Group Therapy

Counseling and Psychological Services offers support groups designed to enhance life skills to students. These groups or special programs are often developed in collaboration with student groups, deans, residence advisers, and others. For a list of workhops, visit the CPS Workshops and Trainings page.

How to Get Started

Please contact group leaders for more information and to schedule an initial group interview, unless otherwise indicated.


Several groups listed below do not have a set time yet. The clinicians leading these groups will schedule group meetings at a time that best accommodates the majority of students who express interest.

Spring 2018 Support Groups

Bereavement Support

For students who have lost a family member, this group will focus on learning and strengthening coping strategies and getting support from others coping with loss.

Deborah Domenech, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Crossing Cultures

A group for international graduate students. Discussion and support around topics such as acculturation, immigration and its effects on identity, intercultural friendships, and other significant issues that come up in the lives of international graduate students.

Hina Pant, Ph.D.,
Mondays, 3:10 p.m.-4:40 p.m.

Distress Tolerance

This group is open to graduate and undergraduate students who are experiencing anxiety and/or difficulty coping with strong emotions and are motivated to increase self-observation and practice relaxation techniques in a supportive environment.
Victoria Grosso, Ph.D.,
Mondays, 3:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Getting Things Done

This group is for students who have a stalled thesis, incompletes or are simply not performing up to their potential due to procrastination and poor time management. The group acts as a community of support and accountability. Members will have the opportunity to learn to break free from the negative patterns that may be keeping them from accomplishing their personal and professional goals.
Participants will learn cognitive behavioral techniques that can increase efficiency, effectiveness, competence and confidence thereby improving their ability to get things done. There are two separate sections:
Shirley Matthews, Ph.D.,
Andrew Colitz, Ph.D.,
Mondays, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fridays, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Improving your Social Confidence

For students whose social anxiety interferes with their lives in some way, and who would like to learn ways to manage this anxiety and cope with it when it arises. It is a skills based group (utilizing mindfulness as well as acceptance and commitment therapy) that is open to people with social anxiety. Each session builds on the content of previous sessions, so it is important to attend all sessions (12 sessions in total). Please contact Rachel Rush, LCSW to schedule a screening.

Rachel Rush, LCSW.,
Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Making Peace with Food

A psychoeducational support group for men and women who struggle with their relationship to food and are preoccupied with their body/weight. The group aims to help members develop a more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies. Members will learn various coping strategies in order to reduce their reliance on food when facing difficult challenges.

Mika Awanohara, Psy.D.,
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Managing Stress

For students whose stress interferes with their lives in some way, and who would like to learn ways to manage this stress and cope with it when it arises. It is a skills based group (mindfulness skills, CBT, ACT) that is open to people with many different types of anxiety and/or stress. Each session builds on the content of previous sessions, so it is important to attend all sessions (9 sessions in total). Please contact Rachel Rush, LCSW to schedule a screening.

Rachel Rush, LCSW.,
Mondays, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Men of Color Support Group

For students interested in a supportive forum for exploring their experiences as self-identified men of color. We will discuss the unique challenges participants face in their academic, professional, and personal lives. The group will focus on fostering community, cultivating healthy coping mechanisms, and offering validation and encouragement.
Saul Gomez, Ph.D.,
Tuesdays, 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Mindfulness for Managing Life

A 5-week mindfulness group designed to support and jumpstart formal and informal practice. Students will learn how and when certain practices may be useful, while developing a powerful resource to meet any of life's challenges. A brief screening is required for participation.

Addette Williams, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 11:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Dates: 3/23 - 4/20/18

New Americans

Group for students who are undocumented and are concerned about immigration policies affecting DACA recipients. This group will provide a space to process the undocumented, first-generation American experience, while focusing on mutual support, healthy coping, and self-care.  
Wendy Carolina Franco, Ph.D.,
Start date and time: TBA

Queer Academics at Columbia

Discussion group to meet other LGBTQ graduate students to discuss concerns about our community. No screening necessary. Group meets in the Lerner 8 conference room.

Rachel Efron, Ph.D.,
Daniel Chiarilli, Ph.D.,
Meets first Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Reawakening Your Healthy Self: Eating Concerns Group for Women

This support group is for women who are motivated to pursue recovery from eating concerns. Members will explore various topics connected to eating and body related issues (such as relationships, family, self concept, academics, and trauma) while working towards developing and maintaining healthy attitudes and behaviors.

Annette Santiago-Espana, Ph.D.,
Mondays, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m

Substance Use Concerns

This group is offered for undergraduate and graduate students who are concerned about their substance use. We will discuss how substances impact one's life and learn skills to cope with changing patterns of use. Participants who are in various stages of concern are encouraged to attend.

Susan Vitti, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Veterans' Support Group

A weekly support group for student veterans to come together and discuss issues related to being a veteran, a student, and everything in between. The goal of the group is to promote successful navigation of new roles and promote attainment of education, interpersonal, and professional objectives.

Susan Vitti, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Wellness and Resilience Building Group: Supporting International Fieldwork

The group is open to all students returning from or departing for international fieldwork, including SIPA internships abroad, humanitarian and development aid, human rights work, journalism, etc. The group will focus on building coping skills & resilience skills prior to departure, returning from the field & reintegration, fostering hope & meaning, combating burnout, compassion fatigue, traumatic stress, and vicarious trauma. A brief phone screening is required prior to joining the group. For more information and to join, please contact Eugenia Cherkasskaya, Ph.D. *This group will be held at IAB, OSA conference room (6th floor).

Eugenia Cherkasskaya, Ph.D. at
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Women Healing from Sexual Abuse in Childhood or Adolescence

A structured support group for women who have been sexually abused in childhood or adolescence. The group will focus on naming and understanding the effects of the abuse and on finding ways to address them. We will support you in breaking the silence and lessening the shame with which survivors often cope.
Rachel Efron, Ph.D., 
Mondays, 11:10 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

Women of Color Support Group

This weekly group provides women of color (both graduate and undergraduate) a safe, confidential space to discuss with one another issues such as relationships, managing stress, sadness and/or anxiety, body image, family issues, trauma, experiences with oppression, asking for what you need, and developing a personal identity. 
Annette Santiago-Espana, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Women's Sexual Assault Support Group

A space to talk openly about life after an assault. The group is an opportunity to connect with other survivors and safely explore the emotional, spiritual, and physical impacts in a supportive environment. We will discuss healthy coping skills and healing strategies, and address other important factors in recovery, including reactions of family, friends, and the community. This group is for women who have experienced sexual assault at age 16 or older.

Petra Amrani, Ph.D.,
Fridays, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.



Is it true that there is no additional cost for a visit at CPS?

Yes, it’s true! Students who have enrolled in Columbia Health are eligible to be seen at CPS.

Last updated February 16, 2018