Specialist Group Therapy Programs

Help is on the way: Support for individuals, couples and families in the community.

The Psychology Clinic offers a number of specialised group therapy programs for the community. These programs have been developed in line of best current research evidence. They have been shown to be effective in increasing life-satisfaction and teaching individuals the psychological skills needed to reduce their symptoms.

Group therapy provides individuals with an opportunity to target a specific issue and work in a structured manner; to be supported by other people who understand their experiences; and to learn from them during their treatment. We have also found that group therapy helps participants stay motivated and committed to improving their mental health.

The Psychology Clinic offers a range of Group Therapies - click on the tabs on the left to explore our offerings, or register for a Group Therapy Program.

Pre-group information for group therapy programs

There are a number of steps involved in joining one of the Psychology Clinic's group therapy programs, including completing an assessment to ensure that the program you are interested in is best suited to your individual needs. This process is outlined below.

How to join a group therapy program

  1. Register your interest in completing a group therapy program by contacting the Psychology Clinic by phone (03) 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au. The Project Officer will ask your name, contact details, and a suitable time to be contacted. You will then be placed on the assessment waitlist for the program you are interested in joining.
  2. A group facilitator will contact you 4-6 weeks before the start of the program to answer questions you might have about the group program, and arrange for you to complete a pre-group assessment at the Clinic. Assessments offer you the opportunity to meet with one of the group's facilitators before commencing the program. Assessments allow the facilitators to ensure that the group is the most appropriate treatment to meet your individual needs. Assessments are required for all of the Psychology Clinic's group therapy programs, they typically run for approximately 2 -3 hours and they cost $25.If the assessment indicates that the group therapy program is not the most appropriate form of treatment for you, the facilitators will discuss this with you.
  3. After completing the assessment phase you may be offered a place in the group program you have been assessed. Payment for the program should be made at the first group session by cash or credit card. Installment payment options may be available upon request.

Common questions about group therapy

What are the benefits of group therapy?

In the Psychology Clinic's group therapy programs people with similar feelings, thoughts and problems work together to develop new ways of managing psychological difficulties. Group members benefit from receiving support from others who share their experience and by being able to practice new skills within the context of the group. Over the course of a group, participants learn practical skills, gain insight into areas of difficulty and often experience a sense of acceptance and belonging within the group.

I have social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder - can I complete the groups for both these disorders?

Some of the people who complete the Psychology Clinic's group programs meet criteria for two psychological disorders. This is called co-morbidity. Having a second psychological difficulty does not preclude a person from completing a group therapy program. A pre-group assessment will determine whether a group program will meet a person's needs, and if they are interested in completing two groups, the assessment will determine which they should complete first.

I have participated in a group previously and I would like to do some more work. What would you recommend?

After finishing a group program many people wish to continue counselling. One way to do this is through individual therapy, which the clinic provides at low cost. Some people may wish to repeat a group program and this can be discussed with the Clinic on an individual basis.

How often do the groups run?

We receive a high number of enquiries for each of the group therapy programs, however we can only run this groups on demand, if we have the right number of eligible participants.

Can I make enquiries on behalf of someone?

Yes, you may enquire on behalf of a client or relative but we are only able to contact them if they have directly given us permission to do so. We do not give out referral forms for the groups.

I was previously assessed as not eligible for a group therapy. Can I still apply in future?

Yes, you may re-apply if you think your situation has changed. A new assessment will be done to determine your eligibility.

Carers hoarding support group

The Carers Hoarding Support Group has been developed to assist people who care for someone who experiences Hoarding Disorder. The program aims to provide information about the causes and treatment of Hoarding and to develop strategies to assist you with living with Hoarding.

The group is for the relatives and carers of people suffering from Hoarding and will provide information and support to people who care for individuals with hoarding disorder, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges that can come with supporting a person who hoards.

Fees

This is a free group program facilitated by registered and provisional psychologists with Dr Maja Nedeljkovic who oversees the Clinic’s Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring Group (CHAG).

