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Sometimes a problem is better addressed through group counseling than individual therapy. Talking to other students who have similar experiences provides support and perspective. A counseling group can be powerfully healing and for some students, one of the most rewarding experiences during their years at UVa.

CAPS will offer groups and workshops this year. All of these groups are confidential and free of charge to full-time UVa students. In order to join a group, students must first participate in a Brief Screening or Intake Assessment with a CAPS therapist. For more information about group therapy or to schedule an initial appointment at CAPS, please call 434-243-5150.

Academic Skills Workshop
Bipolar Disorder Support Group
Depression Support Group
Eating Disorder Recovery
First Year Transition Support Group
Graduate Student Support Group
Interpersonal Process Group: Understanding Self and Others
International Student Support Group
Intuitive Eating Group
Men's Gay/Bi and Questioning Support Group
Mindfulness Group
Students with Mentally Ill Parents Support Group
Sexual Assault Survivor Group
Transfer Student Support Group

This workshop is designed to help students learn strategies to approach academics in new and improved ways. The four week didactic workshop will focus on time management and study strategies. Students will gain the most from this workshop by attending all four sessions. The workshop will begin in early to mid-September. Note: Students should bring all class syllabuses to the workshop. No pre-group screening required.

Kate Gibson Psy.D. and Ann Jones, M.A.
Tuesdays 2:00 - 3:00 (runs 9/11 – 10/02)
Large Group Room

This on-going support group is open to those previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It will provide a safe and confidential setting where members can explore experiences of living with unstable and unpredictable mood states, changing energy levels and variable functioning. The group offers support and can assist members with coping skills pertaining to mood instability, medication issues, life planning and managing the complexities of relationships from a “bipolar perspective.” A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Lenny Carter, LPC and Kelley Midkiff, NP, CS
Fridays 1:00-2:30
Large Group Room

“Just know you are not alone.” The Depression Support Group provides an opportunity for members to share feelings and experiences regarding living with depression. It also provides an opportunity to learn skills to manage depression and to reduce risk for relapse. The group reminds members to recognize their strength and resilience, as well as remember that although depression can last long or reoccur, it is not a permanent way of living. A pre-group screening is required to join this group.

Baozhen Xie
Thursdays 3:00-4:30
Large Group Room

This group is designed for students who struggle with binge eating, purging, food restriction, body image concerns, and other related issues. The group focuses on understanding and managing emotions as well as issues that have a negative impact on your life and physical health. Stress, relationships, anxiety, self-esteem, self-expression and academic pressure are all possible topics for group. This is not a structured group, so does not assign topics but rather allows members to bring and discuss issues of importance related to the group foci. Weekly attendance is expected. A pre-group screening with the facilitators is required to join this group.

Deepti Athalye, Ph.D. and Earta Norwood, M.S.
Tuesdays 3:00-4:20
Large Group Room

This time-limited group is designed to provide support for first-year students concerned about adjusting and “settling in” at the university. Discussion issues will be determined by the group, but may include adjusting to college, how to access support and resources around grounds, coping with homesickness, roommate issues, transferring past experiences and skills to new situations, making friends, and getting involved in campus activities. Students will be able to share their struggles and to learn how others are making their way and finding their niche here at UVA. Weekly attendance is encouraged.

Kate Gibson, Psy.D.
Mondays 4:00-5:00
Large Group Room

This on-going group is open to graduate students and students of professional schools. Members will strive to provide a safe and confidential setting where the experiences of being a graduate/professional student can be freely discussed and support as well as coping strategies provided. A meeting with the group facilitator is required prior to joining the group.

Belinda Overstreet, Ph.D.
Fridays 2:30-4:00
Large Group Room

This interpersonal process group is for students who want to explore their own identity and self-worth, find new ways to connect and communicate with others, and also understand what may be getting in their way of achieving these goals. Students can use the interpersonal interaction of the group to learn about themselves, identify and expand their own interpersonal patterns, try new behaviors and clarify confusing feelings within a supportive and growth producing atmosphere. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Earta Norwood, M.S. and Jackie Woods, M.S.
Thursdays 2:30-4:00
Small Group Room

This is a weekly support group for international students to discuss common issues as they adjust to the culture in the U.S. and on UVa Grounds. International students often face multiple challenges, including language, communication, social, and academic stressors in a culturally new environment. This group is focused on:

