Groups and Workshops


Working together, helping one another

The Broene Counseling Center facilitates a number of groups throughout the school year that bring together students with similar concerns. Group therapy is a powerful tool for growth and change. The transformative power in group therapy lies in the unique opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement and feedback from other individuals in a safe and confidential environment. Research has validated that group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy. And, for many emotional concerns, personal struggles, and relationship issues that college students face, group therapy is the most effective treatment modality.

Before joining a group, please schedule an appointment at the Broene Counseling Center by stopping at the office, calling 616-526-6123, or sending an email to All groups are free and confidential. Groups are usually comprised of 5-10 members and are facilitated by 1 or 2 counselors. If you are interested in a group not listed (such as Grief and Loss), please do not hesitate to contact us. Below is the list of groups that are offered this semester.


Would you like to increase feelings of gratitude, joy, compassion, and resilience? Would you like to feel happier? Join us in learning and practicing the art of happiness, utilizing and expanding on the award-winning documentary HAPPY. This six-week group will combine research-based information, discussion, and practical exercises designed to boost happiness and contentment, drawing on the fields of positive psychology, neuroscience, sociology, economics, and leadership studies. Facilitated by Chris Klein, MA (Residence Life staff) and Amanda Worst, MSW.

Day: Thursdays
Time: 12:00-1:15

For more information or to sign up, please contact Amanda Worst at 616-526-6126 or

Interpersonal Process

This group offers the opportunity for participants to learn more about their distinctive ways of relating to others by exploring their interactions with fellow group members. You would have the experience of becoming a part of a supportive community where members encourage and help one another to make progress towards their personal goals in relationships. Group members communicate honestly and openly about their reactions, feedback, and suggestions in a caring, confidential atmosphere. Members are welcome to bring any issues to the group that they feel are important. Facilitated by Rick Baez, PsyD, and Mark Recker, LLPC.

Day: Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:15AM

Begins September 18

For more information or to sign up, please contact Mark Recker at 616-526-6941 or

LGBTQ Discussion Group

This discussion group enables students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning to support one another through dialogue, educational growth, and mutual understanding. Facilitated by Dan Vandersteen, MSW.

Day: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:00PM
Begins September 9

For more information or to sign up, please contact Dan Vandersteen at 616-526-7027 or

Mindfulness Meditation

Are you feeling stressed, discontent, or unfocused? Would you like to feel more comfortable in your own skin? This group offers students an opportunity to cultivate nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment through the practice of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness has been shown by research to decrease stress, increase positive emotions, improve attention, and support a sense of belonging. Students will be introduced to the principles of mindfulness and provided with opportunities to practice it for themselves. Participation includes a handbook and access to free audio meditation guides. All participants will be provided with an overview of the topic in the first meeting before being asked to commit to the seven-week series. Facilitated by Irene Kraegel, PsyD.

Section One:
Day: Wednesdays, 3:30-4:45PM
September 3 through October 15

Section Two:
Day: Tuesdays, 3:30-4:45PM
September 30 through November 18

Section Three:
Day: Mondays, 3:30-4:45PM
October 13 through December 1

For more information or to register, contact Irene Kraegel, PsyD, at 616-526-7016 or

Practically Perfect

Do you feel like what you accomplish is never quite good enough? Do you worry about making mistakes or failing? Practically Perfect focuses on understanding, channeling, and challenging perfectionism. This group will look at the types and origins of perfectionism, expectations and their impact, and the role of compassion and grace. Facilitated by Bren Shantz, MA, and Amanda Worst, MSW.

Day: Fridays, 8:00 - 9:00AM

Beginning March 5

For more information or to sign up, please contact Bren Shantz at (616) 526-7017 or

Step One

Step One is a confidential group for men who are struggling with pornography use and desire to be free. Facilitated by Dan Vandersteen, MSW.

Mondays, 5:00 - 6:00PM

For more information, please contact Dan Vandersteen at 616-526-7027 or


This confidential group is for women who are negatively affected by others (such as boyfriends, significant others, family members, or husbands) who are using pornography. The group provides a safe setting to discuss concerns, ask questions, and receive support. Facilitated by Amanda Worst, MSW.

Every Other Friday, 1:30-2:30PM

For more information or to sign up, please contact Amanda Worst at 616-526-6126 or

Taking Control Group

Students who would benefit from exploring the impact of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs on their lives are welcome to join Taking Control. The group provides confidential support, both for voluntary students and for those mandated to attend by Judicial Affairs as a result of alcohol violations. Reports of attendance may be sent to probation officers if students request this service. Facilitated by Irene Kraegel, PsyD.

Day/Time to be determined

For more information, please contact Irene Kraegel, at 616-526-7016 or


If you have recently returned from off-campus study, it is likely that you have a lot to think about. Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to pick up where you left off with friends & family, or frustrated that people are not as interested in your experiences abroad as you had hoped. Perhaps you’re feeling like a stranger here, flooded with negative thoughts about this culture and place. Or maybe you’re just longing to go back to where you’ve been, or missing the independence of travel.

Any of this sound familiar? We are offering an opportunity to gather with other students having similar experiences, and you are invited to join us. Meetings will include time to tell your story, explore new perspectives, and share support through the transition back to life on campus.

Tentative dates:

  • Day: Thursdays, 3:45 - 4:45PM
  • September 4, September 18 and October 2 only

For more information or to sign up, please contact Irene Kraegel at (616) 526-7016 or

Women’s Process Group

This discussion group provides a safe space to talk honestly about how our families, faith, culture, and media have shaped our ideas about being women. The group is open to women who might benefit from connection and support around shared issues. Issues might include relationships, anger, shame, body image, self-care, improving communication, and maintaining healthy connection with others. The group will focus on the specific interests of its members. Facilitated by Amanda Worst, MSW.

Day: Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:45PM

Begins September 17

For more information or to sign up, please contact Amanda Worst at 616-526-6126 or