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Groups for IUP Students

What is Group Counseling, and How Do I Get Involved?

Group counseling graphicSometimes a problem is better addressed through group counseling than with an individual counselor. Research has shown that group counseling is as effective as individual counseling. Talking with other students who have similar experiences provides support and perspective.

The counseling, support, and growth groups listed here are offered at the Counseling Center. These groups usually include five to eight students and are facilitated by one or two of our therapists. Group facilitators work to provide a safe, confidential environment where members are free to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and concerns as they are comfortable.

Participation in these groups requires an initial meeting with the group facilitator(s), usually 30 to 45 minutes. To schedule this meeting or to ask questions, contact the Counseling Center at 724-357-2621, stop by G31 Suites on Maple East, e-mail the group leaders (see below), or contact Debbie Jevicky at All groups have openings at the start of the semester, but will close to new members after the first group meeting.

Groups for IUP Students: Spring 2015

Mood Matters

  • Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Are you having difficulty expressing or experiencing your emotions? Are you interested in becoming more accepting of your internal experiences? Join us for mutual support and exploration in identifying, understanding, and expressing both pleasant and uncomfortable emotions. This group will help participants practice tolerating painful emotions and cultivate acceptance instead of emotional storms. 

Facilitated by Laura Syvertson, LSW ( and Angelica Terepka, MA (

Graduate Students

  • Mondays 3:00–4:30 p.m.

A support-oriented group, topics of discussion are likely to include the demands of graduate study, anxieties about competition and career, self-care and coping, support for writing a thesis or dissertation, student/faculty relationships and boundaries, and healthy interpersonal relating within the stressful context of graduate study.  

Facilitated by Rita Drapkin, PhD ( and Chiaothong Yong, MA (  

Finding Balance with Substance Use

  • Mondays 1:15–2:30 p.m.

Come explore your relationship with alcohol or other substances. This group is designed to help you examine, understand and perhaps modify your drinking or substance use behaviors. This supportive environment will explore ideas for healthy, effective ways to manage emotions or stress. This is also a space for sharing concerns about friends or family and their drinking or substance use.

Facilitated by Laura Syvertson, ( LSW Substance Use and Abuse Coordinator

Not Just Straight

  • Tuesdays 3:00–4:30 p.m.

The group is an all-inclusive place where students who are questioning their sexual or gender identity or identify as LGBTQ+ can turn for confidential sharing and support. It is designed to be a safe space where concerns related to exploring sexuality, coming out, relationships, families, community, can all be discussed. Students do not need to be “out” in order to participate in this group, or have a firm sexual or gender identity. 

Facilitated by Lisa Mondell, MA ( and Angelica Terepka, MA (  

Women: Finding Our Way

  • Thursdays 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

This group is for 6 to 8 female IUP students. It is a place for women to discuss topics such as academics, relationships, families, body image, self-esteem, and other common concerns with a focus on self-awareness and interpersonal interaction.

Facilitated by Joelle Bazaz, MA ( and Kristin Faust, MA (

Making Connections

  • Wednesdays 3:00–4:15 p.m.

This is a structured psychoeducational group that focuses on ways to improve social connections and relationships with others. Skills that will be worked on in group include: communication, how to meet others and initiate meaningful conversation, how to manage conflicts and communicate assertively, how to set boundaries with others, and how to deepen relationships with acquaintances. The group will consist of instruction time and hands-on interactive activities to try out the new skills. By the end of group, you should be able to cultivate and maintain more flexibility and comfort with your interpersonal relationships. 

Facilitated by Laura Syvertson, LSW ( and Abby Costello, MA (

Positively Sexy

  • Wednesdays 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

This semi-structured group is a safe space for women to consider their own sexual and relationship practices and explore whether these behaviors match what’s ideal for them. Barriers to embracing and expressing one’s own sexuality in an authentic way (e.g., consent, communication, relationship issues, body image, and campus culture) and strategies for overcoming these challenges will be discussed. In an atmosphere where all variations of sexual expression are embraced, group members will have the freedom to work through any past and current issues they’ve faced concerning sex, and they will become more empowered in the expression of their sexuality. 

Facilitated by Camille Interligi, MA ( and Jessica Miller, PsyD (

  • The Counseling Center
  • Suites on Maple East, G31
    901 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2621
  • Fax: 724-357-7728
  • Client Services Summer 2015
  • Student counseling services are not provided during the summer. For assistance during business hours, contact the Center for Health and Well-Being at 724-357-1358 or visit the Center's main desk in Suites on Maple East. In case of an emergency, contact University Police at 724-357-2141 or call 911 or go to Indiana Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department.
  • For 24-hour assistance, call the local mobile crisis hotline at 1-877-333-2470.