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Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more therapists lead a group (usually ranging from 5 to 12 people) in discussing common problems and possible solutions which are relevant to the individual and others in the group. Some benefits of group therapy include: receiving support from peers, validating your experience by hearing from others facing similar challenges, learning from other people’s successes, finding motivation for change, and improving social skills. Research shows that groups such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are very helpful for learning strategies, confronting fears, taking appropriate risks, and considering alternative perspectives to common problems. Some groups are open to all individuals, and others might require that you also are also seeing an individual therapist. 

Here at Columbia Psychiatry, we have a wide range of group therapy options across our various locations. See below for a list of our current groups to determine which ones might be the best fit for you. To learn more about groups or to schedule an appointment for a group, call our intake line at 212-305-6001 or fill out our online form.

ColumbiaDoctors Midtown

DBT Skills Group
Leader: Elizabeth Loran, PhD
Location: 51 W. 51st Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:30-6:45pm
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group, internal therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a treatment for patients who suffer from emotional dysregulation, which can result in self-destructive behaviors. Since its initial success in treating patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, and it has proven to be an effective treatment of other personality disorders, addiction, mood disorders, eating disorders, and impulse control disorders. The DBT skills group is based around teaching patients four groups of related skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation.

 

• DBT Skills Training Class
Leader: Jeffrey Cohen, PsyD
Location: 51 W. 51st Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 4:30-6:00pm
Insurance/Cost:  Aetna, United Healthcare and Columbia University Employee Insurance Plans, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group, internal therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy class that teaches acceptance-based and change-based coping skills to reduce emotional suffering and build the life you want to be living. DBT Skills Training class aims to help students manage emotions, increase interpersonal effectiveness, tolerate distress and survive stressful situations, and increase mindfulness and present moment awareness who wish to learn in a safe and affirming space. New members will be asked to commit to 10 weeks in order to complete one module of skills and will have the option to continue to learn additional skills.

 

Family Substance Use Support Group
Leaders: Aimee Chiligiris, PsyD and Brian Mueller, PhD
Location: 51 W. 51st Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 5:00-6:30pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group for anyone who has a loved one already in treatment at ColumbiaDoctors.
Description: When a loved one is struggling with a substance issue, family members and loved ones may need support or have questions about how they can be helpful. This is a six-session group and new cycles start each month. The group provides support, information, and skills about partnering and communicating effectively with a loved one. Our groups are grounded in the CRAFT approach to working with family and loved ones. CRAFT is an evidence based, supportive approach, which focuses on helping family members and loved ones, create positive change for themselves and for the person in treatment.

 

LGBT DBT Skills Training Class
Leader: Jeffrey Cohen, PsyD
Location: 51 W. 51st Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Mondays 4:30-6:00pm
Insurance/Cost:  Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group, internal therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: The group is open to LGBTQ+ college students who are also enrolled in individual mental health treatment at ColumbiaDoctors or are willing to enroll. DBT Skills Training class aims to help students manage emotions, increase interpersonal effectiveness, tolerate distress and survive stressful situations, and increase mindfulness and present moment awareness who wish to learn in a safe and affirming space. New members will be asked to commit to 10 weeks in order to complete one module of skills and will have the option to continue to learn additional skills.

Columbus Circle

Coping Skills Group
Leader: Erin Engle, PsyD
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:45-7:00pm
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group, internal therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: Everyone needs to find a way to cope with stress and related mood changes in their life. This group will teach you techniques and strategies designed to help you maximize your strengths, manage emotions, improve relationships, and live mindfully. As part of the Coping Skills Group, you will learn to: reduce the physical symptoms of stress, change unhelpful self-talk, identify and regulate emotions, set boundaries in relationships and nurture healthy ones, improve self-care and self-esteem, and utilize and practice mindfulness to break the cycle of worry.

 

Parents of Young Adults Groups
Leader: Anne Marie, PhD, ABPP
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: Parents of young adults who are 18-28
Meeting Times: 1x (90 minutes) per week for 5-6 weeks
Insurance/Cost: $175/session
Other Notes: Open group
Description: A component of our Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP) at CUCARD is a brief psycho-educational and skills group for parents of emerging adults with anxiety disorders. This group is ideal for parents of young adults who have been experiencing distress or "failure to launch" and meet the demands of emerging adulthood due to anxiety.

