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Group Therapy

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a powerful treatment modality. The power of the group lies in the support and feedback given by other group members as well as by the therapists. Groups generally consist of between five and eleven members, and are led by one or two therapists. While joining a group can feel intimidating, many mental health professionals believe group treatment offers advantages that cannot be found in individual counseling or therapy. Students are never coerced to speak about any issues they wish to remain private. There are no limits to the number of group therapy sessions a student can attend.

What types of groups are offered?

We offer a variety of groups focusing on different topics. Spring 2021 semester groups are shown below. New groups are often developed as needed. Please call the UCC at (615) 322-2571 to suggest additional topics.

Do I need a referral to join group therapy?

Most groups require referrals by the Office of Student Care Coordination and/or your individual UCC provider. However, some groups are available to drop-in clients and no referral is necessary. The drop-in groups are identified below.


Groups – Spring 2021

Continuum: LGBTQI+ Support Group | Drop-in/open group
Thursday 4PM – 5:30PM

Continuum is a group for students wishing to give and receive support around sexual identity and/or gender identity.  Individuals interested in this group may identify as LGBTQI, or may choose not to subscribe to any particular label or category. Continuum provides a safe, confidential, and affirming environment to discuss identity, community, self-esteem, intimate relationships, family & friendships, and other issues of relevance. The group is also open to other topics, such as depression and anxiety that may not be related to one’s sexual identity or gender identity. This group is for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

If interested, please contact Kyle Shadrick at

DBT Group: Building your best life
wednesday 3PM – 4:30 PM (beginning February 10th)

Emotional crises don’t come with instruction manuals, but if they did, it would be a list of distress tolerance skills. The distress tolerance module will focus on skills that will help students navigate intense emotions that threaten to overwhelm. By learning these skills you will be able to survive intense emotions without making the situation worse, and start replacing less effective, and sometimes dangerous, behaviors that were once used to cope.

After the 10 weeks, you will have your own toolkit to pull from whenever you have difficult life circumstances. Open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

Please contact to schedule a brief informational meeting.

Graduate & Professional Process Group 
Wednesday 3PM – 4:30 PM

The Graduate Process Group is designed to provide a space for graduate students with a broad spectrum of mental health concerns. Group members will offer each other support and feedback in working toward change. Common concerns that may be addressed in this group include: navigating graduate programs and demands, interpersonal relationship difficulties, transiting from graduate school to the work environment, individuation, identity concerns, and work/life balance.

If interested, please contact ciera.v.scott@Vanderbilt.Edu 

QuaranTeam for Student-Athletes
Wednesday 3PM – 430PM (beginning January 27th)

Feeling isolated from your team? Trying to adjust to being a student-athlete? Feeling like you’re on the sidelines of your own life? Well the UCC is here to help. Join Courtney and Kayla for QuaranTeam group. This group is designed to provide an affirming space to student-athletes navigating quarantine; to increase accessibility to mental health services during the global pandemic; to hone coping skills; to facilitate community amongst students navigating potential feelings of isolation, grief, motivation; and to foster feelings of resiliency, self-care, and connection.
How to access: Zoom Meeting

ReCoup Group for Student-Athletes
Tuesday 2pm – 3:30pm (beginning February 2nd)

Sidelined from your sport due to injury or mental health recovery? The UCC is here to help! Join the Recoup Group for Athlete Recovery, where we provide a space for recovering student-athletes to gain validation of their experiences and a sense of community among other student-athletes. In Recoup Group, we also will discuss roadblocks to the recovery process, such as stigma and barriers to help-seeking, and we will explore methods of engaging in healthy coping as you continue on your road to recovery and greatness in all aspects of life.
How to access: Zoom Meeting

rooted in resilience
Wednesday 4PM – 5PM (beginning February 3rd)

Rooted in Resilience is a support group, designed for students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence. This could mean experiences of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, emotional abuse, stalking, harassment, and/or childhood abuse. This group is intended to provide a supportive environment for survivors. Time is spent listening, sharing experiences, sharing challenges associated with trauma, and gaining tools and knowledge as students work toward healing. Group is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This group is a collaboration between the University Counseling Center and the Project Safe Center.

If interested in this group, please email

Undergraduate Process Group
Tuesday 2pm – 3:30pm (beginning February 18th)

The Undergraduate Student Process Group is intended to provide a safe space for students to learn more effective interpersonal skills and ways of cultivating more trusting and supportive relationships with others. This group would be beneficial for students who would like to improve their social interactions with others. Goals may include learning to connect more openly and authentically with others, learning to be more vulnerable in relationships, learning how to give and receive honest interpersonal feedback, or learning to gain experience and comfort with verbalizing needs and feelings in relationships.

Students will be contacted to schedule a brief 30-min pre-group screening appointment with both facilitators:
Dr. Ruth Howard – ruth.howard@Vanderbilt.Edu
Justine Diener O’Leary, MA- justine.m.diener.oleary@Vanderbilt.Edu

Women’s Group 
Tuesday 3PM – 4:30 PM

The Women’s Group is a process group where participants explore their concerns about relationships, academic and work stress, problems with depression or anxiety, family, life transitions, and communication, among other concerns. This exploration enables participants to work on changing their thinking or behavior patterns in order to make their lives work better, enjoy their lives more fully, and achieve a sense of personal authenticity. In addition, the Women’s Group focuses on the ways in which women’s lives are impacted by societal gender stereotypes and the guilt and shame that can be experienced when we sense that we do not fit certain stereotypes.  An important aspect of this group is the chance to explore here-and-now relationships with the other women in the group, to see how others’ experiences are like your own, and to support and encourage positive change. This group is for graduate and professional students.

If interested, please contact