Support Groups

Group Psychotherapy at the BCC Fall 2018

Please email a group leader if you are interested in attending a group.

Psychotherapy Groups 

Social Anxiety (section I)
Fridays 1-1:45pm @ BCC
Group Leaders: Leah Benjamin/Rebecca Troeger
leahbenjamin@brandeis.edu
rtroeger@brandeis.edu

An ongoing group designed to help students manage symptoms associated with social anxiety.  This group aims to help students who struggle in a variety of social situations, including speaking in groups, initiating and maintaining conversations, meeting new people, and being assertive. This structured skills groups will give students the tools they need to work towards their personal goals as they overcome their social anxiety.  This is also a safe space to explore the root of social anxiety and challenge oneself to push through difficult emotions surrounding this.

Social Anxiety (section II)
Wednesdays 4-4:45 @ BCC
Group Leaders: Vanessa Mena-Gibson/Jon Mills
vmenagibson@brandeis.edu
jonathanmills@brandeis.edu

An ongoing group designed to help students manage symptoms associated with social anxiety.  This group aims to help students who struggle in a variety of social situations, including speaking in groups, initiating and maintaining conversations, meeting new people, and being assertive. This structured skills groups will give students the tools they need to work towards their personal goals as they overcome their social anxiety.  This is also a safe space to explore the root of social anxiety and challenge oneself to push through difficult emotions surrounding this. This group functions similarly to Section I; however, it meets at a separate time. 

Ourselves and Others (section I)
Fridays 11-11:45
Group Leaders: Leah Benjamin/Evan Valdes
leahbenjamin@brandeis.edu
evanvaldes@brandeis.edu

An ongoing group specifically focused on relationships and interpersonal connection. This group is designed to help students manage the challenge of relationships through the use of skill building and group processing. This group is for anyone who is interested in improving and/or better understanding any type of interpersonal connection in their lives.

Ourselves and Others (section II)
Thursdays 3-3:45
Group Leaders: Rebecca Troeger/Justin Karter
rtroeger@brandeis.edu
jkarter@brandeis.edu

An ongoing group specifically focused on relationships and interpersonal connection. This group is designed to help students manage the challenge of relationships through the use of skill building and group processing. This group is for anyone who is interested in improving and/or better understanding any type of interpersonal connection in their lives. 

Skills Group

CBT for Your College Life
Please note new day and time starting Thursday, October 11.
Thursdays 2-2:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Rachael Pucillo
rpucillo@brandeis.edu

This 5 week skill-based group is recommended for any student interested in learning specific skills to manage difficult emotions related to anxiety or depression. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is a proven, evidence-based practice that helps individuals challenge and manage difficult feelings. The materials will be presented in the first 5 weeks of group and then repeated throughout the rest of the semester. Students can choose to attend group for only the first 5 sessions, or stay in group for continued support. 

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Inspiring Healthy Motivation
Thursdays 10-10:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Carrie Eichmann
ceichmann@brandeis.edu

Can’t stop procrastinating? Can’t stick with a wellness routine? Can’t end an unhealthy relationship? Can’t stop using risky coping skills like self-harm, alcohol, or drug use? Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop is a group designed for students to understand, create, and ignite healthy motivation. In this 5-week series, students will explore topics including decision making, value clarification, plan development and implementation, and strategies to maintain desired habits. Students will be invited to support each other through peer discussion as well as participate in psychoeducation-based material.

Mindfulness Skills

Wednesdays 4-4:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Laura Horn
lhorn@brandeis.edu

Mindfulness involves bringing full attention to what is happening in the present moment without judgment. Each group will begin with a guided meditation, followed by a discussion about applying mindfulness skills to issues in daily life such as difficult emotions, thoughts, relationships, time management, problematic habits, and so on. Mindfulness is not a quick fix to problems; the practice cultivates a different way of relating to experience. When we operate on autopilot we often unwittingly contribute to our stress. Regular mindfulness practice can help us break out of autopilot, see situations with clarity, and to respond with greater wisdom. This is a drop-in group open to undergraduate and graduate students.

Drop in Groups

Academic Confidence
Thursdays 7-7:45pm @ BCC
Group Leader: Rachael Pucillo
rpucillo@brandeis.edu

A solution focused drop-in group designed to help students problem solve issues around procrastination, motivation, and organization. This group is designed to support and help students manage busy schedules as well as better understand their own stress and anxiety. Students should be prepared to address organizational issues, academic challenges, and stress/anxiety symptoms through a group processing framework.

Spoken Word And Wellness Noise (SWAWN)
Thursdays 4-4:45 @ BCC
Group Leaders: Dennis Tyrell/Martin Pierre
dtyrell@brandeis.edu
mapierre01@brandeis.edu

SWAWN is an acronym for Spoken Words and Wellness Noise. The use of rap lyrics and spoken words helps you to change your way of thinking, feeling and behaving.  If we can manage those, we can achieve our goals and gain success in life. SWAWN is a culturally sensitive therapy group that considers the social, political, spiritual and emotional context in which individuals’ lives are embedded. Group participants will use spoken words (i.e., rap, poetry and personal life narratives) to connect with their inner selves while giving voice to silence. SWAWN requires no writing classes, no formal training, and no prior experience. All you need to get started is a pen, some paper and a beat (if needed). This group will provide a safe and non-judgmental place to explore issues related to anger, shame, guilt, depression, isolation, anxiety, feelings of invisibility, marginalization, feeling misunderstood and disconnected from yourself and others. 

