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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

Wednesday drop-in group

Date: Wednesdays during term time

Time: 1 to 2.15pm

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

Facilitator: Jo Harney, SCS

The group offers students a supportive place where they can discuss any challenges they are experiencing in relation to their emotional wellbeing. 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. It will focus on providing a place where students can connect with others in similar situations, gain psychoeducational knowledge and skills which might be useful for the distress they are experiencing and help them to reflect and gain validation and acceptance around their own individual experiences. This is a rolling group meaning that students do not have to sign up for a specific number of sessions but can use the group as often and frequently as they wish. If you are interested, please let your counsellor know and you will be sent a weekly reminder of the group or feel free to attend on the day.

Learning outcomes

  • to gain acceptance and tolerance around emotional experience
  • to gain psychoeducation skills to help manage emotional distress
  • to provide an opportunity for people to support and gain insight from others and feel validated in their experience

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

Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion

Date: Term 2: Tuesday, 21 January to 20 March, excluding study week

Time: 4-5.30pm

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

  • Learn how to intentionally choose compassionate thoughts and actions and develop skills that help you relate to others and to yourself
  • 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 8 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, during term time

    Time: 5pm to 5.30pm - please be on time to avoid disruption

    Venue: Seminar Room 318, Student Counselling Services, 3rd Floor, 7/9 South Leinster Street

    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.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Taking a breathing space in your day
    • Learn about mindfulness and meditation
    • Opportunity to experience a guided meditation practice
    • Resource to manage stress

    Managing Mood

    Date: Tuesday 8th October to 5th November

    Time: 3.30 to 5pm, 4 sessions

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

    Facilitator: Sandra Carroll

    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.

    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

    Addictive Behaviours and Recovery Group (Drop In)

    Date:Tuesdays during term, starting October 15th 2019

    Time: Tuesdays 5:45-7.15pm

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

    Facilitator: Freja Petersen(SCS) and Aisling Holland (external)

    This 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
    • Kindly funded by TCD Students Union

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

    Managing TCD with ASD

    Date: Thursday 7-28 November 2019 & 6-27 February & 5 March 2020

    Time: 3.45 to 5.15pm

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

    Facilitator: Sandra Carroll(Student Counselling) and Clare Malone (TCD Disability Service)

    Thinking differences, social differences, emotional differences and sensory differences can be challenging for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This can lead students to feel somewhat isolated and alone in their experiences. At University students want to integrate comfortably with others to help them build social relationships and self-confidence. This group offers a safe supportive space to work on improving self-management and confidence socially with others.

    Learning Outcomes

    • to identify challenges in college and explore ways to manage these
    • to improve integration in college and confidence in building friendships and interacting with peers
    • to explore & manage sensory needs and improve self-care

    Referral is through the SCS, College health or Disability Service

    Social Anxiety Group

    Date: Monday, 3-24 February, 9 & 16 March 2020 (2nd Term)

    Time: 3 to 4.30pm, 6 sessions

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

    Facilitator:Orla McLoughlin

    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 12.15pm

    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: TBC (second semester)

    Time: TBC (1.5 hours, 6 sessions)

    Venue: Chaplaincy Room, 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.

    Learning Outcomes

    • to gain healing and insight into one's experience of loss through mutual sharing, listening and meaning-making
    • to foster a sense of enduring connection with lost loved ones

    Referral is through the SCS or College health

    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

    The Ongoing 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 or 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