in which varying amounts of people meet with a facilitator to discuss and gain support around a particular topic; however, this type of group differs from more of our traditional support groups in that you do not need to sign up in advance and there is no time commitment.
- To join a support group: Arrive a few minutes before the listed start time. All drop-in groups are labeled as such on our Schedule Website.
- Workshops are offered for varying lengths of time (for example, 4 weeks) and are based on learning new skills, such as anxiety management. The amount of attendees often varies, and it focuses on learning rather than sharing much information about oneself.
- To join a workshop, instructions are posted on the Schedule Website or on the individual workshop flyer posted around campus. The locations of the workshops are often not at CAPS.
Q. FOR WHOM ARE GROUP OR WORKSHOP SERVICES APPROPRIATE?
A. Group counseling or workshops in all the forms we offer can be helpful for many people for a variety of issues, including learning more about yourself or others around you, reducing feelings of loneliness, gaining insight and personal growth, acquiring new skills, and a desire to get support from others with similar experiences.
Q. IS THERE ANY LIMIT TO HOW MANY GROUPS OR WORKSHOPS I CAN BE IN?
A. While there is no limit to how many groups or workshops you can join, the majority of MHS support groups require a commitment to attending each group session (with the exceptions of illness and emergencies) for the length of the entire group (and groups are often 12, 8, or 6 weeks long). Therefore, it is important to determine whether you feel you can fully commit to a group before joining. Some students with issues that they would like support with over a longer period of time often choose groups as their counseling method of choice because of the option of attending multiple group courses. Note: Workshops or drop-in groups encourage but do not require consistent attendance, but it is often encouraged.
Q. IS THERE A FEE FOR ATTENDING GROUPS OR WORKSHOPS?
A. No. Similar to individual counseling and health services, group counseling and workshops are available free of charge to all current TCNJ students.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IN SUPPORT GROUPS OR DROP-IN GROUP COUNSELING?
A. These types of groups will usually begin by discussing some basic ground rules, such as confidentiality, attendance, and level of participation. Structure varies according to the topic of the group. Members are encouraged to speak honestly and freely about their concerns and feelings. The counselors act as facilitators, helping to focus the questions and comments with the goal of greater clarity and understanding of oneself in relationship to others. Workshops and drop-in groups are often structured differently, and may change. Please note that this is very different than what occurs in a workshop, in which personal sharing is likely very limited.
Q. WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT FROM A SUPPORT GROUP, DROP-IN GROUP, OR WORKSHOP?
A. Any group counseling or workshop experience takes time and commitment but, depending on the particular issue(s) that have brought you to our program, you may see results faster than from individual therapy. While some students may initially feel anxious about their first time in group counseling or a workshop, most end up discovering the group experience was more helpful than they could have imagined. It is important to remember that you will get out of the group or workshop what you put into it. In exchange, for group counseling in particular, it can help you feel more confident, more comfortable with yourself, more aware of the effect you have on others, and more able to know and express your feelings. Workshops focus on learning new skills and tools, and after attending each week and being an active participant you can expect to have greatly increased your knowledge and mastery of the topic.