How to apply

To register your interest in this program or to find out more information, please call the Swinburne Psychology Clinic on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au

Carers Holding Support Group flyer [PDF 125KB]

Compassion focused therapy group for trauma recovery and disordered eating

The Compassion Focused Group for Trauma Recovery and Disordered Eating is a program designed for people whose lives are currently affected by problematic eating and have experienced an overwhelming event or series of events in their lives, that could be classified as a trauma.

Details

The Compassion Focused Therapy Group for Trauma Recovery and Disordered Eating is a ten-session group-based program, designed to assist people who are currently affected by eating difficulties and who have previously experienced trauma. The program will incorporate a range of skills to cultivate compassion, including grounding, breathing and mindfulness in order to develop more positive ways of relating to oneself and others. The program may be completed either alongside individual therapy or as a standalone treatment.

Eligibility

Adults over 18 years who have a history of trauma and are currently experiencing eating difficulties are able to apply for the program. Participants do not need to have a formal mental health diagnosis in order to participate. Prior to commencing the group, you will meet with the facilitators to assess whether the group is suitable for your needs, and this assessment carries a one-off fee of $25.                                                                    

Dates

Groups are run a number of times throughout the year. Due to limited places, waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The group therapy program is low-cost. It is $400 ($40 per session) and Medicare rebates are available for people with a referral from their medical practitioner ($31.65 per session). This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable.

How to apply

If you would like to find out more or register your interest in this group, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Compulsive hoarding and acquiring group

Compulsive hoarding and acquiring involves the acquisition of, and inability to discard, a vast number of possessions. Compulsive hoarding is distinguished from collecting, or from normal household clutter, in three ways:

  1. The items collected appear to be useless or of limited value
  2. Rooms in the household of someone living with compulsive hoarding are so significantly cluttered that they can no longer be used for the purpose they were designed for
  3. The impact of a person’s hoarding behaviour causes significant distress or impairs their ability to function in everyday life.

Items that are commonly hoarded include old newspapers and magazines, junk mail, receipts, food wrappers, lists and containers.

The homes of people living with hoarding are hazardous; the clutter serves as a fire hazard; individuals are at increased risk of falling, or having items fall onto them and collected waste can lead to unsanitary conditions. Consequently, people with compulsive hoarding are often too embarrassed to have people visit their homes, and as a consequence, have limited social interactions.

Hoarding behaviour has a strong relationship with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and it is estimated that 25-30% of individuals diagnosed with OCD have symptoms of compulsive hoarding. It is estimated that OCD affects 1-3% of Australians. 

Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring Group flyer [PDF 157KB]

Details

The Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring Group is a ten session program that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to address the thoughts and behaviors that lead to, and maintain, hoarding behaviour. The program targets decision making deficits, emotional connection to items hoarded, the avoidance of storing items appropriately and the avoidance of discarding items. The program challenges the beliefs that participants have about the nature of their possessions.

Eligibility

To be a part of the Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring Group individuals are required to complete a three hour assessment with a counsellor at the Psychology Clinic and obtain a referral and mental health care plan from their doctor.

Dates

Groups are run a number of times throughout the year. Due to limited places, waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

There is a $25 fee to be assessed for the Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring Group. A $425 up-front fee is required for the group, for which you may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to apply

If you would like to find out more or register your interest in this group, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Men's anger management

The mens's anger management group is a low-cost program for people experiencing difficulties in regulating or managing anger across a variety of situations, including work, sport, driving, social settings, and at home.

In situations where anger arises, people with anger management problems experience a range of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms and are at risk of engaging in verbal and physical intimidation or abuse of others.

The mens's anger management group program caters for people suffering from mild to serious anger and is suitable for people who wish to better understand and manage their anger within a small, supportive group environment. 

Men's Anger Management Group flyer [PDF 110KB]

Details

The men's anger management group is a 12-week program that runs for two hours and 15 minutes once a week. Programs often run in the evenings. Participation in the program involves attending all sessions in addition to an initial interview.

The group consists of a structured cognitive therapy program that teaches people about the causes, consequences and outcomes of anger, including behavioural, physiological and cognitive components. The program also focuses on each participant’s individual experience of anger and provides practical strategies to overcome situations in which anger may be aroused.

