The Group Counseling program at Counseling & Psychological Services includes offerings that can help students learn skills, manage distress, and/or build community. The three categories of groups are listed below. Some things to keep in mind:

  • There is no additional cost for groups. CAPS services are covered by your student fees!
  • Some groups require a different level of commitment ranging from drop-in once to quarter-long. 
  • Some groups require a pre-screen to ensure that the group is a good fit for your needs.
  • If you are currently located outside of California, your ability to attend may depend on your specific location. 
  • Some group descriptions fit more than one category so they are listed multiple times. 

Please read through the information for the group(s) you are interested in. If you have any questions, please contact CAPS at (805) 893-4411.

 


Psychoeducation & Skills Groups

These groups focus on teaching content and skills that can help students manage mental health concerns. 


Community Groups

Identity-specific groups offer individuals with shared visible and invisible or hidden identities a space to process current issues, provide support to one another, and build community. 


Interpersonal Process Groups

These groups offer students an opportunity to process concerns and seek support from peers, as well as a chance to practice social skill building and connecting with others. 

 

Glossary of Group Counseling terms:

Drop-in - student can choose to attend just one session or multiple. No expectation of attendance. May still require an initial registration to get Zoom link access
Series - while not a "process group," information being shared builds on itself and it is beneficial to be able to attend all sessions
Pre-screen - a short (typically 15-30 minute) appointment with the group leader(s) to ensure that the group you are interested in is a good fit for your needs. These can be scheduled by calling (805) 893-4411 or by submitting a Services Request Form
Google request form - each group has a link to a Google Form for registration. This helps keep track of interest and group leaders can reach out with Zoom links and group updates. These will not prompt a pre-screen appointment - those need to be scheduled separately
[CLOSED] - this denotes when a group is full, and signups are closed for the quarter. Usually the group will open signups again near the beginning of the next quarter.
[WAITLIST] - this denotes when a group is full, and students are welcome to signup to be put on a waitlist. 


Psychoeducation & Skills Groups

These groups focus on teaching content and skills that can help students manage mental health concerns. 

(GENERAL groups are followed by a subsection of MINDFULNESS groups)

Date/Time: Every other Wednesday  [4/13, 4/27, 5/11, 5/25], 2:30-4pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Ashley Gilmore, LMFT, Jennifer Taylor, LMFT (ADP) 
This 90 minute didactic group that helps students adopt coping skills in the areas of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. A significant focus of this group is psycho-education of emotions and DBT skills training, with mindfulness interwoven in each workshop. The goal of this group is to help students expand their repertoire of emotional management strategies while learning to effectively implement these tools in their lives. Students also have the opportunity to connect with and support their peers as they learn with and from each other. Helpful for a range of issues: Depression, anxiety, stress, mood instability, irritability, feelings of emptiness, identity issues, anger issues, intense or chaotic relationships, impulsivity, substance use concerns, eating disorders, suicidal and self-harming behavior. Optional Skills practice training to be held on alternating Wednesdays.

Click here to submit interest for Spring 2022

Date/Time: Tuesdays [4/5-5/24], 3-4:30pm 
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Justin Sundgot-Smith, MA, MFT (ADP) & Himadhari Sharma, M.A.
Throughout this four week group participants will learn about and reflect on the various ways in which our devices, such as: smart phones, computers, televisions and video game consoles,  impact us and the world we live in. Group members will gain concrete skills to learn to moderate or make changes as desired to screen use. Particular emphasis will be given to examining intrapersonal relationships and how we develop, maintain and navigate these, both on and off screen. 
* Those struggling with use of pornographic material or an elevated level of gaming will likely necessitate an outside referral.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Mondays, 1:30-2:30pm [4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23]
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leader: Jocelyn Levitan, Ph.D. 
This workshop is designed for students with ADHD-related difficulties to learn strategies for academic and personal success. These workshops offer a supportive, collaborative environment where students are encouraged to share experiences and practice new skills. Topics include: Understanding Strengths and Weakness of an ADHD Brain, Goal Setting, Time Management, Procrastination, Motivation, Building Attention Span, Adaptive Thinking, Coping Skills, Accommodations, and Self-Advocacy. Special consideration will be taken to unique challenges for working at home and during quarantine.
*While students are encouraged to attend every session, drop-ins are welcome.*
*You do not need to have an ADHD diagnosis to attend this workshop.*

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leader: Steffanie Tinsely, Ph.D. & Haley Meskunas, Ph.D. 
This 7-week semi-structured group is for survivors of Interpersonal Violence (sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, child abuse) who would like to gain an understanding of how trauma continues to affect them and connect with others who have been through similar traumatic experiences. Group members will not be prompted to share their trauma story, as this group will focus more on the different ways in which traumatic experiences have impacted them, discuss coping skills and ways to manage trauma symptoms, and provide a safe space for members to feel less isolated/alone and more empowered to take charge of their own healing process. This group will heavily emphasize safety, self-compassion, and support, and is open to students of all genders and identities. 