  • Providing a safe and supportive place for connection
  • Discussing common issues during international students’ initial and on-going process of cross-cultural adaptation
  • Learning about resources and coping strategies
  • Discussing challenges and rewards associated with living, learning and working at UVA
  • Facilitating personal & cultural growth and academic success
This group is open to UVA undergraduate and graduate students as well as exchange students, postdoctoral researchers, medical residents and international scholars.
Boazhen Xie, Ph.D. and Adriana Vito
Fridays 1:30-2:30
ISO 208, Minor Hall

Do you spend too much time stressing about weight, workouts, and what you will-won’t-did-didn’t eat? This is NOT a weight loss program; rather, it is a group for those who are diet weary and ready for a different approach. Over the course of 8 weeks, we’ll practice skills to support intuitive eating, mindful movement, and body respect. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Melanie Brede, R.D., C.S.S.D. and Hillary Morin, M.Ed.
Time TBD

This is a support group for men who want to become more comfortable within themselves, and with their sexuality. Members of the group include those who are fully out to others, those who are out to only a few chosen people, and those who are only just coming out to themselves. The group provides a confidential and safe space in which gay, bisexual, and questioning men may pose questions regarding sexuality, and discuss issues related to societal and personal values, relationships, choices, self-esteem, and self-care. This is not thought of as a therapy group because we do not believe that homosexual or bisexual orientations are indicative of psychopathology. Instead, this group is designed to foster healthier adjustment and self-development in its participants by providing the opportunity to share, and reflect on their experiences, thoughts, and emotions in some depth in an atmosphere that is non-judgmental and supportive. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Michael Mason, LPC, Ph.D. and Jackie Woods, M.S.
Fridays 1:00-2:30
Small Group Room

Have you been curious about meditation? Wondered how this practice might help you quiet your mind and bring you more fully into the present moment? This 8-week skills group will provide an introduction to mindfulness, the foundation underlying ancient and modern meditative practices used to promote self-awareness, acceptance of emotions, and more flexible approaches to thinking and behaving. Students will learn different ways to engage in mindfulness (meditation, mindful eating, and mindful walking) and how to incorporate these practices into their busy lives. No previous experience is necessary, just a curious mind and an openness to learn. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Nicole Ruzek, Ph.D.
Mondays 10:30-12:00
Large Group Room

This support group will meet weekly and the group leader will provide topics as a springboard for discussion. Our goal is for the group to provide a supportive space for students as they cope with a mentally ill parent whose functioning is significantly impaired by a mood disorder, psychosis, or substance/alcohol abuse. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

Belinda Overstreet, Ph.D.
Tuesday afternoons
Small Group Room

Sexual assault is a traumatic event that impacts women physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. This confidential group will offer an opportunity to meet in a safe environment to support one another in the recovery process. Group members will learn new ways of dealing with issues such as social pressures, relationships while healing from the assault, academic impacts, and re-setting healthy boundaries. It will also address grief concerns that sometimes arise after an assault. This group will focus on the particular recovery needs of survivors of an assault that has occurred since becoming an adult (high school or later). Group size will be limited to 8 members. We will begin screening appointments for the group on September 4th, 2014.

Please contact Margaret Edwards, LPC, for an appointment to discuss whether this is the right group for you. She may be reached at 243-4611, or by email at This group is being offered jointly by The Women’s Center and CAPS and will be co-led by Margaret Edwards (trauma counselor at the UVA Women’s Center), and Tim Davis, Ph.D. (psychologist at CAPS).

Margaret Edwards, M.A. and Tim Davis, Ph.D.
Thursdays 3:30-5:00
Women’s Center

Come meet other UVA transfer students, enhance your student experience, get and give support, and learn about resources available at UVA. This can be an opportunity to feel more empowered and to feel a sense of community. You may also develop important life skills necessary for handling change and to easing transitions. This group is open to all transfer students and weekly attendance is encouraged. Group leaders may provide topics for discussion and/or members can bring and discuss issues of importance. Supportive topics include: navigating UVA, balancing academics and personal life, exploring and meeting financial needs, building a sense of connectedness, and pursuing ongoing learning opportunities. No pre-group screening required.

Karen Painter, LPC and Kate Gibson, Psy.D.
Wednesdays 12:30-1:30
Small Group Room

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