Groups can help you gain support, share experiences and struggles, learn about yourself, and develop skills to relate to others. Students who participate in group therapy tend to feel less isolated, more self-aware, and more connected to others as a result of being in group.
Support groups are open to all Penn undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. More detailed information about each group can be found below.
- Group sessions are confidential. Group members are bound ethically not to disclose information about the group.
- Regular and timely attendance is necessary for relationships to develop and for you to have sufficient continuity to get as much as you can out of group. If you truly must miss group, please let the leader(s) know as soon as possible.
- If after the initial commitment the group does not feel like a good fit or at some point you feel as though you have gotten all you need from the group, it is important that you inform the group and give the other members the opportunity to say goodbye.
- You are encouraged to take your own pace in group. However, you get more out of group if you work on the concerns that brought you to the group through active participation.
- You may be referred to group during your initial assessment if your counselor believes that your needs would be best met in a group setting.
- Most group leaders prefer to conduct a group intake in which they meet with you individually to learn about what you’re looking for, to give you specific information about how the group works, and to help you decide if the group seems like a good fit.
*All groups will take place at the Student Health and Counseling office at 3624 Market Street, First Floor West.
If you have interest or questions about any groups that may not be listed here, please reach out to the Group Coordinator, Dr. Mary Brennan at email@example.com.
The following Groups and Workshops are OPEN for Registration:
Substance Use and You
Wednesdays (from 5-6 pm)
This group is designed for Penn students who are reassessing their relationship with substance use. This is a confidential group, not an AA group or a 12-step group. Students with a willingness to examine what is happening around their use of substances are welcome. There is no requirement of abstinence (though some attendees may choose that), nor is there a requirement of regular weekly attendance, although that is a good way to get the most out of the group experience. Students may join at any point in the semester. A brief screening meeting is needed beforehand to ensure that students are matched appropriately to the group.
Learn about Wellness at Penn's SUPER Program (Substance Use, Prevention, Education, and Recovery).
International Student Empowerment Group
November 30 (from 3-4:15 pm)
This group aims to provide members of the international student community with a safe space to build meaningful connections and share useful information and resources. It is open to all graduate, undergraduate and professional students.
For additional information, questions, or assistance with registration please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandarin Community Support Group 中文社群互助小组
Tuesdays, November 21 and 28 (from 3:30 - 4:45 PM)
This Mandarin-speaking group aims to provide members of the Mandarin community with a safe space to build meaningful connections and share useful information and resources. It is open to all graduate, undergraduate, and professional students who speak Mandarin.
Register for this group by email: Jojo Yao (email@example.com)
Gender Expansive Group
Tuesday, November 21 (from 3 - 4pm) Community Room D
This group aims to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and supportive space for students seeking to explore identity and/or lived experiences. Together we will process topics related to gender identity, sexuality, intersectional identities, relationships, academics, family of origin, and resilience and joy. This group is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This is an open group that meets in-person. New members may be added anytime after the group starts after completing a screening with Kaden or Laura.
First-Generation Professional/Graduate Student Process Group
Wednesday, November 22 (from 3 - 4pm) Community Room A
This group focuses on building a supportive, process-oriented space around shared experiences. First generation professionals may be described (not exclusively) as someone from a working-class background who is the first in their family to obtain a graduate/professional degree. Topics that may be explored include navigating workplace relationships, culture, and resiliency. This group is open to graduate and professional students. This is a closed group that meets in-person. New members will not be added after the group begins. Please e-mail Kaden to schedule a brief screening.
Grief Support Group
Fridays, November 17; December 1, 8, 15 (from 1 - 2:30 pm)
This group aims to create a safe space for students to share feelings and experiences associated with grief and bereavement as well as to receive support. The group is open to all graduate, professional, and undergraduate students who are grieving the death of a significant person or significant people in their lives. The group will provide support, grounding, and activities to help guide participants through their grief process. Please note that this is a closed group, so no new members will be added after the group starts, and students must complete a pre-group screening with the facilitators before joining. We also highly recommend that clients are in individual therapy either at SHaC or in the community.
Empowerment in Relationships Group
Wednesdays, November 29; December 6, 13 (from 4 - 5pm)
This group is focused on educating and offering a safe space to explore romantic relationship dynamics, specifically unhealthy romantic relationships. Unhealthy relationships can be defined in many ways. This group is open to any individual who has experienced any level of unhealthy romantic relationship dynamics, whether that be psychological, emotional, and/or physical. The purpose of the group is to provide a space where individuals can gain social support, strengthen coping skills, and gain a better understanding and awareness of unhealthy and healthy relationships. The group is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies students. The group will be offered in the Fall and the Spring. The Fall semester group will be psychoeducational, focusing on specific weekly topics such as Stages of Change and understanding types of unhealthy relationship dynamics. The Spring semester will be a process group to explore feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a less structured way. Individuals are welcome to come to the group for either both or one of the semesters.
Support Group for Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault
Thursdays from 3 - 4:30 pm in the Spring Semester (Start date TBA)
This group is open to Penn graduate and undergraduate students who have experienced sexual assault in adolescence and/or adulthood. The group will aim to offer support, collective empowerment, and psychoeducation and participants will choose weekly topics related to healing, reestablishing safety, coping, and self-care. Bramble and Julia will meet with all interested members for a brief screening. Please email them to schedule a screening or learn more about the group. This is a closed group that meets in-person, new members will not be added after the group begins.
The following Groups and Workshops are CLOSED for Registration:
SPRING 2024 DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Mindfulness is a practice to assist in reducing stress, bringing an open-hearted awareness to life.
Research studies show that mindfulness can foster resilience in the face of life challenges. In this introductory workshop series, students will have an opportunity to practice mindfulness and apply this practice in daily life. We encourage participation in all four sessions. Register here. Visit our events page to learn more.
SPRING 2024 DATES TO BE ANNOUNCE
The EVERYbody project is a two-part workshop series focused on creating an inclusive space to have diverse body image conversations. Participants will explore societal pressures surrounding body image and gender and how they affect us. Participants will examine current ideals and challenge them through various exercises to foster positive attitudes about body image, dieting, and appearance. Attendance and participation are encouraged for both sessions.