Group Counseling

Group counseling is a type of therapy in which several students meet with a trained therapist(s), often focusing on a common goal. Members learn from others' experiences, receive and give feedback, receive support and learn that they are not alone. Groups offer individuals the opportunity to share personal concerns in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. Research shows it to be as effective as individual counseling, and for some issues, it can be more effective. Students can benefit from group therapy in many ways:

  • Connect with others facing similar issues
  • Learn and practice new skills in a safe space
  • Share experiences and gain perspective from talking with others
  • Improve self-awareness, self-confidence and social skills
  • Enhance acceptance of self and others

Counseling Services at Sindecuse Health Center offers several groups open to current Western Michigan University students. Most groups meet weekly and are open to new participants. Call Counseling Services at (269) 387-1850 if you are interested in participating. You may have a brief pre-screening appointment with a counselor prior to participation in groups that are not drop-in.

Groups offered

Please call (269) 387-1850 to see if a group is active. If participation is low, a group may not continue to the end of  the semester.

After Silence

Thursdays 1–2:30 p.m. A safe, confidential support group for female survivors of unwanted sexual contact: rape, date rape, marital rape, sexual assault, molestation or harassment.
Facilitators: Christy Heffron, LMSW and Grace Orlando, LMSW

Beyond Grief and Trauma

Tuesdays 10 to 11:30 a.m. Following a loss or trauma, each person has a unique emotional experience and way to cope, grieve and react. This group is designed to support members to find their own resilience as they recover and heal from adversity, stress, trauma or tragedy.
Facilitators: Becki Beronja, LPC, and Nicki Stiemsma, LPC


Tuesdays 2–3:30 p.m. drop in Learn to manage stress and anxiety by applying mindfulness techniques to make everyday life more calm and open to enjoyment. For students who feel their stress and anxiety make coping difficult.
Facilitators: Grace Orlando, LMSW and Danielle Standish, Ph.D., LP

Food . Love . Balance

Mondays 10–11:30 a.m. drop in For students who are experiencing difficulties with eating or body image.
Facilitators: Christy Heffron, LMSW and Grace Orlando, LMSW

Graduate Student Support Group

Thursdays 2 to 3:30 p.m. drop in A safe zone where graduate students can share experiences and support for one another. Monthly meetings.
Facilitator: Brian Fuller, Ph.D.

Men’s Self-Development Group

Wednesdays 3 to 4:30 p.m. drop in An accepting, nonjudgmental environment where men are provided space to explore important issues, discuss future goals, and identify and communicate the positive influences that men can have on campus.  We look forward to your contribution! All men are welcome.
Facilitated by Ricky Pope, M.A.

Sister Circle

Fridays 2 to 3:30 p.m. drop in All women who identify as a visible minority are invited to join this support group.  Participants will explore the intersection of race, gender, orientation, socio economic status, and relationships in a safe and supportive environment.
Facilitators: Christen Howard-Connor, LPC, LLP, NCC and Danielle Standish, Ph.D., LP

Student (X)

Fridays 11 to 12:30 p.m. Group members serve as a treatment team for a fictitious Student (X) while pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone and developing new, valuable skills.
Facilitators: Brian Fuller, Ph.D., and Megan Cupka, LPC

When Parents Have Problems

Fridays 12:30–2 p.m. drop in For students struggling with a mentally ill or addicted parent.
Facilitators: Becki Beronja, LPC, and Sarah Good, LPC, LMFT

WTF: Emotional Survival Skills

Fridays 10–11:30 a.m.  drop in  From residence hall disasters to teacher troubles, learn skills to change self and get along with others. 
Facilitators: Phil Johnson, LSW and Christen Howard-Connor, LPC, LLP, NCC