 

YAC (Youth Anxiety Center) Social Anxiety Groups
Leaders: Anne Marie, PhD, ABPP, Blake Zakarin, PhD, Ali Mattu, PhD, and Lauren Hoffman, PsyD
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: 18-28
Meeting Times: 1x per week (90 minutes) for 10-12 weeks, OR winter break and summer break intensive groups (5x week for 2 weeks).
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $175/session
Other Notes: Open group, outside therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: As a part of our Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP), CUCARD midtown offers groups for young adults ages 18-28 who are experiencing distress or interference in functioning due to social anxiety. Groups are presented in an exposure-based approach to reduce anxiety and increase self-efficacy in managing anxiety-provoking and developmentally challenging situations (e.g., job/college interviews, dating, assertiveness).  

 

College Readiness Groups
Leaders: Anne Marie, PhD, ABPP, Ali Mattu, PhD, Blake Zakarin, PhD, and Lauren Hoffman, PsyD
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: 18-28, preparing to go (or go back to) college
Meeting Times: Meets in summer, 5x per week (90 minutes) for 2 weeks
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $175/session
Other Notes: Open group
Description: Groups are part of our Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP). The main aim of the group is to assist emerging adults with gaining knowledge and skills to aid the transition to college and to foster independence in meeting one’s needs and responsibilities.

 

Adult Independence Skills Groups
Leaders: Anne Marie, PhD, ABPP, Blake Zakarin, PhD, Ali Mattu, PhD, and Lauren Hoffman, PsyD
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: 18-28
Meeting Times: 3x or 5x per week for 1, 2, or 3 weeks
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $175/session
Other Notes: Open group, outside therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: Groups are offered as a part of our Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP) and are for emerging adults (ages 18-28) who are having difficulty managing the transition into adulthood. The main aim of the group is to assist young adults with gaining independence and mastering daily tasks.

 

Adult Social Anxiety Groups
Leaders: Ali Mattu, PhD, Sarah Frankel, PhD, Blake Zakarin, PhD, and Anne Marie, PhD, ABPP
Location: 3 Columbus Circle
Age Range: 28+
Meeting Times: 1x per week (90 minutes) for 10-12 weeks
Insurance/Cost: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $175/session
Other notes: Open group, outside therapist or psychiatrist required
Description: Groups are for adults who experience anxiety in social situations. Groups focus on building coping skills, cognitive reframing to challenge anxious thoughts, and exposure exercises in session and in-vivo to reduce anxiety in social situations.

CUIMC Uptown - Neurological Institute of New York

Young Adult Wellness Group
Leader: Julia Vakhrusheva, PhD
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18-28
Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:00-6:00pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group, outside therapist or psychiatrist recommended
Description: If you’re struggling with mood and anxiety, regulating emotions, building relationships, or developing a plan for the future, this skill-focused group may be for you. The group will focus on teaching skills, providing support, and exploring strategies for: emotion regulation, stress management, managing unhelpful thoughts, exploring personal values and identity, and building confidence.

 

Better Than Before: Living with Medical Challenges
Leader: Adrienne Mishkin, MD
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 12:00-1:00pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group
Description: This group is dedicated to helping those whose lives have been disrupted by chronic medical problems or difficulties related to their medical healthcare. Topics include helping friends and loved ones understand your unique medical situation, and considering how medical illness impacts employment and career, relationships and starting families, socializing and enjoyment of daily living. We will offer a space to connect with others who share in coping and adjusting to their medical conditions. Peer support will serve to validate feelings, provide hope, and enhance community. Group techniques will emphasize perspective taking and improvement strategies, while investigating possibilities within your situation.

 

The Relationships Group
Leader: Jenna Bass, PhD 
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Thursdays 12:00-1:00pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Open group
Description: Building Better Relationships The Relationships Group is an interpersonally focused process group for those who are seeking to change their relationships, develop new relationships, or learn more about how they relate to others. This group offers skills and support to improve coping strategies to negotiate relationships, identify your limits and set boundaries, improve self-care, reduce stress, and much more.