Click here to submit interest 

Date/Time: Thursdays, 1-2pm [4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12]
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leader: Janel Davis, Ph.D.
In this 6-week group, students will learn about stress, how stress impacts the body, and the consequences of unmanaged stress. Group members will increase their awareness of personal stressors and learn specific skills to help them cope. The following skills will be discussed: diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, guided imagery, and autogenics. There will be an opportunity to practice each new skill through participation in guided exercises. Group members will also receive resources to support their ongoing practice of stress management skills. 

Click here to submit interest


Psychoeducation & Skills groups focused on Mindfulness

 

Date/Time: Mondays (starting week 7 - 5/9, 5/16, & 5/23), 1:15-2:45pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Himadhari Sharma, M.A. (ADP)
Take a break and come to explore balance and what it means for you. This 3-week group is to create a supportive environment to discuss how to develop and find balance. Topics will include mindfulness, self-compassion, digital wellbeing/hygiene, and developing the relationship you want with alcohol and substances. In this space, we will provide some psychoeducation, while focusing on support and opportunities for self-exploration. This group will meet weekly on Mondays, weeks 7, 8, and 9. We ask that you commit to attending all meetings to get the most out of this space.

If you are interested in joining or getting more information, please email adp@sa.ucsb.edu 

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Jessica Cooper, Psy.D. 
Group members will gain a foundation in mindfulness, compassion and nature connection practices through guided meditations and group discussion. Additionally, members will receive resources to learn how to integrate mindfulness practices into daily life and to cope with stress non-judgmentally, with increased self-compassion.
 

Date/Time: Mondays, 3-3:50pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: In person, under the fig tree next to the Lagoon (Formally known as the Faculty Lawn)
Co-Leaders: Mahip Rathore, M.A.
This is an in-person meditation workshop that will be offered for 3 weeks at 3 PM on Mondays; April 11, 18, and 25 during the Spring quarter. You can register in advance or drop in on the site to join us. Bring your own yoga mat or towel to sit. Group structure: Sitting meditation, walking meditation, followed by Q&A.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 2-3pm 
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Main CAPS Building
Co-Leaders: Badia Siddiqi, LMFT
Join me in-person at the CAPS building for a drop-in, beginner friendly yoga class. This class is designed to help students relieve stress, learn some calming techniques, deepen their connection with self, and learn more about yoga! Each week we will reflect on a different theme. We will practice a combination of chair yoga and standing yoga poses with a guided meditation at the end and some time for journaling. Bring a yoga mat or towel or blanket, some water, a journal and something to write with.

Click here to submit interest
Click here to fill out the required waiver


Community Groups

Identity-specific groups offer individuals with shared visible and invisible or hidden identities a space to process current issues, provide support to one another, and build community. 

