Counseling Center Groups

Cishella Durling: Hi, everyone, welcome to another episode of the Student Affairs Podcast Series. My name is Cishella Durling and I will be your host today. I am very excited to introduce you to Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez, who is a case manager here at the University of Louisville, at the Counseling Center. So, thank you, Gabbi for your time today. I'm really excited to talk with you about the groups that the counseling center will be offering this fall. So, we're going to go ahead and just jump right on into the interview. And my first question for you, what types of groups does the Counseling Center offer? And what do those environments look like?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: Thanks, Cishella for having me. I'm excited to share about our groups this fall. So, the counseling center will be offering 8 groups. These groups include art therapy, which is a group that encourages personal exploration and healing through our interventions, and anxiety and stress management group, which is a skill building group where students will learn different techniques using cognitive behavioral therapy to help manage their stress and anxiety. Then we have 'it's okay not to be okay', a six-week group that uses art to process grief and loss related to a death. Our 'prisms' group which is a support group for individuals that identify within the LGBTQIA community, 'getting through the blues', a supportive group that helps students learn ways to manage their symptoms of depression. A graduate student support group, which is open to all graduate students from a variety of disciplines that meet every other week and share about their challenges and successes. International Student Support Group, a place where international students can share their experiences and gain insight into common issues they may face. And the last one we have this fall is 'Relationships for Real'. It's a new group, and this group helps explore self-care, communication boundaries and sexual health within relationships. So, as you see, we have a lot of fun things are offering this semester.

Cishella Durling: That's phenomenal. And what would an environment, a group environment, look like?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: So, our groups typically include five to eight participants and one or two therapists, and will meet 60 to 90 minutes each week, for the duration of a semester. These meeting times may vary, so just check our website or the flyers posted out front in the counseling center for more information. And I also wanted to mention all our groups are confidential and group members sign an agreement stating that will uphold that confidentiality at the beginning of our group.

Cishella Durling: There are so many groups that the Counseling Center offers, I am sure that a lot of students will find themselves attracted to any one of those groups, or maybe even multiple! And I would definitely encourage them to, yeah, check those groups out, because there's a lot of options. And that just—I think equates to more support. Right? All right. So, if a student wants to get connected to one of these groups, what's the process? How do they go about doing that?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: Well, there are a few ways that students can connect with us, they can call us at 502-852-6585, that's our front office. Or they can email the group leaders directly if there's a group they're specifically interested in. If they're new prospective clients and haven't been in before we'll have them start a triage. And again, they'll just call the front desk or email that group leader, and we'll get you set up from there. Their email addresses for the group leaders are all located on our website under each group. And our website is

Cishella Durling: Awesome. It sounds like it's pretty easy to get connected. Yeah. And that's really nice that there's different modalities for students to connect, whether they're physically going into the Counseling Center calling or emailing or even visiting on the website. So, what hours is the Counseling Center opened?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: Oh, yeah. So, our hours are Monday through Friday, nine to five p.m. And then we have urgent consultations nine to four p.m.

Cishella Durling: If a student does sign up with a group, what kind of commitment are they looking at?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: Well, of course, we want the student to make a personal commitment to showing up, but we understand life happens. So, if for some reason they have to miss, we just ask that they let us know. If they have any questions about their schedules and attendance, they can give us a call. We know group can be uncomfortable, but we asked students give us a try a few times before deciding it's not for you.

Cishella Durling: Yeah, I agree. Sometimes it's scary to take that step. But it's totally, totally worth it. And like you said, the Counseling Center is really flexible and as long as there's an open line of communication, it is beneficial to go to these groups. Why would a student consider participating in any one of these groups?

Gabbi Ebeling-Rodriguez: This is my favorite question because I love group therapy. I mean, what better way to address what's on your mind? You can share with people you relate to, and, bonus, you get a non-biased mental health professional. It's like the best of both worlds, right? Talking to someone kind of like a friend, or maybe they become friends. And you're also meeting with a therapist.

There's a few other great reasons that I just want to give a shout out to, which our group can give you a sense of community; it helps feeling connected, especially if you're new on campus, or new to the city. Or even if you've just been here, and things have changed, and you're trying to adjust. Group can also, maybe, help with what you're going through feeling, feel less isolating or stigmatized. We have a lot of topics and different people coming in. And, as we talked about earlier, a lot of different groups. So, we can cover a lot of things. And sometimes it's not comfortable to talk about those places outside of a group. And so at least, we can create a space where you can feel supported and safe while exploring that and speaking about yourself. Plus, it can be a great source for getting feedback or ideas to help you through whatever you're experiencing. You know, if you want that, you just ask the group. Anyways, I'm sure there are a lot more reasons, but those are just a few of my favorites.

Cishella Durling: Yeah, I, and again, I really agree with that community aspect that groups, you know, inherently provide for students, and makes you feel like you're just not alone—that you have individuals, you know, who might have similar experiences that you can relate to, and they have your back.

Thank you so much, Gabbi, I really appreciate your willingness to talk with us today about the wonderful groups. And then, if you didn't already know the Counseling Center, they've just, they've got your back, especially during times of crisis. So, make sure that you visit to learn how the Counseling Center can help you. Alright, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Student Affairs podcast series where we got to meet Gabbi, who's a caseworker at the University of Louisville's Counseling Center. Yeah, thank you so much. We appreciate your time. And everybody, thanks again. We'll catch you next time!


Student Affairs

SAC W302

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

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