 

DBT Skills Group
Leader: Kathleen McIntyre, MSW
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 11:00am-12:15pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Closed group
Description: The purpose of this group is to provide a collaborative learning space for Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills using a strengths-based and trauma-informed lens. This group offers complete coverage of DBT skills in core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Additional content includes skills to improve participants' sense of mastery over flashbacks, triggers, and other experiences of emotion dysregulation that can often lead to ineffective coping behaviors. Experiential grounding skills to decrease dissociation and present-centered techniques to access post-traumatic growth are explored where relevant. Participants are welcome to join the group at any time and no specific diagnosis is required.

 

Stress Management Group
Leader: Erin Engle, PsyD
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee and NYPH Employee Insurance Plans Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Other Notes: Closed group
Description: Everyone needs to find a way to cope with stress and related mood changes in their life. This group will teach you techniques and strategies designed to help you maximize your strengths, relax, and live mindfully. As part of the Stress Management Group, you will learn to: reduce the physical symptoms of stress, change unhelpful self-talk, break the cycle of worry, set boundaries, improve self-care and self-esteem, and utilize and practice mindfulness to break the cycle of worry.

 

Gender Identity Group Therapy
Leaders: Walter Bockting, PhD and Thomas Vance, PhD
Location: 710 W. 168th Street
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: First and third Tuesday of every month 5:00-6:30pm
Insurance/Cost: Aetna, Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $160/session
Description: This adult gender affirming psychotherapy group for transgender and gender nonbinary individuals offers support over the course of participants’ identity development. This may include such goals as exploring gender identity and expression, making informed decisions about gender-affirming medical interventions, maintaining strong relationships with family and friends, and pursuing other life goals. Topics addressed may include coping with minority stress, finding a comfortable gender expression, support from transgender and gender non-binary peers, self-acceptance, sexuality and relationships, and family and community.

ColumbiaDoctors Tarrytown

Parent School Avoidance Group
Leader: Nicholas Crimarco, PhD
Location: ColumbiaDoctors Tarrytown
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:00 – 6:30pm
Cost/Insurance: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $150/session
Other Notes: Open group, outside therapist required
Description: This group is intended for parents of students who are struggling to attend school consistently due to anxiety. The group will review specific strategies to talk with your children about their anxiety and other difficult feelings they are having and provide behavioral strategies to help increase your children’s motivation to attend school.  The group is also meant to provide an environment for parents to support each other in effectively managing their children’s school-related anxiety.

 

Parent Management Training Group
Leader: Allison Winik, PhD
Location: ColumbiaDoctors Tarrytown
Age Range: 18+
Meeting Time: Fridays 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Cost/Insurance: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $150/session
Other Notes: Open group, outside therapist not required
Description: This group is intended for parents of children ages 8-14 who struggle to comply with directions, act defiantly, or engage in disruptive behavior. The group will focus on identifying behaviors to change, increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing problem behaviors, applying appropriate rewards and consequences for children’s behavior, generalizing progress across home and school settings, and helping parents with stress management and self-care.

 

Young Adult Center – Group CBT
Leader: Nicholas Crimarco, PhD
Location: ColumbiaDoctors Tarrytown
Age Range: 18-28
Meeting Time: Fridays 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Beginning February 1st 2019)
Cost/Insurance: Columbia University Employee Insurance Plan Accepted, otherwise $150/session
Other notes: Open group, outside therapist required
Description: CUCARD Westchester will be providing group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) targeting issues pertaining to young adults. The group will consist of 8-10 sessions, and will focus on factors that may be contributing to distress, social anxiety, and difficulties related to young adult transitions. Group sessions are interactive, and include role-play and exposure exercises to improve one’s ability to gain confidence when negotiating social, interpersonal, family, and academic situations. Group will also focus on improving social skills and problem-solving ability, within the framework of decreasing avoidant behaviors and increasing adaptive behaviors. Group will include an emphasis on learning about the nature of anxiety, guidance in challenging self-defeating thoughts, and rehearsal of coping skills to manage anxious thoughts and feelings. Through group CBT, patients will benefit from peer connection and support as they learn about factors associated with anxiety, and build skills to improve daily functioning, independent living skills, and overall quality of life.