Group Counseling

row of legs sitting together, inferring a group counseling session

Many students benefit from counseling in a group format where common concerns can be explored. UHS group counseling sessions are free and do not require health insurance.

An Intro to Group Counseling

Free Group Counseling Available to UC Berkeley Students!

Updated 1/26/23

Mondays

Graduate Men’s Support*

Mondays, 1:30 - 3:00 pm (Feb 6 - May 8); Virtual

Facilitated by Richard Chiovarelli, PsyD.

This weekly support group is offered for students who self-identify as male grad students who wish to come together to discuss the challenges of being a grad student, ways to deal with the hurdles & hassles of school, find ways to connect with others, discuss relationship issues, and consider ways to manage stress & live a balanced life as a Berkeley student. 

Starting a New Medication for Anxiety or Depression*

Monthly: Every First Monday, 2:00-2:40 pm (Jan 23 - May 1); Virtual 

Facilitated by Raghav Suri, PsyD

This single session psycho-educational group covers the basic facts of common anxiety and depression medications, and factors that increase the likelihood of effectiveness. The group discusses tips and tricks for effective communication with your prescriber for ongoing medication management.

Worry, Stress, and Your Health*

Monthly: Every Second Monday, 2:00 - 2:40 pm (Jan 23 - May 1); Virtual 

Facilitated by Raghav Suri, PsyD

This single session group is focused on increasing your understanding of (1) the body's physical sensations and responses, (2) the different ways that persistent worry about our health may impact our stress response and behaviors, and (3) strategies for coping with thoughts, behaviors, and emotions related to health, pain, and physiological sensations.

Holistic Sleep Wellness: Behavioral Changes to Reduce Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties*

Monthly: Every Third Monday, 2:00 - 2:40 pm (Jan 23 - May 1); Virtual

Facilitated by Raghav Suri, PsyD

This single session psycho-educational group is based on the concept of holistic sleep wellness. It focuses on increasing your understanding of the mechanisms and habits that impact your sleep, in order to help you identify and experiment with behaviors that can improve your sleep and work for you, your body, and your life.

Graduate Women's Support

Mondays, 5:00 - 6:30 pm (Jan 30 - May 22); Virtual

Facilitated by Linda Zaruba, PhD.

This support group is offered for students who self-identify as female graduate students who wish to come together to share the challenges and struggles of being a grad student, discuss ways to balance school & personal life, discuss relationships with advisors and peers, increase self-confidence, and develop relationships with other women in grad school.

Tuesdays

Survivor Support Group

Tuesdays, 1:15 - 2:45 pm (Feb 7 - Apr 18), Virtual

Facilitated by Tiffany Lin, LCSW and KG Gerich, MSW

This group provides a supportive environment for survivors of sexual assault to gather together and build community. Participants will learn to better understand their present lives in the context of their experiences while learning and practicing skills in grounding and mindfulness. Join this support group of survivors to reclaim a sense of personal power and well-being, as we know healing is amplified by connection. This group is open to survivors of all genders. This group requires a pre-group meeting with the group facilitator before joining. Please call Social Services at (510) 642-6074, to set up an intake with the group facilitator to get started.

Alcohol and Other Drug - Harm Reduction Group 

Tuesdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm; Virtual

Facilitated by Justin Castello, PhD

This weekly group acknowledges that different goals work for different people. With the support of the group, you can work on finding the right balance for yourself, in order to get what you want from your substance use choices, without the things you don’t want. Please call Social Services at (510) 642-6074, to set up an intake with the group facilitator to get started.

​​BIMOC Black, Indigenous, Men of Color Healing Circle 

Tuesdays, 3:15 - 4:45 pm (Feb 7 - May 2); Virtual

Facilitated by Adisa Anderson, PhD

This healing circle is offered for self-identified Black, Indigenous, Men of Color who want to build community through shared solidarity, discuss ways to be rooted in resilience, and explore ways to be centered in mind, body, and spirit. We discuss the complexities of navigating life at UC Berkeley including our intersecting identities, microaggressions and “isms”, academics, career, family, relationships, and maintaining holistic well-being. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

Black Womxn's Sister Circle*

Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 pm ; Anna Head 213 

Facilitated by Jaiza Jones, LCSW

The weekly group is designed to provide a supportive space for undergraduate and graduate self-identified Black Womxn to explore the challenges of navigating life at UC Berkeley. It provides a weekly opportunity to engage in cultivating self-care and wellness practices, to build meaningful connections, and create a mutually supportive and inclusive community. All Black students "who experience life through the lens of womxn in body, spirit, identity--past, present, future, and fluid" (GenEq) are welcome. 

