Groups & Workshops 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 & workshops outlined below and choose one (or more) that you believe is a good fit for you:
Doing what Matters: Living a Value driven life
Facilitator: Denise Alton (she/her), MSW, RSW
When: Thursday, December 1 – 2:15-3:15PM
Have you ever felt a little unsure about where your life is heading? Or maybe you’re feeling a bit tired and unsatisfied by everything going on in your life? If this sounds familiar, this is designed for you. In this workshop, we will begin by learning about what values are and how they can help guide us. Most importantly, you will get an opportunity to reflect on what values matter the most to you so that you can start developing a plan to turn your values into actions. This workshop will involve lots of time for self-reflection and will give you a chance to start thinking about what a meaningful life is for you!
Mindfulness Introduction: What is it and why is it so popular?
Facilitator: Vi Phan (she/her), MSW, RSW
When: Thursday, January 11 – 11:30-1:00pm
Mindfulness helps us to live more presently, but what exactly does that look like and how might this be beneficial to you? If you’re curious to learn more about mindfulness join us for this 1.5-hour introduction workshop where you’ll learn about the various ways mindfulness is used to increase one’s ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, increase focus and improve a person’s overall physical and mental health. Join us as we explore how to feel more engaged and connected to the world by simply adding some mindful presence to our lives.
Please note that group members will be asked to provide facilitators with a contact phone number, emergency contact and current Ontario address prior to the start of each group session.
*All students who register for a group will be contacted by one of the group facilitators (HCC counsellors) for a brief, 15-minute phone call (gathering of information and opportunity to ask any questions about the group).
Addressing the Impact of Trauma: Safety, Stability and Self-Care
Facilitators: Vi Phan (she/her), MSW, RSW & Sofia Pelaez (she/her), MSW, RSW
When: Mondays, 2:30-4:00pm, January 23, 30, February 6,13, 27, March 6, 13, 20
Have you ever wondered if a past trauma may still be impacting you?
If yes, you may be interested in what this group offers. The primary focus of this group is to develop participants’ understanding of their trauma and build coping skills. Participants will not be asked to share details of their trauma history. Instead, the group will explore how trauma may impact a person and how to reduce shame or isolation and build self-compassion. Participants will also learn and develop skills to increase capacity to self-regulate emotions, manage intrusive thoughts and triggers, and establish safety within oneself and in relationships. This group uses a Trauma Information Group model (TIG), which is a brief group therapy format designed to meet the goals of safety, stability, and self-care among participants.
No previous experience in therapy is required. Accessing individual therapy is not a prerequisite for this group but it is recommended if a participant feels that they require additional support or would like to complement the work taking place in the group sessions.
Building Resilience: Understanding Stress and Building Skills to Cope
Facilitator: Amar Ghelani, MSW, RSW
When: Wednesdays, 2:00pm-3:00pm – February 1, 8, 14 and 28 (no group during reading week)
This is a 4-part weekly workshop 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).
Think, Feel, Do: A CBT group for Anxiety and Low Mood
Facilitator: Denise Alton (she/her), MSW, RSW
When: Tuesdays, 2:30-4:00pm, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28, March 7
Inviting all students to join us for a 6-part series program where we will build our awareness about managing anxiety and low mood. This group will help students work with their thoughts and feelings in a different way. We will use the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Model (CBT), to learn how thoughts, feelings and actions interact with each. From there, we will learn some skills and strategies to challenge thinking styles that may contribute to anxiety and low mood as well as behavioural actions we can do to change our feelings.
Participants will be given at home practice exercises each week which are key in getting the most benefit out of the group.
DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) Skills Group
Facilitators: Katrina Levasseur Nedamat (she/her), MSW, RSW & Faiza Khokar (she/her), MSW, RSW
When: Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30pm, January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 29, March 8, 15, 22
DBT is a form of therapy that helps us to learn how to manage our emotions and behaviours, cope more effectively with distress, and ultimately to live a life that we value and is worth living.
During this 8-week group, participants will learn 4 sets of DBT skills: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Mindfulness skills are about learning to focus our attention on the present moment and notice what is happening without judgment or avoidance. Distress Tolerance skills are used to help us get through difficult and painful situations (without making things worse) while Emotion Regulation skills help us to manage and gain control over distressing emotions and situations (rather than being controlled by them) and increase the presence of more desirable emotions. Lastly, Interpersonal Skills helps us to more effectively communicate and get our needs met in our relationships while maintaining respect for ourselves and others.
To get the most out of this group, active participation in all 8 sessions and home practice of skills will be emphasized. Prior to joining the group, participants will be required to watch a short orientation video on DBT and complete a brief screening interview with a HCC counsellor.
Building Self-Esteem: Learning how to Appreciate Yourself
Facilitator: Peter Snow, MSW, RSW
When: Thursdays 2:30-4:00pm, January 26, February 2, 9, 16, March 2, 9
Many of us struggle to build our self-esteem. We may find that our feelings about ourselves are pulled up and down based on achievement or feedback from others. In this six-week group, we will learn straightforward ways to begin to build a stable positive sense of self and to appreciate our core worth as human beings. Through this learning we can begin to be ok with ourselves regardless of external influences.
BIPOC and QTBIPOC Wellness Series
Come to connect with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) as well as QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) students to support each other’s wellness in a safe space. This series of monthly workshops will focus on different topics facilitated by a BIPOC or QTBIPOC HCC Counsellor.