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Virtual Workshops and Gathering Spaces

Welcome to CAPS Virtual Workshops and Gathering Spaces! The workshops are designed to help students 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. For information about our group therapy options, you can take a look at our Group Therapy webpage.  

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Fall 2021 Virtual Programs

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 NU students on both campuses. 

  • Facilitators: Kanika Wadhwa, LCPC and Kenny Washington, PhD
  • Date/Time: Meets every other Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:30 pm, starting September 29th
  • Click here to register

9/29: Gather, Breathe and Rejuvenate. 

Taking a moment to recognize the labor and emotional impact last year took on us. Centering duality of experiences- grief along with joy, loss and hope, ongoing pain and healing. We will celebrate our individual and shared identities as a group, indulge in mindfulness and grounding practices to regain our strengths before beginning another school year.

10/13: Our Stories: A day in the life of a BIPOC student
Discuss themes and topics that are an ongoing part of existence as a BIPOC person through the medium of Storytelling. Racial Battle Fatigue, Imposter Syndrome and Perfectionism among others. Ideas and suggestions are welcome when you register for this session.

10/27- Collective Resilience

11/10- Holistic Healing- part I

12/1-Holistic Healing- part II

Coffee Talk for International Students

Join us for our Fall 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 meaningful conversation, share the experience as an international student and build community. Bring your own hot beverage and join our virtual discussion!

Open to NU students on both campuses.

Facilitators: Angel Cheng, PhD and Qianhui Zhang, PhD

Date/Time: Meets every other Friday, 3:30-5:00pm , starting October 1st

<pClick here to Register
  • October 1: Getting to know your communities
  • October 15:  Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  • October 29: Cultivating a sense of belonging
  • November 12: Building a stress management toolkit

RIO: Recognition. Insight. Openness.

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

  • Gain a deeper understanding of your issue
  • Become aware of your moment-to-moment experiences
  • Take the first steps toward becoming more open and accepting of your experiences, including unwanted thoughts and emotions

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

Open to NU students on both campuses.

Date/Time: TBD

Registration Link: Forthcoming

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 h-perkins@northwestern.edu

Pathways to Resilience (Formerly Stress Management Clinic)

Pathways is a four session psychoeducational workshop series designed to: familiarize NU students with the physiological underpinnings of the stress response; and learn several mind-body strategies to strengthen resilience and enhance the ability to thrive even in the face of adversity. 

When: Weekly Mondays 3-4pm CT

Come to one or all four sessions!  Open to students on both campuses.

Join us on zoom (no registration needed)

11/1:   Taking Stalk

In this session we will discuss:

  • Impact of Covid-19 on our sense of normal; emotional implications of constant fight-flight activation 
  • Learn definition of Resilience
  • Introduce Relaxation Training to counter fight-flight activation

11/8:   The Mind Body Connection

This session will focus on:

  • Impact of worry and over-thinking on performance and sense of well-being
  • Introduction toCognitive Reappraisal  

11/15:  Introduction to Mindfulness

In this session we will:

  • Will introduce and define the basic tools of mindfulness meditation including observing, noting, and non-reactivity 
  • Discuss research on mindfulness 

11/22: Positive Psychology and Resilience

In this session we will discuss how social support, optimism, and finding meaning promote post-traumatic growth 

Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training: Question. Persuade. Refer.

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: Request QPR for students (group of 10 or more) here
  • For Faculty & Staff: Monday, November 8th | 12:00pm-1:30pm CST | Register Here