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Group and Workshop Program Schedule

Thank you for your interest in CAPS groups and workshops. We are so excited to be offering over 15 groups this semester!  Please see below for anticipated groups for the Fall 2022 semester and, unless otherwise indicated, most groups will begin approximately four-six weeks into the semester (groups begin as soon as there is an adequate amount of members).  As a reminder, we must meet with all new potential group members before joining a group unless it is a Drop-In Group or Workshop. Fill out a Request for Service Form if interested in any of the open groups listed below.

****Some groups will be offered virtually via Zoom and others may be in-person, masked. Please contact CAPS with any questions***

Fall 2022 Groups currently accepting new clients:

Coping 101

Tuesdays 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Coping 101 aims to teach students relevant coping skills that are often used to address stress and mental health concerns.

Facilitator: Debeka Bennett, Ph.D.

All-Recovery Meeting

Mondays 8:00pm

A safe place to listen and share about topics that are affecting your life and mental health. Anyone is welcome to attend this student-led group support meeting!

*This group takes place in the Recovery Lounge in the Rec Center Rm 235*

Anxiety Management Workshop

Mondays 3:30-4:30pm

Learn how to manage anxiety so IT isn’t managing YOU! Join us for one of the 4 week sessions.

Facilitator: Jon Murakami, Psy.D.

Special Instructions: EMAIL mhs@tcnj.edu to sign up.

Bi+ Support Group

Fridays 2-3pm

College-wide data shows that we here at TCNJ have a large bi+ identifying population and we know there are stresses and strengths that go with that. Come chat about common stigmas, bi+ invisibility, connecting with your queer identity, the benefits/costs of passing, and more!

Facilitator: Robbin Loonan, LPC

Commuter Connections

Tuesdays: 3:30-4:30pm

CAPS is offering a semi-formal group exclusive to commuter students. Commuter Students can develop interdependence and a sense of belonging to the campus.
The group will also help students recognize their strengths, solve unique challenges, and enjoy the regular company of others, thereby reducing isolation.

Facilitator: Babayemi Aiyegbo, LCSW

First-Gen Student Support Group

Fridays 3:30-4:30pm

This group is for first-generation college students who are navigating university life and academics during a challenging time. This group looks to provide a supportive space to share experiences, celebrate successes, and to discuss difficulties experienced along the way

Facilitator: Babayemi Aiyegbo, LCSW

Good Grief

Thursdays 2:30-3:30pm

The pain of loss and bereavement often goes unspoken. Many people do not know how to discuss these difficult topics, and their avoidance can leave you feeling isolated in your grief, compounding your suffering. In this space, you are able to openly express these emotions with others who share your sense of loss and know what you are going through. This group is designed to support those who are managing the grieving process while also trying to maintain their identity as a student.

Facilitator: Nicole NW Harris, Ed.M.

*This drop-in group is in collaboration with Health and Wellness/Religious and Spiritual Life. To join, go to Forcina Room 308 on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30pm *

iThrive

Mondays 1:30-2:45pm

iThrive is designed for college students struggling with both anxiety and depression. In this group you will learn proven strategies and techniques to break self-defeating habits, reduce stress and worry, overcome fear and self-doubt, and handle painful feelings more effectively on your way to creating a rich, full, and meaningful college experience.

Facilitator: Alex Turpin, LCSW

LGBTQ+ Support Group

*due to popular demand, there will be TWO sections of group this semester!*

Wednesdays: 11:00-12:00pm
AND
Fridays: 2:30-3:30pm

Tired of heterosexism? Wish you could connect with more LGBTQ+* people on campus?

This confidential support group primarily focuses on exploring and managing issues related to sexual orientation such as coming out, dealing with family and friends, intimacy, and self–esteem. People at various stages of the “coming out” process are welcome. Open to students of all genders. The emphasis is on support and exploration of LGBTQ+ issues impacting personal and interpersonal functioning.

Facilitator: Robbin Loonan, LPC

Not The Perfect Family

Wednesdays: 3:00-4:15 pm

An opportunity to share with and get the support of others who have been raised in families with circumstances that prevented or interfered with healthy family functioning (i.e. addiction, divorce, mental illness, physical illness/disability, controlling behavior, abuse, etc.). Self-esteem, current relationships, self-confidence, and comfort in social settings can be negatively affected; the group offers a chance to choose a more positive approach, to others and to yourself.

Facilitator: Jon Murakami, PsyD

Parent/Step Parent Loss support Group

Date/time: Wednesdays: 1:30 – 2:30

Are you a TCNJ student who has experienced a death of a parent or step-parent? In this group you will receive support from, and give support to, fellow students who have lost a parent or step-parent by talking, listening and learning that your feelings matter, your reactions are normal…and that you are not alone in your grief.

