Support Groups

Facilitated by Andrew Colitz, Ph.D.

Are you a graduating undergraduate or graduate student this summer or upcoming fall? Are you having mixed feelings about graduating under the current circumstances? CPS is here to help. We are offering a supportive virtual workshop that is open to all seniors and therefore a non-confidential space. We hope to address and discuss coping strategies for the following experiences and issues: 

  • How to manage the uncertainty of life and work beyond Columbia. 
  • Stressors of applying to jobs in the current state. 
  • How to find meaning in your remaining Columbia experience.

Due to the open and online nature of this virtual drop-in space, this is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and practice discretion. This is intended to be an interactive support space and not group therapy. 

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information about this support space, please contact Dr. Andrew Colitz at ac3844@columbia.edu with “Graduating Student” in the Subject line.

Facilitated by Michele Goldman, Psy.D. and Jennifer Liu, M.D.

This is a five-week virtual workshop for all Columbia students who are currently struggling with managing their anxiety. Whether this is a new or old issue, this workshop will focus on how to manage the emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral impact of anxiety. We will learn ways to challenge and reshape our anxious thoughts, as well as learn various relaxation techniques. The goal of the workshop is to confront anxiety-provoking situations, prevent anxiety symptoms from negatively impacting your life, and improve your overall level of functioning. This group is not intended for students with obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD-related disorders. Due to the evolution of skills learned, enrollment in this group will be closed after the second session.

Due to the open and online nature of this drop-in group, this group is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; not group therapy.

Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Goldman at mg4199@cumc.columbia.edu and Dr. Liu at jl5679@cumc.columbia.edu with “Anxiety Management” in the subject line.

Facilitated by: Motoni Fong Hodges, Ph.D.

This is a supportive community space open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are on the autism spectrum. We will meet once a week via Zoom to connect and converse with others on selected topics of mutual interest.  

Due to the open and online nature of this virtual drop-in space, this is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and practice discretion. This is intended to be an interactive support space, not group therapy. 

Dates and Time: This virtual group meets on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:30 PM EST 

For more information, please email Motoni Fong Hodges, Ph.D., mh2759@cumc.columbia.edu with "Autism Support Group" in the subject line. 

Facilitated by Annette Santiago-España, Ph.D. and Lucia Haladjian, Ph.D.

Are you in the middle of a downward spiral of body negativity? If so, then know that you are not alone in your experience. This support space will help you gain valuable information and useful suggestions on how to improve your body image, enhance your self-esteem, and develop a sense of compassion and self-respect. This support space will be especially useful for students who have previously experienced body image concerns and disordered eating. Improving your own body image can be challenging, but it’s certainly possible. This support space will be structured beginning with a brief check-in followed by the sharing of some exercises and activities you can do to boost your own positive body image. The focus will not be on symptoms or whether you want to change your body or not. Instead, the focus will be on reminding you that you can love yourself exactly as you are. Each session will end with a mindfulness or deep breathing exercise.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this support space is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information about this support space, please contact Dr. Annette Santiago-España at as3149@cumc.columbia.edu  with "Body Positivity" in the subject line.

Facilitated by: Addette Williams, Ph.D. and Keoshia Worthy, Ph.D.

This is a support group for Black students to speak openly, check-in with each other, and share their own experiences about how they are impacted by the events in their communities and the world. We intend to create a safe space to share without judgment and bias. Participation may help students feel a sense of community and improve self-care.

Due to the open and online nature of this virtual drop-in space, this is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and practice discretion. This is intended to be an interactive support space and not group therapy.

Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Addette Williams at alw65@cumc.columbia.edu or Dr. Keoshia Worthy at kw2865@cumc.columbia.edu

 

Facilitated by Debra Domenech, Ph.D. and Ashley Danies, Ph.D.

The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life. This is further complicated during a pandemic. If you would like a space where you can share with peers who are also going through this, you are invited to come. This will be a space for graduate and undergraduate students to meet and support each other.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, it is not private nor confidential. Participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. Please note that this is a support space, not group therapy.

Dates and Time: This virtual group meets on Fridays from 1:00 – 2:15 PM ET

For more information, please email Debra Domenech, Ph.D. at dd2034@cumc.columbia.edu or Ashley Danies, Ph.D. at aad2154@cumc.columbia.edu with "Bereavement" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Victoria Grosso, Ph.D. and Priyanka Shokeen, Ph. D.

The pandemic has forced us to face difficult and scary possibilities, increasing our sense of vulnerability and helplessness during a time of collective trauma.  Research, however, shows that resilience, the capacity to persevere through adversity, is part of our human nature and can be cultivated.

Please join us in our virtual meetings where we will practice ways to find our inner strength with the support of a community.

