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Group Counseling

Group meetings are held at various locations. See descriptions for more information.

Mental Health and Counseling Service:

Referral Requirement



The Mental Health and Counseling Service offers many different therapy, support, and discussion groups for MIT students and employees. Most groups require an initial interview with a group leader to ensure that there is space and the group is a good fit.

In addition to MIT Medical groups, our Mental Health and Counseling clinicians can refer you to other campus support groups or recommend resources in the Boston area. For more information, call 617-253-2916.

Groups for Employees and Students

ADHD Information and Skill Group

This group, which is for students and staff who have already been diagnosed and treated for ADHD, will answer questions about the nature and impact of the disorder, how it’s diagnosed, and treatment options. The skill training segment of each session will cover coping mechanisms including time management and organizational skills; management of difficult emotions and problematic thinking patterns, and self-advocacy. Group leader: Xiaolu Hsi.

Progressive Relaxation Group

This workshop, which is open to everyone in the MIT community, will teach breathing and progressing relaxation techniques to help cope with stress. Group leader:Araceli Isenia.

Substance Abuse Recovery Group

This group is open to MIT staff and older students who are struggling with substance abuse concerns. Members have the opportunity to explore their relationship with substances, get support in reaching and maintaining sobriety, and developing skills to support lifestyle changes. Group leader: Laurie Zelas.

New Life After Midlife

This ongoing weekly group helps support women over 50 as they navigate through changes and experiences that may come with midlife. These experiences may include the areas of work, retirement, relationships, family, and changing roles. Group leaders: Laurie Zelas and Araceli Isenia.

Groups for Students

Creating Opportunities for Personal Effectiveness (COPE)

This is an eight-week co-ed group for graduate students that focuses on learning skills that increase effective management of life issues. Goals are to increase awareness of thoughts, feelings and behaviors; learning to tolerate and manage emotions effectively; improving self-acceptance and self-respect; and replace ineffective or maladaptive behaviors with skillful responses. The format is lecture and discussion with practice assignments that will be reviewed each week. Group leaders: Lisa Bosley and Marcia Yousik.

Graduate Students’ Group for Men

Topics discussed in this group for male graduate students include dealing with advisors and other professional relationships, developing personal and romantic relationship, finding an acceptable balance between work and social life, and understanding the various emotional responses to graduate student life. Group leaders: James Chansky and Jack Lloyd.

Graduate Co-ed Group

An ongoing weekly co-ed support group for men and women enrolled in a graduate program at MIT. Members discuss issues including work/life balance, academic stress, self-esteem, friendship, social difficulties or conflicts, and intimacy. Group Leaders: Maya Hanelin and Evan Waldheter

Graduate Students’ Group for Women

An ongoing weekly support group for women enrolled in a graduate program at MIT. Members discuss issues including work/life balance, self-esteem, friendship, and intimacy. Group leader: Jessica Barton.

Making Peace with Food

This group helps foster a healthy relationship with food, exercise and body image. It’s useful for those who are struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food or weight, or thinking about food or weight so much that it distracts from their studies and interferes with social events. The group provides education, support, and practical strategies to manage food and body stress. Group leaders: Audra Bartz and Zan Barry.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression

This is an eight-week group for graduate students that combines mindfulness practices and cognitive therapy for treating mild depression, anxiety, and other stress-related conditions. Group leaders: Maya Hanelin and Dr. Rheinila Fernandes.

Returning Students Groups

These groups are for undergraduates who have just returned to MIT after having been away on withdrawal for medical problems, academic concerns or other reasons. Each group meets weekly for one semester. Students benefit from being part of a supportive group of peers who are all going through the academic and social challenges of returning to MIT. The groups are led by a psychiatrist from MIT Medical and a dean from Student Support Services. Group leaders: Adam Silk, Evan Waldheter, and Joy Yang.

Skills for Effective College Living

This skill-building group is helpful for undergraduates who may be struggling with stress, anxiety, or overwhelming emotions. Members will learn to observe and identify thoughts, feelings and behaviors; manage emotions and decrease self-defeating behaviors; manage feelings of distress and identify how stress negatively impacts one’s life; and interpersonal effectiveness including assertiveness. self-respect, and negotiating conflict. Group leader: Maya Hanelin.

Social Skills Lab

The focus of this group for undergraduate and graduate students will be on the pragmatic aspects of social interaction. Topics will include identifying emotions, reading facial cues, picking up subtleties on tones of voice, initiating and maintaining conversations, and building relationships. Group leaders: James Chansky and Lisa Bosley.

Thesis Coaching Group

A support group for graduate students who expect to complete their theses in the next six to 18 months. The group focuses on skills for better time management, organization, thesis writing, as well as interpersonal negotiation (especially with advisors and committee members), self-care, and stress management. Group leader: Xiaolu Hsi.

Undergraduate Group

This group of 4-8 students and two therapists meets weekly to discuss topics including relationships, student life, and personal and academic goals and challenges. Group members will have the opportunity to connect with one another and to receive and provide support, facilitated by the leaders. Members are not limited to a fixed number of sessions; they may stay until they feel they have achieved their objectives in the group. Group leaders: Adam Silk and Rheinila Fernandes.

Marie King
Anthony M. Pasqualone, ANP-BC
Gina Wilcox

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