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 Groups, Workshops, & Forums

Groups, Workshops, & Forums at CAPS

Group approaches to personal growth are frequently the most effective way to explore and support changes you may wish to make in your life. Through these formats, students can gain specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals, explore areas that present personal challenges, and gain support and encouragement from other students. CAPS offers a wide range of Groups in various formats to serve the diverse needs of the UCSD Community. These formats are:

Psychotherapy Groups and Growth/Support Groups
These groups typically meet weekly throughout the quarter except where indicated. Regular attendance is expected. To join one of these groups, please contact the leader(s) to get more information. 
>> See and download current Group Flyers.
Workshops meet regularly. Because these workshops focus on the acquisition and practice of specific skills, these workshops typically meet for a shorter period of time (e.g., one quarter) than the other group formats. To join one of our workshops, please contact the leader(s) to get more information. 
Download our current Daily Drop-In Workshop offerings.
Forums are drop-in groups that meet throughout the academic year and do not require weekly attendance. You do not need to contact the Forum leader to attend the group.
Download our current Forum offerings.

To see which groups are running this quarter (and when/where they are run), or to sign up for a group, please click on the group Schedule and Sign-Up for a Group! tabs on this page. If you have any further questions about Groups, please contact the CAPS Central Office at (858) 534-3755.

Psychotherapy & Support Groups

  • Understanding Self and Others GroupSophia Chang, PsyD / 858-822-2825
    Andy Nguyen, PsyD
    WINTER 20:
    Time: 1:00-2:30pm
    Location: Cross Cultural Center, Conference Room

    Do you ever feel alone even when you’re with other people? Or experience feeling “stuck” in the same interpersonal pattern in relationships? We are here to help! We offer a safe environment where you can learn about yourself and others as a participant in a weekly group meeting. Participation in our group may lead to better connections with others and ways to improve significant relationships in your life. Group members can expect to learn how to successfully navigate interpersonal boundaries by practicing satisfying interactions with other group members, increase understanding of how people perceive you by sharing and receiving honest feedback from group members, improve your ability to identify and regulate your feelings, and explore visible and invisible personal identities in a group climate emphasizing safety and mutual respect.

    NOTE: This is a process-oriented group that requires a pre-screen appointment. Please contact Dr. Sophia Chang (858-822-2825) or complete the Online Signup Form to schedule a pre-screen appointment.
  • WINTER 20:
    Time: Thursdays 1:00pm-2:30pm (Jan 16th--Mar 19th)
    Location: Student Health Services, Murray’s Place

    Interpersonal process groups offer a secure environment to identify and explore feelings, give and receive support and feedback, practice new, healthier ways of relating to others, and experience authentic interpersonal experiences. Participation in such a group is a powerful way to expand self-awareness and improve relational abilities (how we connect, solve problems, respond to hurts, express ourselves, manage distress, etc. with others). It is also a place to gain comfort with vulnerability and explore the complex emotions that come up in relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, work colleagues, etc. It may also help you to improve the way you treat yourself. As members explore and process their reactions and feelings, in real time, this immediacy creates brain and behavioral change that begins to transfer to the rest of life.

    NOTE: This is a process-oriented group that requires a pre-screen appointment. Please contact Dr. Sophia Chang (858-822-2825) or complete the Online Signup Form to schedule a pre-screen appointment.
  • Tiffany O'Meara, PhD / 858-534-1579
    WINTER 20:
    Time: Thursdays, 1:30-3:00pm
    Location: CAPS Central, Galbraith Hall, 190, Serenity Room

    Would you like to improve the quality of social interactions and the availability of social support? This group focuses on identifying fears related to social situations, reducing self-defeating coping patterns and strengthening effective social skills. It combines an educational and support approach. Topics covered are tailored for each group, and have included building conversation skills (how to start, sustain, and end conversations), assertiveness training, how to speak up in class, and how to reduce anxiety in social situations such as dating, parties, or professional meetings.

