Group Care and Workshops

Group Care

Each group will incorporate a presentation of relevant material with discussion and practice of new strategies among group members. It is a place for students to learn about new skills, increase self-awareness and share their experiences with others. Groups are generally small ranging from 5-15 people. Group members are expected and encouraged to participate in group discussions. Groups involve 4 to 8 two-hour weekly sessions.

All Mental Health Support Groups are approved activities for the co-curricular record. However, please note that if you miss more than 2 group sessions, in one term that this activity cannot be verified on your co-curricular record.

*Note: Groups will not be offered during Reading Week (February 15 - 23).

Groups Schedule

Self-Acceptance

This is a 4-week group that focuses on deconstructing social expectations, reducing how you compare yourself to these expectations and self-criticism, and reducing the influence of these expectations in your life. The goal of this group is to identify sources of social expectations and how they influence your life, build strategies to resist social expectations, increase your ability to use self-compassion and self-acceptance, and identifying your values. This group will focus on psychoeducation, and practicing experiential exercises, to apply these strategies to your day to day life. Individuals must first meet with a counsellor for an initial appointment.

  • Mondays, March 9 to March 30 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. in Fairmount Room (Wellness Education Centre, UCC 76)

ACT for Wellness

This is an active 8-week Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group that involves increasing your understanding of the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. The goal of this group is to learn strategies to be more present, cope with difficult thoughts and feelings more effectively, and do more of what matters to you by clarifying your values and setting goals. We will discuss building awareness and understanding of who you are and what you stand for in this world, which helps us as human beings to find purpose and take steps towards a meaningful life. This group will focus on psychoeducation, and practicing experiential exercises, to apply these strategies to your day to day life. ACT is an evidence-based therapy found to be effective in treating a broad range of psychological distress, including stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem concerns and for those feeling lost/stuck in challenging situations in their lives. Individuals must first meet with a triage counsellor at Health and Wellness to identify appropriateness for this group as a therapy option.

  • Thursdays, January 30 to March 26 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in WSSB 3130

ACT for Confidence

Do you want to behave more confidently in your life?

This is a 5-week Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group that involves increasing your understanding of the relationship between thoughts, emotions and behaviours. The goal of this group is to develop a psychologically flexible mindset and to get in touch with who you want to be in this world, by learning skills to respond effectively to fear, anxiety and self-doubt. You will learn to develop genuine self-compassion and self-confidence to assist with enhancing your performance in any areas of your life that you feel stuck. This group will focus on psychoeducation, and practicing experiential exercises, to apply these strategies to your day to day life.

ACT is an evidence-based therapy found to be effective in treating a broad range of psychological distress. In this group, we focus on challenges including lack of confidence, fear of failure, self-doubt, self-criticism and performance anxiety in your personal and/or academic life.

Individuals must first meet with a triage counsellor at Health and Wellness to identify appropriateness for this group as a therapy option.

  • Fridays, January 31 to March 30 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. in WSSB 3130

Mindfulness Meditation

This group focuses on guided instruction in mindfulness meditation and basic yoga, and includes education about mindfulness-based mood-regulation strategies.  The group is meant to reduce psychological problems and teach ways of coping with stress, depressed mood, and anxiety. You do not have to have any prior experience with meditation or yoga to participate.

Exclusionary criteria:  current active suicidal ideation (passive or historical suicidal ideation is ok), active trauma, and/or extensive substance use.

  • Thursdays, February 6 to April 2 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. in WSSB 3130

Emotion Regulation Group

This is a 7-week psychoeducational and experiential group designed to help participants develop skills for understanding and experiencing emotions.  General discussion topics will include identifying and understanding emotions, reducing emotional vulnerability and decreasing emotional suffering by integrating aspects of Linehan’s DBT Emotion Regulation module as well as other neurobiological and psychotherapeutic concepts [e.g., “window of tolerance” Dr. Dan Siegel & Dr. Pat Ogden; polyvagal theory (Dr. Stephen Porges); somatic experiencing (Dr. Peter Levine)].

Please note that attendance to the first session is mandatory as confidentiality and its limits, as well as group roles and responsibilities will be reviewed.  In order to participate and continue in the group, you must be at the first session—no exceptions.

  • Wednesdays, January 29 - April 1 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Social Anxiety Group

The Social Anxiety Group is a 7-week group designed to help alleviate the discomfort and stress of social anxiety through a variety of approaches and techniques. Discussion topics will include challenging unhelpful thoughts and expectations as well as exposure to social situations via group role-plays. This group involves working towards individualized goals and practicing social interactions in a safe, non-judgement setting

  • Wednesdays, February 5 to March 25 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in WSSB 3130

Parent Loss Support (Undergraduate and Graduate)

This is a professionally facilitated, weekly support group for students who have lost a Parent during the time they are studying at Western. It’s a safe space to connect with others to give and receive emotional and practical support and learn about grieving your loss. Please contact Shelagh M. Moore, MSW, for more information about registration.

  • Wednesdays, January 15 to March 25 from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in WSSB 4150

TALK: Talk About Life in Canada

Being an international student can be an exciting and life-changing experience. There are many things to discover as you adjust to your new surroundings and community. The TALK group provides time and space to discuss and share with others the experience of living and studying in a new culture. TALK is also a place to receive information and support. Hot drinks and snacks provided!

This is a drop-in group so no registration is required. Drop in every Tuesday at WSSB 3130 (January 28 to March 24; No session during Reading Week). TALK is facilitated by staff at Health and Wellness (Student Experience) and was developed in collaboration with the International and Exchange Student Centre.

Weekly discussion topics include: Making new friends, communicating across cultures, adapting to Canadian culture, resources to support your academic/personal goals, becoming part of a community, managing stress and maintaining health and wellbeing. Discussion topics are planned according to the group’s interest.

  • Tuesdays, January 28 to March 24 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. in WSSB 3130

For more information and to setup an appointment to register, please call 519-661-3030, or visit UCC 11 (lower level of the University Community Centre)  Monday-Thursday 9:00a.m.-7:00 p.m.  Friday 9:00a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Laura Evans Wellness Workshops

The Laura Evans Wellness Workshops is supported by a gift from Marilyn and Rick Evans and family in honour of their daughter and sister, Laura. Laura was a third-year psychology student at Brock University who at age 19 died of suicide.

In celebration of Laura's generous spirit and willingness to help others, her family wishes to ensure all students can access and benefit from the psychoeducational information provided through this program.

For more information and to register, please visit the registration webpage.