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Groups for Fall 2021

We know what you’re thinking. Groups? Seriously?? So before you condemn the possibility of joining a group at CPG, consider some things. We live in a technological age that is doing its best to disconnect us from one another and many students talk about feeling alone. Others talk about their worries that everyone else seems happy and put-together but they feel like something isn’t right when it comes to themselves. Groups are the perfect way for all of us to learn how to authentically connect with one another; experience what it is like to show your real self and see how others will accept you and care for you anyway. That connection showing your real self is the helping factor in groups. Many students question, “If I say something in a group, will my stuff get blabbed out to the rest of campus?” In our years at CPG doing groups, this has never been an issue. Not once. Not only is confidentiality a rule for all groups, group members respect one another and they hold to that promise. So, seriously, take a chance. We are offering a bunch of groups this year because we feel so strongly about them. Check them out.

For Fall 2021:  Groups are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.  Because we want to fully encourage students’ connection to another, all of our groups will be held in person in a tent behind the counseling center for the fall 2021 semester.  In addition, some groups will be held in spaces on campus (outside of the counseling center).

Groups at CPG for Fall 2021

Although BIPOC students suffer disproportionately due to various unique stressors, our narrative is not a tragic one. Through building community with one another, we can access a unique resilience including resistance to oppression, pride, and excellence. This group is designed to increase mental health awareness and personal responsibility within a supportive and brave social context of respect and empowerment. Topics related to BIPOC mental health include (but are not limited to): Imposter Syndrome, Racial Trauma, Family Pressures/Dynamics, and Codeswitching.  Group members will discuss current issues, address old wounds, and support one another as community members.   If interested, please email Mikayla Wynter.

  • Leaders:  Mikayla Wynter and Mary Xatse
  • Meets:  Thursdays at 3pm
  • Begins:  9/23/21

25 years ago, society was only just becoming aware of the devastating implications diet-culture has on individuals. Back then, researchers started to acknowledge the long-term impact of photoshopping physical advertisements (billboards, magazines, TV ads etc.). The science confirmed what researchers suspected as it relates to the significant impact diet culture has on society – simply put, the message of our self-worth was enmeshed with what we look like, with nearly impossible standards as the threshold. At the start of a movement to unlearn shameful messages about our bodies and self-worth, the birth of social media 15 years ago served as a spout of gasoline to the fire of toxic diet culture. The ability to compare oneself to unrealistic standards of beauty was now available with a quick tap and scroll.

In looking at these timelines, today’s college-aged population has arguably been exposed to the hottest flames of diet culture. This generation grew up in a time when, what was once expensive photoshop editing reserved for top fashion magazines, was suddenly available as filters on Instagram. While we cannot control the expedition of the relationship between social connection and technology, we can control practicing our shift in attention towards relearning how to love and accept our bodies with a focus on living a life that is consistent with one’s values.  If you are interested in this group, please email Jenni Waldron.

  • Leaders:  Jenni Waldron
  • Meets:  TBD
  • Begins:  TBD

Does this sound familiar…
I’ve tried meditation. I can’t do it.
I can’t stop my mind from thinking about everything.
I’m really busy, and I don’t have time for anything mindful.
It’s just too hard.

So, what exactly is ‘mindfulness’? Maybe it’s easier to think about what it is NOT: it is NOT clearing your mind so that you aren’t thinking about anything at all (that’s impossible, by the way). It is NOT a matter of doing it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ (in mindfulness, there is no such thing). It is NOT something that you have to practice for hours every day.

Mindfulness, simply stated, is being aware of what is going on inside of you and outside of you at any given moment without judgement. That’s it!! When we are being mindful, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to think or feel. When we are mindful we are trying to be in the present moment as often as we can, and when our mind wanders away from this moment (and it will… a lot) we gently bring it back to this moment.

The idea of mindfulness is simple, but the execution of it at times can be hard, usually because we have to train our mind to focus on the present moment (again, without judging yourself. This is so important).

The good news is that during our sessions together we will identify and practice different ways we can be mindful, right here and right now in this moment. Sitting and walking meditation will be practiced. We will also practice some mindful eating, as well as completing other tasks, all in a safe space for mindfulness.  If you’re interested in this group, please email Shawn McGuirk.

  • Leader:  Shawn McGuirk
  • Meets:  Wednesdays at 1pm
  • Begins:  9/15/21

Are you struggling with navigating your identity and all that come with it? Are you struggling with coping due to the intersection of your identity and sometimes feel alone or unheard/unseen? Lavender Alliance is a support group for LGBTQIA+ students and here, we understand that identity is more than who you are on the outside and what you present to others, but also who you are on the inside as your authentic self.  We are an all-inclusive group that will provide students a safe and respectable environment to learn and discuss several aspects that impact their lives as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In this therapeutic space, we want to help build a support network to lean on each other during difficult times. Throughout the weeks of the group we will be talking about how to manage stress effectively, dealing with family members that aren’t as supportive, imposter syndrome, and much more. At Lavender Alliance, we respect everyone for who they are, while providing support for the celebration of diversity and pride.  If you are interested in this group, please email Matt Eisner.

