Group Therapy and Workshops

Focus is on person's arms in a group

Attending a therapy group or workshop at Counselling Services can be one of the best ways to enhance your personal success at University of Waterloo. Our courses provide you with the opportunity to learn skills to help you cope with life's challenges. 

*Participants must be located within Ontario at the time of the session to participate in live online groups, due to clinician registration requirements. 

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Managing Personal Wellness in a Global Pandemic Workshops

Meetings are currently virtual. Spring 2022 registration is now open.

Icon of hands holding plants. Managing Personal Wellness in a Global PandemicAlleviating Anxiety

This CBT and mindfulness-based seminar is designed to help you better understand anxiety, its causes, and the factors that maintain it. Throughout this seminar, we will introduce you to a number of strategies designed to alleviate anxiety in the moment, challenge your anxious thoughts, and change behaviours that maintain your anxiety. You will receive an in-depth handout with various strategies for you to try over the coming weeks, some which we will practice during the seminar.

Available dates:

  • Tuesday May 31 | 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp
  • Wednesday July 13 | 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Breaking Free From Low Mood

Learn about what low mood and depression are; including skills to better manage your low mood and depression and how to:

  • alleviate low mood and depression in the moment
  • challenge your depressive thoughts
  • change behaviours that maintain low mood and depression using mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, and self-compassion

Available dates:

  • Tuesday, June 14 | 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Entering the new normal: Exploring skills and strategies to thrive through the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an ongoing impact on our moods, thoughts, and behaviours. This workshop will provide you with space to reflect and help you gain the skills and strategies to adapt to the on-going changes of the pandemic. Learn how the past year has affected our nervous system and what you can do to ensure your physical, emotional, and social safety. 

Facilitators: Wash Silk/Melissa Zettel

Available dates:

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Group Therapy

Registration for Spring 2022 is now available. Meetings are currently virtual.

Group therapy can be beneficial by helping you find new perspectives on shared challenges, feel inclusion and relief knowing that others experience similar challenges, and allowing you to practice new skills in a supportive group environment. We currently have four groups available:


In partnership with Project Youth Affirm (Project Youth AFFIRM), AFFIRM is an eight-session, intervention. It’s focused on reducing depression and improving coping and sexual self-efficacy for LGBTTIQQ2SA* youth and adults by providing them opportunities to develop identity cognition (self-awareness, identifying risk), mood (recognizing the link between thoughts and feelings), and behaviour (identifying strengths and ways of coping), as well as equipping them with the tools to manage and influence those factors by themselves.

Developing Your Compassionate Mind

Through research, self-compassion has been linked to positive well-being in the reduction of negative mind states, including anxiety, depression, perfectionism and shame. In addition, it has been associated with improved emotional coping and greater resilience. People who are hard on themselves and struggle with self-critical thoughts and negative feelings can benefit from this workshop. 

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle

Are you grad student struggling to manage academic and personal demands?  Are you worried about whether you belong or if you are intelligent enough to succeed? Connect with other grad students in an informal and confidential environment where you can discuss the things impacting you and learn new ways to manage.

Queer and Trans Graduate Students Wellness (QTWELL)

QTWELL is an open, drop-in group, where any graduate student who is a sexual and gender minority or identifies as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities may drop in for good conversation and support to promote student wellness.

Substance Harm Reduction Group

Address problematic substance use by learning how substances can negatively impact your life. This group will help you better understand your relationship with substances and gain the skills for safer use. 

Tapping Tuesdays

Tapping Tuesdays is an open, drop-in group. Learn a holistic approaches to manage stress, Emotional Freedom Techniques. They involve tapping on acupressure points in sequences to change the state of our nervous system. Although this may seem strange, research has shown them to be helpful and you may discover this yourself! Please note that group sessions will be on alternate weeks.

Tuesday, May 24   | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Tuesday, June 7    | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Tuesday, June 21  | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Tuesday, July 5     | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Tuesday, July 19   |  12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Tuesday, August 2 | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register on GoSignMeUp

Zen Out: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based group therapy for preventing depressive relapse and treating mood disorders using mindfulness techniques. The goal of the group is to introduce and practice the techniques which can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. If you experience moderate anxiety or depression, or have a history of depression, this group could be for you! 

Important notes:

  • Group Therapy is an intensive experience that takes time to process and complete the weekly exercises, because of this we ask that you register for only one therapy group per term. If you are interested in participating in the same group for a second time, please contact Counselling Services before registering.
  • Our Group Therapy is intended for a student audience.
  • By registering for a group you are agreeing to have your information added to the Campus Wellness’ Electronic Health Record. 
  • Registration will close one week before the first group session. If you would like to enquire if there is still group availability, please email Counselling Services.
  • Please make sure to complete the end of group survey when the group is over to help improve the services we provide. This data has helped in past to adjust content to meet the needs of the student population. We take student feedback very seriously.

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Self-Directed Programs

These programs are do-at-your-own pace and available online!

Rewiring for Happiness iconRewiring For Happiness Toolkit

Rewiring for Happiness uses positive psychology strategies and tools to help focus your brain on kindness, mindfulness, gratitude, empathy, and connection. Rewiring for Happiness is available as a self-registration course on LEARN. Follow these steps to view and complete the toolkit:

  1. Go to LEARN.
  2. Click Self Registration.
  3. Click Rewiring for Happiness.
  4. Enroll in the Course.

Note: After you are enrolled, you can navigate to the Rewiring for Happiness course directly.

Mind Body Run

Learn to Run or Walk Mindfully. A virtual mindful running and walking program to help you to keep physically and mentally healthy. This group offers students, staff and faculty the opportunity to take a break, get outside, and run/walk using the basic principles of mindfulness (being present in a non-judgemental mindset). On the Mind Body Run page you can access weekly mindful meditations to consider prior to each run/walk. All you have to do set the time aside to do it!

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