Support Groups

Group Psychotherapy at the BCC Spring 2019

Please email a group leader if you are interested in attending a group. Groups are 45 minutes long unless indicated otherwise.

Psychotherapy Groups

Ourselves and Others (Section I)
Fridays 11 a.m.
Group Leaders: Roberta Caplan/Evan Valdes
rcaplan@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)
Wednesdays 2:40 p.m.
Group Leaders: Justin Karter/Rebecca Troeger
jkarter@brandeis.edu
rtroger@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.

Men’s Psychotherapy Group
Tuesdays 4 p.m.
Group Leaders: Jonathan Mills/Evan Valdes
jonathanmills@brandeis.edu
evanvalldes@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.

Misery Loves Company
Tuesdays, 2-2:45 p.m.
Group leader: Hadassah Margolis, LICSW
hmargolis@brandeis.edu 
Feeling blue? Sad? Depressed? You're not alone. This combination process/support/skills group is open to anyone who would like to understand the range of sad emotions and its impact on self-acceptance, relationships, and everyday functioning. We will support each other as we share experiences, give and receive feedback, and learn strategies to be our most effective selves.

Women’s Psychotherapy Group
Tuesdays 6 p.m.
Group Leader: Hadassah Margolis
hmargolis@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.

Skills Groups
Social Anxiety (Section I)
Fridays 1 p.m.
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)
Tuesdays 1 p.m.
Group Leader: Vanessa Mena-Gibson / Evan Valdes
vmenagibson@brandeis.edu
evanvaldes@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.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For Your College Life
Thursdays 2 p.m.
Groups Leaders: Rachael Pucillo/Amy Krentzman
rpucillo@brandeis.edu
akrentzman@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.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills Group
Fridays 2 p.m.
Group Leaders: Betsy Harris/Rebecca Troeger
betsyharris@brandeis.edu
rtroeger@brandeis.edu
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) offers skills for regulating emotions, managing crises/addictive behaviors, and also improving and maintaining relationships. The main goal is to build a life worth living. People who benefit from DBT may feel intense emotions, experience urges to self-harm or act impulsively, have difficulty with relationships, and may feel "empty" or struggle with a sense of self. The four modules this group will address the four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Inspiring Healthy Motivation
Thursdays 10 p.m.
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.

Skills for the Trauma Survivor
Wednesdays 10 a.m.
Groups Leaders: Martin Pierre/Justin Karter
mapierre01@brandeis.edu
jkarter@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.

Support Groups

Bereavement Support Group
Mondays 4 p.m.
Group Leader: Amy Engel
aengel01@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.

First Year Support Group
Tuesdays 5 p.m.
**In Massell Quad - Usen 009, Ground Floor**
Group Leaders: Leah Benjamin/Julia Loewenthal
leahbenjamin@brandeis.edu
jloewenthal@brandeis.edu
This group is open to all first year students. College can be a stressful time and adjusting to it can, at times, feel overwhelming. It can also be a time of rapid change and growth. This group will help to normalize the adjustment to college, while also building community with other first year students. Some of the issues addressed will include: getting involved, dealing with academic expectations, fitting in, stress management, and planning for future semesters. This is a drop in group​, so feel free to swing by any week! Group will meet in Usen 009 (ground floor, quad office) on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. The group will begin on Tuesday, January 29. Looking forward to seeing you there!

From Diagnosis to Determination: Illness and the Personal Story
Thursdays 5 p.m.
Group Leaders: Jonathan Mills/Julia Loewenthal
jonathanmills@brandeis.edu
jloewenthal@brandeis.edu
This is a therapy group for Brandeis students living with physical illness, both chronic and recently diagnosed. Using personal narratives to work through and heal the complex ways which illness affects our lives, this group will address such themes as: living in an unreliable body, navigating the academic and professional world with a health condition, developing a unique identity as someone with an illness, negotiating peer and romantic relationships in the context of medical complexity, invisible illnesses, dignity in the face of mortality, and more. By developing unique stories which chronicle the role of illness in our past and current life, we will identify goals and share hope for a satisfying and well-lived future, regardless of physical health.

