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Group Support

Group Support Available

ACT for Depression  & Anxiety | Body WisdomConscious Connecting  | DBT- Skills Based ForumEntre Familia| Flutter Gathering Compassion | Getting Unstuck | Grief and Loss  | Healing Hearts |  LGBTQIA Safe Space | Recognition, Insight, Openness (RIO)Taming the Anxious Mind 

If you are self-referring for a group, please contact the SHCS front desk to schedule a brief screening to confirm eligibility. All participants of the Healing Hearts group need to check in with either Lissa Lim (760) 750-4911  prior to attending.

ACT for Depression and Anxiety - 10 weeks

ACT for Depression and Anxiety is a weekly group devoted to helping students encounter depression and anxiety differently and to pursue a full and meaningful life. Using skills learned, students will relate differently to painful experiences, the worrying mind, and self-defeating behaviors so these no longer run the students’ life.

  • Who: Jay Robertson-Howell, Psy.D.
  • When: Tuesday, 9:00 am -10:30 am and Friday, 9:30 am -11:00 am
  • It is best if students complete RIO, TAM or Getting Unstuck prior to this group.
  • Contact:  (760) 750-4915 or 


Body Wisdom

A safe space to openly discuss and support one another with body image issues and disordered eating concerns. The group will also consist of skill building including self-compassion, mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. The aim of the group is to help each person move towards body acceptance and cultivating wisdom from within.

  • Who: Emily Roberts-Parker, M.A.
  • When: Fridays, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm 
  • Where: Counseling Center 
  • How: If you are interested please contact Emily Roberts-Parker, M.A. for a brief group screen at SHCS, or call at 760-750-4915

Conscious Connecting

Do you have difficulty developing and maintaining close relationships with others?  Do you desire the opportunity to gain a better understanding of yourself and how to relate to others?  Do you feel alone in your struggles?  If so, this group may be a great fit for you.  This group will provide the opportunity to learn and practice new skills for interacting with others to develop more self-confidence and happier relationships.  This group would be most appropriate for students who are currently struggling in a specific relationship or lack of relationship (e.g., parents, significant other, friend, roommates, co-worker) and want to have a safe and confidential place to talk about the relationship and gain skills, awareness, and grow. 

This group will provide an experience where they can learn to interact with others in a positive and healing way and help them let go of old habits underlying social interactions.  We will be discussing components of what makes for healthy relationships and communication techniques.  
Come meet with other students in a casual environment to discover how to be the best you in your relationships!

  • Who: Jay Robertson-Howell, Psy.D. and Ben Moss, MA
  • When: Wednesday, 10:30 am -12:00 pm
  • Screening required along with a completed intake
  • Contact:  (760) 750-4915 or 

DBT- Based Skills Forum

Do you struggle with overwhelming emotions? Do you have impulsivity or cravings that you want to overcome? Do your ways of responding to stress tend to make things worse in the long run? If any of these are true for you, DBT skills are a great resource. In this group, you’ll learn and practice skills drawn from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) including distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. This will help you understand why you do what you do and start moving toward your goals with more hope and confidence.

  • Who: Juan Alvarez, Ph.D., Kevin Choi, Psy.D., Jenna Suway, Ph.D., & Ben Ross, MA
  • When: Wednesdays, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Contact: 760-750-4915  or
  • Pre-group screening required

Please note: The doors to SHCS lock at 12 noon.  Please be aware you will need to arrive before 12 noon to get into the building

Entre Familia

This group provides Latin@/Hispanic/Chican@ students a space to share, learn, and explore issues related to their culture, family, academics, as well as any other issue affecting them. The group also focuses on building community, mutual support, and empowerment. This group is conducted in English and Spanish.

  • Who: Lissa Lim, Ph.D. 
  • When: Wednesdays, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  • No screening required: Open group. Students can join at any time
  • Contact:  (760) 750-4915 or 


Support group for undocumented adn mixed status students. 

