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
  • Christine Yu, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

  • Group A: Mondays from September 27 to October 18 (4 sessions except on Oct 11)
  • Group B: Mondays from November 1 to November 22 (4 sessions)

Time: 10 to 11 am PT

Registration details

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

Getting Through Grad School with Grace & Grit: The Online Support Group

We recognize that graduate students face 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 at this time can feel isolating and overwhelming, and maintaining a sense of community is more important than ever.

This support group is a non-judgmental online community where graduate students come together in solidarity to discuss what matters most to them, support each other, and apply grace and grit to succeed in their current challenges. 

Topics and themes include:

  • Learning to be kind to yourself during the sticky times we travel through,
  • Connecting with other grad students who may be experiencing similar difficulties, 
  • Handling uncertainty and worry about academic and career goals,
  • Shifting and rebuilding routines during the pandemic,
  • Dealing with loneliness and distance from support networks,
  • Staying motivated and creative, 
  • Living in alignment with your values,
  • Creating work-life balance,
  • Coping with imposterism, procrastination and perfectionism,
  • Managing relationships with mentors and supervisors and, 
  • Getting closer to the version of yourself that you want.

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 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:

  • Karen Flood, PhD, Psychologist, Counselling Services

  • Jan Ver Der Tempel, M.Phil., MA, Pre-doctoral Intern, Counselling Services

Group session details

  • Schedule: Wednesdays, October 6 to December 1 (9 sessions)
  • Time: 3:30 to 4:45 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.

If you're interested, you can register through the online 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 navigatethe 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)

Group session details:

  • Schedule: Every other Tuesday, starting September 21 (7 sessions)
  • Dates: September 21, October 5 and 19, November 2, 16 and 30, December 14
  • Time: 2:30 to 4:00 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.

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.

Group Session Details:

Group A - Tuesdays, October 12, October 19, October 26, November 2

  • Time: 1:30 to 3:00 pm, PT

Group B - Tuesdays, November 16, November 23, November 30, December 7

  • 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:

  • Schedule: Mondays, from January 10 to March 21 (except for February 21)
  • Time: either 12:00 to 1:30 pm, PT or 12:30 to 2:00 pm, PT (TBD)

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: Wednesdays, October 20 to November 24 (6 sessions)
  • Time: 2:30 to 4:00 pm, PT

Registration details:

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

Related services

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