Our Workshops

Compassionate Mind Training: becoming a better friend to yourself

This five-session workshop is an introduction to Compassionate Mind Training. Compassionate Mind Training is an approach that can help people to manage self-criticism by developing a more compassionate and balanced outlook. Being self-critical is often a longstanding tendency that affects different aspects of life, including studying, interacting with others, and trying out new activities. When we frequently criticise ourselves, this can lead to other problems, such as anxiety, low confidence, shame, and low mood. Research has shown that developing more compassion for ourselves and others can have beneficial effects on our moods, wellbeing, and relationships. The first aim of the workshop is to help people to make sense of how our minds have developed over time, in order to explain how we can all get stuck in loops of self critical patterns of thinking. The second aim to reduce the impact of self-criticism on our lives by developing more compassion for ourselves, using experiential exercises. 

You will have an opportunity to:

- develop an understanding of the way our minds have developed, which can get us into habits, such as self criticism

- start to develop a more compassionate approach to your thinking and behaviour

- practise different exercises during and in between sessions to become both more mindful of the flow of our thoughts and more compassionate to difficult feelings

- share experiences in a safe environment with other students with similar issues

The workshop is open to anyone who feels that self criticism is impacting on their lives, and who would like to develop a more compassionate approach to themselves.


5 Wednesday sessions 11.45am  - 1.15pm

7th, 14th, 21st, 28th October and 4th November

Intimate Relationships 

Today we love what tomorrow we hate,

today we seek what tomorrow we shun,

today we desire what tomorrow we fear (D. Defoe)

Forming satisfying intimate and sexual relationships can feel daunting at times…

We can experience difficulties in getting close, by fear of being rejected or taken over, not understood or undervalued, ignored or criticised, manipulated, or of feeling vulnerable,

For some, close relationships never seem to move beyond a platonic stage and develop into intimacy,

For others, relationships can become volatile and end up destructively, create insupportable anxiety and insecurity, or seem out-of-reach,

Or we feel like we do not even know how to get started…

‘I feel like I am not in or out...’ (M.)

In the Intimate Relationships workshop, we will look together through five weekly sessions (2h) with group discussions, sessions in pairs, and individual reflective work at the following aspects around intimacy :

· We will share and identify your specific concerns about intimacy

· Learn about unconscious processes in choosing (or not choosing) a partner

· Explore personal patterns of relating in intimate relationships

· Discuss difficulties about sexual relationships

· Understand more about disruptions in relationships (crisis, betrayal and ending)

· Reflect and safely experience new possibilities for intimacy

This workshop is largely experiential.

Please ensure before applying that you can attend all sessions.


5 Friday sessions 9.30am - 11.30am

9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th October and 6th November

Mindfulness Meditation 

'Mindfulness' or increased 'Awareness' lies at the very heart of meditational practice. Although traditionally associated with eastern spirituality, mindfulness can be practiced by people from all walks of life.  The cultivation of 'mindfulness' as a sensory quality, facilitates a new way of 'being' and can have highly significant effects on the way we experience life both internally and externally.  

This clear sense of 'seeing' can allow us to make friends with our thinking mind and in some cases transcend it.  Such practice can bring about a deep sense of inner peace and a fresh acceptance of reality itself.  Mindfulness heightens your ability to focus and greatly improves concentration levels, which may be of great use in academia as well as life in general.

This innovative programme will take place over five weekly sessions, each of 2 hours duration. 

This programme will help you to:

  • improve your focus and concentration levels
  • explore the nature of how your mind works
  • explore how your mind creates unhealthy thought processes
  • achieve a robust and healthy mind, accept reality and the world around you
  • work towards acceptance of unhealthy emotions
  • achieve a deep sense of calm, patience and stillness
  • grow and mature as a true human being

This will be particularly helpful for students experiencing depression, anxiety or any condition involving a highly ruminative fast-thinking mind.

IMPORTANT NOTE - commitment to the full 5 sessions is imperative as is the diligent undertaking of daily life meditation tasks between sessions. Students should consider this carefully before applying to the programme.


5 Thursdays sessions - 12pm to 1.30pm

8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th October and 5th November

Sleep and Insomnia

Stressed, under pressure, anxious or depressed: in any of these states, a good night’s sleep is often one of the first things to go. Then, over time, poor sleep and bad sleeping habits can become entrenched in one’s life. 

