Counselling Groups

Groups are powerful vehicles for change. When we participate in a group with others who are living with similar concerns, we begin to realize that we are not alone in our struggles. We explore and learn new skills, practicing these in the safety of the group. Groups can be an empowering experience; feeling the support of the facilitator(s) and fellow group members can increase our motivation and energy to create the change we want for ourselves.

Please check out the groups outlined below and choose one that you believe is a good fit for you: 

Building Resilience Workshop Series

Facilitator: Eva Vassallo, R.N., BScN.

Dates and location: TBD

This is a four-part weekly workshop series that will be offered each month to UTM students. This series offers an introduction to understanding stress; its benefits and challenges; the skills and supports needed to cope well in university and develop long-term resilience (the ability to bounce back from overwhelming forms of stress).

Register here.

Dropping the Anchor & Surviving the Storm

Facilitator: Tanya Galway, Ph.D., C. Psych. 

Tuesdays: October 8th to November 19th (No group session during Reading Week)

Time: 12:15-1:45 pm

This six-session group focuses on developing one’s ability to tolerate difficult situations and emotional pain when problems cannot be solved straight away. Two types of skills will be taught: 1) Crisis Survival Skills and 2) Reality Acceptance Skills. Crisis Survival Skills emphasize changing one’s experience of distress by distracting, self-soothing, improving the moment, considering the pros and cons of impulsive versus effective action, and tipping one’s body chemistry to rapidly reduce extreme arousal. These short-term strategies help one survive an emotional crisis without making it worse through impulsive action. The second set of skills, Reality Acceptance, helps one learn how to fully accept painful experiences that cannot be changed rather than avoiding or fighting them in a way that only increases suffering.

Register here.

Surfing the Waves & Steering the Ship

Facilitator: Tanya Galway, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Tuesdays: October 8th to November 19th (No group session during Reading Week)

Time: 2:30-4:00pm

This six-session group focuses on teaching participants ways to reduce emotional vulnerability and reactivity and recover more quickly from extreme mood states. These skills involve labelling and understanding emotions, reducing vulnerability to acting from emotion mind, creating more positive emotions, preventing negative emotions, and lowering the intensity of negative emotions. 

Register here.

Overcoming Shyness and Making New Friends

Facilitated by: Denise Alton, MSW, RSW

Wednesdays: October 9th to November 13th (No group session during Reading Week)

Time: 12:15-1:15 pm

This five-session group is aimed at addressing the symptoms of social anxiety that contribute to shyness. We will first look at the 3 components of social anxiety and how to manage them through adopting different perspectives, relaxation to manage physical symptoms and finally challenging your fears. Next, we get down to the practical…how to start and maintain a conversation with someone new. This group will teach practical life skills that teach you how to manage anxious thoughts and allow to live the life you choose to live.

Register here. 

Challenging Negative Thinking

Facilitated by Madeline Keogh, M.Ed., RP

Wednesdays: October 9th to November 20th (No group session during Reading Week)

Time: 1:30 to 2:45pm

Our thoughts play an important role in how we feel and how we act. It is human nature to have negative thoughts - having a bias toward negativity is a hard-wired human survival strategy. However, when the inner critic takes over and negative thinking patterns start to have an impact on a person’s esteem or mental health, it is time to take back control and change the inner dialogue. Participants will learn: to recognize unhelpful thinking patterns and become aware of when they are active; to challenge negative thinking; and to develop strategies for dealing with unhelpful negative thoughts.

Register here.