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.

Get connected quickly and join a CAPS group today! CAPS groups are free and do not require health insurance.

Fall 2021 Schedule

View the Fall 2021 Schedule Flyer >


Organized by start date:

8/30 - Starting a New Medication for Anxiety or Depression. Mondays, 1:45 - 2:30 pm (August 30 - December 6) Facilitated by Raghav Suri, PsyD. Description: 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.

8/31 - Worry, Stress, and Your Health. Alternate Tuesdays, 1:45 - 2:30 pm (August 31 - December 7) Facilitated by Heath Schechinger, PhD. Description: 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

9/2 - Holistic Sleep Wellness: Behavioral Changes to Reduce Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties. Thursdays, 2:15-3:00 pm (September 2 - December 9) Facilitated by Robyn Papathakis Shannon, PsyD. Description: 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.

9/9 - Graduate Men’s Support. Thursdays, 1:30-3 pm (Sept 9 - Dec 16) Facilitated by Richard Chiovarelli, PsyD. Description: 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. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

9/13 - Graduate Women's Support. Mondays, 5-6:30 pm (Sept 13 - Dec 20) Facilitated by Linda Zaruba, PhD. Description: 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.

9/14 - USP Undocu Wellness in Action. Tuesdays 4:30-6:00 pm (Sept 14 - Nov 2) Facilitated by Bianca Barrios, PhD. Description: This is an 8 week psycho-educational, skill-building group for undocu-students experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, depression, or stress. Members will learn strategies for personal awareness, develop coping tools for status-related issues, and incorporate wellness techniques to shift from surviving to thriving. 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.

9/15 - Asian American Community. Voice. Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 pm (Sept 15 - Dec 8) Facilitated by Junichi Shimaoka, PsyD and Jeff Lee, LCSW. Description: We are a support and discussion space for Asian/Asian American (South Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian) and multi-racial/ethnic students. It's a drop-in, informal support space, where we discuss topics relevant to our community, ranging from our favorite Asian food, uncertainties around pandemic life, being queer while Asian, navigating family expectations, speaking up against xenophobia and racial injustice, celebrating the diversity among Asian communities, and to personal/emotional wellbeing, and more. Come for the topics you are interested in, or join weekly for our conversation. Find the calendar of "suggested topics" here: bit.ly/2Rkq4XX.

9/16 - Managing Emotions. Thursdays, 2:15-4:00 pm (September 16 - December 2) Facilitated by Paige Lee, Ph.D. and Danielle Davidson, LCSW. Description: This group, based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is designed to teach students skills to manage and regulate emotions more effectively. In a structured and supportive environment, participants will learn skills to modify behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns associated with problems in living that cause misery and distress. Participants MUST be in concurrent individual therapy to participate in this group. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

9/22 - HeartSpeak: USP Support Circle. Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 pm (Starts Sept 22 and is Ongoing) Facilitated by Diana Peña, PhD. Description: 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.

9/27 - Black Womxn's Sister Circle. Mondays, 3-4:30 pm (Starts Sept 27 and is Ongoing) Facilitated by Amber Jaiza Jones, LCSW. Description: The weekly group is designed to provide a supportive space for undergraduate and graduate self-identified womxn of African descent 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. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

9/28 - Mindfulness Meditation Drop-In. Tuesdays 4:15-5:00 pm (Sept 28 - Dec 14) Facilitated by Kin Ming Chan, PhD. Description: Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment to become more aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they occur without judging them. In this weekly drop-in group, participants will learn general mindfulness meditation skills by doing a variety of mindfulness exercises together, discussing their experiences doing the exercises, and considering ways to apply mindfulness in daily life. The drop-in format is flexible to allow students to join at any point and still gain insight/benefit from collective wisdom.

9/29 - BIMOC Black, Indigenous Men of Color Healing Circle. Wednesdays 3:15-4:45 pm (Sept 29 - Dec 8) Facilitated by Adisa Anderson, PhD. Description: 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.

9/29 - Psychiatry Check-in Group. Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 am (September 29 - November 17) Facilitated by Danielle Davidson, LCSW, and Kristi Panik, MD. Description: This 6-week skills-building group is for students who are prescribed psychotropic medications or are interested in getting more information about medications or non-presciption treatment options. Topics will include biological treatments for mental health, including vitamins, herbs, nutraceuticals, biological rhythms (sleep, movement, etc), and medications. The group will include opportunities for peer support and conversation, skills building, and discussion with a psychiatric provider. Any UHS Provider (CAPS counselors, psychiatry providers, BHPs, and primary care providers) can refer a student to the group for an initial screening. Once a student completes an initial screening, the drop-in format is flexible and allows students to join at any point within the semester.

