What is the group structure?

Coping Skills group is a structured group designed to teach the core skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy: mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. The ultimate goal of Coping Skills group is to help group members learn new skills as they build a life that is worth living. Individual therapy is strongly encouraged to support group members as they learn and practice the new skills.

How do I know if this group is right for me?

Students in this group often experience repeated, serious problems with coping. People who are a good fit for the group often answer yes to a number of the following questions:

  • Do you feel overwhelmed by your emotions? Do you feel that your emotions control your life, rather than you controlling your emotions?
  • Do you find yourself in chaotic relationships (friendships or romantic relationships)? Do you feel misunderstood in relationships or taken advantage of by others?
  • Do you engage in self-destructive behaviors (such as cutting, use of alcohol or drugs) that interfere with your education or relationships, disordered eating, or have frequent suicidal thoughts?
  • Do you often feel unable to manage your own life? Does life often feel overwhelming or distressing?

Do I have to share?

No, the focus is on learning skills, not self-disclosure. Members are at times asked to share their goals and ways they have practiced the new skills. Group members are asked not to disclose ineffective coping strategies as this can be triggering for other group members.

How much time does it take?

The group lasts for one hour weekly for about 10 weeks. Consistent attendance is expected. The group focuses on teaching skills of mindfulness, how to regulate emotion, improve relationship skills, and manage distress when feeling overwhelmed. All group members are expected to commit to reducing unhelpful coping and to practice the skills between sessions. Although the group meeting is an hour long, members are asked to devote time to reviewing materials and practicing the skills outside of the group time.

When is the Group?

The group is still forming for the spring semester. The day and time will be dependent upon the schedules of those that are interested in participating. If you are a client and would like to participate, please discuss your interest with your therapist. If you are not a current client, please email us at counselingcenter@bellarmine.edu to express your interest.


Marlana Bragg, Psy.D.