Improve your well-being in graduate school through this series of workshops

Surviving to Thriving is a series of three stand-alone workshops targeted towards developing graduate students’ skills in the areas of mental health, communication, time management, and supervisor relationships.

Upcoming Workshop Dates

Imposter Syndrome

When: Monday, January 27, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Where: WMC 3250

Ever feel like your success is due to luck?  That others around you are more intelligent?  That your graduate program made a mistake admitting you--a mistake they might realize soon?  If you have struggled with feeling like you don’t fit in academia, this workshop is for you.   We will focus on understanding and challenging “impostor syndrome”—a remarkably common syndrome amongst graduate students.  You will learn about research on the topic, hear others’ experiences and reflect on your own, and discover some concrete tools for dealing with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours associated with feeling like an imposter.

You and Your Supervisor

When: Monday, February 3, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Where: WMC 3250

Graduate students report issues with supervisors as one of the greatest contributors to their stress.  This session will focus on exploring and identifying the needs that you have from supervision; the emotions that you feel when you interact with your supervisor; and some of the dynamics in your relationship with your supervisor.  Armed with this understanding, we will explore the room you have to make a difference in this relationship.  Topics will include expectations; boundaries; assertive communication; and when and how to ask for outside help in resolving problems.

Perfectionism and Procrastination

When: Monday, February 10, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Where: WMC 3250

Perfectionism and procrastination often go hand in hand, and this session is for you if you identify with either one or both.  As a perfectionist, you are not satisfied with second-best, you will work as hard as you can to produce the best work possible, and you may be rewarded by degrees, grants and accolades.  Yet the lived experience of being a perfectionist can be stressful and even overwhelming.  You might find yourself unable to hand in work as you never feel satisfied with your work.  You might be haunted by fears of failure, find it difficult to make decisions, or downplay your successes.  You may procrastinate as a way to avoid the pressure you put on yourself, then meet the deadline but feel disappointed with your performance.  Or maybe you procrastinate without identifying as a perfectionist.  Chances are that, like a perfectionist, you procrastinate as an emotional coping mechanism.  What comes up for you as you stare at a blank page or think about a new paper or chapter?  Fear, anger, frustration, feelings about your supervisor, about your future, or about your competence?  This workshop will help you explore the causes and effects of perfectionism and procrastination, and suggest ways to shift these coping styles.


Workshop Facilitators

Susan Brook

Clinical Counsellor, Health and Counselling Services

Susan has an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from UBC, and works in Health and Counselling with a particular focus on graduate students. Susan is a former faculty member at SFU and received her PhD from Duke University.  She is passionate about helping students navigate the institutional and personal stresses of graduate school life.

Kadie Bogardi

Practicum Student, Health and Counselling Services

Kadie is a practicum student with the SFU Health and Counselling team; currently completing her M.Ed in Counselling Psychology at SFU.  Throughout the past five years, Kadie has worked as a teacher in the Langley School District—most frequently in the role of a special education teacher.  Kadie is passionate toward learning about pathways in healing through trauma and distress; she can relate to the shared experience of navigating the unique obstacles and pressures of graduate school.

Cameron Grunbaum

Practicum Student, Health and Counselling Services

Cameron is a practicum student with the SFU Health and Counselling team; currently completing his M.A. in Counselling Psychology at SFU. Over the last 4 years, Cameron was working with individuals with acquired brain injuries – supporting their transition to live independently in the community. He completed a Major in Kinesiology and Psychology and is passionate about integrating the two fields towards whole mind-body healing. Through various endeavours, Cameron has gained experience with supporting individuals with becoming mindful and compassionate towards others and themselves and can strongly relate to the often stressful and isolating experience of being a grad student.

Mindy Chiang

Practicum Student, Health and Counselling Services

Mindy Chiang is a practicum student at HCS currently completing an M.A. in Counselling Psychology at UBC. She has worked as an advocate at the Graduate Student Society of UBC and is passionate about promoting well-being for her fellow graduate students.