Group counselling programs

If you are dealing with concerns like depression, anxiety, or stress, your counsellor may recommend a group counselling program. We also offer support groups for specific concerns that you can join at any time.

Benefits of Online Group Counselling

Group therapy is as effective as individual therapy for concerns such as stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship concerns. It can also benefit you in different ways.

  • Connect with other students
    You are not alone. The group experience can help you connect with other students experiencing similar challenges. The group environment seeks to be encouraging, supportive, and safe.

  • Learn new skills
    Groups offer opportunities for you to be able to realize your strengths and gather new skills to try out. Most groups are offered once a week.  

  • Get “unstuck”
    Group therapy can offer a different perspective on your situation and a sense of accountability which can help motivate you to try new strategies.

  • Build social confidence
    It is common for students to feel nervous before coming to their first group. The groups are clear about the purpose of the group and what will happen during the session. You can share as much or as little as you like in the group. The supportive environment can provide an opportunity to practice new skills to help reduce anxiety in a social environment.  

  • Easy access
    As long as you have access to a stable internet connection and are in British Columbia, you'll be able to participate in group counselling.

Online group programs

All groups will be offered online for the 2021 academic year. For more information on how to access these programs, see each group description below.

UBC Vancouver students can also access online groups and workshops offered by UBC Okanagan Counselling Services.

For both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students

Mindful Stress Management

Feeling stressed out? Come and join our online weekly stress management group, helping you to learn and practice new skills to manage your current stressors. With mindfulness support, this group offers an introduction to skills focused on coping with difficult emotions, practicing relaxation, and self-compassion.

Topics may include:

  • Mindful Awareness
  • Relaxation 
  • Self-Compassion
  • Coping with Emotions

To participate, you must be currently residing in British Columbia and have access to both a private and quiet space, as well as a stable internet connection that can support Zoom. Both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students are welcome to attend.

Facilitators: 

  • Cassie Smith, MC, MBET, RP, CCC, Clinical Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Gordon Lai, MEd, RCC, Embedded Counsellor, Counselling Services

Group session details

This group is likely to be offered in July 2022. Please check back later for more details.

Registration details

If you're interested, you can register through this online form.

Getting through Grad School with Grace & Grit: UBC Graduate Student Online Support

We recognize that graduate students face many ongoing challenges, due to both the grad school experience itself and the impact of the pandemic on one’s life and studies. The stress and uncertainty can feel isolating and overwhelming, and maintaining a sense of community is important.

This support group is a welcoming and non-judgmental online community where graduate students come together in solidarity, to listen to and support each other, and apply grace and grit to succeed in their challenges. Come and connect with others over your grad school experiences, whether that be staying motivated, managing relationships with mentors, handling uncertainty about career goals, creating work-life balance, and everything in between.

To participate, you must be currently residing in British Columbia and attend from a private and quiet space with a stable internet connection that can support Zoom. Both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan graduate students are welcome to attend.

You can join the support group at any point during the term and your attendance can be flexible and as needed. Feel free to join us for just a few or as many sessions as you like!

Facilitators

  • Andrew Hunter, M.A, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Jezz Stone, M.Sc., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Jan van der Tempel, M.Phil, M.A., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Christine Yu, M.A., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Karen Flood, PhD, Registered Psychologist, Counselling Services

Group session details

Join us on Tuesdays from May 17 to July 26 from 2:30 to 3:45 pm.

Registration details

Registration closes temporarily 60 minutes before the start of each group session. Instructions for joining the meeting will be emailed to registered students before the session.

If you’re interested, you can register through the online registration form.

International Student Support Group

Are you an international student at UBC, and feeling overwhelmed lately? If so, please join us for the International Student Support Group - meet other international students in a safe space, connect and build on-campus support, and learn ways to navigate the unique challenges often experienced by international students.

Topics are generated by participants so that relevant themes may be addressed.

Topics may include:

  • Adjusting to Canadian culture and missing home
  • Language concerns and challenges
  • Making connections and new friendships
  • Coping with academic stress and demands
  • Facing uncertainty and unknowns in a new country
  • Building resilience and self-compassion

You can join the support group at any point during the term and your attendance can be flexible and as needed. In order to participate, you must be currently residing within British Columbia and have access to both a private space and stable internet that can support Zoom. This group is open to both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students.

Facilitators

Jen-Mai Wong, Psy.D., Psychologist, Counselling Services (she/her/hers)

Hossein Eslami, Ph.D., Clinical Counsellor, Counselling Services

Group session details

Join the group every other Friday, starting May 27, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm PT.

Dates: May 27, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22, and August 5.

​​Registration details

Registration closes 60 minutes before the start time of the group session. Instructions for joining the meeting will be emailed to registered students before the session.

If you're interested, you can register through the online form.

For UBC Vancouver students

Think, Feel, Be

Feeling anxious or depressed? This online group is for you. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) group provides helpful skills and strategies to manage mood concerns and a supportive space to share experiences and build connections. There will be four sessions over 4 weeks and students will be introduced to CBT theory.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) theory includes:  

  • Understanding and working with thoughts and feelings
  • Helpful and unhelpful coping strategies
  • Managing avoidant behaviors 
  • Values
  • Mindfulness

To participate, you must be currently living in British Columbia and have access to a private and quiet space with a stable Internet connection that can support Zoom.

