New clinical psychology student-run group therapy begins just in time for end of semester stress

West Liberty University Behavioral Health Clinic

Starting last week on Nov. 3, graduate students Collin Morgan and Gabby Harrah of the clinical psychology program began a group therapy initiative on campus in hopes to offer students an outlet for expression, release, and community as the time for finals quickly approaches. Advertising itself as a reminder for students to not forget to be “mindful for [their] final,” the group will be meeting throughout the month of November and into December, with weekly Wednesday night sessions, excluding dead week, on Nov. 3, 10, and 17; one last meeting will be held on Dec. 1. Each session lasts about one hour, happening on the dates listed previously from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Main Hall, room 339. For any questions related to group therapy or the clinical psychology program, students are encouraged to contact the Behavioral Health Clinic at (304) 336-8199.

With the added stress of finals approaching on students, among other things, Morgan and Harrah both feel that the option of group therapy is important to the campus community because it provides an opportunity for students to learn coping, self-care, and time management skills in a comfortable, all-inclusive environment; “If anything can be taken away from a student’s exposure to group therapy, even if it’s limited to just them seeing an advertisement for our sessions, ultimately we just want everyone to know that we’re another resource on campus that’s ready to be utilized. Finals is a hectic time, and that’s not even to mention the constant stress of COVID-19 that effects all of us on a daily basis – group therapy is somewhere where students can come to talk to their peers about these things. It’s amazing what just getting your feelings out can do for someone, especially when you have the opportunity to talk about those things with people your age and in roughly the same environment, that being college.”

When asked what motivated him to begin this initiative on campus, Morgan shared that it originally began as a class project for himself and Harrah as they co-developed the lessons and activities and lead the sessions as a team, but for Morgan it went a little deeper; “Personally, I want to work with college students in the future in my career, so this kind of opportunity is a perfect experience for me to prepare me for that path I want to go down. I know how stressful the time spent in undergraduate studies can be, so I want to use what I can learn from group therapy and my own time spent in college to really help these students.”

Although group therapy will be ending once the final session concludes on Dec. 1, Morgan is hopeful that it will be something that can return to campus in the future; but for now, all himself and Harrah both want is for their current project to make some kind of impact on the students they get to work with; “We’re both very excited about this opportunity and getting to see where it goes, and as long as we can say that we impacted in some way those who came to our sessions, it would be a great end to the day.”