Facilitator: Alex Turpin

Perfectly Imperfect

Tuesdays 1:30-2:45pm

Do you often experience feelings of anxiety, shame, guilt, and/or self-doubt?   Do you fear that others will judge you?   Does perfectionism control your life? Through a self-exploration journey that recognizes that we are all “works in progress,” participants in this group will increase their confidence and learn to manage their stress.  Please join us in this safe, supportive, and encouraging setting.

Facilitator: Robbin Loonan, LPC

Romantic Relationships

Wednesdays: 1:15-2:30pm

In this group, we will discuss the characteristics of a healthy romantic relationship and how to communicate effectively with your partner(s) or potential partner(s). This group is for anyone that desires to explore and identify their romantic relationship needs, learn about unhealthy relationship behaviors and patterns, improve their communication skills within the context of a romantic relationship, set and uphold boundaries, maintain a self-identity within the relationship, and many other topics that will be discussed.

Facilitator: Debeka Bennett, PhD

SAFE (Survivors of Sexual Assault Feeling Empowered) Group

Wednesdays 3:00-4:00pm

If you have had an unwanted sexual experience, or have experienced a sexual trauma, there is support for you. This confidential group will provide a safe place to help you to cope with difficult feelings, give you the chance to feel supported, and help you connect with others who also feel alone.  Trust, safety, relationships, and balancing these issues with other facets of life will be covered. Please reach out to discuss if this group is right for you.

Facilitator: Zachary Gall, LPC, NCC, CMHIMP

*This group will be located in Forcina Hall in collaboration with the Anti-Violence Initiatives department*

Sister Circle: Black Women’s Empowerment Group

Thursdays: 3:00pm-4:15pm

This group provides a safe space for Black women to discuss their unique racial and cultural experiences and to be a part of a supportive community.

In the Sister Circle group, we will discuss your experiences as a Black woman within your home, community, society, and on campus. We will discuss microaggressions, relationships, self-esteem, and colorism among many other topics. You will learn ways to better navigate your world by effectively balancing racial, cultural, and social expectations and personal life goals, improve your self-esteem and confidence, and learn healthy coping strategies.

Facilitator: Debeka Bennett, PhD

Focus 101: ADHD Support Group

Mondays 3:00-4:00pm

Would you like to meet other diagnosed students with ADHD to gain peer support? Would you like to get and provide encouragement? Each week, besides providing support, we will alternate through topics like academic and life balance, organizing/prioritizing, emotional regulation, procrastination, starting and completing projects, keeping healthy habits, how to use behavioral conditioning to your advantage, and general discussions about the frustration of living in a neurotypical world.

Facilitator: Audra Yacka

Previous Groups Offered

Below is a list of previous groups offered at MHS. Want to see a group return? Email and let us know! We run groups based on therapist availability and student interest.

Food, Mood and You

Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm

This support group provides an opportunity to talk about and better understand how thoughts, feelings, one’s sense of self and relationships with others affect eating, body image, and exercise. Group members will gain insights into the triggers for their unhealthy patterns and learn coping skills to improve their eating and body image.

Facilitator: Hue-Sun Ahn, PhD

CLOSED (Check back in the Fall) Chill Out 2

Mondays: 3:30-4:30pm

Did you already complete an MHS group?

Do you want to maintain the changes you learned and could use support in maintaining good anxiety reduction techniques?  Do you want to learn and share with your peers that struggle with anxiety?

This group can help you to maintain your progress and you can both give and get support for ongoing relapse prevention.

Facilitator: Margarita Leahy, NCC, LPC, LCDAC

Chill Out: From Anxiety to Resilience

Wednesdays: 1:00-2:15pm

Do you worry too much about what other people think?
Does meeting new people make you uneasy?
Do you find ordering at Starbucks to be overwhelming?
Does your anxiety keep you from doing things you enjoy?
Join us in this weekly group!

Facilitator: Margarita Leahy, NCC, LPC, LCDAC

ADHD Support Group

Mondays 1:30-2:30pm

Would you like to meet other diagnosed students with ADHD to gain peer support? Would you like to get and provide encouragement? Each week, besides providing support, we will alternate through topics like academic and life balance, organizing/prioritizing, emotional regulation, procrastination, starting and completing projects, keeping healthy habits, how to use behavioral conditioning to your advantage, and general discussions about the frustration of living in a neurotypical world.

Facilitator: Devin Simpkins

Adjustment to Campus

Time/day TBD based upon interest and availability

This group is to help first year students, as well as second year students attending classes on campus for the first time, to address common issues such as homesickness, stress management, building relationships, and self-care as well as adjustment to campus life during a pandemic. Learn helpful skills and get support from other students experiencing similar issues.

Facilitator: TBD

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Support Group

Are cultural values and experiences different from your peers? Feel like you’re straddling two different worlds (at school and at home)? Experiences of microaggressions affecting your self-esteem or mental health?

This confidential support group will explore how your experiences as an AAPI may affect your identity, relationships and mental health. It will be an opportunity to connect with others and develop healthy coping strategies in a supportive environment.