  • Leaders: Matt Eisner and Emma Tem
  • Meets:  Wednesdays at 2pm
  • Begins:  9/8/21

This 3-week psychotherapy group will focus on issues associated with adjusting to college and the Clark experience. This group will allow students to discuss the challenges of beginning college with other freshman who are going through the same transition. Topics will include (but are not limited to) homesickness, imposter syndrome, fitting in, making friends, and coping with stress/anxiety. Above all, the group aims to be a supportive place for students interested in a smoother transition to Clark.  If you’re interested in this group, please email Marcia Galvinhill.

  • Leader:  Marcia Galvinhill
  • Meets:  TBD
  • Begins:  TBD

The Without Limits group will be a lunch group for all students at Clark who have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and any language-based learning disabilities. Topics we will cover will include challenges of college, how (and when) to disclose your disability, hygiene, navigating a college residence halls, resources available on Clark’s campus and social challenges and skill development. Students with ASD or other learning disability struggle to connect with peers, faculty, and staff. We will work on developing social skills necessary for navigating college life and within society.  We encourage students to come with questions, difficulties, concerns, and an attitude of openness, non judgment, and engagement with others. We want to create a safe space while having fun- come invest in trying something new for yourself!  If you’re interested in this group, please email Leah Manzella.

  • Leader:  Leah Manzella
  • Meets:  Mondays 12-1pm
  • Begins:  9/13/21

The Comrade Club will be just for Becker students on the Becker campus who have ASD. This will be an open lunch group for any student to drop in, discuss the transition to Clark University, brainstorm any obstacles and social difficulties. This group will provide an opportunity to build peer relationships, learn about resources on Clark’s campus.  If you’re interested in attending this lunch group, please email Leah Manzella.

  • Leader:  Leah Manzella
  • Meets:  Wednesdays 12-1pm
  • Begins:  9/15/21

This group offers a safe and supportive environment in which members can gain powerful experiences through giving and receiving support and encouragement from others facing similar challenges. The group allows members to practice new, more engaged and effective ways of relating to one another. Common concerns discussed include identity development, relationships (family, peers, partners), mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety (including social anxiety), identifying and asserting boundaries appropriately, loneliness/isolation, and other concerns that feel relevant. Participants have the opportunity to give and receive interpersonal feedback and share in vulnerabilities in this safe and supportive setting.  If you’re interested in this group, please email Shawn McGuirk.

  • Leader:  Shawn McGuirk
  • Meets:  Thursdays 2-3pm
  • Begins:  9/16/21

This group will offer an hour of trauma conscious, healing centered, mindful movement utilizing TCTSY (Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga) methodology. TCTSY is an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). TCTSY is based on the hatha style of yoga, so you will have the time and space to engage in a series of physical forms and movements. This style of yoga focuses on fostering empowerment through choice making based on a felt sense of your own body in the present moment. Through this unique focus, TCTSY allows you to engage with a connection of mind and body. This space is suitable for all bodies and abilities, with no previous yoga experience being necessary to join. Anyone who feels this approach and practice might be supportive to them is welcome.

The practice will be offered as a mat practice where you can engage in seated, standing and floor based forms. If it is preferable for any reason, the use of a chair rather than a mat is welcome. The space is open to all expressions of gender.  If you are interested in attending, please email Angelica Emery-Fertitta.

  • Leader:  Angelica Emery-Fertitta
  • Meets:  Mondays at 3pm in the Kneller
  • Begins:  9/20/21

Are you coping with any form of anxiety including chronic worry, social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, health related concerns, and panic attacks?  Ever wonder why your anxiety doesn’t seem to go away, and why those stress management strategies you read about don’t seem to work?  Come get a better understanding of what anxiety is and how you can begin the path to becoming a more calm, worry-free person. This structured group uses strategies from mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies to better manage and relate to anxiety.   The ultimate goal of the group is to assist members in freeing themselves from the pull of constant struggle with anxiety so they can focus on living a more rich and meaningful life.  If you’re interested in this group, please email Bridget Gerstel.

  • Leaders:  Ruby Yarmush and Bridget Gerstel
  • Meets:  Wednesdays 3-4pm
  • Begins:  9/8/21
Contact Information

Center for Counseling & Personal Growth

Office Location
  • 114 Woodland Street,
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 1-508-793-7678
Office Hours
  • 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed from noon-1 p.m.)