Counseling

Student Counseling Services (SCS) provides individual and group counseling

Individual Counseling

Student Counseling Services (SCS) utilizes a brief-treatment model. SCS offers enrolled Auburn University students ten (10) individual counseling sessions per academic year. On a case-by-case basis, the SCS Case Review Team will consider extending the number of individual counseling sessions if it is clinically-indicated. You and your counselor will discuss this if it is appropriate. Auburn University students who are academically suspended may be able to access services as part of their comprehensive plan to return to the university. Individual counseling provides an opportunity to explore your concerns on a one-to-one basis within the context of a confidential relationship. Our counseling model attempts to empower you with the resources needed to make positive changes in your life. The counselor and client work together to define and discuss personal issues and reach mutually agreed upon goals. Issues may include:

  • Significant changes in mood (depression)
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Relationship issues (break-ups, isolation or difficulty forming relationships, roommate conflicts, etc.)
  • Separation from parents
  • Adjustment to the university
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Eating concerns and body image
  • Family issues (divorce, financial stressors, etc.)
  • Grief and loss
  • References to suicide
  • Anger management
  • Spirituality issues
  • Psychosomatic issues (tension headaches, insomnia or excessive sleep, loss of appetite, etc.)
  • Sexuality and Gender Identity Issues

Group Counseling

Group counseling is one of many forms of treatment offered by Student Counseling Services. Some groups are focused on special themes like stress management, eating concerns, or anger management, while some other are more general and focus on resolving a range of issues, such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems, and relationship problems. For many types of problems, group counseling is the treatment of choice. Groups provide the opportunity to observe others solving their problems. Groups provide the advantage of a network of support. Groups are especially helpful in learning to build trust, self-acceptance, intimacy, communication skills, and empathy.

Although groups may differ, they generally meet weekly for 60 to 90 minutes, and include 5 to 10 members, and one or more professionals who act as group facilitators.

Students may be referred to group counseling by their current counselor or psychologist, or may be referred directly to group after their initial intake appointment at Student Counseling Services. Remember, group counseling is not a second-choice intervention; rather, it offers the opportunity to learn unique skills and/or a special interpersonal dimension to counseling.

If you are interested in group counseling, contact Student Counseling Services at 33-4-844-5123. If you would like to see a certain type of group offered, please speak with Dr. Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia, Group Coordinator.

 

Types of groups:

Process groups focus on gathering information about and improving relationships. Members give and receive feedback about the ways in which they interact with one another and the group as a whole. They also help members explore potential new ways of behaving in relationships. Examples of previous process groups offered:

Understanding Self and Others (USO) Group

USO groups provide members with a supportive environment to discuss their concerns and receive feedback from others. USO groups do not have a specific theme or topic for discussion. Instead, they allow members the opportunity to talk about areas of their lives in in which they are experiencing difficulty. Reasons for attending a USO group include having problems in relationships, feeling dissatisfied or unhappy with relationships, wondering about how others perceive them, and testing new ways of behaving.

Graduate Student Understanding Self and Others (USO) Group

The Graduate Student USO is a weekly process-oriented group that provides a safe space for students pursuing graduate degrees to explore interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics and concerns. The group provides a free and confidential space to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and support from other graduate students. Members are encouraged to explore new ways of relating to others and to further develop self-esteem, self-awareness, and relational skills.

Support groups allow members who share a common characteristic or concern to discuss this with others in their situation. Members offer empathy, support, understanding, and encouragement to each other. Examples of previous support groups offered:

Pride Group

This group is for student who identify as LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning). It combines providing support and the opportunity to process interactions in the moment. The content of group discussions is determined by what group members are most interested in addressing as it relates to sexual orientation and/or gender identity issues.

Living with Loss and Grief Group

This is a support group for students who have experienced the death of a family member, friend, or a loved one. Whether the loss is recent or some time has passed, this group helps participants reflect on the death of loved ones in an intentional manner. Group members will have the opportunity to express, explore, and process grief in a safe, supportive environment. The group process reduces the sense of isolation and provides an environment in which members can grow in self-acceptance, ability to trust others and heal from grief and loss.

International Student Support Group

The International Student Support Group was designed to support international students in achieving their academic, personal, and relational needs as they adjust to college life in the United States. Members are encouraged to share their personal experiences and struggles and connect with other members around the globe. Topics of discussion may include: changing norms, culture shock, performance pressure, prejudice, language barriers, homesickness, financial pressure, career uncertainty, and mental health. This is a drop-in group, so no appointment is necessary. Contact SCS to find out what time this confidential group meets during the current semester.

