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Group Counselling

Group Discussion

The Student Counselling Service supports the value of therapeutic and supportive groups in helping students manage distress and improve wellbeing. Groups can be very valuable for sharing one's experience with others who struggle in a similar way and exploring coping mechanisms in a supportive therapeutic environment.

Please see the calendar below for information on our upcoming groups and workshops.

Some groups focus on a particular issue that members of the group share in common. Other groups are open to any and all struggles that members might bring from week to week. Some groups require a commitment to attend, while others operate on a drop-in basis. It is very common for students to feel afraid or reluctant to join a group, but most who join report getting a huge amount from the shared experience with other students.

All groups are free of charge. See all the details below

If you would prefer to find out about once-off workshops that operate on a drop-in basis with no booking or commitment required, check out our Wellbeing Wednesday programme

Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion

Date: Term 1: Thursday, 1st November-6th December 2018

Term 2: Wednesday, 6th February-27th March 2019, excl study wk

Time: 6-7.30pm, 6 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Annemarie Naughton

Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion is an 8-week group programme to help you improve your resilience and feel more connected to others—ultimately providing an overall sense of well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress.

This course combines mindfulness meditation and compassionate mind teachings and practices. Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and group discussion, you can strengthen the qualities of mindfulness, compassion, empathy, and kindness.

Learning Outcomes

  • Calm the mind and direct thoughts more positively
  • Increase kindness and compassion for yourself and others
  • Develop a sense of calm, resilience, and creativity
  • Sharpen your ability to focus and pay attention
  • Access a variety of self-care skills and techniques

Attendees benefit most by committing to attend the 6/7 weekly classes and daily homework practice of mindfulness meditation. The facilitator will speak with people individually before the course begins to clarify details around attendance. Referral is through the SCS or College health

Weekly Mindfulness Meditation Drop In (30 mins)

Date: Mondays 1st October to 10th December

Time: 5pm - please be on time to avoid disruption

Venue: Seminar Room 318, Student Counselling Services

Facilitator: Annemarie Naughton

This is a short guided meditation practice, open to all - beginners and regular practitioners. This is a drop-in group which means no registration or commitment required.

Managing Mood

Date: Term 1: Thursday, 5th November-26th November

Term 2: Tue, 19th Feb-19th Mar - excl. study wk

Time: 3:30-5pm, 4 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Helen McGeogh and Sorcha Cross (Term 1), Sandra Carroll (Term 2)

This group uses a cognitive behavioural approach to learn how to manage low mood experiences. It centres around the idea that our perception of an event or experience powerfully affects our emotional, behavioural and physiological responses to it. It involves sharing of experiences with others and teaches how to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns towards more helpful ways of viewing our experiences.

This course combines mindfulness meditation and compassionate mind teachings and practices. Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and group discussion, you can strengthen the qualities of mindfulness, compassion, empathy, and kindness.

Learning Outcomes

  • To understand the effects of depression on thoughts, mood, experience and behaviour
  • To achieve insight into how negative thinking cycles can impact on mood
  • To increase confidence in challenging negative thinking and coming up with alternatives
  • Opportunity to benefit from group experience, coping and self-care strategies

Referral is through the SCS or College health

Trekking Thru Anxiety

Date: Fridays 8th Feb to 1st March, 4 sessions

Time: 11.15am to 12.45pm, 1.5 hours, 4 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Sandra Carroll and Ryan Henderson

This group gives attendees the opportunity to understand anxiety and stress through a group psycho-educational approach based on CBT principles. It explores the experience of anxiety from a thinking, behavioural, physiological and emotional perspective. Working in this way identifies triggers, and explores strategies aimed at finding new perspectives around managing anxiety and finding underlying causes. Guidance on stress reduction techniques are included.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore underlying causes and triggers to Anxiety through self-reflection and psychoeducation
  • Understanding the role of anxiety in life
  • Anxiety management strategies including meditation and relaxation exercises
  • Opportunity to experience and benefit from group experience and interaction in various modes

Referral is through the SCS or College health

Addictive Behaviours and Recovery Group (Drop In)

Date: Term 1: Monday 15th October - 10th December 2018

Term 2: Mondays 28th Jan -8th April 2019

Time: Mondays 5:45-7.15pm

Venue: Seminar Room SCS, 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Scott Ahearn (SCS) and Aisling Holland (external)

This Wellbeing Addictive Behaviours and Recovery Group is a safe and confidential space for members to support each other in relation to substance and alcohol misuse and harmful behaviours. Group participants will respect the confidentiality of others in order to maintain a safe place for members. This group encourages its members to be honest, respectful and non-judgemental.