Due to the open and online nature of this virtual drop-in space, this is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and practice discretion. This is intended to be an interactive support space and not group therapy.

Dates and Time: This virtual group will start on May 12 and will meet on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:15 PM ET

For more information, please email Victoria Grosso, Ph.D. at vg2107@cumc.columbia.edu or Priyanka Shokeen, Ph.D. at ps3221@cumc.columbia.edu with "Building Resilience" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Annette Santiago-España, Ph.D. and Aisha Holder, Ph.D.

This support space is for women of color seeking refuge during these challenging times. During this seven-week series, participants will focus on how to sustain themselves in the face of gendered racism. More specifically, participants will develop skills and be empowered to accept their strengths and growth areas, declare their own authentic beauty, build community, practice self-compassion, and be intentional about reclaiming their overall health. Participants will learn how to integrate gratitude practices into their daily lives—which has been found to have long-lasting, soul-enriching benefits. Each session will end with a mindfulness or deep breathing exercise.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this group is not private or confidential. Participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; not group therapy. 

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please contact Dr. Annette Santiago-España at as3149@cumc.columbia.edu with "Compassion for the Soul" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Sherina Persaud, Ph.D. and Lucia Haladjian, Ph.D.

This is a psychoeducational group open to students who are seeking ways to find a sense of safety and connection during times of distress. It may be especially relevant for students who have survived highly adverse life experiences. Meetings will be structured beginning with a mindfulness practice, introduction to the topic, followed by discussion. Topics will include psychoeducation on the autonomic nervous system and its role in regulating our emotional and physical states; exercises to increase awareness of somatic manifestations of traumatic stress; coping skills to address these concerns including grounding, diaphragmatic breathing, movement interventions, creating safe boundaries; and building resilience.

This group is open to students of all gender and sexual identities.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this group is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Sherina Persaud, Ph.D. at sp2586@cumc.columbia.edu or Lucia Haladjian, Ph.D. at lh2483@cumc.columbia.edu with "Coping Skills" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Hillary Scudder, Psy.D. and Saeide Kaivani, Psy.D.

This workshop is designed to help individuals who have experienced any kind of trauma understand the impact of trauma and learn tools to cope with the symptoms they might be experiencing. There will be no direct discussion of specific traumas. Each week, participants will be introduced to a new topic and learn a new skill to cope with the topic being addressed. This will be a nine-week workshop and will address the following topics:

  • Introduction to trauma and trauma-related symptoms (Skill: Diaphragmatic breathing)
  • Trauma and the body/the physiology of trauma (Skill: Progressive Muscle Relaxation and self-care)
  • Trauma and emotions (Skill: mental, physical, and soothing grounding)
  • Trauma and emotions (Skill: Time out and STOP)
  • Trauma and sleep (Skill: sleep hygiene and self-soothing)
  • Trauma and relationships (Skill: setting boundaries using “I” messages)
  • Trauma and relationships (Improving intimacy and building relationships)
  • Trauma and healthy coping (Skill: review skills to date and Incorporating pleasurable activities)
  • Evidence-based treatments for trauma and PTSD

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; it is not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Scudder at hs3203@cumc.columbia.edu and Saeide Kaivani, PsyD at sk4889@cumc.columbia.edu with “Coping with Trauma” in the subject line.

Facilitated by Rachel Rush, LCSW-R

This drop-in online community space proceeds from the belief that everyone has creative possibility, whether or not they have come into contact with this part of themselves before. This group will help participants to discover their creative parts.  Creativity is an especially useful coping tool during difficult times and helps individuals to access their innate agency, resiliency, and flexibility.  A creative mindset allows one to think outside of the box, explore new possibilities, and uncover new ways of relating to oneself and others.

The group will begin with a 10-minute mindfulness practice offered by the facilitator.  The facilitator will then offer a creative prompt that allows participants to engage in self-reflection and self-expression (either through writing, poetry, visual art, music, etc). We will then come back together as a group to share our responses to this creative prompt in order to learn from and be inspired by one another.  During the course of the group, participants will have the opportunity to show/perform any art, music, poetry, and the like that they have created in response to these difficult times.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; it is not group therapy. 

Dates and Time: This virtual group will meet on Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET.

For more information, please contact Rachel Rush at rr3126@cumc.columbia.edu with Cultivating Creativity and Resilience” in the subject line.

Facilitated by Victoria Grosso, Ph.D. and Priyanka Shokeen, Ph. D.

How can we find our “true home” when feeling lost or disoriented?

Together we will practice exercises to build strength and endurance and discuss ways to feel authentic and connected.