    NOTE: Limited openings for Winter 20. Students can sign up online to express their interest in the Spring ’20 group using the Online Signup Form.
  • Advanced Building Social Confidence GroupTiffany O'Meara, PhD / 858-534-1579
    WINTER 20:
    Time: Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30pm
    Location: CAPS Central, Galbraith Hall, 190, Serenity Room

    This is a group for students who have completed one quarter of the Building Social Confidence group and would like to continue to work on reducing anxiety in social situations and increasing their self-confidence. Students get more individualized attention in this group, and topics are dictated by the group members. Come share your own experiences and challenges, and get feedback and support from a caring group of students who share similar experiences. Once you've completed one BSC group, you may join the Advanced group at any time while you are here at UCSD!

    NOTE: Must complete Beginning Social Confidence Group. Contact Dr. Tiffany O'Meara at 858-534-1579 for more information.
  • Coming Out GroupCathy Thompson, PhD / 858-534-3987
    WINTER 20:
    Time: Tuesdays 3:30pm-5:00 pm
    Location: Women's Center, Small Group Room

    The Coming Out group is a place to meet and gain support while discussing your sexual and/or gender Identities in a confidential setting. This group is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, or questioning folks who are coming out, considering coming out or may already be out. Topics are determined by group participants and can include stress, fear, anxiety, loneliness, family/cultural issues, excitement and celebration with regard to coming out. The group is open to new members the first 3 meetings of each quarter and then closes to maintain safe space.
  • WINTER 20:
    Time: Wednesdays 1:00-2:00 pm
    Location: CAPS Central Office, Galbraith Hall, 190, Serenity Room

    The forum is by referral only and is a support space for graduate women in the hard science and engineering fields where women are under-represented. Our goal is to foster a sense of community and support toward the attainment of goals and to encourage self-empowerment to increase and develop a vision for one's personal and professional life. Please contact Dr. Judy Goodman-Fermin at 858-534-3755 for more information.

Drop-In Psychoeducational Workshops

  • MONDAYS: Move Your Body, Tone Your Mood Dianna Quach, Ph.D.
    Week 1-10 | Time: 10:00-10:45AM │ Location: The Zone

    Interested in a moving meditation? Join us in learning postures to help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your mood. This practice will lead you to a sense of peace and general well-being. Dr. Dianna Quach is clinical psychologist and a certified yoga instructor, RYT. All levels are welcomed! Yoga mats are provided!
  • TUESDAYS: Self-Care Strategies Andy Nguyen, Psy.D.
    Week 2-10 | Time: 3:00-4:00PM │ Location: Student Health Services, Murray’s Place

    Want to find ways to balance your personal and academic life at UCSD? Dr. Andy Nguyen and a Wellness Peer Educator provide fun ways to help you achieve wellness! Topics will include: self-care, stress management, mindfulness, self-compassion, and effective communication.
  • WEDNESDAYS: Wellness Wednesdays @ The Zone Erin Bartelma, Psy.D. & Emily Roberts-Parker, Psy.D.
    Week 2-10 | Time: 2:00-3:00PM │ Location: The Zone

    Meet us at The Zone where you'll have the opportunity for a one-on-one demonstration with a CAPS Wellness Peer Educator to learn how to incorporate state of the art technology for stress management! You'll learn strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing techniques that help to reduce stress as well as learn about some cool technology. We'll have free giveaways each week AND you can sign up for a FREE de-stress massage with the R&R Squad! Make sure to check out The Zone calendar for info on this and other free wellness programs! See you on Wednesdays!
  • THURSDAY: Mindfulness for Daily Living Sachiko Sweetwood, Ph.D.
    Week 1-10 | Time: 3:00-4:00 │ Location: Student Health Services, Murray’s Place

    If you have been curious about Mindfulness, this workshop is a perfect way to explore it. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive mood. You will engage in various Mindfulness exercises, so you can incorporate them into your life. All students are welcome to attend this workshop, no matter your level of experience with mindfulness.
  • FRIDAYS: Foundations of Well-Being Scott Hansen, Ph.D.
    Week 1-10 | Time: 3:00-4:00PM │ Location: CAPS Central Office, 190 Galbraith Hall

    Come spend an entertaining and informative hour examining six fundamental lifestyle areas. You will leave with a wealth of practical tips you can immediately use to make changes that will help you manage your stress, improve your mood, and enhance your life satisfaction.

