Illinois State University’s Student Counseling Services has been given the 2019 Excellence in Group Practice Award by the American Psychological Association (APA).

two people holding an award while a third looks on

From left, Jenni Thome and Samantha Kurkjian from Student Counseling Services receive the award for the 2019 Excellence in Group Practice Award from Martyn Willingham, president of Division 49 of the American Psychological Association.

The award, which falls under the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Division of the APA, generally recognizes individuals who exemplify excellence in scholarship or practice of group therapy. Illinois State is being recognized with a newer award dedicated to institutions providing excellence in group therapy.

“We offer more groups than many other centers at universities across the nation,” said Director of Student Counseling Services Sandy Colbs. “In addition, we train our doctoral interns and externs in the practice of group psychotherapy.” Group therapy programs at Illinois State often fill and are popular with students, added Colbs.

Illinois State’s work is seen as a model for other counseling centers, and Colbs has served as a consultant and trainer to develop group psychotherapy programs. “It can be difficult to build a group program because most clients come in to the center expecting and preferring to receive individual therapy,” said Colbs, “yet groups are an effective and efficient way to deliver clinical services.”

The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Division of the APA promotes the development and advancement of the field of group psychology and the modality of group psychotherapy through research, teaching and education, and clinical practice and to further the general objectives of the APA.

Students can reach the counseling center at (309) 438-3655 or stop by room 320 of the Student Services Building to make an appointment.