Counseling center offers variety of support groups based on student need

This semester, the counseling center is offering three groups in order to facilitate the needs of students on campus. The ‘Grief Support Group’ will help students who have lost loved ones and want to speak to others with similar experiences. Marijuana moderation class ‘Slow Your Roll’ is back for another semester and a ‘Recovery Group’ will help students who identify as being ‘in recovery’ or ‘clean/sober’ from alcohol and drugs.

Jeffrey Klug, associate Dean of students and Director of counseling and health, said that these groups were in response to feedback and anonymous surveys from the campus community. For example, the recovery group was a direct result of a survey conducted by Student Wellness and Prevention (S.W.A.P) last semester.

“We were surprised at the number of students that identified as being in recovery,” said Klug, “We haven’t had any interest yet, so we are hoping that the students who said that they would want this group will contact us (the counseling center).” On Febraury 24, Tori Bloomwald who is a staff clinician and licensed clinical social worker will facilitate the first meeting of this group.

The grief support group is a seven-week lunch series that was formed when Dean of Students Kate Kenny mentioned that she was aware of several students who had lost family members or other loved one’s last semester. Although it had already been planned, the death of Brandon Williams galvanized the need for such a support group.

Klug, who facilitates this grief support group, said that six people attended the first session last week. These sessions have an open-ended format and are discussion based. “They (group members) really just wanted to share their stories, to be able to identify others on campus who may understand what they’re going through in a unique way. Its also a time for students who have experienced grief and loss to just be together; they don’t have to talk about grief and loss,” said Klug.

Slow your roll is a marijuana moderation class, based on a harm reduction approach. Klug said that such an initiative was important at Wheaton as marijuana is probably the biggest drug of choice, in addition to alcohol. This class allows students to become more aware of their relationship to marijuana and reduce the risks, if they are not ready to stop using all together. Health Educator, Emily Dimon offers this four class cycle that students can self-refer to.

Those interested in any of the groups above are encouraged to contact the counseling center.