Many people struggle to make the adjustment to a new way of life and can find it challenging to change habits (of coping). Making lifestyle changes in relation to alcohol and drug use can be hard, but can be a life changing experience. Our personalities are maintained and changed during our relationships with other people. By sharing honestly about our thoughts, feelings and behaviours we become open to getting a better understanding of possible alternatives, which will help us maintain the changes we need to make towards recovery. We learn that balanced attitudes, self-esteem and a good recovery, that works for us, are directly connected to the way in which we relate to each other. Our interactions can have helpful or harmful effects on the quality of our lives. This group aims to explore and share challenges and successes. This allows us to realise that we share and face many common difficulties and joyous times in our recovery.

Learning Outcomes

  • to achieve insight into repeated patterns of behaviour
  • to increase confidence in supporting each other with change and better coping skills
  • to improve ability to cope and reduce harmful behaviours

This is a drop-in group. No registration or commitment necessary

Managing TCD with ASD

Date: Thursdays 22nd November-13th December and 17th January-14th February

Time: 3.30-5pm, 9 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Yvonne Tone(Student Counselling) and Clare Malone (TCD Disability Service)

This group is to support students with managing Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Trinity College context

Referral is through the SCS, College health or Disability Service

Mind and Body group

Date: Tuesday, 6th November -27th November

Time: 3.30-5pm, 4 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Chuck Rasleigh, SCS & Anthony Sharpe, Sports Participation Officer

The Body & Mind Group is a small 4-week group at the TCD Sports Centre, facilitated by a TCD Sports Participation Officer and a TCD Student Counsellor. Participants will boost their mood through physical and group process activities in a fun, safe, and confidential environment. It is suited to students of all levels of ability, and we particularly welcome those with no experience.

Referral is through the SCS, Disability Service or College health

Compassionate Mind Training

Date: Thursdays 15th Feb to 15th March 2019

Time: 3.30-5pm, 5 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Katie Baird

Explore and Practice Compassionate Mind Training. A group for postgraduates

Referral is through the SCS

Social Anxiety Group

Date: Tuesday 25th February to 2nd April 2019

Time: 3.30-5pm, 6 sessions

Venue: Group Room, SCS 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Scott Ahearn

Social anxiety is a common form of anxiety that causes students to experience severe anxiety in some or all of the social interactions of college life . Students tend to endure social situations with intense anxiety and fear negative evaluation by others or from potential social or academic events. This group will focus on understanding the social anxiety experience, naming avoidance behaviours and work on challenging safety behaviours. The group will explore thoughts , feelings , moods and behaviours as key components of this group and the practice of homework between sessions is essential.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore underlying causes and triggers to Social Anxiety.
  • Understand the role of behaviours and avoidance in maintaining anxiety.
  • Learn anxiety management strategies
  • Opportunity to experience and benefit from group experience and homework practice between sessions.

Referral is through the SCS or College health

Grad Chats (postgraduate support drop-in)

Date: Fridays

Time: 11am to 12pm

Venue: GSU Common Room

Facilitator: Ciara Joyce, SCS, and Martin McAndrew, PG Advisory Service

A support group tailored specifically to postgraduate students (PHDs, Professional Doctorates, Masters, H.Dips.) aiming at equipping students with the skills to manage stress, work-life balance, increase self-care practices, communication and assertiveness skills, and look at how best to negotiate the supervisory relationship. The support group will aim to be both educational and interactive in its delivery.

