Carnegie Mellon University

Group & Skills Clinic

Group is one of the most effective tool for addressing the issues commonly faced by college students.  For many students, the hands-on nature of group can be more effective than individual therapy.
CaPS skills clinic, support groups, and group therapy provide a safe place for students to come together in small groups, share the personal issues and concers they have in common, and learn new coping skills.  Most students find that groups exceeded their expectations and helped them deepen self-understanding, cope with challenges, and practice social skills. 

How to Join or Learn More:
There are several ways to begin your group experience.  You can email a group facilitator, listed below, to schedule a short information session and see if the group is right for you.  If you are already seeing a CaPS therapist, you may also ask them about joining the group.  Finally, you can contact CaPS during business hours at 412-268-2922.

Spring 2023 Skills Clinics

Providing education, skill development and support

Tools to Manage Anxiety Skills Clinic: Four-Week Series

Thursday, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.     Virtual 
February 23, March 2, 16, & 23rd

Facilitator: Sara Troupe, Psy.D.

At this four-week skills clinic, we will learn about anxiety and develop your own toolbox of skills to manage anxiety through practice. Contact Sara Troupe, Psy.D. for more information.

Understanding My Emotional Thermostat: Three-Week Series

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.    Virtual 
February 15, 22, & March 1st

Facilitator: Sara Troupe, Psy.D.

As humans, we all experience fluctuations in our emotions. This skills clinic is an opportunity for you to increase your understanding of your emotional reactions and develop skills to manage heightened emotions that can feel overwhelming and distressing at times. Increasing your awareness and understanding of your emotional experience will help you manage your emotions more effectively and make choices that improve the situation, rather than making matters worse. This skills clinic will help students increase awareness of emotion-provoking buttons, understand what happens biologically when experiencing negative emotions, recognize when in crisis, and develop crisis survival skills to decrease the intensity of emotions. Contact Sara Troupe, Psy.D. for more information.

Executive Functioning Skills Clinic: Three-Week Series

Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.     Virtual 
Starts February 16th

Facilitators: Erin Unkefer, Ph.D. & Susan Morine, M.D.

This skills clinic is ideal for students with concerns related to attention/concentration, time management/planning, procrastination and motivation. We will identify goals, strengths and areas for growth for each student. Those diagnosed with ADHD might benefit from the executive functioning training provided, but a diagnosis of ADHD is not required. In fact, many people who struggle with executive functioning impairment may not have ADHD. Contact Erin Unkefer, Psy.D. for more information.

Women's Embracing Your Body: Three-Week Series

Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
April 5, 12 & 19th

Facilitator: Sara Troupe, Psy.D.

At this 3-week workshop you will learn how to become aware of societal body ideals, how to challenge negative body talk, and how to change your relationship with your body. This workshop is perfect for women who want to further their journey towards body acceptance. A brief pre-group orientation is required. Contact Sara Troupe, Psy.D. for more information.

Spring 2023 Support Groups

Providing connection, personal growth and support

Beyond Worry: An Anxiety Support Group

Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Virtual 

Facilitator: Erin Unkefer, Ph.D.

The Anxiety Support Group is an opportunity for students with anxiety to gather in community for support, validation and connection. This group is a great fit for students who have an awareness of what anxiety is, a sense of how anxiety impacts their lives, and some coping skills to manage anxiety.  This support group will be a space to discuss how you've implemented anxiety management skills in every day life.  Often students complet the Tools to Manage Anxiety Skills Clinic before joining the Anxiety Support Group, however it is not required. Contact Erin Unkefer, Ph.D., for more information.

Black Women’s Support Group

Fridays 4:00pm - 5:15pm    Virtual
Starts January 27th 

Facilitators: Kym Jordan Simmons, Ph.D. & Ife Sinclair, Ph.D.

A supportive, virtual space for students who identify as Black women, facilitated by a Black, female therapist. This unstructured group provides an opportunity to discuss the complexities of navigating spaces within and outside of CMU as a Black woman. Group members identify the weekly discussion topics depending up what is most salient for them. Students discuss and explore feelings and experiences; give and receive advice related to stress and coping, misogynoir, oppression and privilege, intersectional identities, self-esteem, relationships, colorism, family, internalized racism and other topics of interest. Meetings tend to have approximately 6 or 7 group members in attendance. It is a weekly meeting (vs. a drop-in space), so consistent attendance is expected. Everyone’s agreement to maintaining the confidentiality of other members is essential! Contact Kym Jordan Simmons, Ph.D. for more information.