Date/Time: Wednesday, date & time TBD
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Meridith Merchant, Ph.D, & Kareen Louis, M.Ed. (OBSD)
A Tribe Called Sis is a Sister Circle that provides a space for all Black women at UCSB to experience healing, give and receive support to one another, and explore issues unique to the experience of Black women.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 6-7:30pm [4/18 & 5/26]
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Mario Barfield, Psy.D. & Luther Richmond (EOP)
Black Men’s Barbershop Talk Series is a drop-in support space open to all Black, male-identified students. Through engagement in meaningful dialogue,  Black men at UCSB will have an opportunity to build a healthy/sustainable community in a manner that increases their capacity for: supporting, challenging, and celebrating each other; displaying authentic emotional expression; exploring issues central to Black masculinity; and promoting inclusive and affirming connections with Black women, LGBTQ+ community, staff, faculty, and community members.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Mondays, Dates TBD,  3:00-4:30pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Mario Barfield, Ph.D., Meridith Merchant, Ph.D 
Join in a discussion of the unique challenges commonly experienced as a graduate student of African Heritage. Relieve stress. Be empowered. Be encouraged. Celebrate successes. Share ideas for maintaining a work-life-school-home balance.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 3:00-4:00pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Jessica Adams, Ph.D. 
This is an online support group for undocumented students where we will foster social connection, talk about the psychological impact of oppression, explore using 'culture' as a resource, identify steps to suppport healing from racial and intergenerational trauma, learn new skills to manage stress, and build agency and empowerment. Please sign up if interested or if you have questions and would like to be contacted. Students welcome at any point in the quarter.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Fridays, 10:30-11:30am
Location: TBD
Leaders: Whitney Bruice, MFT (ADP)
Join our 7-week free, confidential process group for students who have family members or loved ones struggling with substance use issues or other related mental health concerns. This group will be virtual. To attend and get the Zoom meeting information, please contact Whitney Bruice, MFT, Alcohol and Drug Program Behavioral Health Therapist, for a brief phone or Zoom telehealth meeting to be sure this group will meet your needs: whitneyb@ucsb.edu or 805-893-4978

Date/Time: Wednesdays 4:00-5:00pm, starting on 4/6
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Meridith Merchant, Ph.D. 
Zoom link will be sent after signing up
Join with other students who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Receive support as you hear others talk about similar experiences.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Mondays, 3:30-4:45pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Darren Del Castillo, Ph.D. & Lily Clark, M.Ed.
Designed for graduate students who want to explore ways to address feelings of isolation in the context of COVID-19 related concerns, build intimacy in interpersonal relationships, work on the interpersonal aspects of anxiety and depression, resolve problems and conflicts, and become more aware of their actions and communication styles.
 

Date/Time: Fridays, 2:30-4pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Sochanvimean Vannavuth, Ph.D. & Yuanhong Huang, Ph.D.
HAPI is an informal zoom-based support and discussion space of South Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian, Pacific Islander, multi/bi-cultural and multi/bi-racial identified students at UCSB. We hope to use this space to build a sense of community and provide a safe space to share our experiences, connect with others, and support each other as we adjust to remote learning/living and our new normals.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Wednesday, 1-2:30pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Victoria Gonzalez, Ph.D. 
Zoom link will be sent after signing up
This group will focus on creating connections; where Latinas can feel respected, validated, and affirmed. The aim is to help students find relief, gain awareness, and helpful coping strategies for managing the psychological impacts of oppression.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 1-2pm 
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom (Zoom link will be sent after signing up)
Leaders: Gianna Galindo, Ph.D.
This support space is for LGBTQIA+ graduate students who want to explore their sense of self, receive and provide support, build resilience and community, and address the impact of oppressive systems.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Fridays, 2-3:30pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Yueh-Ching Hsu, Ph.D. & Mahip Rathore, M.A.
This group is designed to provide a safe and confidential space for international students to receive and provide support through exploring and navigating cultural differences, making connections with each other, and sharing available resources to promote success at UCSB. This is also a space to affirm your strengths as international students.

Click here to submit interest 

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 3-4:15pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Xin Sui, Psy.D. & Cristina Carney (OISS)
This weekly social circle provides a casual and safe space for international students to connect and support one another. International students will have the opportunity to discuss ( or vent) about their daily challenges (e.g. belonging, home-sickness, academic difficulty, challenges related to visa, financial stress, fitting-in) and so much more. This is also a space for students to recognize their strengths and receive guidance and resources from other participants and co-leaders. Zoom link will be sent after signing up.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 1:00-2:45pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Seth Goradietsky, Psy.D.
This group is designed to provide a supportive and safe environment for male students who have experienced an abusive relationship or sexual assault. Men of all sexual orientations and genders within this spectrum are welcome including Gay, Queer, Bi, and Transgender. This group will provide participants the opportunity to share experiences, connect with other men, and receive support in regaining a greater sense of control and empowerment in their lives. Participants in this group can expect to achieve a greater understanding of common reactions to assault and the ways in which it can impact life and develop skills for improved coping which may lead them to enter safer, more satisfying relationships.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 2-3:30pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Carla Corral, Ph.D., Ozzie Espinoza, M.A. 
This weekly dialogue provides a safe space for ChicanX/LatinX identified students to support each other and recognize their strengths. This group will explore the role that cultural heritage plays in psychological and academic wellbeing. ChicanX/LatinX students will have the opportunity to talk about culture and diversity, family, identity, belonging, financial literacy, healthy relationships, navigating the university, our current socio-political environment, the impact of Covid-19, and what it means to be a ChicanX/LatinX college student.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 2:30-4pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Iris Melo, Psy.D.
This supportive space is intended for women of color graduate students to process the unique challenges they may face in daily interactions, work, academia, and society on and off campus. Students will have the opportunity to share experiences, gain support, and empower one another.  