We will start by

  1. Taking pause and checking our “supplies” (listening to our body, reducing vulnerability)
  2.  Using the breath to calm and focus our mind (staying present centered and alert)
  3. Connecting with our roots (values, beliefs, cultural traditions)

We will move on by

  1. Staying focused on our immediate goals (avoiding negativity, comparisons, self-blame)
  2. Practicing Self-Compassion (understanding and accepting our strengths and weaknesses)
  3. Reaching out and connecting with others
  4. Discovering creativity within ourselves (overcoming obstacles, finding meaning in our everyday life)

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this support space is not guaranteed to be private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is an educational and support space; it is not group therapy. The facilitators respectfully request that all participants have video enabled during the meetings.   

Dates and Time: This virtual group will start on May 13 and will meet on Thursdays from 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET

For more information, please email Victoria Grosso, Ph.D. at vg2107@cumc.columbia.edu or Priyanka Shokeen, Ph.D. at ps3221@cumc.columbia.edu with "Finding Your True Home" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Shirley Matthews, Ph.D. and Rachel Rush, LCSW-R

Are you longing to create more happiness, gratitude, and hope in your life right now? Are you feeling disconnected from yourself and or others? This experiential workshop may be what you need to help you feel more alive and happier.

During the workshop we will dispel some common misconceptions about happiness, gratitude, and hope. In the process we will help you define your signature strengths and introduce you to tools to help you increase your signature strengths and therefore your overall sense of competence and happiness. Come learn how to define happiness and then increase your experience of it.

Due to the open and online nature of this workshop, it is not private or confidential, though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion.

It is recommended that you attend all four sessions to get the maximum benefit from this workshop.  

Dates and Time: This workshop will meet on Tuesdays from 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET. (July 20th, July 27th, August 3rd, August 10th).

For more information or to register, please contact Dr. Shirley Matthews, Ph.D. at sm2158@cumc.columbia.edu and Rachel Rush, LCSW-R at rr3126@cumc.columbia.edu

Facilitated by Addette Williams, Ph.D.

The Koru Basic Mindfulness and Meditation course consists of 4 weekly 75-minute classes specifically designed to address the needs of emerging adults. Graduates of the course report feeling more rested, calmer, experience less self-judgment, and more mindfulness. A commitment to all 4 weeks is required, as is 10 minutes of daily homework. *** Registration is required

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information or to register, please email Dr. Addette Williams at alw65@cumc.columbia.edu with "Koru Meditation course" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Keoshia Worthy, Ph.D.

The Koru Basic Mindfulness and Meditation course consists of 4 weekly 75-minute classes specifically designed to address the needs of emerging adults. Graduates of the course report feeling more rested, calmer, less self-judgment and more mindfulness. A commitment to all 4 weeks is required, as is 10 minutes of daily homework. *** Registration is required

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this support space is not guaranteed to be private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is an educational and support space; it is not group therapy. The facilitators respectfully request that all participants have video enabled during the meetings.  

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information or to register, please email Dr. Keoshia Worthy at kw2865@cumc.columbia.edu with "Koru Meditation course" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Michele Goldman, Psy.D. and Jennifer Liu, M.D.

Does it ever feel like you cannot manage your emotions? Do you feel like you’re making things worse because you act out of emotion? Or maybe you’re just “too emotional”? This space is for all Columbia students who are struggling with regulating their emotions, keeping emotions in balance, and learning ways to tolerate the distress that comes with being emotional.

This is a five-week support space where we will explore the function of emotions, learn ways to decrease unwanted emotions, increase positive emotional experiences, decrease emotional suffering, and begin to form new relationships with our emotions. Due to the evolution of the skills learned, enrollment in this group will be closed after the second virtual session. Also, please be aware that this group is not intended to manage high-risk issues such as suicidal ideation or self-harm.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space, it is not group therapy.

Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Goldman at mg4199@cumc.columbia.edu and Dr. Liu at jl5679@cumc.columbia.edu with “Managing Emotions” in the subject line.

Facilitated by Adam Johnson, Ph.D. and Sherina Persaud, Ph.D.

Stress can take a toll on our bodies, lead to physical symptoms, chronic illness, or exacerbate pre-existing health issues. This skills group is for students who are wanting to improve their mental and physical well-being and develop an increased awareness of the mind/body connection. The group will incorporate body-oriented skills (i.e. meditation, guided imagery, movement, breathwork, self-expression) as well as cognitive and acceptance-based skills known to build resilience, improve coping, and enhance well-being.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this support space is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Adam Johnson with at aj2755@columbia.edu or Dr. Sherina Persaud at sp2586@columbia.edu “Mind/body group” in subject line.

Facilitated by Wardeh Hattab, LCSW and Kori Bennett, Psy.D.

This is a discussion-based, online support space for graduate and undergraduate Columbia students interested or engaged in polyamory or consensual/ethical non-monogamy (ENM). Group members will have the opportunity to share knowledge, resources, and experiences with one another in the service of receiving and offering support.