Healing Through Grief and Loss

Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm (Feb 28 - May 2); Anna Head 210 

Facilitated by Nancy Tavolacci-Arista, LCSW

In this 8-week process group, we will explore some of the teachings of grief, share how we maintain a relational connection to our ancestors and loved ones beyond death, and support one another in coping with the strong emotions that accompany us on our healing journey. This is for UC Berkeley students only who have experienced a loss 3 months ago or more. For more recent losses, please call and make an appointment with a counselor for individual support - (510) 642-9494. To sign up for this group, please call (510) 642-9494, and speak with a counselor directly. Nancy will reach out to you directly for a brief pre-group meeting. 

Mindfulness Meditation Drop-In Group

Tuesday, 4:15 - 5:00 pm (Feb 7 - Apr 25); Virtual

Facilitated by Kin-Ming Chan, PhD

Meditation has a lot of health benefits; such as reducing stress, improving relaxation, enhancing sense of well-being and alleviating health symptoms. This drop-in group is set up for students who want to try meditation and explore some techniques to do it. There is no need for commitment to come to all sessions.  Students who had experiences doing meditation are also welcome to join to meditate together as well.

LGBTQIA+ Support Group*

Tuesday, 3:30 - 5:00 pm, (Feb 21 - May 2); Virtual 

Facilitated Denise Goitia, LCSW and Kehan Shen, MS

This is a virtual group for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, as well as those who are questioning and exploring. Join us in co-creating a supportive and affirming space to explore themes that promote wellness and connection. Topics will include, but are not limited to: coming out, identity development, family of origin, chosen family, relationships, dating, healthcare, intersectional and multicultural identities, living out on campus, building communities of support, non-monogamy, and stress management.

This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with a group facilitator before joining. We accept new group members on an ongoing basis, and students may join after the start date. If interested, email dgoitia@berkeley.edu or call us at (510) 642-9494.


Wednesdays

Wellness in Action Drop-In

Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:00pm; (Mar 1  - Mar 22); Virtual

Facilitated by Tegan Adams, PsyD and Brad Cameron

These 4-week skill building groups are for students experiencing stress, mild to moderate anxiety, panic, and depression. Participants will learn mental health and general wellness strategies to build personal awareness, develop coping strategies, and integrate wellness techniques into their daily routines. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in discussion, as well as to give and receive support. Topics include: self-care (e.g.: sleep, exercise, nutrition), thinking patterns and mood, mindfulness, resilience, and fostering positive connections.

Understanding Self & Others

Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 pm; (Mar 1 - May 3); Virtual 

Facilitated by Tegan Adam, PsyD and Sheela Vashishtha, LCSW

This 10-week therapy group is designed to foster greater self-awareness and more satisfying relationships by exploring how your background and upbringing affect your relationships, becoming more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and exploring your “here-and-now” feelings with other group members.  This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

Asian & Asian American Womxn's Support Group

Wednesdays, 4:30 - 6:00 pm (Feb 15 - Apr 26); Virtual

Facilitated by Angelica Yi, MSW

This group is for students who identify as womxn of any Asian or Asian-American background. We'll co-create a supportive space to share experiences related to intersectional identities, navigating Asian & American values, racism-related trauma, school stress, family & relationship issues, and other topics of interest. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining. All Asian and Asian American students ""who experience life through the lens of womxn in body, spirit, identity--past, present, future, and fluid are welcome"" (GenEq), including those who identify as woman, womxn, femme, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, etc.

Heartspeak: Undocumented Student Program (USP) Support Group

Wednesday, 4:15 - 5:30 pm (Feb 8 - May 10); Chavez 180

Facilitated by Diana Peña, PhD

This weekly support space for undocumented students at Cal will center social connection as a foundation for wellness, racial-trauma healing, and resilience.  This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.  You may directly schedule your pre-screen appointment online via: wejoinin.com/USPmentalhealth.


Thursdays

Gender Support Group

Thursday, 2:15 - 3:30 pm; (Feb 9 - May 4); Virtual

Facilitated by Hez Wollin, LCSW and Mar Chung, PhD

This group is for transgender, nonbinary, gender expansive, agender, gender diverse, genderqueer, gender nonconforming students to come together in a safe, collaborative, nonjudgemental space. Together we will discuss a variety of topics related to being on the gender spectrum including gender identity, intersectional identities, different aspects of transition, coming out and being out at Cal, navigating family of origin considerations, community resources, academic stress, relationships, sexuality, and resilience and joy.  Group requires a pre-group meeting with facilitators before joining. 

Pathways to Health and Healing

Thursday, 2:30 - 4:00 pm (Feb 2 - Mar 2); Virtual

Facilitated by Erin O'Connor, LCSW and Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

This virtual weekly group will take place across five sessions and is intended for Cal students who navigate the impacts of physical injuries and/or newly diagnosed or chronic health conditions. Welcoming of all social and cultural identities, the space aims to build a student-centered community for coping and thriving. Themes may include mind-body stress management, chronic illness and relationships, health and identity, and navigating systems (healthcare, DSP). Members will have an opportunity to reflect on lived experiences and exchange and co-create strategies that promote healing in their daily lives. If interested, please contact Social Services at (510) 642-6074 to connect with a group facilitator.