Follow-up individual counselling after the program is available if required. Alternatively, if you would prefer individual counselling to the group program, this can also be arranged by contacting the Psychology Clinic’s Project Officer on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

The program is conducted by two provisionally registered psychologists undertaking graduate studies in psychology at Swinburne University of Technology. The program is also overseen by a registered psychologist.

Eligibility

To be a part of the Men's Anger Management program participants need to be assessed to determine the type and extent of their problems with anger. This is a 2-hour assessment that occurs prior to program commencement.

Dates

Due to limited places waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates, or to be placed on the assessment list for an upcoming group please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The cost of the men's anger management program includes an assessment fee of $25, plus a program fee of $370.

This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to apply

If you would like to find out more or register your interest in this group, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Mindful moderate eating group

The Mindful Moderate Eating Group (MMEG) is a low-cost group program for women who are experiencing difficulties controlling their eating behaviour.

MMEG caters for women suffering from mild to serious eating problems and is suitable for those who wish to better understand and control their eating behaviour within a small, supportive group environment.

MMEG takes a psychological approach —rather than dietary—to managing emotions and eating behaviour, body image, self-esteem and more.

Details

MMEG is a 12-session program that runs for three hours on ten consecutive weeks, as well as a follow-up session at one month and two months post-program.

Participation in the program involves attending all sessions, as well as an initial interview. Follow-up individual counselling is also available and this can be arranged by contacting the Psychology Clinic’s Project Officer on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

The MMEG program is conducted by students undertaking Master and Doctoral degrees in psychology at the university who are provisionally or fully registered psychologists. The program is also overseen by a registered psychologist.

Eligibility

To be a part of the MMEG program participants are required to attend a two-hour assessment with a MMEG facilitator prior to program commencement. The MMEG program is not suitable for people who:

  • are under 18-years-of-age
  • have Anorexia Nervosa
  • have problematic drug or alcohol abuse
  • have a major physical illness
  • have severe suicidal ideation 

Dates

Groups are run on demand, up to five times throughout the year. Due to limited places, waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The cost of the MMEG program includes an assessment fee of $25, plus a program fee of $445 which includes a mindfulness CD and reading kit. This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to Apply

To register your interest in this program or to find out more information please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Acknowledgments

The Mindful Moderate Eating Group was developed by Dr. Naomi Crafti.

Mindfulness/attachment mother's group

At Swinburne, we run a parenting group for mothers who would like to improve their experience of being a mother and have a better relationship with their child. This group has been designed for mothers who have difficulties managing their emotions and relationships with others, who may experience a changeable sense of self, act impulsively and possibly engage in self- harm.

If you have difficulties in any of these areas, or you know of mothers who are having difficulties, please contact us to organise participation in this program. The mindful parenting group runs for 10 weeks initially, with monthly follow-ups for 4 months and then bimonthly follow-ups. Before and after the program, we have individual interviews and questionnaires so we can check progress and get your feedback about the program.

We are looking for women who:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have a baby, toddler, pre-school or school-aged child (or children) up to 17 years
  • Are having any of the difficulties described above
  • Are interested in participating in this program

The program involves developing mindfulness skills of awareness, acceptance, non-judgment, non-reactivity and a compassionate orientation to help mothers reduce stress and develop more satisfying relationships and ways of parenting.

Fees
The cost for the program is $50 for 10 sessions. There is no charge for the pre and post assessment sessions.

Dates/times
This group normally runs twice a year: one beginning in February/March and another beginning in September.

How to apply
If you are interested or would like more information please contact:

Program Coordinator: Dr Roslyn Galligan
P: (03) 9214 5345
E: rgalligan@swin.edu.au

Obsessive compulsive disorder group

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are besieged by intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions), and are compelled to perform behavioural and mental rituals (compulsions).

Obsessions and compulsions are distressing, exhausting and time consuming, and cause significant interference in the sufferer’s family and social relationships, daily routines, and their capacity to fulfil their goals in employment and education.

