11 TPC Digest Bilal Urkmez, Chanda Pinkney, Daniel Bonnah Amparbeng, Nanang Gunawan, Jennifer Ojiambo Isiko, Brandon Tomlinson, Christine Suniti Bhat Experience of Graduate Counseling Students During COVID-19 | Application for Group Counseling Training Group counseling training has traditionally been conducted in a face-to-face learning environment. COVID-19 created a situation in which training transitioned from the face-to-face format to an online learning format, forcing trainers and trainees to realign themselves to a new normal. This article provides the experience of nine students who started out their group counseling training in a face-to-face format and transitioned to an online format because of the in-person restrictions caused by COVID-19. The purpose of the study was to explore and compare first-year master’s students’ experiences of participating in and leading both face-to-face and online formats of experiential group counseling training (EGCT). The research question that guided the study was: What were master’s students’ experiences of participating and leading in both face-to-face and online EGCT groups? Qualitative methodology using an existential phenomenological approach was used to explore first-year master’s students’ experiences of participating in and leading both face-to-face and online formats of EGCT and understand how those experiences impacted their attitudes, learning, facilitating, and adaptation to these two environments. Data was collected through focus group discussions. The analysis of the findings yielded three main themes regarding the participants’ experience: positive participation factors, participation-inhibiting factors, and suggestions for group counseling training. The theme of positive participation factors focused on exploring master’s students’ perceptions of what helped them actively participate in both online and face-to-face EGCT groups as a group member. Five subthemes were identified in the theme of positive participation factors: knowing other group members, physical presence, comfortability of online sessions, cohesiveness, and leadership interventions. The theme of participation-inhibiting factors examined factors that negatively influenced participation and leadership in the online and face-to-face formats of the EGCT groups. In this main theme, three subthemes were identified, including group dynamics, challenges with online EGCT, and technological obstacles for online EGCT. Under the theme of suggestions for group counseling training, participants were invited to share their concerns and ways to develop and improve face-to-face and online EGCT group experiences. Three subthemes were identified: software issues and training, identified group topics, and preferred EGCT environment. The findings of this study were consistent with previous research regarding factors that promote and/or inhibit participation during the group counseling training process. One interesting finding that was dissimilar to previous literature was how the opportunity to process the challenges generated by the experience of isolation during COVID-19 promoted participation. The experience of COVID-19 created a situation in which counselor educators should be prepared to conduct training in both face-to-face and online formats. The choice of format, however, requires a unique skill set and proper planning for one to achieve positive training outcomes. The findings provide information that counselor educators can use as they plan group counseling training programs. Areas of focus during preparation for both face-to-face and online group training are reinforced by suggestions coming from the perspectives of the trainees Bilal Urkmez, PhD, LPC, CRC, is an assistant professor at Ohio University. Chanda Pinkney, MA, CT, is a doctoral student at Ohio University. Daniel Bonnah Amparbeng, MEd, NCC, LPC, is a doctoral student at Ohio University. Nanang Gunawan, MA, is a doctoral student at Ohio University. Jennifer Ojiambo Isiko, MA, is a doctoral student at Ohio University. Brandon Tomlinson, MA, NCC, LPC, is a doctoral student at Ohio University. Christine Suniti Bhat, PhD, LPC, LSC, is a professor at Ohio University. Correspondence may be addressed to Bilal Urkmez, Patton Hall 432P, Athens, OH 45701, urkmezbi@ohio.edu.