Dog Therapy
Mondays 3:30-4:15 @ BCC
Group Leaders: Joy/Julia
jvonst@brandeis.edu
jloewenthal@brandeis.edu

This group is an opportunity for students to interact with a therapy dog-in-training and to process feelings with the therapist in the presence of unconditional canine love. The purpose of the group is to provide comfort and the unconditional listening ear of our resident therapy dogs to those in need of animal-assisted therapy. This would be beneficial to any student with homesickness, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and to any student who may find that coping throughout the semester would be helped by a session of un-stressing with a dog present. 

Support Groups

Skills for the Trauma Survivor
Wednesdays 10-10:45
Group Leader: Martin Pierre
mapierre01@brandeis.edu

This safe and supportive group offers both psychoeducation and skill building for survivors of trauma. The intention of this group is to create a safe and protected space to discuss the impact of trauma on the brain and to understand effective ways of managing symptoms.

Good Grief: Bereavement
Thursdays 11-11:45
Group Leader: Amy Engel
aengel1@brandeis.edu

Managing the loss of a loved one is one of life’s biggest stressors and an immensely emotional process. This group is designed to support those who are managing the grieving process while also trying to maintain their identity as a student.

Return from Leave
Tuesdays 4-4:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Rachael Pucillo
rpucillo@brandeis.edu
This unique group is intended to support students returning from a leave of absence for medical, mental health, or other reasons. This supportive space aims to encourage conversation about the challenges of transitioning back to campus while enhancing positive coping strategies. This is a semester-long group and is open to all students returning from leave.
 

Students Managing Chronic Illness of a Loved One
Mondays 5-5:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Amy Engel
aengel1@brandeis.edu

This is a support group for students who may feel alone in their experience of having a loved one who struggles with a chronic illness. Managing emotional, logistical and financial issues will be discussed. Participants will learn self-care and coping strategies from group leaders as well as one another. This is an ongoing group that runs at the BCC through the academic year.

Community Groups

SOGI: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Fridays 3-3:45 @ BCC
Group Leader: Amy Scobie-Carroll
ascobiecarroll@brandeis.edu

This group is for anyone who would like a safe place to talk about issues and questions related to sexual orientations or gender identities, how these intersect with other identities, and what it means to live in our world as LGBTQ+ identified. Topics may include questioning, coming out, intersecting identities, exploring how being LGBTQ relates to religion, experiences of oppression and discrimination, unconventional relationships, and sharing resources. This group provides a safe, non-judgmental, supportive place to be yourself and gain support. 

NIIA: Not In It Alone;  A support group for students of color
Thursdays 6-6:45
Group Leaders: Roxann Mascoll/Regina Pierre
romasco@brandeis.edu
rpierre@brandeis.edu

Based on the Kwanzaa principle of NIA "To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness."  NIA will focus on engaging students of African ancestry to discover and embrace their “purpose.” NIA also is reflecting on the notion that although students of color often feel alone and voice-less in a PWI, there are necessary moments to inspire community to decrease the feelings of “Not in it Alone.”   

Men’s Group
Tuesdays 4-4:45 @ BCC
Group Leaders: Jon/Evan
jonathanmills@brandeis.edu
evanvaldes@brandeis.edu

This all-male group provides a confidential space to help men at Brandeis increase their self-understanding and improve their interpersonal relationships. The group offers a non-judgmental space to approach the challenges of being a man in today's world. This group is an opportunity for men to share their unique perspectives on the familiar issues that come with college life. Through supportive group interactions, giving and receiving feedback, group members will  identify and explore the emotions and life's stressors throughout their lives. Group members will work towards greater self-confidence, sense of identity, and relationship skills.

Women’s Psychotherapy
Wednesdays 11-11:45 @ BCC
Group Leaders: Vanessa/Rebecca
vmenagibson@brandeis.edu
rtroeger@brandeis.edu

The Women’s Psychotherapy Group is for female undergraduate students interested in personal self-growth, increasing feelings of self-esteem, and developing interpersonal skills.  This group provides a safe space to address and navigate issues frequently encountered by women in college. Through supportive group interactions, giving and receiving feedback while working through personal questions and issues, members will work towards gaining mastery over many difficult areas of their lives. 

Semester Long CBT Program

Section I Mondays 4-5
Group Leader: Dr. Tal Nir
tnir@brandeis.edu

Section II Wednesdays 10-11
Group Leader: Dr. Tal Nir
tnir@brandeis.edu

Section III Thursday 11-12
Group Leader: Dr. Tal Nir
tnir@brandeis.edu

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based practice focused on challenging negative, unhelpful thinking patterns. Through this technique, individuals learn to change unhealthy behaviors, improve emotion regulation, and utilize effective coping strategies in times of stress. The comprehensive CBT program is a combined group/individual approach that aims to provide a more tailored experience for students who will benefit from this work. Students will be asked to join a weekly CBT group led by Dr. Tal Nir, where basic CBT skills will be discussed. They will be asked to further their knowledge and understanding of these skills through weekly assignments as well as individual meetings with Dr. Nir. This combination of programming will provide both a group space as well as individual support around challenging mental health issues.