Loyola University Maryland

Counseling Center

Group Counseling

Group counseling is often the most effective counseling intervention. Counseling groups typically have five to eight members and are led by one or two counselors. Most groups meet weekly for one and a half hours and run for a semester or year. Both undergraduate and graduate students can participate in counseling groups. You may try a group out for a few weeks to decide if it is a good fit for you.

Please view this YouTube video about group counseling for more information
. You can also learn more about the groups we offer at the Counseling Center.

Recent group members have shared the following anonymous comments:

“Group was one of the best things I could have ever done. I have grown and matured exponentially during the past year. Group has helped me to be able to communicate my feelings and thoughts.”

“It’s really nice to be able to say what’s going on in my head without being judged because everyone is experiencing / dealing with similar issues.”

"Group was better than I expected.  I gained confidence to give input in discussions."

"It was better than I had hoped for - I felt close, cared for, and better able to express myself."

"Group was definitely better than I expected it to be.  I didn't think it would help that much, but it definitely helped me get to a better place in my life."

"Group counseling was very satisfying.  It was helpful to discuss my problems, and it was usually fun!"

Group counseling allows students to:

  • Talk confidentially about your concerns;
  • Share your feelings and hear the experiences of others;
  • Explore your identity and how the Loyola Community meets your needs;
  • Receive support from group members and counselors;
  • Learn about alternative ways of looking at personal problems;
  • Understand and be understood by others in similar circumstances;
  • Learn you are not alone and have much to share with others that can help;
  • Discover new ways to manage your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors;
  • Renew your sense of hope and ability to resolve challenges in your life and;
  • Learn about yourself and new ways of relating to others

Each group member decides how much he or she wants to share. Because of the climate of trust within the group, members feel free to care about and help each other.


RIO (Recognition, Insight, Openness)

An innovative program specifically tailored to provide quick and useful tools without overburdening the busy schedules of Loyola students.   RIO is a 3-week psychoeducational seminar designed to help students clarify their concerns and develop a clearer sense of what they would like to change in their lives.  RIO is a curriculum-driven workshop  and respects students’ individual privacy while still providing ample space to begin building skills through experiential training opportunities.  Programs like RIO have been shown to help with overall functioning and sense of well-being, improve concentration and grades, and make adjusting successfully to new environments and challenges more likely. RIO is not a traditional therapy group or a space for individual counseling. If you feel that your needs are not fully met by the RIO workshop, please consider scheduling an appointment with a counselor by stopping by the front desk of the Counseling Center (HU 150) or calling 410-617-CARE (2273).

Group Offerings

The following list includes most of the groups that are offered at the Counseling Center. Every group is not offered every semester as availability and need varies. New groups can be designed depending upon the needs of students.

Building Hope

This group guides and supports students struggling with feelings of sadness, guilt, lack of motivation, and hopelessness. The group focuses on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies for coping with challenges and overcoming difficulties and will help you to learn ways to manage your mood and build resilience.

Facing Loss

Grief support group that brings together students who have lost a loved one, recently or long ago.  This group meets weekly in the Counseling Center. 

In, Out, and In Between

Whether you are out, questioning, or not even sure, this weekly group is for LGBTQIA and same-gender attracted students of all backgrounds to confidentially discuss and explore aspects of gender identity and sexual orientation in a safe space. The group is support-based and is designed to encourage open discussion about gender, sexuality, religion and spirituality, coming out, relationships, family, community, and other areas of your life that may be difficult to discuss elsewhere.: Relationships Group for Students of Color.

Understanding Self and Others

Weekly co-ed group explores interpersonal relationships, giving and receiving honest feedback about their interpersonal behavior and feelings.


A weekly support group for Students of Color at Loyola.  The group provides a supportive space for students to explore their experiences as Students of Color on a predominantly White campus.  Members will discuss issues unique to their experience at Loyola such as academic stress, relationships, race/ethnicity related stress, identity development, and resilience, among others.  Participating in this group will empower students while helping them achieve academic excellence, stronger relationships and support systems, and greater life satisfaction.  

Improving Self Esteem

The group is focused on creating specific actions students can take that will help build self esteem.  In addition, students will be taught how to interact with each other in the group so that they each become a supportive resource for other group members.

Learn more about confidentiality.
Students can become members of a group by making an appointment at the Counseling Center. A counselor will discuss the issues of concern with you and help formulate a plan to deal with these issues. Your counselor will then assist you in becoming part of a group.