New Psychology Groups Opening Up For Students

Mark Feuerborn

Graduate students of the Washburn University Psychology program are developing group psychology sessions for the benefit of students involved in various activities. The groups’ subjects are healthy relationships, creativity and performance enhancement. Each offers different assistance to students in particular fields, such as those interested in discovering how to know and build healthy relationships, artists who would like help overcoming obstacles in their creative processes, or athletes who wish to become better team players.

Sorority members at Washburn have been encouraged to attend the healthy relationships group, while it is open to everyone. The group aims to cover various relationship aspects, such as dating safety, healthy communication and how to support friends who may be involved in unhealthy relationships.

The performance enhancement group is being provided exclusively for the WU Women’s Soccer team, which will aim to educate the members on positive player psychology for team unity and coordination and enhance each individual player’s strengths.

The creativity group is encouraged for creative people of any kind, not limited to artists, writers, actors or musicians. This group also aims to provide awareness on how to foster creativity and avoid problems in the creative process that can hinder someone’s work.

“What I really like about the group is that it has allowed us to come get out of it what we want to get out of it,” said Wendy Nichols, member of the Artist’s Way group that focuses on creativity.

Like the other groups, the Artist’s Way group meets weekly to cover different subjects of their respective field. For creativity, the group has themes that are addressed in each meeting including the creator’s senses of identity, power and integrity. The group follows along with the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, which provides lessons on each of the themes regarding creativity, and provides activities for the members to partake in to explore their creativity.

“Not only am I leading the group and experiencing it with them, but I’m also experiencing it myself, and so it’s a very flexible program step-by-step,” said Jonathan Huffman, leader of the Artist’s Way group. “While it is very organized, it allows for self-interpretation and understanding, and so I think that’s beneficial both as a facilitator and a member within the group.”

In particular, the Artist’s Way group aims to push the idea that in any walk of life, a person utilizes creativity, and that it is okay to get in touch with and explore one’s creative self.

“I think it’s important to point out that going through the Artist’s Way isn’t just about becoming a better painter or sculptor. It could be a better student, or a better person in general. Creativity isn’t just limited to the arts as we think about it, creativity is a part of everybody’s life,” said Shari LaGrange-Aulich, a facilitator of the Artist’s Way group.