Services > Counselling and Psychotherapy > Groups


Group therapy sessions are offered throughout the year. The maximum number of participants admitted to each group is eight. Sessions generally take place once a week for two hours. An individual, pre-group meeting with the facilitator is required to orient each group member to the group. Pre- and post-session questionnaires are often given to group members to provide the facilitator with feedback and to help establish the progress being made in the group.

There is a growing need for people to connect with one another in person. Groups have immense power to provide an ideal atmosphere for healing. As a trained group facilitator, I take an active approach when leading the group. My main responsibility is to create a safe climate that fosters respect and understanding among group members. Because most groups are time limited, I structure group interventions so that the members can fully use the group process to attain their personal goals. For more information on the group experience, please refer to my published article.

Group therapy can be an excellent treatment choice and just as effective as individual therapy. People often believe that their problems are unique, but groups provide a safe space where people can see that they are not alone and that there is hope for creating a different life. Groups provide a sense of community and belonging, which helps group members realize that although individual circumstances might differ, their struggles are universal.

•     Eating Disorders: A Support Group for Women with Eating Disorders

•     Overcoming Perfectionism: When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough

•     Conquering Insomnia: An Evening Group for Insomniacs

•     Therapeutic Writing: Group Therapy through Writing

•     Women in Career Transition: Building New Identities

•     Retirement Planning

•     What Now? A Support Group after Completing Individual Therapy


Eating Disorders: A Support Group for Women with Eating Disorders

This is a 12-session support group for women (must be at least 18 years of age) who are struggling with disordered eating and are currently in treatment for eating disorders (EDs) or who have recently (within a year) completed individual or group therapy for EDs and would benefit from the support of this group from each other. The main objective of the group is to help participants learn how to deal with emotions without the use of food. The group is not intended for women with EDs who are currently not in treatment or who have not received treatment in the past. To ensure continuity of care, each group member is encouraged to speak to her therapist about the appropriateness of this group. The following are the topics that will be covered over the 12 weeks: creating a support network; connections & disconnections; underlying thoughts & feelings; isolation & shame; mind & body connections; getting stuck & unstuck; dealing with relapses; motivation to stay healthy; family dynamics; misperceptions about EDs; perfectionism; EDs & intimacy; spirituality & self-nurturance.

Overcoming Perfectionism

This 8-week group is based on my dissertation research and designed for individuals who:

•     tend to set impossible standards for themselves and demand nothing less than perfection of from themselves, or;
•     have exceedingly high expectations for the people around them, or;
•     feel that others have set unrealistic standards for them and expect them to be perfect, or;
•     experience personal and/or work-related difficulties because of their perfectionistic ideals.

Through structured exercises, mini-lectures, and group discussions, participants will explore sources of perfectionism and expand their knowledge and awareness of the role that perfectionistic standards play in their personal or work-related difficulties. The group will focus on concrete strategies to modify perfectionistic patterns and to establish attainable standards.

Conquering Insomnia: An Evening Group for Insomniacs

This 8-session group is offered in the evenings, usually from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for up to 8 people who are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep at night and are experiencing daytime fatigue, tiredness, restlessness, mood disturbances, or performance impairment due to lack of restorative sleep. Participants may be experiencing problems with falling asleep at bedtime, waking up in the middle of the night (and having difficulty going back to sleep), or awakening too early in the morning. The following topics will be covered: facts about sleep, a cognitive-behavioural treatment of insomnia, assessment of insomnia, diagnosis of insomnia, sleep diary monitoring, overview of treatment protocol, the self-management approach, sleep habits and insomnia, altering beliefs and attitudes about sleep, relaxation strategies, and sleep-hygiene education. Hands-on resources and useful support materials will be provided in each session to tailor the group to each individual’s specific sleep needs.

Therapeutic Writing: Group Therapy through Writing

This group is designed for individuals who are interested in creatively exploring the psychological aspects of self in relation to others through writing. Traditional therapy is based on verbal sharing of feelings and thoughts, which may not be every person’s preferred way of communicating. If you express yourself more clearly through writing (e.g., reflections, journals, poems, etc.) and are interested in an in-depth exploration of your personal experiences through therapeutic writing, you may want to consider joining this group of like-minded people. The therapeutic writing group will attempt to merge therapeutic writing processes with personal exploration using the written voice to reflect on personal experiences and interpersonal connections. Participants will be asked to engage in the writing process between sessions as well as during sessions and will be encouraged to share their experiences of writing during each session. Participants will not be expected to share their writing samples with one another. The therapeutic aspect of the group is based on sharing experiences of writing (vs. sharing writing samples). The group was inspired by John Fox’s Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making and by other authors who see the world with the eyes of a writer.

Women in Career Transition: Building New Identities

You have been “laid-off” from your job as a mom with no severance package. There was no retirement party, no thank-you speeches, and no special gifts (other than the gift of your children doing well). You are now asking yourself, “What’s next, where am I going, what do I like, what am I interested in, what would I like to do?” For many years, your identity has been defined by your family, but now you have been “laid off”; your services are no longer required. You have done an excellent job with your children and they have moved out and on with their lives. They still call and visit, but your home feels empty. You are trying to fill your life but are feeling lost. Your confidence is not what it used to be, but you are thinking of going back to school or work or opening your own business. You had dreams but they were postponed. It’s now time to revisit those dreams. Do you want to enter or re-enter the world of work but do not know how or where to start? This 8-session group combines personal and career counselling to help women in transition build new personal and career identities.

Retirement Planning

This 10-session group is designed for women and men who are either in the process of planning for upcoming retirement, faced with early, unexpected retirement, or have recently retired and are experiencing transitional or adjustment difficulties. For many individuals, their career is a central part of their life, personal identity, and self-esteem. As you are considering retirement, you may be feeling disoriented or lost, or you may be having a difficult time letting go of the way things used to be. You may be noticing that things are not the “old” way anymore and you are not able to define the “new” way. You do not like feeling this way and have decided to create a new retirement plan. The following themes will be explored in the group: reasons for retirement; timing of retirement; emotional aspects of retirement; endings and beginnings; losses and discoveries; connections and disconnections; pressures of retirement; health and finances; embracing change; work after retirement; creating a new identity; and planning for the future.

What Now? From Individual Therapy to Group Therapy

  1. This 12-session group is designed for women and men who have recently completed individual counselling, psychotherapy, or couples counselling and would benefit from group support. This is a process group where the topics vary according to the interests and needs of the group members. Members are invited to be active resources for one another. The focus of the group is on increasing participants’ emotional awareness and understanding of other members of the group. The group offers a safe space for group members to further reflect on their previous work in therapy. Within a climate of collaboration and mutual respect, group members will practice new ways of relating to other people, receive support for their goals, and continue exploring who they are or what they would like to change in their lives or in their relationships with others.