Group Counseling and Workshops

Group Interest Form

Completing this form is a great way to learn more about the group and it is not considered a commitment to join. Please be advised – email (and this form) is not a secure medium for transmitting confidential information.

Group therapy offers students an opportunity to understand themselves, gain skills to manage stress and their emotions, or both. The group therapy format is an effective way to address many types of struggles.  Some groups focus on developing effective coping mechanisms. Other groups focus on relationships and/or identity.

Specifically, group therapy can provide the following:

  • opportunities to learn new and effective skills to manage stress, anxiety and other emotions;
  • support from others who have had similar experiences and help remembering that you are not alone in your struggles;
  • a safe and supportive place to try out new behaviors and ways of interacting;
  • a place to deepen understanding about roles and patterns;
  • Feedback to and from others about how you are perceived can be a catalyst for understanding and change;
  • a place to learn about closeness, trust, and intimacy.

Below are descriptions of the available groups. If you are interested in participating in one of our groups, please call (213) 740-7711 and ask to speak to the facilitator of the group you are interested in joining, or submit the Group Interest form above.  If you are not sure what group might interest you, please either complete the Group Interest Form short survey and someone will be in contact with you, or contact Dr. Abbie Wolfson, Group Program Coordinator. You can also go online to schedule an initial appointment to discuss your options with one of our counselors. Unless otherwise noted, closed group generally begin in week 4-6 of the semester.

Fall 2018 Group Calendar

Engemann location – UPC campus – Fall 2018 Group Counseling

Support and Skills Groups:

Mindful Mondays: Held every Monday, 12:00-12:30pm – led by Robin Ward

Mindful Mondays is an ongoing silent meditation practice that meets every Monday at Counseling and Mental Health Services, Suite 304 in the Engemann Student Health Center. We begin with a brief guided meditation. It is best if participants have some experience with meditation. All students, faculty and staff are welcome. No registration necessary.

Bipolar Support Group: Twice Monthly – starting mid-semester, Tuesday, 5:00-6:30pm – led by Sarah Schreiber

A space for students who are living with Bipolar Disorder to learn ways to cope, share experiences, and receive support from peers.

Face Your Fears:  Tuesday, 5:00-6:30pm – led by Charlie Padow

10-week skills-based therapy group for students with panic, phobias and social anxiety intended to help those interested in managing and overcoming their specific fears (e.g. social situations, driving, crowded spaces, heights, having a panic attack in public, etc.) in order to live a more fulfilling life. The group provides a therapeutically supportive environment for participants to learn anxiety management strategies and practice gradual exposure exercises to reduce avoidant behavior related to their specific fear.

Healing Arts at RSVP:  Led by Emily Shinne – Weekly Drop-In – contact RSVP for time at (213) 740-4900

Healing Arts is a weekly trauma-informed program for individuals who have experienced power- or gendered-based violence. The group is not a trauma process group, but a group that uses the experience of creating art projects to heal from trauma. Participants will engage in various art projects that focus on positivity, resilience and relaxation.

Social Confidence Group:  Wednesday, 3:30-5:00pm or Friday 1:30-3:00pm   – led by Broderick Leaks

A structured skills group that focuses on the needs of individuals with social and performance anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies will be employed as well as exposure exercises. Group topics include anxiety management, assertiveness and communication skills.

Effective Living Skills:  Friday, 10:15 – 11:45am –led by Sarah Schreiber – Rolling Admissions

The Effective Living Group is a group for students who feel that it is difficult to manage intense emotions. It is meant to teach a variety of skills adapted from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)to assist individuals who struggle with emotional and interpersonal issues. Learning modules include Regulating Emotions, Tolerating Distress, Increasing Mindfulness, and Improving Relationships. Each week the group will review old material, teach new material, and assign practice exercises. Group members will interact with each other and help each other learn and grow during this process.

Managing Mood: Tuesday, 3:45 – 5:15pm – led by Andy Iskander – (begins at start and midpoint of semester)

This skills group for students who often experience anxiety, depression, shame or any other difficult emotion, runs once during the first half of the semester and starts again half-way through the semester. This group uses an evidence-based model to help students identify emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components of distress. Students will also be taught new and more effective ways to respond to their emotions. The group begins both at the start of the semester and again at the mid-point.

Mindfulness Skills for Daily Living:  Friday, 12:00-1:30pm – led by Yong Park – Rolling admissions

A structured and experiential group class using mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and to build relation and well-being skills. Students will learn ways to be more present, aware, accepting, and compassionate of their experiences. Students will have the opportunity to learn and engage in different types of mindfulness practices each week. This group/class has rolling admissions.