9/30 - Wellness in Action Toolbox - Session A. Thursdays 2:15-3:45 pm (Sept 30 - Oc 21) Facilitated by Raquel Castellanos Miller, LCSW. Description: 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.

9/30 - Pathways to Health and HealingThursdays, 2:30-4:00 pm (September 30-December 9) Facilitated by Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW and Erin O'Connor, LCSW. Description: This weekly virtual group is for students who navigate the impacts of physical injuries and/or newly diagnosed or chronic health conditions. Welcoming of all social and cultural identities, this space will build a community for coping and thriving. Themes will include the powerful connection between mind and body; how past body pain, negative thoughts, and challenging emotions can resurface with present stressors; and the interplay between healing and wellbeing. Members will 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.

10/1 - From Self-Criticism to Kindness. Fridays 10:15-11:45 am (Oct 1 - Nov 5) Facilitated by Amy Honigman, Ph.D. and Nolan Krueger. Description: 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 & self-confidence.

10/5 - Asian & Asian-American Womxn Support. Tuesdays, 2:15-3:45 pm (Oct 5 - Dec 7) Facilitated by Chiyon Won, PsyD. Description: This group is for students who self-identify as females of any Asian or Asian-American background and seek a safe space to share experiences about identity, navigating between Asian & American values, racism-related trauma, school stress, and family & relationship issues. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

10/5 - Heart Wisdom: BIPOC Meditation Circle. Tuesdays 2:30-4:00 pm (Starts Oct 5 and is Ongoing) Facilitated by Amber Jaiza Jones, LCSW. Description: This 8-week drop-in group is offered for students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color as an opportunity to center the healing of our individual and collective wellbeing in solidarity, and engage in meditation with a supportive community. Each session will begin with meditation instruction and a 20-30 min guided meditation practice, followed by an exploration of a topic or theme related to cultivating resilience in difficult times. This group welcomes both students who are new to meditation and experienced meditators. This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

10/6 - Understanding Self & Others. Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 pm (Oct 6 - Dec 8) Facilitated by Kusha Murarka, PsyD and Raquel Castellanos Miller, LCSW. Description: This 8-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. 

10/6 - BIPOC Queer Womxn's Support Circle. Wednesdays, 1:15-2:45 pm (Oct 6 - Dec 1) Facilitated by Tiffany Lin, LCSW. Description: This support circle is designed for students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Womxn of Color who love womxn*, regardless of other identities or labels. Together we will build a supportive, affirming, confidential community where we can discuss our multiple intersecting identities, coming out, self-esteem, relationships, gender identity, spirituality, holistic wellness, and other topics of interest. All BIPOC students "who experience life through the lens of womxn in body, spirit, identity--past, present, future, and fluid are welcome" (GenEq). This group requires a brief pre-group meeting with the group facilitator(s) before joining.

10/6 - Mindfulness Meditation. Wednesdays 10:15-11:45 am (Oct 6 - Nov 10) Facilitated by Sam Tourek, Ph.D. and Maritza Duran. Description: Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment to become more aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they occur without judging them. In this 6-week group, participants will learn general mindfulness meditation skills by doing a variety of mindfulness exercises together, discussing their experiences doing the exercises, and considering ways to apply mindfulness in daily life.

10/19 - Wellness in Action Drop-In Transitions Edition. Tuesdays 3:15-4:00 pm (Oct 19 - Nov 30) Facilitated by Claytie Davis III, Ph.D., ABPP and Summer Jackson, LCSW. Description: This drop-in skill-building group is for students experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, panic, and depression related to being back on campus or other transitions. Participants will learn mental health and general wellness strategies to build personal awareness, healthy + effective communication, and foster healthy relationships in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. 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, information about healthy relationships, and tips for effective communication, mindfulness, and resilience. The drop-in format is flexible to allow students to join at any point and still gain insight/benefit from collective wisdom.

10/20 - Wellness in Action Toolbox - Session B. Wednesdays 2:15-3:45 pm (Oct 20 - Nov 10) Facilitated by Kin Ming Chan, PhD. Description: 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 CAPS 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 CAPS at (510) 642-9494 to get started.  

CAPS Group Feedback


Did you recently attend a group facilitated by a CAPS counselor? 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?

The CAPS Group Program's 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.  The CAPS Group Program strives to prioritize our shared humanity, collaborative care, and technological advances as tools for supporting a healthy campus culture. 

COVID-19 UPDATE:  if you are a student who is currently residing outside of California or outside of the United States, CAPS clinicians are unable to provide you with group counseling services at this time.  Please see the CAPS Off Campus Counseling Referrals webpage for more information and support getting connected with a counselor near you. 

Related Resource: Social Services Group Counseling.

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

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