Group counselling programs

If you are dealing with concerns like depression, anxiety, or stress, your counsellor may recommend a group counselling program.

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, what will happen that session, and 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 the social environment.  

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

Online group programs

Online programs are available for you during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on how to access these programs, see each group description below.

IBPOC Racism & Resilience Online Support Group

UBC recognizes that Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) identified students are impacted by historical, recent and ongoing racism and police brutality.  This online support group is intended to offer a safe space to share authentic journeys with racism, while also building peer support and resilience for this challenging time. 

Topics may include:

  • (Radical) Self-care
  • Impact of Racism on Mental Health, Isolation and Personal Safety
  • Racism in the Academy
  • Decolonizing our Stories
  • Allies and White Privilege
  • Racism and Covid19 – Impact on Lives Lost

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

The support group is not able to discuss or address legal concerns in session.

Facilitators: 

  • Michelle Lim, RSW, Wellness Advisor, Counselling Services
  • Nafiza Ali, RCC, Wellness Advisor, Counselling Services
  • Renee Avitan, RCSW, Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Vanita Sabharwal, RSW, Counsellor, Counselling Services

Group session details:

This group will occur bi-weekly on Thursdays this fall on the following dates:

  • September 24
  • October 8 and 22
  • November 5 and 19
  • December 3

Time: 2:00pm-3:30 pm PST 

Registration details:

Registration closes 24 hours before the start time of each group session. Instructions for joining the meeting will be emailed to registered students in advance of the session.

Register now

Brown Bag Student-Parent Support Group

At the best of times being a parent can be both rewarding and challenging – being a parent while being a student (student-parent) during a pandemic has a few more challenges.This support group offers a space for students navigating the responsibilities of studying, working and parenting to meet online and share resources, tips and build a sense of community as we all figure out a new normal as student-parents.

To participate, you must be currently residing in British Columbia and have access to both a private and quiet space with a stable internet connectionthat can support Zoom.

Facilitators

  • Jacky Gruter-Andrew, MA, RCC, Clinical Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Hossein Eslami, MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

Schedule: Thursdays, October 8 – November 12, 2020 (6 sessions)

Time: 12:00 –1:00 pm (bring your lunch!)

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.

Register now

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

Once you complete the sessions you will be invited to attend an ongoing drop-in group focused on applying CBT skills to your current concerns.

To participate, you 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.

Group Session Details:

Group A:  Tuesdays, September 22 - October 13, 2020  

                3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Group B:  Tuesdays, October 27 – November 17, 2020

                3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Drop In Group: Thursday, October 22 – December 3, 2020

                4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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 (BC) and have access to a private and quiet space with a stable Internet connection that can support Zoom.

Group session details:

Schedule: Wednesdays, October 7 – December 9, 2020 (10 weeks)

Time: 12:00 pm (noon) - 1:30 pm PDT

Registration details:

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

International Student Support Group

This online support group is intended to help build a community for UBC international students, offering a platform where you can come together and support one another through this challenging time.

Topics that may include:

  • Overcoming procrastination and increasing productivity
  • Staying motivated with virtual classes
  • Coping with missing home
  • Finding ways to stay connected
  • This is not what I dreamed of – coping with the unexpected
  • Understanding anxiety – learning when it's healthy and when it's problematic

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

Group session details:

Schedule: Tuesdays, September 29 – November 3, 2020

Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

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.

Register now

UBC Graduate Student Online Support

UBC recognizes that graduate students are facing ongoing challenges in their daily lives in support of containing the virus causing COVID-19. The uncertainty and stress at this time can often feel overwhelming, and maintaining a sense of community is now more important than ever. 

This group is focused on helping graduate students to stay connected, discuss what matters most to you, and build resilience to manage this challenging time. The program is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT helps you to limit the influence of your worried thoughts, low moods, and self-defeating behaviors in your life. 

Topics may include:

  • Handling uncertainty and worry about academic and career goals
  • Shifting and rebuilding routines
  • Finding or creating meaning
  • Dealing with loneliness and distance from support networks
  • Staying motivated and creative 
  • Living in alignment with your values
  • Radical acceptance and vulnerability
  • Work-life balance

The support group is not able to discuss medical concerns in these sessions.

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

Facilitators: 

  • Karen Flood, PhD, Psychologist, Counselling Services
  • Martyn Gabel, MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

Schedule: Oct 1 – Dec 3, 2020 (No session Oct 15, 2020)

Time: Thursdays, 1:30 – 2:45 pm

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.

Register now

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. 

Group session details:

This group will be offered again in Fall, 2020.

Mindfulness Training for Sport: During Covid and Beyond

While the current pandemic is impacting everyone, we recognize that varsity student athletes are affected  in unique ways. This skill-based online workshop series will help you build skills in mental performance while you and teammates are training at a distance. 

This workshop will present ways to interact differently with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours using a present, accepting approach, including:

  •  Mindfulness and Self Compassion                                         
  •  Tolerating (Sport) Distress
  •  Concentration and Coping with Distractions
  •  Self-Regulation: (Sport) Values and Body Awareness to Improve Performance
  •  Accepting, Adapting, and Adjusting in (Sport) Performance

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

This group is open to UBC varsity student-athletes only.

Summer is in full gear, this drop-in group is brief, and can help your training and life skills!

Group session details:

Schedule: Wednesdays, June 3 – July 7, 2020

Time: 11 am – 12 pm PDT until August 5, 2020

Register Now

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