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ASU center launches group program to help with stress

Group teaches positive coping skills for the general public


Portrait of Byron Garcia, an ASU psychology graduate student who leads the Clinical Psychology Center Coping Skills Program.

Byron Garcia, a psychology graduate student who leads the Coping Skills Training Group. Garcia is part of the Youth Development, Context, and Prevention lab with Assistant Professor Rick Cruz. Photo by Robert Ewing

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January 20, 2022

Life is stressful, and chronic stress can have serious physical and mental consequences. People now have to cope with the ever-changing demands of navigating a pandemic, stress from school and work, or from financial or health difficulties, and loneliness or conflict in relationships.

To help people cope with stress, the Arizona State University Clinical Psychology Center is launching the Coping Skills Training Group for adults this spring. This group is designed to use therapy-based techniques in a group setting to help build positive skills to improve how people cope and manage stress.

Byron Garcia is one of the psychology graduate students who will run the group. His research is focused on understanding the developmental progression of problem behavior and substance use in minority youth and adolescents. Garcia is part of the Youth Development, Context, and Prevention lab with Assistant Professor Rick Cruz. Together, their work has a special focus on the intersections of sociocultural, familial and individual factors that contribute to variability in mental health and substance use among Latino children, adolescents and young adults.

“I have a specific focus on studying self-regulation such as impulsivity (and) risky decision-making and how it intersects with different aspects of one's environment like culture, neighborhood, family and peers,” Garcia said.

The weekly group is intended for anyone who wants to learn techniques that are applicable to everyday stressors. The service is available to ASU students, faculty, administrators and community members. The sessions were designed by Matt Meier, the associate director of clinical training based on research conducted in the clinical environment.

“The idea behind these group sessions is to help inform the community with skills that they can implement in their lives to help with general everyday stressors, whether they are related to school, work or relationships,” Garcia said.

“These skills could be anything from changing your thinking patterns to learning new skills related to breathing or mindfulness. Additionally, the nice part about these sessions is that you can come and go when your schedule allows it. You don't have to really be enrolled and be coming in on a continuous basis to participate.”

For more information about the coping skills group, please visit the Clinical Psychology Center website or call the Clinical Psychology Center at 480-965-7296.

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