Other Drop-In Workshops

  • Valentine’s Special: Love and Relational CompatibilityScott Hansen, PhD 858-534-5915 Falling in love is one of the most powerful of all human experiences and choosing a partner is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Few of us are ever taught the essentials of love and relational compatibility, so it is no wonder so many relationships fail. With the information you learn during this stimulating afternoon, you can beat the odds and avoid becoming a statistic by learning the secrets of relational success that no one else will talk about or teach you. Be enlightened and entertained as you deepen your understanding of both the complexity and fundamental basics of love, and leave with valuable information that will help you improve your special relationship or prepare you to find that someone special. During this Valentine’s Day seminar you will learn: • Why Love is the Problem, not the Solution • 50 Keys to Compatibility • The Surprising Reason Most Relationships Fail • 5 Marriage Myths You Probably Believe • Why Romantic Love Can Never Last. Please call Dr. Hansen for more info (858-534-5915).

  • Step 1 Support: A Series for MS2's Sachiko Sweetwood, PhD / 858-534-3755 Support for Medical students: Drop-in to as many as you would like to attend - no registration required. A series for 2nd year Medical Students in preparation for Step 1 licensing exams. Each week there are different topics. Topics include Goal Achievement Strategies, Resilience Tips, Mindfulness for Stress Management, and many others.

    Winter 2020 Schedule: Wednesdays 12:15pm-1pm
    1/15: Goal Achievement Strategies and Resilience Tips – MET 321
    1/22: Mindfulness for Stress Management - MET 321
    1/29: Developing Healthy Thought Patterns - MET 321
    2/5: Mindful Self Compassion - MET 312
    2/12: Capitalizing on Strengths - MET 321
    2/19: Cultivating Confidence - MET 321
    2/26: Peak Performance Method - MET 321
    3/4: Mindful Visualization - MET 312

Non Drop-In Workshops (registration required)

  • Questioning Career Transitions for PhD StudentsChristina Lambert, PhD 858-534-3035 / Joe Cribari, Career Services Center 858-534-3750 A five-session series, aims to help Ph.D. students work through questions about continuing an academic career track, discern types of work and environment that match individual skills and personality, identify transferable skills developed as a Ph.D. student, and examine values, priorities, alternatives, and goals for career next steps. Leader: Christina Lambert, Ph.D. and Joe Cribari (Career Services). Please call Career Services to sign up (858-534-3750).
  • Emerging Leaders Workshop for Scholar AthletesRhonda Hackshaw, PhD / 858-534-5981 The goal of the Leadership Training Workshop series is to facilitate the development of our student-athletes’ leadership skills, in hopes to promote strong, effective leaders and success for each UC San Diego Intercollegiate Athletics Team. Following the general outline of Jeff Janssen’s The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual, the workshop highlights peak performance and mental training techniques, learning and use of effective and healthy communication, strategies to increase team cohesion and connection, and minimization/management of conflict.  Meets Tuesdays, 11-12:30, Athletics 4th Floor Conference Room. Please contact Dr. Rhonda Hackshaw for more information (858-534-5981).