Mindful Well-Being:  Friday, 2:30 – 4:00pm – led by Robin Ward

Through mindfulness practice, activities, and group discussion, the group will help participants to cultivate self-compassion in meeting life’s difficulties. It can be especially helpful in addressing self-criticism and judgment, as well as perfectionism. It will also assist members in developing the ability to be present in the moment, leading to greater self-kindness, confidence and well-being.

New Choices:  Substance use support (not 12 step or abstinence-based): Thursday, 2:30-4:00pm – led by Alise Cogger

This group provides support for students who are reassessing their use of alcohol or other drugs. Focus is on building motivation, increasing awareness of use and triggers, providing strategies for making/maintaining desired changes, and living a more balanced and satisfying life.

Peace with Food :  Tuesday, 2:00 – 3:30pm – led by Elizabeth Reyes

Provides support for students in managing the struggle with the relationship with food, their bodies, and themselves. Primary focus is helping students understanding the function of the role of food in their lives, underlying emotional concerns, learning to name feelings, and alternative coping with feeling.

Yoga as Healing at RSVP:  Led by Emily Shinne – Weekly  Drop-In – contact RSVP for time at (213) 740-4900

A program that provides Trojans with a means of becoming reacquainted with their bodies, helps them become grounded in the present moment and allows them to explore the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath to movement in guided trauma-informed practice and meditation. This program is open to individuals who have experienced sexual trauma or power-based harm.

Support and Therapy Groups:

Men of Color:  time tbd– Led by Broderick Leaks

Women of Color:  Thursday, 5:00 – 6:30pm –led by Brittany Beasley

The Women of Color group is a weekly on-going support space for students who, they themselves, identify as women of color. This group provides a space for women of color to discuss the complexities of navigating personal and interpersonal spaces within and outside of USC. Students can discuss, explore, and give voice to feelings and experiences related to campus climate, racism, racial/ethnic identity, oppression and privilege, self-esteem, relationships, family, intersectionality, stress/coping, resiliency/growth, and other topics of interest.

Grad Relationship Group:  Monday, 4:30-6:00pm– led by Parissa Nilli

This process group helps graduate students achieve fulfillment in relationships with partners, family, friends, mentors, and others.  Students develop healthy relationship capacities through the interaction of group members in a supportive space.  You will be invited to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and speak up authentically in order to understand the roles you tend to take in relationships and why you react the ways you do.  Learn to navigate emotionally-intense interpersonal issues, such as trust, intimacy, assertiveness, anger, and loss.  The group accommodates 6-8 members, who participate for the whole semester.

Graduate Women Student Support Group:  Tuesday, 4:45-6:15pm – led by Christina Mohajerani/Abbie Wolfson

This support group is a space where female-identified students can support and learn from one another about managing the demands of being in a graduate program, specifically:  how to balance school and other parts of their life, develop and maintain a social support network, cope with feelings of being an imposter, discuss difficulties with advisors and/or peers, or other topics group members would like to explore together

Undergraduate Relationship Group:  Wednesday, 2:30-4:00pm – led by Elizabeth Reyes

This group focuses on learning how to have vital, rewarding, authentic relationships. We talk about friendships and romantic/sexual relationships, as well as professional, academic, and family relationships. Relating to others effectively and fulfillingly is an ability that can grow through practice. Group members work on improving this ability through the interactive nature of the group itself, and by giving and receiving honest feedback about each other’s style of relating.

International Tea Time Weekly Group:  Thursday, 1:00 – 2:30pm  – led by Annie Hsueh – Weekly  — Rolling Admissions

A therapeutic discussion and support group to provide space for international students to share their experience here at USC. This is a chance to discuss anything that is confusing, difficult, or amusing. Themes commonly discussed include communication, relationships, homesickness, identities, and adjusting to USC in general.

Sexual Orientation Support Group:  Monday, 3:00-4:30pm – led by Bryce McDavitt

This group addresses life and relationship issues related to sexual orientation.  Talk openly with other students about being pansexual, asexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or other sexual identities. Topics are based on students’ interest and can include exploring your identity; trust and relationships; dealing with heterosexism or internalized homophobia; dating; family and societal expectations; and self-esteem. The group accommodates 6-8 members, and participation is confidential.

Gender Spectrum: Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Support Group:    Thursday, 4:00-5:30pm – led by Bryce McDavitt

A supportive space to talk with other students about life and issues related to gender identity.  Topics are based on students’ interest and can include exploring your identity; trust and relationships; dealing with cisgenderism or internalized transphobia; coping with stresses of campus life; transitioning and (hormones; coming out; dating; family and societal expectations; and life in general. Accommodates 6-8 members; participation is confidential.