Building Healthy Relationships

Thursday, 3:30 - 5:00pm; (Mar 2  - Apr 13); 3220 Tang Center

Facilitated by Emily El-Oqlah, PhD and Karen Lee Tsugawa, LMFT

This 6-week group is designed to help students build skills to develop healthy relationships with others, from potential romantic partners to platonic relationships with friends. Topics include recognizing our relational patterns, values, boundaries, and communication styles. We will also discuss how our cultural and familial backgrounds influence our relationships with others. The group is open to undergraduates and graduates. 

To sign up for this group, please call (510) 642-9494, speak with a counselor directly, or register yourself at bit.ly/uhsgroups. Emily or Karen will reach out to you directly for a brief pre-group meeting.

Asian American Community. Voice.*

Thursdays, 4:15 - 5:45 pm; Bi-Weekly (Sep 15 - Dec 1);  242 César Chavez Student Center  

Facilitated by Junichi Shiamoka, PsyD and/or Jeff Lee, LCSW

We are a support and conversation space for Asian/Asian American (South Asian, Southeast Asian, Pilipinx, East Asian) and multi-racial/ethnic students.  It's a drop-in, informal support space, where we discuss topics relevant to our communities, including but not limited to taking care of ourselves and our community; exploring intersecting identities; navigating stressors like family expectations, xenophobia, and racial injustice; and celebrating the diversity among Asian communities, and more. Come for the topics you are interested in, or join regularly for our conversation. Find the calendar of "suggested topics" here: bit.ly/2Rkq4XX.


Fridays

From Self-Criticism to Kindness

Friday, 10:15 - 11:45 am; (Feb 3 - Mar 10); Virtual

Facilitated by Amy Honigman, PhD

This group will provide a space for students to learn skills for building self-compassion and kindness, as well as opportunities to offer support to one another. Topics will include: fostering an attitude of kindness towards self & others, building self-esteem through self-acceptance, and using mindfulness/mediation to facilitate resilience, motivation & self-confidence.

Alcohol and Other Drug - Harm Reduction Group 

Friday, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Facilitated by Robin Walley, LCSW and and Jennifer Tai, MSW

This weekly group acknowledges that different goals work for different people. With the support of the group, you can work on finding the right balance for yourself, in order to get what you want from your substance use choices, without the things you don’t want. 

Please call Social Services at (510) 642-6074, to set up an intake with the group facilitator to get started.

Wellness in Action Drop-In

Fridays, 3:00 - 4:00 pm; (Feb 17- Mar 10); Virtual

Facilitated by Claytie Davis, III, PhD and Norian Caporale-Berkowitz, MA

These 4-week skill-building groups are for students experiencing stress, mild to moderate anxiety, panic, and depression. Participants will learn mental health and general wellness strategies to build personal awareness, develop coping strategies, and integrate wellness techniques into their daily routines. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in discussion, as well as to give and receive support. Topics include: self-care (e.g.: sleep, exercise, nutrition), thinking patterns and mood, mindfulness, resilience, and fostering positive connections.

How to Get Started 


Option 1: Self Referral

Register on this EmailMe Form to get started!  Once you complete the brief form, the group facilitator will be in touch with you via your eTang portal to help you get started.  You can also sign up for any group via the eTang portal

Option 2: Referral from a UHS Provider 

Some groups require a referral from a UHS clinician.  To get a referral, contact your UHS provider or call (510) 642-9494 to get started.  

Group Feedback


Did you recently attend a group facilitated by one of our counselors? Share your thoughts! Complete this brief survey and give us your feedback.

What is Group Counseling and Why Join?

Group counseling is a powerful and effective way for students to share, give and receive support, learn and heal.  Many students can benefit from counseling in a group format. 

Group works! In studies comparing group psychotherapy to individual therapy, group therapy has been shown to be as effective and sometimes even more effective than individual counseling. 

Group counseling offers the opportunity for students to learn new skills, to share concerns as well as inherent wisdom in a facilitated environment with other students. Some counseling groups are focused on common concerns, such as stress, anxiety and depression, relationships or emotion management struggles. Other groups offer an opportunity for students with a shared identity to gather and connect in community.  

What are the groups?

Our mission is to empower students through accessible, culturally affirming group therapy, psycho-educational skills, and strengths-based1 support groups that promote greater levels of personal health and collective well-being for the entire UC Berkeley community.  This program strives to prioritize our shared humanity, collaborative care, and technological advances as tools for supporting a healthy campus culture.

1Strengths-Based Models in Social Work; McCashen, Wayne (2005)

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