International Student Support Group
Tuesday 1-2 p.m.
Group Leader: Peining Lo-Bromberg
plobromberg@brandeis.edu 
It is not easy to juggle two or more cultures. This international student support group aims to help international students gain a better understanding of the cultural adjustment process, share resources and explore ways to take care of themselves. This is a drop-in group that runs every Tuesday at Goldsmith Room 209

Trans/Non-Binary Support Group
Wednesdays 5 p.m.
Group Leader: Landen Motyka
lmotyka@brandeis.edu
A confidential, weekly support group for students questioning or identifying as trans, non-binary, masc- or femme-of-center, two-spirit, and/or any other of the multitude of identities outside the gender binary. This group provides a non-judgmental space to be yourself and gain support on issues related to gender identity and expression; coming-out to family, friends, and classmates; transition concerns; and more. Come join in community to get support, share resources, and make connections. Facilitated by Landen Motyka, LCSW (they/them), with an emphasis on group dialogue and discussion.

OK, NOW WHAT? Senior Support Group
Thursdays 6 p.m.
Group Leaders: Roberta Caplan/Justin Karter
rcaplan@brandeis.edu
jkarter@brandeis.edu
A support group for graduating seniors focusing on the challenges of saying goodbye to college and taking the leap into the next stage of life. Members can share their experience of this transition and get support and ideas for strategies, allowing new perspectives to emerge. The group leaders will present relevant information and facilitate the group process.

Eating Disorder Support Group
Wednesdays 4 p.m.
Group Leader: Rachael Pucillo
rpucillo@brandeis.edu
Eating Disorder Recovery Group: A weekly group for those active in their recovery from an eating disorder. This supportive process group aims to give students an opportunity to explore their eating disorder thoughts and behaviors as well as gain support from others in recovery. This group is designed for those who are in the active phase of recovery, meaning that they are working to change behavior and better understand how they can combat challenging eating disorder thinking. If you are interested in learning more, or curious if it might be a good fit for you. please reach out to Rachael at rpucillo@brandeis.edu​ for more information.

Healing Circle for Black and Brown Brandeis
Thursdays 7 p.m.
**Held in The Intercultural Center (ICC) - Multipurpose Room
Group Leader: Sucheta Thekkedam
suthekked@brandeis.edu
This is a confidential space to provide support and build community around mental health wellness and issues affecting POC on campus.

Graduate Student Support Group
Tuesdays 5 p.m.
**Held in Usdan Student Center - The Peace Room, First Floor**
Group Leader: Sucheta Thekkedam
suthekked@brandeis.edu
This group is a confidential and supportive space for graduate students to talk about experiences and stressors that are unique to being a graduate student. Pursuing a graduate degree can be a stressful and demanding endeavor. This group aims to reduce isolation and boost peer support for graduate students at any stage of their study. Topics may include (but are not limited to): self-care, professional/personal identity, overcoming imposter feelings, managing anxiety and depression, discussing the impact on relationships and self-esteem, and finding ways to “get out of” feeling unproductive, stuck, or burnt out. As the semester gets under way, discussion topics and activities will be chosen by group members.

Drop-In Groups

Spoken Word and Wellness Noise (SWAWN)
Thursdays 9 a.m.
Group Leaders: Martin Pierre/Dennis Tyrell
mapierre01@brandeis.edu
dtyrell@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.

Academic Confidence
Tuesdays 4 p.m.
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.

Dog Therapy Group
Mondays 3:30 p.m.
Group Leaders: Joy von Steiger/Julia Loewenthal
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.

Semester Long Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program

Section I Mondays 4 p.m.
Group Leader: Dr. Tal Nir
tnir@brandeis.edu

Section II Wednesdays 10 a.m.
Group Leader: Dr. Tal Nir
tnir@brandeis.edu

Section III Thursday 11 a.m.
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.