Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Graduate psychology students start mindful self-compassion group

The Washburn Psychological Services Clinic is conducting self-compassion group therapy as a service to students who may be interested. The clinic has had similar group therapies in the past as it is a requirement for graduate-level psychology students. (Graphic by Jayme Thompson)

The Washburn Psychological Services Clinic is looking for students interested in participating in group therapy centered around self-compassion and mindfulness.

“The whole purpose of the self-compassion approach is to challenge some of those [negative] thoughts and beliefs and literally cut ourselves a little bit of slack and give ourselves permission to realize that we’re human,” said Dave Provorse, associate professor of psychology. “We make mistakes sometimes, but we can pick ourselves up and try again.”

The Mindfulness and Self-Compassion group is being created by graduate level psychology students for a course called group therapy practicum. This allows the students to develop experience with clinical therapy for group settings to differ from their normal clinical work with only one person.

“They learn the skills and the theory behind doing groups. Then they have the additional requirement of having to actually offer a real group to actual people, actual clients,” Provorse said. “We try to do stuff on Washburn campus and try to meet the needs of the campus community.”

The topic of mindfulness and self-compassion was first proposed by Ethan Nelson, graduate psychology major.

“I’ve had interest in mindful self compassion for four or five years. However, this particular group project is a source of multiple people’s interests,” Nelson said. “We really want to help people learn to be kinder to themselves and that way they can really thrive instead of just getting through in life.”

The clinic is looking for students who are interested in learning self-compassion, willing to participate in small group therapy and having scheduled weekly sessions. This service is free and will go the rest of the spring semester.

“There’s a lot of great mindfulness exercises and writing exercises that we’re going to be using; they’re sources from a workbook I have on self compassion,” Nelson said. “There will be an educational component for sure, maybe a check-in component as well to see where they’re at.”

Nelson discussed the benefits students would gain from participating in this small group therapy.

“There’s a lot of research indicating that self compassion is associated with decreased depression, decreased anxiety and really overall positive mental health outcomes,” Nelson said. “If we can really learn to be kind to ourselves that helps us be kinder to others as well.”

The group seeks to help students how to be good friends to themselves. If interested in the Mindful Self-Compassion Group contact the emails listed in the flyer. (Courtesy of the Mindfulness Self-Compassion Group)

Graduate psychology students have a strong interaction with the student body throughout their program as they provide various services through hands-on training. This allows undergraduate psychology majors to have a closer look into a possible future.

“For the graduate students, I like how they’re not sticking with the classic of studying others, but starting to look in oneself and doing a little bit more research on how they can better themselves,” said Grace Claspill, sophomore psychology major.

People with an interest in psychology commonly advocate for self-appreciation and being mindful about how people treat themselves.

“Self compassion is important because in order to thrive in different relationships, not just with family but significant others, you have to love yourself first,” Claspill said.

Group therapy may seem intimidating to some, but it can benefit students in a way one-on-one therapy might not be able to.

“I think that it’s very beneficial going to group therapy because you know you’re not alone. There’s multiple people struggling so you can get multiple perspectives on possible ways to cope,” Claspill said.

The graduate students hope to have enough students and to start sessions after spring break.

“I definitely want to thank my colleagues for their work as well. We’ve created flyers. We’ve done a lot of planning about what we’d like to see in the group, and we’ve definitely got a good roadmap forward,” Nelson said.

The mindfulness group will only exist for the spring 2024 semester. However, the clinic provides services to students year-round and it gives the opportunity for graduate students pursuing psychology to obtain clinical hours while being supervised by faculty.

“Our psych service clinic serves a dual purpose. Obviously, we provide services and then hopefully things are very helpful to folks, but it’s also our training clinic,” Provorse said. “It’s directly connected to the master’s program.”

The Washburn Psychological Services Clinic provides care to students with three clinics specifically aimed toward anxiety, depression and child and adolescents. For more generalized therapy services, students can reach out to Washburn’s Counseling Services.

If students are interested in the Mindful and Self-Compassion group, they can contact [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

Edited by Aja Carter and LeSha’ Davis

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About the Contributor
Jayme Thompson, Editor
Hey everyone, I'm Jayme! I am a senior pursuing a double major of psychology and forensic investigations. Even though it's not tied to either of my majors, I joined Student Media because of my appreciation for journalism and the people in the field. I work as a content creator and copy editor. After graduating, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in forensic science and a job within that career field.
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