Facilitators:

Group A

  • Christine Yu, M.A., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Jan van der Tempel, M.Phil., MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group B

  • Andrew Hunter, M.A., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Jezz Stone, M.Sc., Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group Session Details:

Group A

  • Schedule: Tuesdays from May 17 to June 7 (4 sessions)
  • Time: 2:30 to 4:00 pm, PT

Group B

  • Schedule: Tuesdays from July 5 to July 26 (4 sessions)
  • Time: 2:30 to 4:00 pm, PT

Registration Details:  

If you’re interested, find more information by connecting with your UBC health professional (counsellor, physician, mental health nurse) or a Wellness Advisor.   

Balancing Emotions Program

The overall goal of the Balancing Emotions Program is to learn skills to change unwanted behaviors, emotions, thinking, and events that may cause your life to be difficult. 

Structured as an interactive class, the program consists of two parts – an online group and regular individual check-ins with your health professional. The online group is based on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), which was developed to offer concrete strategies to help people build a better life.

The four main areas of focus are:

  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotion regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

To participate, you must be currently living in British Columbia and have access to a private and quiet space with a stable Internet connection that can support Zoom.

Facilitators:

  • Jacky Grüter-Andrew, MA, RCC, Clinical Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Davey Hamada, RN, Mental Health Nurse, Student Health Services
  • Christine Yu, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details:

This group will be offered again in Fall 2022. Counselling Services is currently accepting referrals. The group is likely to be held on Mondays, at approximately 12 or 12:30 pm. 

Registration details:

If you are interested, please connect with your UBC health provider or a wellness advisor at Counselling Services.

Safety and Resilience Online Group

This group is for survivors of interpersonal violence of all genders to support each other while also exploring various topics such as safe coping strategies and skills, boundaries, and inviting resilience and self-compassion.  

To participate, you must be living in Canada and have access to a private and quiet space with a stable internet connection that can support Zoom. 

Facilitators:

  • Leslie Chesick, MA, RCC, Clinical Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Jezz Stone, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

This group will be offered again in Fall 2022. Counselling Services is currently accepting referrals. The group is likely to be held on Wednesdays, from approximately 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm via Zoom.

Registration details:

If you are interested, please connect with your UBC health provider or a wellness advisor at Counselling Services.

Vulvas, Vibrators, Sexual Pleasure, Oh My!

​​​​

Cisgender women’s bodies are everywhere and nowhere at the same time; they are hyper-visible through the sexualized imagery we see every day, yet censored through stigma that creates misinformation and limits opportunities to talk about sex.  As a result, many cis women experience challenges in the sexual domain of their lives and have few avenues to access support and accurate information to address these areas of concern. 

In this group, we aim to provide a safe and sex-positive space in which cisgender women can ask questions and learn information to help them address any challenges they are facing relating to sex and sexuality. Our goal is to empower attendees through knowledge about sex, sexuality, and offer information about how to increase sexual satisfaction/pleasure and autonomy.  We will replace the many myths and attend to the confusion and judgment that so often surrounds sexuality with scientific-fact based evidence and a model of acceptance. 

Topics may include:

  • Building sexual-esteem 
  • Replacing common sexual myths with science-based facts
  • Developing an understanding and acceptance of sexuality, sexual responsivity, sexual preferences, and body/genital image in cisgender women
  • Learning tools and techniques for eliciting greater sexual pleasure and satisfaction
  • Understanding why the “orgasm gap” exists for cis women and what to do about it
  • Communicating your wants, needs, and preferences in the bedroom 

Facilitators:

  • Brenda Lee, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist, Counselling Services 
  • Jezz Stone, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details:

​​​​​​This group will be offered again in Fall 2022. Counselling Services is currently accepting referrals. The group is likely to be held on Tuesdays, at approximately 11:30 am or 12:00 pm.

Registration details:

If you’re interested in participating, you need to be a female-identified student, must be currently living in British Columbia (BC), and have access to a private and quiet space with a stable Internet connection that can support Zoom.

Find more information by connecting with your UBC health professional (counsellor, physician, mental health nurse) or a Counselling Services Wellness Advisor.

(Re)Claim and Connect (Anti-Asian Racism Support Group)

(Re)Claim and Connect is an online counselling support group for people of Asian heritage in Canada who experienced and/or continue to be psychologically hurt by anti-Asian racism. The goal of the group is to provide a safe space for students of Asian heritage to understand and identify the impacts of racism that they have felt navigating racist systems (internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological). The group's objective is to provide a space to feel heard, validated, and supported using a guided storytelling approach known as Life Review. Each session will have a theme that was intentionally developed to help you explore your experience related to racism and to tell your story. 

This group was developed by Dr. Fred Chou and his colleagues at the University of Victoria. It will be conducted in collaboration with UBC Counselling Services. This current version of (Re)Claim and Connect is a field test that is part of a research project exploring ways to improve this intervention. Get more details about the research project.

Facilitators:

  • Brenda Lee, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist, Counselling Services
  • Michelle Lim, MSW, RSW, Wellness Advisor, Counselling Services

Group session details

  • Schedule: Wednesdays from July 1 to July 20, 2022 and a focus group on Wed, July 27
  • Time: 2 to 4 pm, PT

Registration details

If you're interested, you can register through the online form.

Related services

If you're feeling persistently stressed, anxious, or sad, you can book an appointment with Counselling Services.