  • Advanced Leadership Roundtable for Scholar AthletesRhonda Hackshaw, PhD / 858-534-5981 This workshop is tailored to Scholar Athlete leaders within Athletics. The goal of the Leadership Training Workshops is to facilitate the development of our student-athletes’ leadership skills, in hopes to promote strong, effective leaders and success for each UC San Diego Intercollegiate Athletics Team. Following the general outline of Jeff Janssen’s The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual, the workshop highlights peak performance and mental training techniques, learning and use of effective and healthy communication, strategies to increase team cohesion and connection, and minimization/management of conflict.  Meets Fridays, 11-12:30, Athletics 4th Floor Conference Room or Dugout Conference Room (download flyer for details). Please contact Dr. Rhonda Hackshaw for more information (858-534-5981).

  • Love Lessons: Couples WorkshopGreg Koch, PsyD / 858-534-3585 Are you beginning a relationship you want to keep? Do you want to enrich and deepen an already good relationship? Are you having difficulties in your relationship and want to resolve long-standing conflicts? Do you want to learn how to successfully repair trust in your relationship? Are you undecided about continuing your relationship? If you said “Yes” to any of these questions, then this workshop is for YOU! Love Lessons is a workshop specifically designed to help couples truly discover the joy of being together. Goals for the workshop are to: Successfully express your own desires; Get to the root of your problems and dissolve them; Create romance, fun and intimacy. Please contact Dr. Koch for more information (858-534-3585).

Drop-In Forums

  • Gay Men's Relationship ForumGreg Koch, PsyD / 858-534-3585 Join us for conversations about our experiences as gay men, and connect with other gay men on campus. The purpose of this forum is to empower gay men and provide a sense of community and support in their pursuit of establishing and maintaining long-term, stable gay relationships, especially in a heterosexist society that still largely frowns upon male/male partnerships and intimacy. This forum addresses relationships, sexual health, community building and more. Mondays, 2:30-4:00pm, in the Women’s Center Small Group Room. Come join us!
  • Asian American Community ForumDianna Quach, PhD / 858-534-7710 This informal drop-in group is designed to address the concerns of Asian/Pacific Islander American students at UCSD in a supportive and problem-solving atmosphere. Issues such as career and academic success, family pressures, cultural identity, and relationships are common topics.
  • Black Women's CollectiveCathy Thompson, PhD / 858-534-3987 Join us for an informal conversation about our experiences as Black women and connect with other Black women on campus.

    Info: Meets at the Women's Center / 5-6:30pm / Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
  • Campus Black ForumCathy Thompson, PhD / 858-534-3987 Campus Black Forum was originally initiated at UCSD in the late 1970s, and facilitated by Psychologist Phil Rafeal, to enhance the socio-cultural experience of students of African descent and to build a sense of community among these students. Campus Black Forum provides a venue for students, staff and faculty to come together to discuss pertinent issues and concerns relevant to the Black community, and to receive important information that they can use in developing skills to enhance their experiences at UCSD and beyond. Participants will come together for one hour monthly meetings to be held at the UCSD’s Cross-Cultural Center, located in Price Center East.
  • Graduate Women in Engineering & Science (WISE) ForumJudy Goodman Fermin, PhD / 858-534-3755 A support group for women in the science fields where women are underrepresented. Discussion topics are selected by group members. This group will facilitate the development of: 1) a sense of community where each person enjoys a feeling of belonging, 2) support toward the attainment of goals, 3) self-empowerment in creating and maintaining visions for one’s personal and professional life.
  • Outside the Box ForumCathy Thompson, PhD / 858-534-3987 This informal group is a safe space for students, faculty, and staff of mixed/multiracial/multiethnic and other non-dominant identities to share their experiences and discuss issues in an open and supportive, community atmosphere. Leader: Cat Thompson, Ph.D., 858-534-3987. Meets on Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:30pm, at the Cross-Cultural Center Tranquility Rm., Price Center East, 2nd Floor. This group is co-sponsored by the Cross Cultural Center.

Winter 20 Group Schedule - updated regularly - check often!

Group Flyers

CAPS updates group and workshop flyers regularly throughout the quarter.

Sign Up for a Group or Workshop!

Interested in signing-up or expressing interest for a group? Some of our groups offer online signup/interest!