Group Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – Group skills training

This is an ongoing group which is skills training group that is designed to teach you specific skills to help you better understand and manage your emotions, relationships and build a better life for yourself. This group is much like being in a classroom for 2 hours teaching you skills that, when practiced, will become new and more effective ways of coping with difficult emotions and situations.

DBT skills include:

Mindfulness:  to help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, learn to be less judgmental of yourself and others, and become more attentive to the present moment.

Emotion Regulation: These skills will assist you in better managing your emotions by providing strategies for increasing your emotional awareness, decreasing your emotional vulnerabilities, and changing unwanted emotions.

Distress Tolerance: These skills are designed to provide you with a variety of strategies for more effectively managing stressful situations.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: These skills are designed to teach you how to more effectively ask for what you want, building more meaningful relationships, and feeling better about yourself when doing so.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a hybrid program combining mindfulness meditation practices and cognitive behavioural therapy skills designed to target relapse prevention for depression.  It has been established through years of rigorous scientific research as an effective treatment for the prevention of depressive relapse, particularly in individuals who have had repeated episodes. The establishment of a mindfulness meditation practice includes learning formal meditation exercises such as the body scan, sitting and walking meditations, as well as mindful movement in the form of gentle yoga and stretching.  The generalization of mindfulness skills to aspects of everyday life is supported through informal practices such as mindful eating, noticing body sensations, affect, and thoughts during pleasant and unpleasant experiences, as well as taking a mindful approach to aspects of one’s daily routine. Cognitive-behavioural elements of the program include psychoeducation surrounding depressive symptoms, as well as instruction regarding the cognitive model, such as identifying automatic thoughts, and understanding how thoughts are impacted by situations and moods.

Weekly two-hour sessions will be offered in a group setting for 8-weeks. A one-on-one orientation session will be provided at the outset, and a follow-up meeting will occur to provide support for continuing your mindfulness practice at the close of the session. Between the 6th and 7th weeks, a full-day silent retreat is planned. Participants enrolled in the program will receive guided mindfulness CDs and a workbook for home practice. Yoga mats, cushions and other supporting materials are also provided.

This program is ideal for individuals who are interested in establishing a meditation practice in a supportive community of peers, have had repeated episodes of depression, or who are concerned about relapse for depression more generally. Sessions are led by a clinical psychologist registered with the Ontario College of Psychologists with over ten years of training and experience leading mindfulness-based interventions in the community and a specialization in understanding and treating depression.