Learning Outcomes

  • to achieve insight into anxiety related to PG study
  • to increase confidence in supporting each other
  • to improve ability to cope with identified stressors related to Pg study

This is a drop-in group. No registration or commitment necessary

Bereavement Support Group

Date: Tuesdays from 5 Feb – 26 Feb 2019 (4 sessions), then for 2 more sessions after reading week (12 and 19 March).

Time: 5.30 to 7pm with optional tea until 7.30

Venue: Chaplaincy common room, 3rd floor, House 27

Facilitator: Chuck Rashleigh, SCS and Jools Hamilton, Chaplaincy

Life changes when you lose someone close. The death of a family member or friend can be sudden or expected, prompting many different emotions: shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, numbness, anxiety, sadness… This group offers an opportunity to help you understand your own grief in a personal way, to cope with the issues you faced at this time, those you continue to face, and to learn from sharing the experience with others in a supportive environment.

To join, please inquire at student-counselling@tcd.ie

Student Parent Network

Date: Mondays 1st October to 26th November

Time: 10am to 11am

Venue: Mature Students Resource Centre, 3/4 Foster Place

Facilitator: Orla McLoughlin

This support group is a safe and confidential space for student parents to come together and discuss the unique challenges that come with their dual role. This can include financial difficulties, struggles with time management, childcare issues, and the challenge of managing conflicting demands.

The group welcomes students who are parents of children of any age, and participants are encouraged to be honest, respectful, and non-judgemental of one another.

Learning Outcomes

  • Emotional Support and understanding from other student parents
  • Coping skills to help with the most significant challenges of the dual role
  • A space to reflect on life goals, values and priorities
  • A non-judgemental space to explore conflicting feelings about parenthood and study
  • Guest speakers can be invited in to talk about specific issues if requested by the group members

This is a drop-in group. No registration or commitment necessary

Transition to Trinity Group

Date: Tuesdays 25th September to 16th October

Time: 6-7.30pm, 4 sessions

Venue: Welfare Room, Oldham House, Trinity Hall

Facilitator: Orla McLoughlin and guest S2S mentors

This support/discussion group is recommended for first year students and it offers a place to discuss the challenges of moving to college. Students can often feel nervous and overwhelmed in the first weeks of college. This is a normal part of the transition process, and this group aims to support students during this transition

Learning Outcomes

  • Support and understanding from other students navigating the challenges of the college transition
  • Coping skills to help with the most common challenges e.g. creating new social ties and reflecting on old ones, financial issues, academic struggles, residential issues and the gap between expectations and reality of the college experience
  • A non-judgemental space to explore personal experiences and to support other students

This is a drop-in group. No registration or commitment necessary

Ongoing Therapy Group

Date: Every Wednesday

Time: 6.00pm -7.30pm (during term). 2.30pm to 4.00pm (out of term)

Venue: Group Room, SCS, 7/9 South Leinster Street

Facilitator: Mark Robinson and Helen McGeough

The Therapy group at Trinity College SCS involves a group of up to ten students working with a group facilitator (therapist) in weekly therapy sessions. Group Therapy is a respected method of working through a wide range of distressing emotions such as depression, self esteem difficulties or discomfort in relationships. The characteristics of group therapy enable a type of interaction that is not possible in one to one counselling and offer a chance to learn through others, how to manage distress.

Learning Outcomes

  • to explore emotional issues and receive support and reassurance from others
  • to learn from others about how to manage distress and the chance to be creative about resolving these issues
  • to achieve insight into repeated patterns of behaviour
  • to increase confidence in group situations
  • to improve ability to seek help when encountering problems

Referral is through your counsellor

Group Analytic Therapy

Date: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Time: 6.00pm -7.30pm (during term) / afternoon (out of term)

Venue: Group Room SCS, 7-9 Sth Leinster Street

Facilitator: Maeve Houlihan, UCD & Patrick Maloney, UCD

Experiential Weekly Group Analytic Therapy

Learning Outcomes

  • to explore emotional issues and receive support and reassurance from others
  • to learn from others about how to manage distress and the chance to be creative about resolving these issues
  • to achieve insight into repeated patterns of behaviour
  • to increase confidence in group situations
  • to improve ability to seek help when encountering problems

Referral is through your counsellor