Group Counselling


Career

Career concerns can come in many forms and can be addressed in group or individual formats. If you find that you enjoy connecting with a group of people when discussing and resolving your concerns, you may find group career counselling helpful. There may be one or a number of areas of concern that you are experiencing, such as professional burnout, unemployment, conflicts with co-workers or difficulty navigating decisions on what direction to go in. Lifespring is endorsed to use the world-renowned career counselling method of Active Engagement: The Being and Doing of Career Counselling that was developed by Dr. Norman Amundson at the University of British Columbia.


Anxiety

Group counselling for anxiety can be helpful in sharing experiences and ways of coping, and assist with learning ways of better connecting with others. Anxiety often leads to withdrawing from others, so a group context can offer a much-needed way of getting support with people having common challenges. Anxiety comes in many forms and you may experience social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic, or even phobias.

People who experience Social Anxiety often feel negatively judged by others, which can lead to feelings of being inferior, inadequate, and embarrassed. It may also be difficult for people to be in public around others causing avoidance of social situations.

Those who struggle with Generalized Anxiety have ongoing worry and tension, and often see worries and problems in every situation. Irritability, muscle tension, and trouble concentrating are additional symptoms of generalized anxiety.

Panic attacks are frequently experienced as intense worry or fear within minutes that might also involve choking sensations, trouble breathing, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. People experience panic typically have recurrent worries about having another panic attack and avoid situations that they think might trigger another one.


Depression

Counselling for depression in groups can offer a unique means of support that includes a much-needed social support. Like anxiety, depression often leads to social withdrawal, and the social support gained from group work can have a therapeutic effect in itself, in addition to the process and techniques inherent in group counselling methods. Depressive symptoms often involve having a low mood, lack of motivation, and loss of interest or pleasure for a couple of weeks or longer.

Some of the other symptoms of depression can be difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, weight loss or gain, avoidance of social situations, and recurrent thoughts of suicide. Some people experience depression just in the winter months, which they may need to seek support for during this time too, which group counselling may be a viable option for those who work well or want to benefit from the group dynamic and social support.


Mindfulness/Meditation

Meditation and mindfulness have been found to help reduce stress, improve emotion regulation, manage adverse symptoms of many mental health issues, improve one's general happiness, peace of mind, and satisfaction in daily life. The process of mindfulness and meditation activates regions and circuits of the brain that help to integrate and manage areas that are greatly responsible for emotional disturbances and automatic thoughts. Frequent engagement in meditation can literally strengthen the neural connections in your brain to improve your resilience and ability to cope with current and future challenges.


Self-Development

Counselling need not only address prevention and repair of mental health concerns. It can also be used to further enhance one's happiness and peace of mind. Learning how to manage the mind appears to be at both the heart of therapy and success and happiness in life. Some of the topics addressed in self-development include:

  • How the brain and mind work.
  • What stress is and how to manage it.
  • How to identify hidden thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. 
  • How to form new, more adaptive and constructive beliefs. 
  • Develop more helpful and harmonious ways of communicating and relating with others.
  • How to discover, understand, and manage the different types and layers of emotions.
  • Gain new thinking tools and problem-solving techniques to better deal with life's challenges.
  • Learn helpful and practical principles to better approach challenges in life with greater peace of mind and success.
Additional Practice Areas

If you have concerns about issues that were not mentioned in the menu, Lifespring offers group counselling services for many other areas. Feel free to inquire about our areas of practice at 604.754.7807 or

  • When I decided to find a counsellor, I tried to find someone that I could relate to, someone that is like-minded and down-to-earth and with Alistair I really found the right person. He uses an integrative approach, showed me techniques to relax and get aware of my emotions, and helped me see things in a new perspective. Of course this is an ongoing process but I enjoy meeting and working with Alistair every time. The downtown office is a very neutral place – not too intimate, not too clinical – which is helpful to overcome apprehension, especially the first couple of times. What I find remarkable is that Alistair almost always knows what I’m trying to say, even if I can’t put it into words. Working with Alistair helped me a lot and it was the right decision to put my trust in him.

    - Michael S.

  • Alistair really cares about you the person, and I could really feel him trying to tackle my challenges. He was also very available for off-session contact via text and email. I think he did a great job with confronting me where I needed it. Alistair always could remember the important peoples' names in my personal life, which really helped with talking about my problems. I really felt like I was talking to a friend.
    Definitely feels great that they're options out there get help and I achieved a lot with Alister in as little as 5 sessions.

    — Max A

  • I have been working with Alistair Gordon as my counsellor at Lifespring for almost 6 months now and cannot begin to tell you how far I have come with his help. I have tried working with other counsellors and therapists in the past but never really found one that clicked for me. I always felt judged, unsupported, and rushed at those appointments until I booked my first appointment with Lifespring and with Allistair. Read More

    — Elyse Renouf

  • I am a young professional which for a long time now, has struggled with anxiety, insecurity, and difficulty in finding effective life coping mechanisms. Alistair was referred to me by a friend and upon the first meeting, I found Alistair to be empathetic, compassionate and intuitive. I have now been seeing Alistair regularly for 6 months and through that time my anxiety has significantly decreased, Read More

    — Kahir Lalji

  • I am very glad that I had the chance to work with Alistair. It was easy to connect right from the start. He uses an integrative approach, showed me techniques to relax and helped me see things in a new perspective. One of Alistair’s most remarkable qualities is that he almost always knows what I’m trying to say, even if I can’t put it into words. Contacting Alistair and working with him was definitely the right decision.

    — Michael Silberhorn

  • I had no experience with therapy and was unsure of the whole process. Alistair made everything very accessible and unintimidating. It was clear that he puts quite a lot of effort and preparation into every session. I'm so glad that I decided to do this, and could not have asked for a better person to help me with this. I would highly reccomend Alistair to anyone who has ever thought that they might benefit from talking to a professional.

    — Edward Hicks

  • I enjoy how sessions are collaborative where I can take the lead for the direction of what we talk about, and at the same time I know that Alistair will offer helpful guidance and insight along the way. I also like how we focus on the future instead of just the past. I find this to be empowering and helpful to move forward in life.

    — RM

  • Alistair is an awesome counsellor. He has been so helpful in working with me through some tough times in my life. He's always been available to chat with me in-between sessions. I'd recommend Alistair to anyone - he's really the ideal counsellor in my view.

    — JG



  • I have always felt very comfortable with Alistair. He has a calming presence, and you can tell he cares about being the best counsellor for you. He helps you with all aspects of your concern, and is always able to help me find a solution to the problem I'm having.

    — SD



  • Alistair is an exceptionally talented counsellor and has always demonstrated strong ethics, great compassion, wisdom and respect for others. I highly recommend him as a counselling practitioner.

    — Dr. Marla Buchanan

    Director of the UBC Centre for Group Counselling and Trauma,
    University of British Columbia


  • Mr. Gordon is someone that captures the spirit and the heart of active engagement. He is empathic, genuine and incorporates action and creative problem solving into his practice. I have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Gordon as an effective career and personal counsellor.

    — Dr. Norman Amundson

    Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Author of "Active Engagement: The Being and Doing of Career Counselling"