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.

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

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

Group Session Details:

Schedule: Tuesdays

Time: 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Times and dates vary, please contact Counselling Services for this term’s schedule.

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:

Registration is currently closed. This group will be offered again Fall, 2021.

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. 

Group session details

Schedule: Starting May 5, 2021 (6 sessions)

Time: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

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!

One of the many complexities surrounding female sexuality is that it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time; it is hyper-visible through the sexualized imagery we see every day, yet censored through the taboo and stigma that create misinformation and limit opportunities to discuss and ask questions about sex. As a result, many women experiences 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 female identified individuals 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 female sexuality with scientific-fact based evidence and a model of acceptance. This group will consist of 4 weekly sessions and will be conducted over Zoom. All female identified individuals are welcome!

Session Topics Include:

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

Group Session Details

Schedule: Wednesdays, January 13 - February 3 (4 sessions)

Time: 3:15 – 4:30 pm PT

Registration Details

If you’re interested in participating, you need to be a female-identified student, 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.

For both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students

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 are generated by participants to ensure we are discussing what is relevant, meaningful, and helpful to you.

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
  • Self-compassion
  • Mindfulness

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. Both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students are welcome to attend.

Group session details:

Schedule: Tuesdays, February 2 - March 9, 2021

Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Facilitators: 

  • Maggie Brennan, PhD, Psychologist, Counselling Services
  • Jennifer Satish, Master’s practicum student, Counselling Services

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. You can join the group at any time during the term.

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. Both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan students are welcome to attend.

Facilitators: 

  • Karen Flood, PhD, Psychologist, Counselling Services
  • Hossein Eslami, MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services
  • Maryam Nemati, MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

Schedule: Thursdays, starting January 28, 2021

Time: 1:30 – 2:45 pm PT

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

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