The Obsessive Compulsive, Anxiety & Related Disorders (OCARD) Treatment and Research Program conducts treatment and research into disorders, including OCD and related disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive hoarding, and compulsive buying.

We are also investigating anxiety and depression in people suffering from a chronic medical illness. The program undertakes research into factors that make individuals vulnerable to these disorders, and treatments for these disorders. 

STOP Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder flyer [PDF 155KB]

Details

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been found to be an effective treatment of OCD. It helps the sufferer identify the ideas, beliefs and behaviours associated with OCD, and ways
of modifying them.

The Swinburne Psychology Clinic offers a ten-week Group CBT program for the treatment of OCD. The program is called Systematic Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Phenomena - or STOP Therapy, for short. It focuses on providing participants with information about OCD, practical strategies on managing OCD symptoms, general anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and provides strategies for preventing or managing future relapses.

STOP therapy has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of OCD over ten weeks, and that these improvements are maintained in the six months following treatment. The treatment is offered as ten 1.5-hour weekly sessions at the Psychology Clinic at Swinburne.

Eligibility

To be a part of the OCD STOP therapy program, participants are required to complete a two-hour assessment with a counsellor at the Clinic and obtain a referral and mental health care plan from their doctor.

Dates

The OCD STOP program is run a number of times throughout the year. For more information about when the next group is being held, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au

Fees

The cost of the program is $425. Medicare rebates are available for up to ten sessions and there is an assessment fee of $25 which cannot be rebated through Medicare. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to Apply

Our groups run multiple times throughout the year. To find out how you can register to participate in this group please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Perfectionism group

What is perfectionism?

Perfectionism can certainly have a positive impact on your life, helping you to set goals and motivating you to achieve your goals. However, perfectionism becomes unhelpful and unproductive when it involves the constant pursuit of self-imposed high standards, and judging one’s self-worth on the ability to meet these unreasonable benchmarks.

Perfectionists tend to be highly self-critical when they do not meet their standards, or will minimise their accomplishments and negatively compare themselves to others when they do achieve their goals. This way, perfectionists are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, and may demonstrate a variety of perfectionistic behaviours including checking, list making, organising, procrastination and difficulty making decisions.

Perfectionism Group flyer [PDF 118KB]

Details

The Perfectionism group is a low-cost group program that caters for people who would like some strategies to better manage perfectionism in their everyday life.

The group is a structured program that uses cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and relaxation strategies.

The program aims to teach group members about the different types of perfectionism (positive and negative), symptoms and causes of perfectionism, including its behavioural, physiological and cognitive components. The program also focuses on each participant’s individual concerns and provides practical strategies to help participants have a more healthy relationship with perfectionism.

The Perfectionism group is an eight-week program that runs for 90 minutes once a week. Participation in the program involves attending all sessions.

Follow-up individual counselling is available at any stage if required. This can also be arranged by contacting the Psychology Clinic’s Project Officer on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au.
The Perfectionism program is facilitated by two provisional psychologists who are completing their postgraduate psychology education at Swinburne University of Technology. The group is overseen by a registered psychologist at the Psychology Clinic.

Eligibility

Group members will be required to have an assessment interview to establish if the perfectionism group will appropriately meet your needs. This interview will take approximately two hours.

Dates

The group is run according to demand, and due to limited places waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates, or to register your interest for an upcoming group please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The cost for the assessment interview is $25, and the cost for the perfectionism group program is $210 for eight sessions. This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable. There is no Medicare rebate available for this fee. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer on 9214 5528 to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to apply

To register your interest in this program or to find out more information, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

When dates are finalised for the next group, you will be contacted by one of the student facilitators to organise the assessment interview.

Social anxiety group

People with social anxiety often feel that they will be criticised by other people or feel that they will say or do something that will humiliate or embarrass themselves.

The social anxiety group is a low-cost group program for people experiencing difficulties in social situations such as public speaking, initiating or maintaining conversations, speaking to authority figures, attending parties, eating in public and many other scenarios. In these situations, some people with social anxiety also experience physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling, confused thoughts, muscular tension, stomach problems, and even panic attacks.

The social anxiety group program caters for people suffering from mild to serious anxiety and is suitable for those who wish to better understand and control their fears within a small, supportive group environment.

