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Virtual Workshops and Gathering Spaces

During these challenging times, we’re offering a range of programs to help you learn self-care tools and to have safe spaces to connect to each other. The workshops are designed to help you learn how to best navigate stressful times, get unstuck from negative thoughts and feelings, and find meaning in the midst of chaos. The virtual gathering spaces are an opportunity to connect to peers and to share experiences, support, and resources. CAPS staff serve as facilitators in those spaces. Virtual Workshops and Gatherings Spaces are open to all currently enrolled NU students

Workshops and gathering spaces are not therapy groups and they are not intended as treatment for mental health concerns. If you are interested in therapy services, please click here to schedule a consultation with a CAPS counselor.

What's Happening at CAPS Newsletter

Want to be the first to know about upcoming CAPS events and workshops? We have now have a monthly newsletter we will be sending out to keep you in the know.


Spring 2021 Virtual Programs

And Still We Rise: Strategies for Resilience and Hope

Resilience is the quality of recovering quickly from failure and adversity, and not only returning to the status quo but actually using the opportunity to grow. Resilience is not something we are born with but something that can be learned and developed at any age. 

Join CAPS, Women’s Center and HPaW, for a lively panel discussion of lessons we’ve learned in the past year about cultivating resilience and nurturing hope.   

WHENApril 8th | 5:30-6:30pm | Register Here


BIPOC Support Circle

The BIPOC support circle is a discussion and community space for BIPOC identified students seeking a supportive and brave space to gather, develop a sense of connection, and experience collective and individual healing.
Open to all NU students on both campuses. 

When: Thursdays Biweekly 4-5:00pm CT 

Join us for one or all sessions! REGISTER HERE  

April 8th – Racial Battle Fatigue

Bring our shared AND unique experiences navigating race dynamics on a PWI. We will explore the emotional exhaustion that comes from it, ways to identify the impact on us and finding ways to heal/self-care. 

April 22ndStigma

Examine messages (both direct and indirect) we received as BIPOC folks on topics such as-mental health and illness, help seeking behavior, therapy and others. How do these familial/societal expectations shape who we are and finding ways to prioritize wellbeing in a culture of over-productivity?

May 6th   Collective Trauma and Healing

Collective Trauma and Healing-Economic and health disparities as a fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted communities of color at a far greater rate. This along with ongoing violence and chronic safety concerns have led to collective trauma that may take years to heal. We will create space to support and learn from each other, identify unique needs to start our individual and collective healing journeys

May 20th – Imposture Syndrome

Balancing academic and social life at NU while holding complex feelings around one or more of your identities. Do I belong here? Am I sounding too________ (fill in the blank with your race/ethnicity/accent/culture)? We have all been there and it’s time to shatter the myth-by embracing our strengths and practicing self-compassion.

June 3rd – Intersectionality

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.” –Audre Lorde. We will honor the intersecting identities folx hold and acknowledge layers of oppression that come with that. We will discuss the role of a trusted community, building alliances (inter and intra-personally) and radical self-love.

Coffee Talk for International Students

Join us for our winter quarter Coffee Talk series! We invite all international students to come together to catch-up with old friends and meet new ones. Let’s engage in conversation about being your best self in the year to come. Bring your own hot beverage and join our discussion!

 Winter 2021: Be Your Best Self

Join one or all sessions using the link:

Fridays 10am-11:30 am CST

January 15th: Empowering Your Best Self

                Join us as we discuss setting goals for the New Year, share strategies to increase your motivation, tackle common barriers, and create a plan to make this quarter your best one yet!

January 29th: Becoming Your Best Self in Relationships

                Let’s connect with one another and discuss all things relationships! We’ll touch on developing relationships with yourself, friends, romantic partners, and how to build community in a virtual world.

February 12th: Your Best Professional Self

        Connect with our colleagues at Northwestern Career Advancement about navigating your internship or job search amidst a pandemic and U.S. political landscape.  We will discuss the internship and job search process, leveraging resources, building a strategy, as well as how to manage the stress and anxiety associated with the job search experience.

February 26th: Your Calm & Playful Self

                End the quarter with a meeting focused on connecting to your calm and playful self! Join us as we discuss how to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your routine, explore the benefits of play and laugher, and share strategies for coping with stress and worry.

Collective Healing: Processing Space for Graduate and Professional Students

Join CAPS and CARE for this unique processing space as we explore the impact of collective trauma on our bodies, relationships and well-being. In connection, we will strive to make meaning of this moment and begin a movement toward healing as a community. 


WHEN: April 13th | 3-4:15pm  Register Here

Quarantine/Isolation Support Spaces

This support space is a drop-in gathering space for NU students who are in quarantine or isolation, on or off campus, who are looking for support from other similarly situated students and from CAPS. This informal supportive gathering space—facilitated by NU CAPS—will allow participants to connect to peers and to share experiences, resources, and support.

WHEN: Wednesdays 3:00-4:00pm

Group Starting February 3rd

Register Here

Press Pause: Support for Graduate and Professional Students

Graduate and professional students are busy. Balancing academics, work responsibilities, relationships, and current events can feel like a lot! Press Pause is a space to slow down and connect with others around topics specifically related to graduate and professional students.

