Group Programs - Spring 2014

Each semester the University Counseling Service (UCS) offers a number of groups. The groups are open to University of Iowa students, and the enrollment is free and can be made directly through the UCS at (319) 335-7294, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Confidentiality in group counseling is strictly respected. At this time, all groups are held at the UCS. You may view our "Group Scoop” pamphlet which describes what it might be like to participate in group counseling or psychotherapy.

Therapy and Process Groups

Requires an individual pre-group meeting (please contact the UCS for an appointment). Requires commitment (will be discussed in pre-group meeting).

Psycho-Education and Support Groups

Commitment to regular attendance is encouraged. Please contact the group leader(s) for more information about joining.

Therapy and Process Groups

ACT on Life                               

This is a 10-week program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an approach that teaches emotional and behavioral skills for living more effectively with life’s ups and downs.  This group can be especially helpful for individuals that are struggling with unpleasant thoughts and emotions often associated with depression and anxiety.  In this group we will:

• Learn how our thought process works and how to be less bound to unhelpful thinking. 

• Learn how to respond effectively to our emotions, without being disconnected from them or entangled with them.

• Learn how to recognize and let go of ineffective patterns of behavior, and to develop more effective behavior. 

• Explore our life values and learn how to live more congruently with those values to experience greater meaning in life.

• Support each other as we learn these skills and work towards living a more meaningful life with less struggle.


Group 1

Monday 12:30 - 2:00 pm (Full)
Jeremy Kinser, Ph.D.

Group 2

Tuesday 3:30 - 5:00 pm (Full)
Lanaya Ethington, Ph.D.

Eating Issues Group                                                                         

Participants in the Eating Issues group will discuss body image and eating concerns, explore emotional reasons for eating problems and learn coping skills for emotion and anxiety management. Other life issues that are related to problems with food and eating (relationship concerns, trauma, stress, perfectionism, etc.) will also be addressed. A pre-group screening appointment with the group facilitator is required.


Friday 10:30 - 12:00 pm (Full)
Eva Schoen, Ph.D. & Peiwei Li, M.S.

Family Issues Group                                                                         

A group that is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are being affected by chaotic or difficult family relationships. The safe and supportive group environment will enable you to explore how you have been affected by your family of origin, and identify healthy coping strategies. If you are being affected by maladaptive family relationships, come and set a pre-group meeting to find out if the Family Issues Group is right for you.


Monday 11:00 - 12:30 pm (Full)
Kelly Clougher, Ph.D. & Shane Gibbons, M.A.

General Therapy Group                                                                                                                                                                   

Open to both graduate and undergraduate students, general therapy groups tend to focus on relationships, intimacy, boundaries, self-awareness and other components of interpersonal process. These groups are designed to help members learn to deal with a variety of concerns including feelings of depression and anxiety, relationship issues, and other personal and academic concerns.

Group 1                                               

Friday 1:30 - 3:00 pm (Full)
Kathleen Staley, Ph.D. & Peiwei Li, M.S.   


Group 2

Thursday 1:30 - 3:00 pm (Full)
Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Men's Group                                                                                                                                                                

In this group, men have the opportunity to form close relationships with other men, to realize that they are not alone with their problems, issues, and concerns; and to discover that other men also struggle with not being able to get in touch with their feelings, or to identify and know that they are, in fact, anxious or depressed, or full of anger or sadness.  Do you relate to or identify with this?  If so, come to find out if this group is right for you. 


Tuesday 3:30 - 5:00 pm (Full)
Scott Liu, Ph.D. & David Adams, M.A.

Social Skills 101 for Pervasive Developmental Disorders                                                                         

Students in the Social Skills 101 Therapy Group will work on developing social skills that focus on the basic fundamentals of human interaction.  Students will:

Students with Asperger’s Disorder, high functioning Autistic Disorders, or other Pervasive Developmental Disorders are welcome in this group.  Please contact Dr. Staley for a group screening meeting if interested. 


Tuesday 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Kathleen Staley, Ph.D.

Women’s Therapy Group                                                                         

Do you:

Come join the Women’s Therapy Group!


Wednesday 5:15 - 6:45 pm (Full)
Paula Keeton, Ph.D. & Amanda McEnery, M.S.

Psycho-Education and Support Groups

Dissertation Support Group                                                                                                   

An ongoing weekly self-help and support group for those who are involved in all stages of the dissertation process. Degree of structure of the group will depend upon the needs and requests of the participants. The program will address some of the most frequently encountered challenges doctoral students experience while writing the dissertation. It will also suggest strategies to minimize those potential challenges.  If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodations in order to participate in this program, please contact the UCS at 335-7294 in advance to discuss your needs.


Friday 9:00 - 10:30 am
Helen Brady, Ph.D.

International Student Conversation Group                                                                         

For all international students who would like to share their thoughts and feelings about adjusting to life at The University of Iowa and in the United States.

The group is a place where students can:


Friday 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Scott Liu, Ph.D. & Shane Gibbons, M.A.


You may view our "Group Scoop” pamphlet which describes what it might be like to participate in group counseling or psychotherapy.

For general questions regarding the University Counseling Service groups program, please contact the group coordinator, Dr. Scott Liu, at (319)335-7294 or for more information.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events.  If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate, please contact the University Counseling Service at (319) 335-7294 to discuss your needs.

Updated: 3/24/2014