Social Anxiety Group Flyer [PDF 117KB]

Details

The Social Anxiety Group is a 12-week program that runs for three-hours once a week. Programs tend to run in the evening from 6pm–9pm. Participation in the program involves attending all sessions, as well as an initial interview.

The Social Anxiety Group is a structured cognitive therapy program that centres on the relationship between faulty cognitions, the physiological symptoms of arousal and subsequent avoidant behaviour.

The program aims to teach people about the causes and symptoms of social anxiety, including its behavioural, physiological and cognitive components. It also focuses on each participant’s individual concerns and provides practical strategies to overcome situations in which anxiety may be aroused.

Follow-up individual counselling after the program is available if required. Alternatively, if you would prefer individual counselling to the group program, this can also be arranged by contacting the Psychology Clinic’s Project Officer on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

The program is conducted by two provisional psychologists, who are undertaking graduate studies in psychology at Swinburne University of Technology. The program is also overseen by Dr Glen Bates, a Senior Lecturer in psychology and a member of the Psychology Clinic’s executive committee.

Eligibility

To be a part of the program, participants need to be assessed to determine the extent of their social anxiety. This is a two-hour assessment that occurs prior to program commencement.

Dates

Programs run a number of times throughout the year. For more information, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The cost of the program includes an assessment fee of $25, plus a program fee of $445. This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer discuss alternate arrangements.

How to apply

Our Social Anxiety Group runs multiple times throughout the year. To find out how you can register to participate in these groups please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Women's anger management group

The Women’s Anger Management Group is a low-cost program for people experiencing difficulties in regulating or managing anger across a variety of situations, including work, sport, driving, social settings, and at home. In situations where anger arises, people with anger management problems experience a range of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms and are at risk of engaging in verbal and physical intimidation or abuse of others.

The Women’s Anger Management Group program caters for people suffering from mild to serious anger and is suitable for people who wish to better understand and manage their anger within a small, supportive group environment.

Details

The anger management group is a 12-week program that runs for two hours and 15 minutes once a week. Participation in the program involves attending all sessions in addition to an initial interview.
The group consists of a structured cognitive therapy program that teaches people about the causes, consequences and outcomes of anger, including behavioural, physiological and cognitive components. The program also focuses on each participant’s individual experience of anger and provides practical strategies to overcome situations in which anger may be aroused.

Follow-up individual counselling after the program is available if required. Alternatively, if you would prefer individual counselling to the group program, this can also be arranged by contacting the Psychology Clinic’s Project Officer on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

The program is conducted by two provisionally registered psychologists undertaking graduate studies in psychology at Swinburne University of Technology. The program is also overseen by a registered psychologist at the Psychology Clinic.

Eligibility

To be a part of the Women’s Anger Management program participants need to be assessed to determine the type and extent of their problems with anger. This is a one-hour assessment that occurs prior to program commencement.

Dates

Due to limited places waiting lists may apply. For more information on program dates, or to be placed on the assessment list for an upcoming group please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au.

Fees

The cost of the Anger Management program includes an assessment fee of $25, plus a program fee of $370. This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements. 

How to apply

If you would like to find out more or register your interest in this group, please contact the Psychology Clinic at psychprojects@swin.edu.au

Women's Anger Management Groupo flyer [PDF 159KB]

Women’s trauma recovery group

The Trauma Recovery Program is a specialised trauma treatment that is designed for women who have experienced interpersonal trauma, such as sexual, physical or emotional abuse or domestic violence.
The program offers an opportunity to connect with others while learning skills that help with coping with trauma-related symptoms.

Fees

The cost of the group therapy program is $400 with Medicare rebates available for people with a referral from their medical practitioner.
This fee is payable prior to the commencement of the group and is non-refundable.
If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum, please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternative arrangements.

How to apply

If you are interested in attending an appointment to discuss the program further and work out if it is right for you, please call the Swinburne Psychology Clinic on 9214 5528 or email psychprojects@swin.edu.au

Women's Trauma Recovery Group flyer [PDF 159KB]