Facilitator: Hue-Sun Ahn, Ph.D

Art Therapy

Creating art is a great way to reduce stress, express yourself, & improve self-esteem. You do not need to be Picasso! No training, experience, or artistic talent is necessary. Please come join us for this 4-week workshop. Open to students will all levels of artistic ability.

Facilitator: Robbin Loonan, LPC

Special Instructions: EMAIL Ms. Robin Loonan at loonanr@tcnj.edu to sign up.

Assertiveness and Healthy Boundaries

Do you find that you tend to meet the needs of others while ignoring your own?  Does fear of hurting other peoples’ feelings prevent you from expressing your own boundaries?  This group is for students who wish to learn how to refrain from minimizing their own needs and communicate more honestly and effectively with others.   For many students, this group is also a place to discuss their own issues with trust, intimacy, anger, and assertiveness.

Facilitator: Alex Turpin, LCSW

Beyond the Label

Have you started to realize or have known that you focus a lot of your time and energy on labels that are given to you by society? Do you find that such labels have an impact on you and stop you from being motivated to be more than the label? Does this impact your self-esteem, relationships, and/or your self-confidence? This group offers an opportunity for students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability and/or Autism to share, to receive support, and discuss ways to relate to your peers who have similar experiences, that go beyond the label.

Facilitator: Dixita Malatesta, MA, NCC

CA Support Group

Biweekly group for community advisors to give and get support and to focus on their own mental health and self-care.

Facilitator: Melody Willoughby, PhD

Everyday Wellness: Self Care Resources for your Toolkit

This wellness meeting will provide a safe environment for TCNJ students to access emotional support content.  Resources will be provided to help manage the impact of the pandemic on daily living. Students will have an opportunity to submit their own health and wellness strategies. The format encourages relationship building and peer to per support as students will engage in challenges, competitive trivia and games. *This is a drop-in group. Attendance at all sessions is encouraged but not required*

Facilitator: Babayemi Aiyegbo, LCSW

Men’s Workshop

In this workshop, we will explore how trying to live up to other people’s ideology of masculinity can cause distress and impede your relationships with yourself, family, romantic partners, and friends.

This workshop is for those who desire a supportive and encouraging community with other individuals exploring male-ness. Sessions will cover healthy coping strategies, tools to develop insight, and awareness of toxic relationship patterns. The intent is to help you balance sociocultural expectations with personal life goals while learning ways to identify and express emotions.

Facilitator: Debeka Bennett, PhD and Babayemi Aiyegbo, LCSW

Moderate Your Mood

In this group, you will have opportunities to learn about stress management and coping skills to increase your tolerance for distressing feelings and to improve your ability to cope with strong feelings. You can expect to identify and improve your interpersonal skill set and gain ways to appreciate your emotional world as a guidepost rather than a barrier. The format of this group involves DBT-informed education and training combined with discussion. Between meetings, you will have the chance to practice skills and report back to the group on your challenges and successes.

Facilitator: Alex Turpin, LCSW

Facilitator: Jon Murakami, PsyD

New Student Drop-In Group

Freshmen and transfer students are welcome to stop by and join this group for students working to adjust to college. No screening necessary!

Facilitator: TBD

Racial Trauma Support Group

This group will provide a safe space to examine the impact of racial trauma on mental health, relationships, and identity. This group will take a process-oriented and psychoeducational approach towards discussing the various ways Black and Brown people are affected by racial trauma. Additionally, facilitators will offer strategies for self/community care aimed at improving and maintaining mental wellness.

Facilitator: Babayemi Aiyegbo, LCSW

Sleep Management

Are you worried about your sleep schedule?  Does the idea of going to sleep up bring up worry and concern about tossing and turning, sometimes for hours on end?  This 4-week sleep management workshop offers information on healthy sleep habits and hygiene as well as techniques that may help students improve their sleep schedule.

Facilitator: TBD

TRANScend

A support group for transgender, gender fluid, genderqueer, non-conforming, and gender questioning students. Come together with other TCNJ students and an experienced facilitator in a safe and confidential environment to explore the many aspects of gender identity, give support to others, and get support yourself. Whether you know for sure or are questioning, you are invited to join!

Facilitator: Peer-Led; contact: Alex Holzman holzmaa1@tcnj.edu

Think you may want to join a group?

For Groups (that are not labeled Drop-in OR a Workshop): Please fill out the Request for Group Services form (RFGS) which is explained here. *Spring group RFGS is currently open*

  1. Were you a previous group member for that particular group? Chances are you do not need to meet for another pre-group appointment and you will just be contacted regarding the start date of the group.
  2. New group member? Please email the MHS program assistant at MHS@tcnj.edu to set up an appointment with the group facilitator(s) before the start date of the group. During this meeting, you will have a chance to discuss your interest in the group, ask questions, and decide if your interests and the group “match.”
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