Living with Loss: Tuesday, 3:30-5:00pm – led by Yong Park – Rolling admissions

For students who have lost a loved one at any point in their lives. The loss could be a parent, friend or relative. Group provides a place for students to meet with others who are experiencing grief, learn about the grieving process, and share coping strategies.

Eric Cohen location – HSC campus – Fall 2018 Group Counseling

Befriending Perfectionism Group: Tuesdays, 12-12:50pm – led by Brinell Anderson

An eight-week psychotherapy group based on the book, Wisdom from the Couch by Jennifer Kunst, PhD.

Emotional Emancipation Circle for students of African-descent :  5:00-7:00pm – monthly on the second Wednesday of the month (9/12, 10/10, 11/14, 12/12) – led by Brinell Anderson

Emotional Emancipation Circles (EECs)sm are self-help support groups in which Black people, work together to overcome, heal from, and overturn the lies of White superiority and Black inferiority:  the root causes of devaluing Black lives.

Mindfulness Sessions:  Mondays, 12:00-12:50pm – led by Brinell Anderson

Join your peers in learning ways to practice mindfulness meditation and enhance your work performance with improved emotional intelligence, motivation and communication while lowering your stress and anxiety.

Introductory Mindfulness Group:  Tuesdays, 12-1pm – led by Tannaz Alagheband

A 6-week group focused on developing mindfulness skills for enhancing awareness, responding to stress, difficult emotions and thoughts, learning how to cultivate kindness and self-compassion, and bringing mindfulness into daily activities.

Workshops and Drop-Ins:

Feel Better Workshops:  Drop-In, in the Trojan Conference Room on the first floor of Engemann Student Health Center, led by Counseling Services Staff.

These workshops are open to all undergraduate and graduate students who would like to learn basic skills or consider new approaches to improve their ability to manage stress or cope with adversity.

No registration required.

Topics repeat every month.

Wednesday 2:00 – 3:00pm

1st Wednesday: Improve your Mood: steps to feel better

2nd Wednesday: Be Resilient and Thrive

3rd Wednesday: First Semester Trojans: Adjusting to College at USC

4th Wednesday: Using Emotions Wisely

5th Wednesday: Procrastinators Anonymous

Thursdays 4:00-5:00pm

1st Thursday of month:   Stress Management – tools to better manage inevitable life stress.

2nd Thursday of the month:   Managing Emotions  – tools to manage difficult emotions and stay healthy.

3rd Thursday of the month:   Calm Your Anxiety – tools to manage anxiety and nervousness.

4th Thursday:  Healthy Relationships  –  building and improving relationships.

5th Thursday:   Preventing Procrastination and Perfectionism – understand how your mindset impacts academic anxiety and overcome procrastination (held only on months that have a 5th Thursday).

Mindfulness Drop-In:  Monday 12:00-12:30pm – Robin Ward/Alise Cogger

An ongoing silent meditation practice that meets  every Monday from 12pm to 12:30 pm at Counseling and Mental Health Services, Suite 304, in the Engemann Student Health Center. We begin with a brief guided meditation. All students, faculty and staff are welcome. No registration necessary.

Let’s Talk: International Student Workshops: Drop-In – 3rd Wednesday of the month location tbd, 3x this semester (Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 28) and run from 6-7pm.

A casual discussion workshop about common adjustment challenges that USC international students face, such as managing stress and connecting with others. Student do not need to sign up and can just show up to participate once per month.

Let’s Talk Drop In Sessions
The location varies with these groups. Please refer to the corresponding dates and locations to where each session is held. No appointment necessary. Just drop-in!

On UPC Campus:
Time 2:30pm to 3:30pm
with Brittany Beasley, PhD
at Student Union, STU 422

with Christina Mohajerani, PsyD
at Cinema Graduate Student Lounge, Room 249

with Annie Hsueh, PhD
at Student Union, STU 422

with Karina Ramos, PhD
at Student Union, STU 422

On HSC Campus:
with Tannaz Alagheband, LCSW
B16 at PSC
Pharmacy School

with Carole Lewis, LCSW
KAM 305
PhD Program

HSA Campus: (Alhambra Campus)
2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
11:15am – 12:50pm
with Tannaz Alagheband, LCSW
PA Building (A11) Room #179
PA Program


Disability Services and Programs

Please visit the Office of Disability Services and Programs for information about their available groups.


Designed & Developed by USC Web Services Privacy Notice