Due to the open and online nature of this drop-in space, this group is not private or confidential. Participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. Please note that this is a support space and not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information or to receive the interest form for the space, please contact Kori Bennett, Psy.D. at kb2863@cumc.columbia.edu or Wardeh Hattab, LCSW at wch2119@cumc.columbia.edu with "Poly" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Yaniv Philips, Ph.D.

Are you feeling scattered and stalled since your classes went virtual? Are you finding yourself consumed by the procrastination patterns you have been struggling with for some time?

This 4-session virtual workshop may be what you need to turn the dial down on procrastination and finish the semester strong. This workshop will help you figure out how to let go of self-regulation problems and learn to take the necessary steps toward achieving your goals. 

We will look at underlying causes of procrastination, and introduce techniques such as the use of goal setting, time management techniques, and how to use accountability to achieve what matters to you most. The workshop focus will be on the concerns of the Columbia University student, but all community members are welcome to participate. Come have fun and work on getting things done.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; it is not group therapy.  

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Yaniv Phillips at py2120@cumc.columbia.edu with "PROCRASTINATION" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Motoni Fong Hodges, Ph.D., Daniel Chiarilli, Ph.D., and Elmira Raeifar, Ph.D.

QuAC is a friendly, supportive space for LGBTQ students from all of Columbia's graduate and professional schools, as well as the School of General Studies. Come meet students from other programs, learn about resources at Columbia and identify and discuss and issues relevant to our communities.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this support space is not guaranteed to be private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is an educational and support space; it is not group therapy. The facilitators respectfully request that all participants have video enabled during the meetings.  

Dates and Time: This virtual space will meet every 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM ET

For more information, contact Motoni Fong Hodges at mh2759@cumc.columbia.edu, Daniel Chiarilli at dbc15@columbia.edu or Elmira Raeifar at er2597@cumc.columbia.edu

Biweekly support space that centers current issues and topics related to queer and trans students at Columbia University. If you are interested in joining this space, [please fill out the interest form.]

Facilitated by Kori Bennett, Psy.D. and Vanessa Gonzalez-Siegel, M.A.   

This is an online support space for queer and trans (transgender and/or nonbinary) graduate and undergraduate students centering on specific current issues and topics related to queer and trans communities. Due to the open and online nature of this drop-in space, this group is not private or confidential. Participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. Please note that this is a support space and not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information or to receive the interest form for the space, please contact Dr. Kori Bennett at kb2863@cumc.columbia.edu with "QT Talks" in the subject line.

Facilitated by Yaniv Phillips, Ph.D. and Miriam Korn, Psy.D.

This workshop is designed to help couples nurture the positives in their relationship while they are quarantined together or living apart. We will provide skills for enhancing communication and building problem solving skills at this challenging time. The workshop is open to all Columbia students and their partners. 

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; it is not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Phillips at py2120@cumc.columbia.edu or Dr. Korn at msk2164@cumc.columbia.edu with “Couples” in the subject line.

Facilitated by Weiyen Chung, Psy.D. and Wardeh Hattab, LCSW

This is a virtual support space for Asian International and Asian American Columbia students to speak openly about their own experiences and reactions to the recent and significant increase in anti-Asian violence in a safe environment. We hope to create a holding space where students can feel a sense of community and solidarity during this painful time.

Due to the open and online nature of this drop-in group, this group is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a virtual support space and not group therapy.

Dates and Time: From July 7th to August 11th, this virtual space will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00 - 5:00 PM ET.

For more information or to receive the Zoom link to join the group, please email Dr. Chung at wc2714@cumc.columbia.edu or Wardeh Hattab, LCSW at wch2119@cumc.columbia.edu  with “Asian Identity” in the subject line.

Facilitated by Hillary Scudder, Psy.D.

This workshop is for student Veterans adjusting to civilian life, especially the complexities of life in an academic setting. This group will provide an opportunity to share our successes and yet focus on problem-solving around difficulties with these life transitions. We will also work together to address some of the barriers to academic success at Columbia you may have encountered. In addition, this group will provide student Veterans with the opportunity to connect with other student Veterans and to identify ways students might use skills developed in the military to facilitate their transition to school.

Due to the open and online nature of this support space, this workshop is not private or confidential though participants are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of each other and to practice discretion. In addition, please note that this is a skill building support space; it is not group therapy.

Fall 2021 Dates and Time: TBA

For more information, please email Dr. Scudder at hs3203@cumc.columbia.edu with “Veterans in Transition” in the subject line.

If you don’t find something that meets your needs, please check back. We will add to our virtual offerings in the days to come.  You may also email Anne Goldfield, Associate Director of CPS for Community Outreach, with your suggestions at ag255@cumc.columbia.edu