Groups Offered at Counseling Center for Spring Semester

Posted on 2/14/2012 11:01:31 AM

Sometimes concerns are better addressed through group counseling than with an individual counselor. There are still openings in two of the Counseling Center's groups for this semester: the Interpersonal Group and the “Not Just Straight” Group.

Research has shown that group counseling is as effective as individual counseling. Talking with other students who have similar experiences provides support and perspective. The following counseling, support, and growth groups are offered at the Counseling Center in G31 Suites on Maple East. These groups usually include four to nine students and are facilitated by one or two therapists. Group facilitators work to provide a safe, confidential environment where members are free to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and concerns as they are comfortable. Participation in these groups requires an initial meeting with the group facilitator(s), usually 30–45 minutes. To schedule this meeting or to ask questions, contact the Counseling Center at (724) 357-2621, stop by G31 Suites on Maple East, or contact Patti Shaffer at

Graduate Student Group

  • Wednesdays 10:15–11:30 a.m.
  • A support-oriented group. Topics of discussion are likely to include the demands of graduate study, anxieties about competition and career, self-care and coping, support for writing a thesis or dissertation, student/faculty relationships and boundaries, and healthy interpersonal relating within the stressful context of graduate study.
  • Facilitated by Rita Drapkin, Ph.D., and Sarah Ryan, M.A.

Interpersonal Group

  • Thursdays 10:00–11:00 a.m.
  • This co-ed student group will focus on relationships (family, friends, dating, and professional). Loneliness, lack of confidence in social settings, self-esteem concerns, and anxiety may also be discussed. Members often learn to be more comfortable with themselves and more confident interacting with others. This group is a safe place to explore how current interpersonal styles may be affecting relationships.
  • Facilitated by Kim Roberts, M.A., and Adrianne Fuller-St. John, M.A.

“Not Just Straight” Group

  • Tuesdays 4:00–5:00 p.m.
  • The group is an all-inclusive place where students who are questioning their sexual or gender identity or identify as LGBTQ+ can turn for confidential sharing and support. The group is designed to be a safe space where concerns related to exploring sexuality, coming out, relationships, families, and community can all be discussed. Students do not need to be “out” in order to participate in this group, or need to have a firm sexual or gender identity. The group is limited to eight to ten undergraduate or graduate students who commit to meeting weekly. Once the group, begins new members will be asked to wait until next semester to join the group.
  • Facilitated by Justin Harms, M.A., and Joanne Petursson, M.A.

Women’s Group: Finding Our Way

  • Thursdays 4:00–5:00 p.m.
  • This group is for six to eight female IUP students. It is a place for women to discuss common concerns about such things as academics, relationships, families, body image, self-esteem, and other common concerns with a focus on self-awareness and change.
  • Facilitated by Beth Kincade, Ph.D., and Kara Goldmann, M.A.