Students coming to the Counseling Center for the first time are seen for an intial appointment to discuss their concerns and determine how counseling can help. During individual counseling, students meet weekly or sometimes bi-weekly to discuss their concerns in-depth with a counselor.
During counseling, students work to better understand themselves and cope with distressing emotions, situations, or experiences. Students often find that after counseling they have a better understanding of the connections between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, greater involvement in healthy relationships, and an increased ability to make desired changes in their lives. Overall, counseling helps students identify and take action to meet their emotional needs in healthy ways.
Group counseling is helpful for a wide variety of concerns and all types of people. Groups are composed of approximately 5-10 students and at least 1 counselor who leads the group and is responsible for making sure the group is a safe and helpful space for all group members. Many issues are appropriate for group therapy. If group counseling is recommended by a counselor, it is because some concerns can be most effectively addressed in a group setting.
Group members discuss concerns or issues that are important to them. By sharing with each other, students learn from one another about how to cope with problems and support each other through difficult times. Groups can be particularly effective for coping with anxiety or depression, but also for students struggling with loss, unhealthy relationships, or fitting in at Bentley. There are no “rules” regarding what can or cannot be shared in group. What is important is how things are shared between members. Group facilitators help all group members share and respond to each other in a nonjudgmental manner, facilitating trust and personal growth for all members.
Group counseling is effective because too often students feel isolated and alone with the concerns that brought them counseling. Group counseling offers a chance for students to talk with others who are struggling with the same issues in a safe and confidential environment. Finding companionship and support with others who understand is the key ingredient to feeling better and becoming more effective and productive. Groups are completely confidential, just like individual therapy sessions.
The Counseling Center routinely offers a variety of groups, including:
Understanding Self & Others. Do you want to build stronger and more meaningful relationships? Do you feel anxious, lonely, or isolated in the midst of so many people? Do you want to make changes but are not sure how to do so? These are common experiences for many students. This group is developed for students with depression, anxiety, identity concerns, or relationship issues. The group will address a wide variety of topics pertaining to mood, stress, diversity, coping, and relating to others.
Let’s Talk About It. This discussion group is for students with questions or concerns about their sexual or gender identity, including the process of “coming out” during college. In a non-judgmental, supportive, accepting environment, students will connect with others who have similar questions or concerns.
Living with Loss. Losing a parent, sibling, or other significant person in our lives is painful no matter when the death occurs. This group is for students who are dealing with a loss-either recent or longer term. Come meet other students and experience the relief of talking with peers who do understand because they too are coping with a loss.
When the Ones We Love Struggle with Addiction. Family, partners and friends need support too! If you have been affected by substance abuse or substance dependence of a loved one, you are not alone. In this support group students will have an opportunity to acknowledge common experiences in a confidential space, discover ways to support others in recovery, and understand how someone else’s alcoholism or drug use affects them.
Coping with Stress Workshop. Life at college comes with a certain level of stress. Do you find that you are sometimes overwhelmed by stress in your life? Come to one or more of this friendly series to learn simple techniques to reduce the impact of stress on your life. Life will always be stressful, but that doesn’t mean it is has to be overwhelming.
If interested, please contact the counseling center for more information.
The Center for Health and Wellness also offers support groups for students with shared medical concerns. Contact CHW directly (781-891-2222) for information.