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 Wellness Hangouts

In this time of social distancing, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. Wellness Hangouts are virtual spaces where students can come together and connect around some of the things that make life challenging, exciting, or just complicated.

PLEASE NOTE: Wellness hangouts are NOT therapy, and participation in a wellness hangout

does NOT make you a client of the counseling center. If you are interested in scheduling a

therapy appointment, please click here for information on how to do so.

Wellness Hangouts will be weekly drop-in Zoom meetings.  If you believe you might be interested in participating this semester, please reach out to the contact person below to let them know your availability so that we can schedule the Wellness Hangouts at times that will be convenient for the largest number of interested students.

  • Coffee with Cate ~ Start Date: 9/21 and 9/23

Contact: Cate Perry (

Ever wanted to chat up the director of the counseling center - to ask questions or just to get to know a counselor as a person rather than a therapist? Come to the Coffee With Cate wellness hangout and get to know our fearless leader in a casual, unstructured space.

    • Faculty & Staff - Mondays 8:15am - 9:00am:                                                                                                                                    Meeting ID: 988 7941 7051; Passcode: 665572
    • Students - Wednesdays 8:15am - 9:00am:                                                                                                                                   Meeting ID: 996 1676 3644; Passcode: 279392
  • Parenting During a Pandemic ~ contact Rachel Friendly (

Parenting while going to school is always a challenge, but during a pandemic, these challenges can feel endless. Come to this wellness hangout to get support from others who are coping with the maddening chaos of parenting in this pandemonium.

  • Students in Quarantine ~ contact Nancy Harper (

Getting used to the "normal-for-now" life in a pandemic is difficult, but all the more so if you are required to quarantine yourself from those around you. This wellness hangout is a place to connect with others who are also in quarantine.

  • Grief and Loss ~ contact Nancy Harper (

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, this wellness hangout is a safe space to connect with others who are also processing their loss. 

  • Students of Color ~ contact Deb Taylor (

This wellness hangout provides a safe, supportive space for students of color to talk about issues that are important to them without judgment or fear.

  • First-Year Experience ~ contact Deb Taylor (

The first year of college can be overwhelming - so much is new and unfamiliar. This wellness hangout is for first-year students to come together to support one another through the trials and successes of your first year at UMassD.

  • Mindful Moments ~ Thursdays 12:00pm-12:30pm, Starting 9/24

Contact: Nik Olendzki (

Come learn how to use mindfulness to decrease anxiety, increase calm, and improve your life in this skills-based wellness hangout. Please note, this wellness hangout is open to faculty, staff, and students.

  • Stress Less... Sleep More! ~ contact Nik Olendzki (

The impacts of overwhelming stress can reach every part of our lives - academic, social, physical, mental, and emotional. Come to this wellness hangout to learn how to manage your stress - and sleep better - to be successful in all areas of your life.

Group Therapy

For many mental health concerns, group therapy is the treatment of choice.  Group offers several benefits over individual therapy, such as:

  • Recognizing that you are not alone, and that many other people share your same concerns, struggles, and doubts;
  • The chance to learn from your peers;
  • The opportunity to get feedback, support, and validation from many people, not just one therapist.


Groups for Fall 2020:

Graduate Student/Older Student Group ~ Wednesdays, 4:30pm - 5:45pm (tentative start date: 9/30)

Contact: David Perry (

Often the issues that affect graduate students and older undergraduate students (24 and older) are somewhat different from those that affect younger students.  It can help to have a confidential place to speak with and listen to students with similar issues and experiences.  The aim of this group is to provide a therapeutic space for such students to discuss, reflect, and share with one another in a supportive atmosphere.

  • All Semester, once per week

Veteran's Group ~ contact David Perry (

Students with military backgrounds can encounter difficulties on college campuses that are different from those faced by the rest of the student body. Whether you are making the adjustment from a military environment to an academic one, or are preparing for a military environment after graduating, it can be comforting to share a space where current and former members of our military can share the difficulties inherent to their dual identity. The military group aims to support these students in non-judgmental discussion.

  • All semester, once per week

Women's Group ~ contact Rachel Friendly (

Being a woman in our society comes with unique challenges, frustrations, and joys.  So often, women are set up to believe that we have to tear one another down in order to succeed, when in reality, the more we lift one another up, the better we all feel and the more we can achieve.  The Women’s Group is a place where women can come together to support one another, connect with one another, and help one another to weather the challenges and frustrations and celebrate the joys in a safe, supportive environment.  

  • All semester, once per week
  • Approximately 10 people

Interpersonal Therapy Group (The "IT Group")

Feeling connected, understood, and supported are important parts of well-being, yet many people find themselves locked into patterns of communication that get in the way of connecting effectively.  The IT Group focuses on practicing authenticity, openness, and mutual support in a safe setting, so that you can learn how to do so in your life outside of group and become your "best self."

  • All Semester, once per week.
  • Approximately 10 people

Doing Better Together ~ contact Rachel Friendly (

Coping with the ups and downs of daily life can be challenging at the best of times.  In this 8-week, structured workshop, we will explore ways to be more present in our lives, increase our ability to tolerate distress, create a better understanding of our emotions, and increase our ability to have positive, productive relationships with others.

  • 8-weeks, meeting weekly


More Info!

Groups are determined based on student interest. We are open to suggestions for new groups as new needs arise. Groups run on the basis of availability, amount of interested students, and available Counseling Center staff.  

Important Notes on Groups:

  • If you are interested in a group, please contact the Counseling Center within the first several weeks of the semester, before the group starts.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all groups require signing up in advance. 
  • Some groups may require a screening/orientation session before the group begins. 



The counseling center often gets involved in workshops and other events on campus. Staff, faculty, and student groups are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center with requests for specific workshops. We can accommodate most requests, and ask that requests be made at least 3-4 weeks in advance to allow us to block out our clinical schedules.

 Previous Workshops include

  •  Mindfulness
  •  Relationships
  •  Reducing Anxiety
  •  Test Anxiety/Stress Management
  •  Self-Care/Work-Life Balance


For further information please contact the UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center, Auditorium Annex, Room 101 or call 508 -999-8648/8650 







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