New relationship group counseling

3 months ago Cynthia Griffin Comments Off on New relationship group counseling

For years Counseling Services has been an outlet for students to get help with any issues that they may have. As many know, the transition from high school to college can be difficult and balancing college life and personal life can be difficult as well. The multiple counselors in the office are there to help students in a safe space and confidential environment in any way that they can.

Counseling Services has mainly provided one on one counseling, but this semester they tried something new. Michelle Derosa, a counseling intern in the Counseling Services office, has been working there since last semester. In February, she started a counseling group geared towards relationships. Every week she meets with students to talk about relationships and any issues that they may be dealing with. The students are free to talk about anything that they are feeling.“I’m not there to talk and ask questions, it’s more about dialogue and conversation between the group members” Derosa said. She works as the facilitator of the group. The technical term for the group counseling is called an open processing group. Open: Anyone can come, and there is no set amount of people who can be involved and process: processing emotions between members of the group.

As the group has met throughout the semester, students have come and participated with the group and some just come to listen. Derosa has found that group counseling is a good outlet for students to express their feelings with one another. “There’s something beautiful and cathartic about being in a group of people with different experiences, different backgrounds, and being able to hear stories” Derosa said. “Relationships are something that everyone talks about so it makes sense to talk about it in a more clinical setting,” Derosa’s original goal for the group was to have four to eight people per session. The first couple of meetings only had a few students but as the semester has gone by the amount of students who come has gone up. Regardless of how many students show up, they all get the counseling that they want.

For students who may not feel comfortable coming to the group, Derosa recommends coming in for a consult with a counselor. “Whether it is weekly, biweekly or once a month, if you have a problem stop in, someone is here to talk to you” Derosa said. Aside from visiting counseling services, there is another resource that is recommended for anyone who may be having relationship problems. The website loveisrespect.org is known as the ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. The site provides 24/7 sport from advocates via message, text or call. The site is a good resource to learn about healthy relationships. It also features many interactive quizzes about healthy relationships. As an project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it is known nation-wide and Dersosa even uses it when coming up with talking points for the group counseling sessions.

Counseling services has always been a great outlet for students and now with the group counseling sessions have been going on throughout the semester, there are even more ways that students can get the help that they need. As the semester is coming to an end, the group counseling will pick up next fall.

Cynthia Griffin
clgriffin@vwu.edu