Referral Programs

There are many ways to improve your health and well-being. Our team of counsellors have created a wide range of programs that can help you improve and maintain your health and well-being.

See a program that you're interested in? Call us to book an appointment with one of our counsellors and ask if the program is right for you.

Current Referral Programs

Art Attack

This is a unique group that integrates the basic principles of DBT and art therapy concepts. The goal of this group is to use art as a platform to safely and creatively process our feelings, thoughts, and experiences. We will be engaged in drawing, painting, sculpting, collaging and other craft activities.

Strategies participants will practice in the group are:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Distress Tolerance

We welcome all students who are interested in using art to develop new skills.

Sessions will take place at Health & Counselling Services' lunch room (MBC 0101) on Thursdays from 9:30am to 11:30am. Mandatory attendance for ALL sessions is required.

Session dates:
*Jan 30 - Mar 12, 2020 

*There is no session during reading week (Thursday, February 20)

For more information, please contact Monique Wong at or Shereen Khan at

Cultivating Self-Compassion

This program is a 6-week seminar designed to foster the skill of self-compassion. It combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance participants’ capacity to cultivate their emotional well-being.

This program encourages participants to self-reflect and explore their relationship with themselves and others. This seminar is ideal for people who experience self-criticism, low self-esteem or low self-worth, perfectionism, burnout, low motivation, difficult relationships, and challenges managing stress.

Sessions take place on Wednesdays from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in Group Rooms 1 & 2 (enter through Career Services in MBC 0300).

Session dates:
Feb 5 - Mar 11, 2020

For referral to this program, please call us to book an appointment with one of our counsellors to ask if the program is right for you.

Deepening Self-Connection

This group explores barriers to employing relaxation strategies. Integrated mind-body strategies such as mindfulness and movement will be employed. The group will rely primarily on the wisdom of the body as a guide to personal healing and growth. 

Sessions take place on Fridays from 11:00am to 12:30pm in Group Room 3 at Health & Counselling Services.

Session dates:
Feb 28 - Mar 27, 2020

For more information, please contact Robbie Ruddell at

Dissertation & Thesis Support Group

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

Reconnect with your creativity and motivation.

This group is a safe and confidential space for graduate students writing theses or dissertations to share their experiences and receive support. Focus on peer emotional support, goal setting, and anxiety/stress management.

This group takes place Thursdays from 10:45am to 12:15pm and 2:00pm to 3:30pm in MBC 0309. 

Session dates:
Jan 9 - Apr 9, 2020

For referrals and inquires, please contact Susan Brook at

Dungeons and Worry Dragons

Face your demons – literally! Group members become players in the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game, therapeutically facilitated to encourage group members to build social skills to combat depression and anxiety.

Tabletop role-playing games (such as Dungeons & Dragons) can increase confidence, creativity, and problem solving skills – all while having fun playing as powerful adventurers in a fantasy world. Facilitated by a clinical counsellor, this group uses teamwork, role-play, and imagination to encourage participants to meet the challenges they encounter in daily life, and is especially helpful for those suffering from low mood and social anxiety.

This program will take place on Fridays from 1:30pm to 3:00pm.

Session dates:
Jan 24 - Apr 3, 2020

For referral to this program, please contact David Lindskoog at

Experiencing Disability

This group will be open to CAL registrants, and is designed to provide a space for students with disabilities to seek support in a safe environment that welcomes diverse life experiences. Issues brought by group members will be addressed, as well as issues including, but not limited to:

  • The transition to post-secondary education
  • Disability accommodation
  • Self-advocacy
  • Effectively accessing on campus services (including CAL)
  • Disability and identity

Sessions take place on Mondays from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in the Video Room (MBC 0309) in Health & Counselling Services.

Session dates:
Feb 24 - Apr 6, 2020

For more information, please contact Sean Heaslip at

Mindful Medicine for Women of Colour

Join other self-identified women of colour for a 6-week therapy group focused on mindfulness and self-compassion. In this group, we will use different mindfulness strategies and self-compassion practices, therapeutic dialogue, and journaling exercises to explore issues of diversity, equity, social justice and self-care. Trans women welcome and encouraged.

This program is led by Ly Hoang and Mindy Chiang.

Ly Hoang is a refugee from Vietnam. She is a clinical counsellor in Health and Counselling Services on the Burnaby campus.