Educational Groups/Workshops provide members with knowledge and skills related to a specific topic. Members participate in activities and exercises to help them gain greater insight and/or practice new skills. Examples of previous educational groups/workshops offered:

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BRIDGE Workshop

This workshop consists of three sessions (BRinging Awareness, IDentifying Values, GEneralizing skills) that are intended to help you learn new tools and get a better idea of what you might like to change in your life. The BRIDGE workshop uses an acceptance and commitment therapy approach to help you feel better equipped to begin to tackle your concerns.

Mindful Mondays

Research has shown that mindful practice and meditation can have a variety of benefits, such as lower stress levels, improved mood, reduced anxiety, increased ability to cope with chronic pain, and relief from bereavement. This workshop is designed to facilitate hands-on mindfulness practice in students so they can experience its benefits and have a space to relax.

Group Offerings Fall 2015

Mindful Mondays

Research has shown that mindful practice and meditation can have a variety of benefits, such as lower stress levels, improved mood, reduced anxiety, increased ability to cope with chronic pain, and relief from bereavement. This workshop is designed to facilitate hands-on mindfulness practice in students so they can experience its benefits and have a space to relax.

Facilitator: Dr. Eric Bloch
Mondays 4:00-5:00 pm in the Mind/Body Room of the Recreation & Wellness Center

Let Loose with Moose

Looking for a place to de-stress and have some fun? For an hour each week, join Moose the Therapy Dog and unwind. This is an informal, unstructured time to play and interact with Moose. Please feel free to stop by and stay as long as you’d like.

Facilitator: Dr. Katie Werner
Thursdays 4:00-5:00 pm in Student Center, third floor lobby

International Student Support Group

This group supports international students in achieving their academic, personal, and relational needs as they adjust to college life in the U.S. Topics of discussion may include: changing norms, culture shock, performance pressure, prejudice, language barriers, homesickness, financial pressure, career uncertainty, and mental health.

Facilitator: Dr. Thuy Truong
Fridays 3:00-4:00 pm in Student Center Room 3163

In this type of group, the focus in on providing members with skills to assist with their concerns. Members must agree to attend all scheduled sessions in order to gain the most benefit. Members must also be SCS clients but do not have to complete a group screening session before attending.

BRIDGE Workshop

This workshop consists of three sessions (BRinging Awareness, IDentifying Values, GEneralizing skills) that are intended to help you learn new tools and get a better idea of what you might like to change in your life. The BRIDGE workshop uses an acceptance and commitment therapy approach to help you feel better equipped to begin to tackle your concerns.

Times and facilitators for the BRIDGE workshop vary and are held at different times and days throughout the semester. Consult with your counselor to determine which BRIDGE workshop might fit for you.

Process and support groups focus on allowing students a place to discuss their experiences with others and obtain feedback and support from other members. Process and support groups require a group screening and regular attendance is expected in order to get the most benefit. Members must be clients of Student Counseling Services.

Understanding Self and Others (USO) Groups

USO groups provide members with a supportive environment to discuss their concerns and receive feedback from others. Reasons for attending may include having problems in relationships, feeing dissatisfied or unhappy with relationships, wondering about the perceptions of others, and testing out new ways of behaving.

Mondays 1:00-2:30 pm; Facilitator: Dr. Thuy Truong
Mondays 2:00-3:30 pm; Facilitators: Dr. Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia & Yuxin Sun (CLOSED)
Tuesdays 3:00-4:30 pm; Facilitators: Dr. Katie Werner & Theresa Chan (CLOSED)
Wednesdays 5:15-6:45 pm; Facilitators: Dr. Dustin Johnson & Debbie Campbell (CLOSED)
Thursdays 9:00-10:30 am; Facilitator: Dr. Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia

If interested in any USO groups, schedule a group screening with Dr. Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia. Please note that new group times may be added as the semester progresses.

Empowerment Group

This group is for any student who has felt disempowered. Whatever the situation, this can be a safe space to give and gain support from others who have had similar experiences. The goal is to provide support and to increase each member’s sense of empowerment.

Facilitator: Dr. Brandy Smith; Fridays 12:00-1:30 pm
If interested, schedule a group screening with Dr. Smith

Mindful Eating Group

Mindful eating is eating with the intention of caring for yourself and the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying food and its effects on your body. Individuals who may benefit from this group include those who have felt out of control regarding eating, find themselves eating too much or too little, feel negative emotions surrounding eating, or notice they spent a lot of time, energy, and thought regarding eating.

Facilitator: Dr. Jan Miller; Wednesdays 5:00-6:30 pm (CLOSED)
If interested in participating in the Spring semester, cont