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Group Counselling

Group of friends sitting
Group Counselling

Sometimes group counselling is the best way to address certain personal issues rather than through individual appointments. At the Centre for Student Development and Counselling, we offer a number of group programs on topics ranging from managing stress and anxiety to enhancing personal relationships. 

All groups are free, led by trained counsellors, and last for one to two hours. Groups take place in a confidential environment on campus, or are offered through virtual appointments.

To sign up for any of these groups, or to get information about which group might be a good fit, please book an intake appointment by calling or emailing the CSDC front desk. 416-979-5195 csdc@torontomu.ca

Fall 2023 groups

Shyness Clinic

Wednesdays 10:30 - 12:00

Do you find it hard to meet new people? Do you sometimes "shy" away from social situations and classroom presentations? This group is a small, confidential group for students who experience social anxiety and shyness.

Managing Anxiety and Depression

Thursdays 2:00 – 4:00

In this group, students will learn about depression, anxiety and how to manage symptoms.  We will learn to identify thoughts and feelings, identify and manage triggers, recognize and change unhelpful thinking patterns, and builf effective coping skills like mindfulness and self-compassion.

My Body My Way

Thursdays

If you are struggling with your eating or body image this group is a place to come for support.  Based on mutual support and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

More to Life

Mondays 2:00 - 4:00

Have you ever asked yourself, is this it? Completing a degree, building a career and settling down with a family are all great goals to pursue but is that all there is to living a fulfilling life? In More to Life, we’ll search for an answer to this question and explore some of the key ingredients of a meaningful life including belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling.

Winter 2024 Groups

Taming your Critic

Wednesday 2:30 - 4:30

This group will help you to reduce self-criticism, increase trust in yourself, and to see yourself through more compassionate eyes.


Facing Loss

Everyone experiences loss in their own way, but nobody needs to carry the grief on their own. In a supportive atmosphere, group member will share their loss as well as ideas and materials they have found helpful.

Untangle

Fridays 10:30 - 12:00

Decode your emotional experience and learn how to cope with distress.  Feeling overwhelmed? Do you experience strong emotions and find it difficult to cope? This 6-week virtual counselling group will help you better understand your feelings, learn healthier ways to deal with crisis, and teach you practical coping strategies to manage your emotions.


Managing Anxiety and Depression

Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00

In this group, students will learn about depression, anxiety and how to manage symptoms.  We will learn to identify thoughts and feelings, identify and manage triggers, recognize and change unhelpful thinking patterns, and builf effective coping skills like mindfulness and self-compassion.

More to Life

Have you ever asked yourself, is this it? Completing a degree, building a career and settling down with a family are all great goals to pursue but is that all there is to living a fulfilling life? In More to Life, we’ll search for an answer to this question and explore some of the key ingredients of a meaningful life including belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling.

Shyness Clinic

Do you find it hard to meet new people? Do you sometimes "shy" away from social situations and classroom presentations? This group is a small, confidential group for students who experience social anxiety and shyness.

"Group counselling is not as good as individual counselling."

In fact, addressing your concerns in a group counselling format can often help in ways that individual counselling cannot.  For example, it provides an opportunity to receive support and to learn skills and coping strategies from a number of people who share many of your challenges and concerns.  It is also an opportunity to practice new skills and to get immediate feedback from both the facilitator and other participants. As well, because groups meet on a weekly basis they can offer more continuity than individual counselling. If the recommendation of group counselling is made to you, it is based on the belief that it is an effective way of helping you.
  

"I have so much trouble talking to people; I'll never be comfortable in a group."

Lots of people are anxious about being able to communicate in group. However, in most cases, with support and encouragement, people become more comfortable and open within a few sessions. It is also important to remember that group offers an opportunity to begin taking some risks in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  

"I will be forced to tell my deepest thoughts, feelings, and secrets to the group."

You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. Most people find that when they feel safe enough to disclose what is troubling them, a group can be very helpful and affirming. You can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how what they are saying might apply to you.
  

"What I share won't be kept confidential."

Confidentiality is always a condition of group membership and is discussed openly in the first session.  In every group, members and facilitators actively develop guidelines around privacy and confidentiality.
  

"Group counselling will take longer than individual because I will have to share the time with others."

Actually, group counselling is often more efficient than individual. Plus, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others. You will probably find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself. For these reasons, the group process can often accelerate individual change.
  

"I’m afraid that I’ll be negatively judged by other group members."

It is very important that group members feel safe and counsellors are there to help develop and ensure a supportive environment.  One of the benefits of group counselling is the opportunity to receive feedback from others.  It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others, but this is precisely what group can offer. This will be done in a respectful way, so that you can hear the feedback and make use of it.

(This text was adapted from that developed by Jack Corazzini, Virginia Commonwealth University)

All groups require that you first book an appointment with a counsellor in our Centre in order to discuss your goals and determine whether what is being offered will be compatible with your needs.

Book an appointment with us to find out more about group counselling.