  • Who: Lissa Lim, Ph.D.  and Dr. Jenna Suway
  • When: Mondays, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm (beginning February 2019)
  • Contact:  (760) 750-4915 or 

Gathering Compassion

Are you interested in developing a kinder relationship to yourself? Gathering Compassion provides a safe space to practice self-care and learn about the different ways compassion and mindfulness can help you cope with everyday stress. The goal of the group is to learn to manage painful emotions and life’s difficulties through the daily cultivation and practice of self-compassion.

The group could be a good fit for individuals who have difficulty self-soothing, are hard on themselves, struggle with self-criticism, or feel alone in their suffering. It is open to individuals of all genders, ethnicities and cultures. Each week includes a mindfulness practice, an introduction to a compassionate self-care topic, and a discussion on how compassion can be of use in a variety of situations.

  • Who: Juan Alvarez, Ph.D. & Kevin Choi, Psy.D.
  • When: Thursdays, 4:00 pm – 5:00pm 
  • Contact:  (760)750-4915 or 
  • No screening required: Open group. Students can join at any time

Getting Unstuck 

A 3-session seminar intended to help increase understanding and knowledge about depression.  The goal is to provide attendees with some skills to recognize and manage symptoms they may be experiencing.  The seminar will provide attendees with life-long tools to use while facing depressive symptoms. 

  • Who: Ryan Stevenson, Ph.D., Jay Robertson-Howell, Psy.D.
  • When: Mondays at 11:30 am & Thursdays at 2:00 pm (Ryan); 11:00 am on Tuesdays (Jay); multiple start dates. 

Grief and Loss 

Our Grief and Loss Group provides a safe environment for you to look at your old beliefs about dealing with loss, which losses have affected your life, and take actions that will lead you to complete unresolved emotions that may still be causing you pain. In collaboration with The Elizabeth Hospice agency, our group will provide a framework for understanding grief  to most importantly understand your own grief in context. The process and stages of moving through grief will be both explained and explored in a safe space of support, understanding, kindness, acceptance, and compassion. If you are interested solely in this group and no other counseling services, you may schedule an appointment with Dr. Peters directly for a group screening.

  • Who: Dr. Allison Peters
  • Contact:  or (760) 750-4915
  • When: Thursdays, 12 -1 pm 
  • Where: SHCS Counseling Group Room

Please note: The doors to SHCS lock at 12 noon.  Please be aware you will need to arrive before 12 noon to get into the building

Healing Hearts

This group is designed for people affected by sexual trauma, and is open to people of all genders and cultural backgrounds. The group provides a safe and empowering space for students to gain support, connect with each other, and learn coping skills that can help them move toward healing.

  • Who: Lissa Lim, Ph.D. and Emily Roberts-Parker
  • When: Fridays, 3:00-4:30pm
  • Contact:  (760) 750-4915 or or
  • Pre-group screening required.

LGBTQIA Safe Space

This group will provide a safe and supportive environment for persons who identify as LGBTQIA, those who might be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and those who would like support as they navigate the coming out process.  Come join us to meet new people, build a sense of community, and to share your experiences (both the benefits and challenges) of being LGBTQIA.  

  • Who: Jay Roberston-Howell, Psy.D. and Ben Moss, MA
  • When: TBD
  • Screening Required

Recognition, Insight, Openness (RIO)

Recognition, Insight, Openness (RIO) focuses on skill development and learning to respond to distress in a flexible way. The three sessions are divided into content that builds on itself which will help attendees 1) gain a deeper understanding of their concerns, 2) create flexibility in how they view and approach distressful situations, and 3) help them take steps toward living with a wide range of emotions. This workshop is an excellent starting point to the therapeutic process.

  • Who: Multiple clinicians
  • When: Monday at 3:30 pm, Tuesday at 11:00 am or 3:00 pm, Wednesday at 2:30 pm, Friday at 3:30 pm

Taming the Anxious Mind

This 3-week workshop will provide participants a better understanding of their anxious mind. Participants will learn effective ways to calm the body, calm the mind, and to create a stress-tolerant lifestyle.

  • Who: Ben Ross, MA; Ryan Stevenson, PhD; Jay Robertson-Howell, PsyD; Kevin Choi, PhD
  • When: Tuesdays at 2:00 pm, Wednesdays at 11:00 am, Thursdays at 11:00 am, Fridays at 9:30 am