Mental Health Therapy Groups

Therapy groups are an excellent way to address common psychological issues such as depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and perfectionism. Research shows therapy groups are an effective form of counselling, and in some cases the preferred treatment over individual counselling.

Groups offer a semi-structured, safe environment to learn strategies and get support from the facilitators and other group participants. Meetings are scheduled regularly for a predetermined period of time (usually 4 to 8 weeks), and at the same time and day of the week. Participants and facilitators are the same throughout the duration of the group. Groups typically have an educational component, where the facilitators teach skills and strategies for participants to learn and practice. They also have opportunities to share experiences, give and receive social support, and build trust in a safe process guided by the facilitators.

Dr. Erica Dunn provides an introduction to Therapy Groups.


Benefits of Therapy Group

  1. Reliable and easy to fit into your schedule due to the regularity of meeting times.
  2. Limited enrollment with two facilitators per group means you have lots of opportunities to ask questions, share experiences, and get to know the members!
  3. A safe environment to give and receive support with students who are going through some of the same things you are.
  4. The semi-structured, facilitated nature of groups takes away the pressure to have to “think of something to say” for each session.
  5. Past participants tell us the social support they received was a key part of making the group experience helpful. That benefit isn’t there with individual therapy!

Depression & Anxiety Management Groups

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Group

This group is for people who want to better manage difficulties associated with low mood, stress, and/or anxiety. The focus of this group is to increase awareness about one’s thinking and behavioural patterns that may be contributing to negative emotions, and utilize more adaptive ways of responding. Participants will learn about emotions, understand and practice core cognitive-behavioural skills, offer/receive support from other group members, and apply the knowledge into their own life. Detailed group information can be found here.

Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 PM | February 7, 2023 - April 4, 2023 (IN PERSON) 

Information Session (Virtual): Tuesday, January 24 - 1:30-2:30 PM | REGISTER HERE

 

Anxiety Group ("Worrying that Works")

Worrying that Works (“The Anxiety Group”) is an anxiety management group that helps students better manage their anxiety symptoms and reduce the impact that anxiety has on their lives.  The focus of the group is to help students be more aware of their thinking patterns that contribute to anxiety and to understand effective behavioral responses to anxiety. The group focuses on relaxation strategies, controlled breathing strategies, thought checking/challenging/changing, and exposure to feared situations. Detailed group information can be found here.

Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 PM | March 1, 2023 - April 5, 2023 (IN PERSON)

Information Session (Virtual): Wednesday, February 15 - 2:00-3:00 PM | REGISTER HERE

Graduate Student Support Group

Why a group just for graduate students? First, because graduate school brings different challenges into the life of a student. The work can be more focussed, intense, and personal, with even more pressure to succeed. Perseverance, and sustained academic effort over a longer period of time, is important to success. But it can bring burn out. Sometimes grad school requires a high degree of group collaboration; at other times the work feels isolating and lonesome. Graduate students are typically older and more mature, and often they have family and relationship obligations that compete with academics for their time and energy. Second, because some of the best allies for a grad student are fellow graduate students, which is why this group is organized as a support group. 

In the GSSG, we will band together to provide support and strategies for the challenges that student members share. It will also be a place to purposefully celebrate successes, and find accomplishment in your everyday work too! The group will have consistent processes for checking in with each member at the start, and also ending the session together. There will be time for a deeper exploration of challenges (and successes), and group support and strategizing, for those members who need it on that day. Depending on the group interests and needs, we might have pre-planned sessions where we explore topics common to graduate students. Detailed group information can be found here.

Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 PM | October 6, 2022 - April 27, 2023 (IN PERSON)

Group is currently full.  For inquiries, please email mhcentre@ualberta.ca


How to Register Your Interest

  1. Click the “Register for Group Information Session” link below the group you are interested in and complete the sign-up form. 
  2. Attend the Group Information Session.  Here, you will learn more about the content, structure, and expectations for the group and you will have a chance to meet the group facilitators. The facilitators will also explain the criteria for being in a therapy group and also answer questions you might have. *You must attend the info session to be eligible to sign up for the group.*
  3. Shortly after the Group Information Session,  you will receive an email with consent forms and demographic information to fill out. If you are still interested in attending the group, fill out these forms within two days of the info session. If you are no longer interested in the group, you don’t need to fill out the forms!
  4. Two days after the Group Information Session, students who have submitted their completed consent forms will be contacted by email and provided confirmation that they are enrolled in the group.
  5. If we have more people interested than we have space in the group, we will randomly draw names until the group is full. The remaining students will be put on a waitlist for the next group, and will get priority to attend should they want to.  These students will also be offered alternate means of support in the interim, including an Initial Consultation. 

Audience

Students

Category
Health Wellness
Provider
Provost