Therapeutic Groups


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MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY (MBCT) 

A 9-week program for coping with anxiety, depression and emotional distress. In this program, you will learn to access and cultivate your natural capacity to actively engage in caring for yourself and find greater balance, ease and peace of mind.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is an evidence based treatment approach developed by Drs. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale that has been proven effective for reducing stress and anxiety and preventing relapse in those who suffer from depression. It combines the practice of mindfulness with the skills of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgement. The core principles and skills of mindfulness facilitate greater awareness and acceptance of thoughts, emotions and sensations which help us break free from automatic, habitual responses that are often unhelpful to our well-being. Mindfulness also cultivates compassion towards ourselves and others. Cognitive therapy is designed to interrupt negative and unhealthy thought patterns that lead to depressive and anxious spirals.

To learn more about MBCT CLICK HERE .

What to expect
The first week is devoted to a group orientation where an overview of the program will be provided. During this session, we will also meet briefly with you (10-15 minutes) individually to help make sure that the program will be beneficial for you. The duration of this orientation session is approximately 3 hours with participation being a requirement for enrollment in the program.

After the orientation session of the MBCT program, participants will then meet as a group with a facilitator(s) once a week for 8 weeks. Each session is 2.5 hours long. In addition to these sessions there will be one all-day mindfulness retreat held on a weekend between weeks 5 and 7. Each session is organized around a theme that is explored through short talks, experiential exercises, group inquiry and mindfulness meditation practices. Participants will be provided materials (handouts and audio) to support what they are learning in the classes and for use during home practice.  Commitment to home practice is an essential component for participation in and effectiveness of the program.  This home practice will take approximately an hour a day, six days a week, for eight weeks and involves such tasks as listening to audios, meditation and performing brief exercises.

The MBCT program will teach you specific techniques aimed at reducing anxiety and depression as well as how to cope with emotional distress as it arises.

In addition, the program is aimed at helping you:

  • become familiar with the workings of your mind
  • notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate anxious and downward mood spirals
  • explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits and, if you choose, enter a different way of being
  • get in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world
  • notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head
  • be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals
  • find a way so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time
  • accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time

Our therapeutic groups are small (about 12-13 people).

Who should attend
This program is for anyone who is experiencing moderate depression or anxiety or has a history of depression. It is also for those who are interested in learning a set of strategies designed to help manage mood and promote long term wellness. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this program.

This program is not recommended for individuals currently suffering from severe depression or psychosis.

All participants must be free of substance misuse.

Materials
Participants can use our meditation Zafu cushions and yoga mats during the sessions or are welcome to bring their own. Chairs will also be available. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable causal clothing. All handouts and audio materials will be provided and are included in the program fee.

Fee: $520* (materials and HST included).

*The MBCT program is not covered under MSI. However, those with extended healthcare benefits (i.e., private health insurance) may be eligible for reimbursement. Please contact your health insurance provider for details as to whether therapeutic group sessions offered by a Registered Psychologist are covered.

Note that any fees not paid by medical insurance may be tax deductible as a medical expense.

In order to make our therapeutic groups more accessible to everyone, payment plans are available for those who require it.  A valid credit card is required for this option.

Please be aware of our payment, cancellation and refund policies.

Completed registrations indicate understanding and acceptance of our Payment, Cancellation and Refund Policy.

CLICK HERE for our policies

Registration

Enrollment is limited as our groups are small (about 12-13 people). Pre-registration is required.

SEE IF MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY IS CURRENTLY OFFERED/SIGN-UP


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MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION

An 8 week program in developing a caring relationship with yourself and others. In this program, you will learn how to be with difficult emotions and moments in your life with kindness, care and understanding.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported program developed by Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion.  MSC teaches core principles and essential tools for treating yourself in a kind, compassionate way whenever you suffer, fail or feel inadequate rather than the typical response of self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who did not receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves.

Growing research continues to show that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. To learn more about MSC CLICK HERE

What to expect
In the MSC program, participants will meet as a group with a teacher(s) for 3 hours once a week for 8 weeks in addition to a 4 hour retreat. Participants will learn and apply the three key components of self-compassion using meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. Participants will be provided materials (handouts and audio) to support what they are learning in the weekly sessions and for use during home practice.

MSC is primarily a compassion training program rather than a mindfulness training/retreat, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. The goal of the MSC program is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. Unlike group or individual therapy, the emphasis will be on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities rather than addressing old wounds.

Following this program, participants should be able to:

  • practice self-compassion in daily life
  • understand the empirically-supportive benefits of self-compassion
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • handle difficult emotions with greater ease and acceptance
  • transform difficult/challenging relationships, old and new
  • motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
  • manage caregiver fatigue
  • practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation

Our therapeutic groups are small (about 12-13 people).

Who should attend
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is necessary to attend MSC. This program is designed for anyone who wishes to integrate and cultivate greater self-compassion into their lives and/or work. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program. It is recommended that participants read one or both of the following books before or during the program:

  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristin Neff
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, by Christopher Germer

Materials
Participants can use our meditation Zafu cushions and yoga mats during the sessions or are welcome to bring their own. Chairs will also be available. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable causal clothing. All handouts and audio materials will be provided and are included in the program fee.

Fee: $520* (materials and HST included).

*The MSC program is not covered under MSI. However, those with extended healthcare benefits (i.e., private health insurance) may be eligible for reimbursement. Please contact your health insurance provider for details as to whether therapeutic group sessions offered by a Registered Psychologist are covered.

Note that any fees not paid by medical insurance may be tax deductible as a medical expense.

In order to make our therapeutic groups more accessible to everyone, payment plans are available for those who require it.  A valid credit card is required for this option.

Please be aware of our payment, cancellation and refund policies.

Completed registrations indicate understanding and acceptance of our Payment, Cancellation and Refund Policy.

CLICK HERE for our policies

Registration
Enrollment is limited as our groups are small (about 12-13 people). Pre-registration is required.

SEE IF MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION IS CURRENTLY OFFERED/SIGN-UP