Mindy Chiang is a first-generation immigrant from Taiwan. She is a practicum student at SFU Health and Counselling Services, completing an MA in Counselling Psychology at UBC.

Sessions take place on Tuesdays from 9:30am to 11:30am in the Video Room (MBC 0309) in Health & Counselling Services.

Session dates:
Feb 4 - Mar 10, 2020

For referral to this program, please contact Ly Hoang at

MOVE Group

This program is dedicated to helping participants manage low mood and anxiety.  Mindfulness, openness, values and engagement to be explored. 

This group takes place on Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in Group Rooms 1 and 2 (enter through Career Services in MBC 0300). 

Session dates:
Jan 28 - Feb 18, 2020

For referral, please contact Cameron Grunbaum at

Nurturing Resilience

Nurturing Resilience is a weekly support group for students of all genders who have experienced any form of sexual violence. Developed in partnership with the SFSS Women's Centre, SFU's Health & Counselling Services and SFU's Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office, this group meets weekly in the Video Room (MBC 0309) at Health & Counselling Services on Tuesdays from 2:00pm - 4:00pm.

Session dates:
Jan 14 - Mar 31, 2020

For more information about joining the group, please contact Erica Van Driel, Counsellor, at

Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

OCD Support Group

The OCD Support Group is open to all students who struggle with symptoms of OCD. This support group is not a substitute for individual therapy, but rather to serve as a significant step in that direction, an important addition to therapy, or a part of a relapse prevention plan. We believe that meeting others affected by OCD and similar situations can make people feel less lonely and isolated, as well as more connected and understood. 

Sessions will take place in Group Rooms 1 & 2 on Thursdays from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.

Session dates:
Jan 23 - Feb 27, 2020

For more information, please contact Liliana Cortes at

The Feeling Good Program

Feeling down, anxious, or overly stressed can sap energy and motivation, disturb sleep and interfere with life, concentration, learning, and academic performance.  That’s the bad news.

The good news: there are effective practices that can enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and help us better manage stress. These sessions focus on just that. 

Each week we examine a specific practice for enhancing well-being. We cycle through topics at least once each term.  

Those include:

  • Getting Active – Feeling better through doing more
  • Practicing Positive Psychology – Applying the science of happiness
  • Sleep – How to get a better night’s sleep
  • Rumination – Reducing cognitive “chewing & stewing”
  • Helpful Thinking – Awareness, acceptance, and flexibility
  • Managing Worry – How to worry more effectively
  • Talking to Ourselves – From self-criticism to self-compassion
  • Stress Management – Effective ways to manage stressors and our response to them

Come expecting to acquire proven tools, skills, and strategies.  Leave prepared to practice in order to enhance well-being and improve academic performance.

Each session will begin with a check in on how that week’s practice went, and end with participants setting a personal goal to apply some “Feeling Good” practice that week. 

Sessions take place on Mondays from 2:30pm to 4:00pm.

Session dates:
Jan 27 - Apr 6, 2020

For more information, please contact Wayne Heaslip at

External Referral Programs

Youth Mindfulness Program with the YMCA

Everyone experiences worries and anxiety. The key is to learn how to make sure these don’t get in the way of doing things you care about! The Youth Mindfulness Group offers a free 7-week psychoeducational support group for young adults ages 18-30 who experience anxiety. Participants learn healthy coping skills, connect with other youth in the community, and get support all in a safe and friendly environment. The program is overseen by mental health practitioners. 

The group includes:

  • Engaging discussions about anxiety and other mental health related topics
  • Practicing evidence-based mindfulness techniques during workshops, a proven tool to help manage anxiety
  • Educational tools from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidenced-based therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies
  • Take-home resources to help manage anxiety in between weekly meetings
  • A YMCA gym membership to encourage youth to manage their anxiety through physical activity

If anxiety is impacting your life and preventing you from doing what you want or need to do, this group can help support you. Join us at the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre located at the Surrey City Centre Library to learn mindfulness techniques, get helpful tools and resources, and meet other like-minded youth.

This program takes place in room 401 at the Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Drive, Surrey) from 6pm-8pm. Information sessions take place on February 5 and February 12. 

For referrals and inquiries, please contact the YMCA directly at

Looking for an event or workshop that's open to everyone? Check out our drop-in programs and events.

Looking for a program or workshop that's open for anyone? Check out our drop-in programs and events.