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Current CAPS Groups

Please note that all group options will be held VIRTUALLY during the spring semester.

Interpersonal Process Groups:

Interpersonal Process Group Understanding Self and Others: This interpersonal process group is for students who want to explore their own identity and self-worth, find new ways to connect and communicate with others, and also understand what may be getting in their way of achieving these goals. Students can use the interpersonal interaction of the group to learn about themselves, identify and expand their own interpersonal patterns, try new behaviors and clarify confusing feelings within a supportive and growth producing atmosphere. A pre-group screening with the facilitator(s) is required to join this group.

Support Groups:

Bipolar Disorder Support Group: This ongoing support group is open to those previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It will provide a safe and confidential setting where members can explore experiences of living with unstable and unpredictable mood states, changing energy levels and variable functioning. During the spring of 2021, the group will focus on education so participants can better understand their moods, learn coping skills pertaining to mood instability, learn about medications, hear about new research, as well as develop life planning skills and how to manage the complexities of relationships from “bipolar perspective.” A pre-group screening with the facilitator(s) is required to join this group.

Graduate Students Support Group: This ongoing group is open to graduate students and students of professional schools. Members will strive to provide a safe and confidential setting where the experiences of being a graduate/professional student can be freely discussed and support as well as coping strategies provided. A pre-group screening with the facilitator is required to join this group.

LGBTQ+ Support Group: This is a support group for students who want to become more comfortable within themselves, and with their gender identity and sexuality. This inclusive group welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, asexual, and intersex students. Members of the group include those who are fully out to others, those who are out to only a few chosen people, and those who are only just coming out to themselves. The group provides a confidential and safe space in which LGBTQ+ students can explore questions related to gender and sexuality, and also discuss issues related to societal and personal values, relationships, choices, self-esteem, and self-care. This is not thought of as a therapy group because we do not believe that LGBTQ+ identities are indicative of psychopathology. Instead, this group is designed to foster healthier adjustment and self-development in its participants by providing the opportunity to share and reflect on their experiences, thoughts, and emotions in some depth in an atmosphere that is non-judgmental and supportive. A pre-group screening with the facilitator(s) is required to join this group.

Recovery Support Group for Eating Disorders: This is an eight-week-long support group designed for students who struggle with binge eating, purging, food restriction, excessive exercise, body image concerns, and other related issues. The group will be structured around a different topic for each of the sessions. Topics that will provide the focus for discussion may include self-worth, perfectionism, anxiety, emotion regulation, effective communication, self-criticism, academic pressure, and self-care. Weekly attendance is expected. A pre-group screening with the facilitators is required to join this group.

Skills Development:

CSC/CAPS Mindfulness Spaces: Open to all UVA students. In order to help students engage in ongoing self-care during this time, the Contemplative Sciences Center and Counseling and Psychological Services are offering a number of mindfulness meditation hours this spring semester. The meditation hours are open to all UVA students looking for a way to engage in mindfulness practices in a safe and supportive space. No previous experience required. The sessions will begin with a brief introduction, followed by mindfulness practice and debriefing. All groups are VIRTUAL and a Zoom link will be provided. If you are interested in participating, contact the person(s) listed by your preferred time(s) below. More options to come soon.

DBT-Based Skills Group: Would you like to create emotional balance and learn how to get off the emotional roller coaster? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training group is a 6-9 week course to provide a personable, safe learning environment to practice skills to be free of the intense emotions and success of living more fully in the present. At the end of skills training, you will have your own toolkit to pull from whenever you have difficult life circumstances. Enrollees would be referred by their CAPS therapist and/or psychiatrist or we can provide other community DBT group referral options, if interested. A pre-group screening with the facilitators is required to join this group.

Maintaining Well-being: This 5-week-long space focuses on building skills for coping during these challenging times. Students will learn to identify the impact of stress on everyday life and cultivate positive coping skills and habits that promote overall wellbeing. This virtual space of four to eight students will address educational topics such as anxiety management, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Participants will practice strategies in real-time together and suggested self-led activities between meetings are offered to encourage healthy habits throughout the week.

Understanding Body-Based Healing: This five-week long self-care series introduces students to various options for body based complementary healing techniques. 4-8 participants will meet virtually to discuss the relationship between the body and mental health, and explore options for self-soothing practices. Topics include: identifying emotions present in the body, nervous system regulation, applied yoga therapy, interpersonal boundaries, and changing the brain with the mind. 

Spaces for Connection and Support:

Black Students Support CircleThis is a weekly support space for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who identify as Black, African American, or African. This support space provides a safe and affirming opportunity to make connections, give and receive support, and engage in open dialogue about lived experiences at a PWI. We will discuss topics including but not limited to: academic stress, relationships, socio-political climate, community, racial in/justice, resilience and belongingness.

In the Company of My Sister (ITCOMS): This is a weekly, support space for undergraduate and graduate Black/African American female students. This sister circle is in partnership with the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) and co-facilitated by a designated student representative. We strive to foster a sense of belonging and sisterhood, and to celebrate the lived experience of Black women on Grounds. Each week, we will engage in supportive dialogue related to the successes and challenges of academics, social life, current events, social justice, resilience, and friendship.

International Students Support Circle: This is a weekly support space for international students to discuss common issues as they adjust to the culture in the U.S. and on UVA Grounds. International students often face multiple challenges, including language, communication, social, and academic stressors in a culturally new environment. We will focus on: providing a safe and supportive space for connection; discussing common issues during international students’ initial and on-going process of cross-cultural adaptation; discussing COVID-19’s impact on various aspects of international students’ life and their stress; learning about resources and coping strategies; discussing challenges and rewards associated with living, learning and working at UVA; and facilitating personal and cultural growth and academic success.

Students of Color Support Circle: This is a weekly support space for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who identify as people of color and/or have bi/multicultural identities. This support space provides a safe and affirming opportunity to make connections, give and receive support, and engage in open conversations and self-exploration. We will discuss topics including but not limited to: relationships, culturally unique expectations and demands, self-care and resilience in dealing with racial stress, intersection of identities, and belongingness.

Support Circle for South Asian Students: This is a weekly support space for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who identify as South Asian. These meetings will provide a safe and affirming space to make connections, give and receive support, and engage in self-exploration.  We will discuss topics including but not limited to: relationships, culturally unique expectations and demands, self-care and resilience in dealing with racial stress, intersection of identities, and belongingness.

More group information coming soon!