Dissertation & Thesis Support Group

Graduate Students, Currently Offered

For graduate students writing their dissertation or thesis often feel stuck, overwhelmed, and isolated.

What is Dissertation & Thesis Support Group?

This group is designed for any graduate student writing a thesis or dissertation who is experiencing distress or discouragement. Its aim is to help students reconnect with their creativity and motivation.This group will provide a safe and confidential space for students to share their experience and receive support from each other and the facilitator, as well as give support to each other. It will also focus on goal setting and anxiety/stress management. We will start by identifying and exploring struggles currently experienced by group members, and tailor the group to address these specific issues, which may include imposter syndrome, procrastination, creating and meeting deadlines, lack of motivation, or struggles with supervision. Interactive activities and discussion will help us to understand our experiences and explore new tools and skills for coping with these and other challenges.

This group is appropriate for students who:

  • Are at any stage of writing a dissertation or thesis
  • Find loneliness, frustration, anxiety, or other emotions are getting in the way of the research and/or writing process
  • Are experiencing challenges with a supervisor
  • Find it hard to balance the challenges of life and dissertation/thesis writing
  • Are having difficulties with creating/meeting deadlines and goal-setting
  • Are willing to engage in group activities and share at their own pace
  • The group requires people to share with others, and may not be suitable for those with challenges in emotional regulation.


How does it work?

In group therapy, you learn that you’re not as different as you think and that you’re not alone. You hear others’ perspectives on your challenges and learn to accept yourself through seeing your problems and struggles in others. Potential benefits can include becoming less self-critical, less fearful of the judgement of others, clearer about your goals and values, more confident in your decisions, more able to tolerate and accept difficult emotions, more able to ask for what you need and set boundaries. All this can lead in turn to a new relationship with your academic work.

Spring 2024 Schedule

January 19 to March 15*

  • 10:45 to 12:15pm

location_on Burnaby Campus

*Not in session during Reading Week

About the Facilitator

Dr. Shona Adams

Registered Psychologist #2558

Shona is a Registered Psychologist who trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Oxford, U.K.. She is dual citizen who immigrated to Canada when she was 9 years old, previously living in South Africa, Thailand and Malaysia. She predominantly uses a Human Givens and a CBT approach and is a specialist in treating traumas and complex mental health disorders. She uses a strength-based solution-focused model, working collaboratively to help people understand their difficulties and learn different strategies to interact with them. She is humbly aware of her white privilege and is passionate with facilitating people to reach their full potential within a caring and empowering environment.

Vanessa Bork (she/hers)

Pre-Doctoral Psychology Resident