WHEN:  Biweekly Mondays 12-1pm CT   REGISTER HERE  

Each of our meetings will center on a different topic, including:

  • April 5th - All Things Academics
    • We’ll break down healthy striving vs. perfectionism, discuss Imposter Syndrome, tackle burnout, and share strategies for increasing motivation
  • April 19th - Relationships
    • We’ll connect with one another, discuss ways of creating and maintaining virtual relationships, focus on setting healthy boundaries, and explore “being alone vs. being lonely”
  • May 3rd- Mental Health & Well-Being
    • We’ll share common experiences of stress, anxiety, and depression, help you identify what you need, and help you help others
  • May 17th - Self-Care Wrap-up
    • We'll learn how to “zoom in” and “zoom out” your self-care routine, discover new strategies for building wellness, and brainstorm solutions to common barriers to creating a sustainable well-being plan

Press Pause is facilitated by NU CAPS staff, including Rachael Collins, Ph.D., LCP (staff therapist and liaison to Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago CAPS), and Plamena Daskalova, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow, CAPS Evanston).


Recognizing Collective Trauma: A Support Space for Graduate and Professional Students

Collective Trauma Support Space for Faculty and Staff

Acknowledging the collective traumas of a global pandemic as well as civil unrest and brutal systems, we're holding space for NU faculty and staff to receive support for themselves and to learn more about the impact of trauma.

When: Feb 24, 2021, 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting.

RIO: Recognition. Insight. Openness.

RIO is a three-part workshop series that helps you to: 

Create a road map of change based on your personal values and goals.


 RIO Section 1 (April 13 – April 27)

 4/13 Session 1:  Recognition 

4/20 Session 2:  Insight                

4/27 Session 3:  Openness

 Register here for all three sessions ZOOM LINK: will be posted soon

 RIO Section 2 (May 4th – May 18th)

5/4   Session 1:  Recognition

5/11 Session 2: Insight 

5/18 Session 3: Openness

 Register here for all three sessions ZOOM LINK: will be posted soon

 RIO Section 3 (May 25th – June 8th)

5/25  Session 1: Recognition

6/1 Session 2:  Insight

6/8  Session 3: Openness

 ZOOM LINK: will be posted soon

RIO: Recognition. Insight. Openness. FAQs

1. Who is RIO for?

RIO is open to any undergraduate, graduate, and professional NU student.  It can prepare you for your individual therapy experience or it can serve as a stand-alone, three-part workshop series to help you increase awareness and insight into yourself, gain important skills how to navigate any challenging experience, and create a road map of change based on your personal values and goals.   

2. Why does RIO use a 3-meeting model?

Teaching RIO over the course of three workshops allows you sufficient time to understand the concepts with time to practice in between meetings. Keeping it to three weeks allows you to find time in your busy schedule to learn these skills. If you find that you want more time to build the skills in the model, you may complete RIO again.

3. Why do I have to do homework?

The focus of this workshop is on building skills to manage difficult thoughts and emotions. The workshops are highly experiential.  In order to successfully build skills, regular practice outside of sessions is essential.  The more you practice, the more you may find you get out of this workshop. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences in doing at-home practices, however, sharing is optional. 

4. What if I didn’t do my homework?

We strongly recommend completing the homework. The students who report the most benefit from these workshops are the ones that are able to practice between sessions and beyond. But, if you are unable to complete an assignment, we encourage you to come to your next scheduled workshop anyway.  These workshops are for your own growth and development, you will not fail if you don’t complete homework. 

5. What if I don’t feel comfortable in group situations?

This is a common concern. RIO is structured and curriculum-driven like a classroom.  You may find that you feel comfortable enough to share some of your experiences in the workshops; this allows all the participants to learn and support one another.  However, you are not required to speak beyond what you feel comfortable doing so.  You can still benefit from the information presented.  The workshop leader respects each participant’s right to disclose or not and never requires you to share sensitive or potentially embarrassing information about yourself. 

6. What if I have an urgent need to see a counselor during this workshop?

Simply let the facilitator know and they will help you get the help you need.

7. What if I have a problem that’s hard to define?

This is one of the ways RIO can be particularly helpful. Because it is designed to get you better in touch with your own experiences and goals, this workshop may help you define what it is you are looking for.

8. What if I have a mood disorder that is probably the result of a biochemical irregularity?

Even with an identified mood disorder, such as Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder, change-oriented approaches can be very helpful. Improving our ability to recognize our experiences will enhance our ability to identify mood episodes. The earlier someone with a mood disorder is able to accurately determine when a mood episode is happening, the more efficiently that person can be at managing that mood episode.  Plus, research suggests that various psychotherapies change the brain in positive ways, even when there is a biochemical irregularity. 

9. What if I am a survivor of a traumatic event?

While no one can change events that have already happened, we can learn to become more aware of how these experiences impact us today. We can learn to listen to the stories we tell ourselves about what happened, the evaluations that we might apply to ourselves or others, the feelings and bodily sensations associated with what happened, and how our behaviors and actions have been affected. By staying true to our experiences instead of trying to control our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, we can often achieve a more fulfilling life, even in the face of traumatic events.

10. What if I want to get to the origin or “root” of my problem?

Many people believe that if we only knew the root cause of our problems then we would have the solution to the problem. Although it is true that our behaviors (including thoughts and feelings) are related to our experiences, it is not necessarily true that just identifying the root cause guarantees our current behaviors will change. If you feel that getting to the origins of your concerns is essential for your change process, we can recommend a variety of alternative options, including referrals to mental health providers that specialize in this type of therapy.


For more information about RIO or if you wonder if RIO is right for you, contact Dr. Henry Perkins at

Monthly Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training

Help strengthen our safety net for students in distress. Learn how to recognize signs of suicide and how to ask a question about potential suicidal thoughts, persuade someone to get help, and connect them to appropriate resources. We offer trainings for students as well as for faculty and staff. QPR is not therapy or a crisis service. For CAPS crisis support services, please click here 

Dates for QPR Training

For Students:  Friday, May 7th | 10:30am-12:00pm |  Register Here

For Faculty & Staff: April 26th | 10:30am -12:00pm | Register Here