Invisible Fight: Surviving and Thriving with Chronic Illness 

Mondays, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Virtual 

Facilitators: Erin Unkefer, Ph.D. & Kym Jordan Simmons Ph.D. 

Living with a chronic illness/medical condition can be an isolating experience. This support group is an opportunity for students who experience chronic conditions (i.e. asthma, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and others) to gather in community for support and validation. It is a space to explore the challenges of navigating various aspects of our world (health care systems, academic environments, personal lives, etc.) while also caring for the self.


International Student Support Group

Wednesdays, 3:30-4:40pm,  In-person

Facilitator: Shubhara Bhattacharjee, Psy.D. 

The International Student Support Group is a group for students who identify with an international background who are interested in seeking support within the context of community. Adjusting to a new cultural environment, school, and status can be both exciting and stressful. This support group offers a safe and supportive space where international students can connect and share their success, difficulties, and growth with each other as they navigate CMU, Pittsburgh, and the United States. A brief pre-group orientation is required.


PhD Support Group

Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Virtual
Starts January 31th 

Facilitator: Kym Jordan Simmons, Ph.D.

The PhD Support Group offers space to confidentially discuss the stressors and challenges of navigating relationships with advisors and peers, academic milestones, academic hazing, low motivation, struggles with self-confidence, and efforts to lead a more balanced life. Group members typically share their experiences, offer and receive support and connect with others during group meetings.  The group is able to accommodate no more than one student per program/lab. Contact Kym Jordan Simmons, Ph.D. to schedule a 30-minute consultation meeting to discuss the group and answer questions.

Spring 2023 Process Group

Providing connection, personal growth and support

Understanding Self & Others

Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  In-person

Facilitators: Abigail Cruz, Ph.D. & Briana Root, Ph.D. 

A supportive space for students to deepen their awareness and acceptance of themselves while also having the opportunity to practice new, more satisfying ways of connecting with others. This group can help you: overcome fears and doubts in social situations, develop a better understanding of how others perceive you, identify your feelings and express yourself to others, increase assertiveness and deal with conflict effectively, and understand the connection between your interpersonal style and your emotional well-being. Contact Abigail Cruz, Ph.D. for more information. 

Nonbinary in Process: A non-binary process group

Fridays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  In-person

Facilitators: Abigail Cruz, Ph.D. & Jayme Jenkins, Ph.D.

Accepting oneself as nonbinary can be a healing experience that is not without challenges. Concerns regarding identity or social acceptance may replace former struggles with body image or gender dysphoria. Process groups provide hands-on encounters with relevant questions to the nonbinary experience: Who am I? Am I being received as I intend? What can I do to manifest the most balanced version of myself? The relatively higher intensity frequently occurring within process groups has also been correlated with a unique potential for growth and change. This group is open to any nonbinary person invested in personal exploration. 

Spring 2023 Affinity Groups

Alphabet Male: Men's Support Group

Mondays, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  In-person

Facilitators: Shubhara Bhattacharjee, Psy.D. & Nicholas Yee, LMFT

The Alphabet Male Men's Support Group is an affinity space for individuals who identify as male and are interested in the process of self-exploration in the context of community. Group members are invited to define, question, and explore nuances of masculine identity all while giving and receiving support in a safe and accepting environment. Topics for discussion may include (but are not limited to): anxiety, relationships, feelings, academic stress, sexuality, race, power, leadership, stigma, and so on. Join us as we look to further our collective awareness and redefine what it means to be a man. A brief pre-group orientation is required. Contact Shubhara Bhattacharjee, Psy.D. for more information. 


Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  In-person

Facilitators: Jayme Jenkins, Ph.D.

The LGBTQIA+ Support and Social Group is a community group housed within CaPS. It provides a safer space for students within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella to discuss their experiences with all things related to gender or sexual identity, the CMU experience, family relationships, and more. In this group, you will practice relating to others, forming connections, and building community in a queer and gender-affirming environment. A pre-group orientation is required. Contact Jayme Jenkins, Ph.D. for more information. 

Restorative lunch series: Learning to thrive as BIPOC students at CMU

Thursdays, 12:00 p.m.  In-person, Masks-Required

Facilitators: Dareen Basma & Mengchun Chiang, Ph.D.

Being directly impacted by racism, discrimination and/or systematic oppression can feel like an added pressure that you are having to deal with on top of the stress of being a student. If you are feeling that way, know you are not alone. Join this restorative lunch series to understand how racial and ethnic discrimination impacts your mind, body, and feelings, and find ways to work through them in a supportive and healing space. A brief pre-group orientation is required. Contact Mengchun Chiang, Ph.D. for more information.