Dissertation & Thesis Support Group

Graduate Students, Currently Offered

Students writing their dissertation or thesis often feel stuck, overwhelmed, and isolated.

Dissertation & Thesis Support Group

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.

How do I register?

To join the group, please contact Susan Brook at hcsgrad@sfu.ca

You will book a half-hour Zoom appointment for a pre-group meeting. In this meeting Susan will share more about how the group works, and will talk about whether the group is a good fit, and discuss any questions or concerns.

Spring 2023 Schedule

January 19th - April 6th*

Thursdays | 10:45am to 12:15pm

Burnaby Campus

*No group during Reading Break

Note: Once the group has been filled (or after Week 3) it will be closed for the term, and a waitlist will be created for those interested in joining when a space becomes available.

About the Facilitators

Susan Brook

Grad Studies

Susan provides graduate students individual and group counselling, as well as workshops on topics including perfectionism, relationships with supervisors, and impostor syndrome. Her orientation is primarily psychodynamic within an anti-oppression framework. If you feel stuck, blocked, or overwhelmed she will explore with you ways you might be experiencing old or familiar patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving that may not be serving you in the present. Before becoming a counsellor Susan was an English professor, giving her years of personal experience of the trials and rewards of grad school and academic life.