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Wednesdays (starting 2/2/22) , 5-6pm
Prescreen required: No
Drop-in: Yes
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Dominique Broussard, Ph.D. & Janel Davis, Ph.D. 
Sister Circle is a weekly drop-in support space for Black women. This is a discussion-based group to receive support and feedback from similarly identified women within a safe and nurturing environment.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 3:30-5:00pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Dana Campagna, PhD (he, him, his)
This is a weekly group for trans, non-binary, gender fluid and gender-questioning students to receive and provide support for each other, and to explore issues related to transitioning, misgendering, bodies, dysphorias, relationships, families, systems, medical care, transnegativity, internalized transnegativity, and any other life topics in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. This will be a closed group each quarter but new members will be considered; please contact CAPS or the group leader for pre-screen meetings and zoom link. Open to all undergraduate and graduate students.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Thursdays, 2-3:15pm
Prescreen required: Yes, if not known to group leader
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Janet Osimo, Psy.D. 
This is an online group for the LGBTQ community to address concerns, challenges and triumphs. This is a safe space to check in with others about their experiences, explore your identity, whether you are questioning or clear about your identity, thinking about coming out, or want support in general.  Connect with others in the community. All topics are on the table. This group is for both undergraduate and graduate students.  Pre-screen required. 

Click here to submit interest


Interpersonal Process Groups

These groups offer students an opportunity to process concerns and seek support from peers, as well as a chance to practice social skill building and connecting with others. 

(GENERAL groups are followed by a subsection of INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE/TRAUMA groups)

Date/Time: Mondays, 3:30-4:45pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leaders: Darren Del Castillo, Ph.D. & Lily Clark, M.Ed.
Designed for graduate students who want to explore ways to address feelings of isolation in the context of COVID-19 related concerns, build intimacy in interpersonal relationships, work on the interpersonal aspects of anxiety and depression, resolve problems and conflicts, and become more aware of their actions and communication styles.
 

Date/Time: Thursday, 2-3:30pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Robbie Culp, Psy.D., & Betsey Malear, R.D. (SHS)
This group is designed to help members better understand disordered eating habits, process weight and shape concerns, work on managing situational triggers and how these impact their sense of self and relationships with others.

Click here to submit interest

Date/Time: Tuesdays, 3-4:30pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Leader: Robbie Culp, Psy.D. & Katie Kirkinis, Ed.M., M.A.
This is an undergraduate process-oriented group helping members with interpersonal skills, increased expression of emotion, understanding social dynamics, gaining increased self-confidence, and a greater awareness of one’s self including culture and identity.

Click here to submit interest

Interpersonal/Process groups focused on Trauma

Date/Time: Thursdays, 1:30-3pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: 
Kali Lantrip, Ph.D., & Haley Meskunas, Ph.D. 
This group is for survivors of Interpersonal Violence (sexual assault, dating/relational violence, child abuse, and/or experiences of stalking) who want to to gain support and build community with other survivors. Members will share, connect, and learn from each other in their healing journeys - in a safe, facilitated space. This group is open to all genders and identities and will include discussion of how parts of our identities and our lived experiences contribute to how we experience trauma, find meaning, and heal.

Click here to submit interest for Fall 2022

Date/Time: Thursdays, 1:00-2:45pm
Prescreen required: Yes
Drop-in: No
Location: Zoom
Co-Leaders: Seth Goradietsky, Psy.D.
This group is designed to provide a supportive and safe environment for male students who have experienced an abusive relationship or sexual assault. Men of all sexual orientations and genders within this spectrum are welcome including Gay, Queer, Bi, and Transgender. This group will provide participants the opportunity to share experiences, connect with other men, and receive support in regaining a greater sense of control and empowerment in their lives. Participants in this group can expect to achieve a greater understanding of common reactions to assault and the ways in which it can impact life and develop skills for improved coping which may lead them to enter safer, more satisfying relationships.

Click here to submit interest