This workshop is designed to help overcome the obstacles to sleep: to help establish a healthy, good-sleep-promoting routine, to find ways to manage anxieties that get into one’s mind at night, and to learn relaxation and other techniques that can make a difference. But dealing with established insomnia is never easy.

Workshop members need to be ready to make difficult changes and be prepared for things to get worse before they get better.


4 Monday sessions 9.30am to 11am

5th, 12th, 19th, 26th October

Finding it Hard to Settle at UCL?

Settling into a new University for some can feel a bit of a struggle and this could be for many reasons:  such as moving to a new city, being away from family and friends, living in new accommodation, getting use to a different language and culture, to name but a few. 

This four session workshop will help you develop the skills to manage your transition to UCL. You must be able to attend all sessions to get the best out of this workshop.


4 Fridays 12pm to 1.30pm

16th, 23rd, 30th October and 6th November

Managing Anxiety

This five weeks Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Group will help you to understand your anxiety, and learn skills which can be used to overcome it.  The focus will be on looking at how your current thoughts, feelings and behaviours interact to maintain your anxiety.  

The group will be a confidential and safe place for you to talk about your thoughts and feelings.  CBT is an evidence-based therapeutic approach which has been shown to be efficacious for anxiety. 

Participants will need to attend all the sessions. To get the most benefit from the group you will need to take an active approach towards tackling your anxiety and this will include participating in group discussions and completing weekly tasks between sessions.


5 Wednesday sessions 2.15pm - 4.15pm

7th, 14th, 21st, 28th October and 4th November

Managing Low Mood

The workshop focuses on helping participants to understand their experience of low mood as a function of the extent to which they find life rewarding, and then aims to equip them with skills to work towards a life which is qualitatively more rewarding.  The theoretical underpinning for the workshop is CBT, drawing heavily on principles of behavioural activation.

Behavioural tasks are brought in early, with participants learning to understand the importance of engaging in positively reinforcing activities and addressing avoidance as means of addressing low mood. 

The workshop is suitable for participants with low mood or mild depression, who feel comfortable participating in an interactive group and feel ready to engage in learning practical skills to improve their mood state. 


5 Thursday sessions, 3pm - 5pm

8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th October and 5th November

Managing Uncertainty

The Managing Uncertainty workshop is for students who have found that their efforts to try to avoid life’s unpredictability and uncertainty has resulted in them avoiding taking risks; being over- prepared;  having difficulty making decisions and sticking to their decisions; and  experiencing ever increasing  anxiety levels despite their efforts to minimise anxiety provoking situations. 

Each week this  5 session workshop addresses the areas that exacerbate and maintain difficulties with managing uncertainty. Theory, exercises, discussion and take-home tasks to try between sessions are all part of the workshop. 

 To get the maximum benefits from this workshop it is necessary to attend all 5 sessions and to be prepared to try out the in-session exercises and take-home tasks.


5 Tuesday sessions 9.15am-11.15am

6th, 13th, 20th October and 3rd, 10th November

Facing Anxiety together and how to manage it

· The workshop starts by discussing what anxiety is.  We think about its origins in biology and its role as a reaction to danger in the external world and then move on to how anxiety functions in our internal world; in particular the various factors that play a role in it, including the interaction of thoughts, feelings, behaviour and the body.  We then consider the various maintaining causes of anxiety, such as avoidance, lack of self-care, lack of assertiveness, body tension. 

· We then concentrate on the role of negative thinking and unexamined beliefs in maintaining anxiety.  In this context we explore a little the internal world in terms of possible roles we may take.  We discuss how to challenge this negative self-talk and these mistaken beliefs and the importance of tolerating uncertainty and some degree of anxiety.

· A central part of the workshops is having a go at thinking about how unexamined or unconscious feelings and the way we deal with them may create anxiety.  An important aspect here is the development of a critical self/conscience which both plays an important role in social life and behaviour but can also create problems if it is too severe.

· We discuss the meaning of kindness and its link to vulnerability and reality. This provides an approach to the idea of being self-compassionate towards oneself. There is a brief section on using breathing and relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety.

· The main idea is to encourage a reflective, questioning and compassionate approach in the participants towards their own difficulties, allowing more tolerance of difficult feelings and helping changes to take place.  There are quite a lot of exercises to help the participants explore and engage with the issues, sometimes in pairs and sometimes in small groups. 

Characteristics of suitable people for this workshop: students with some interest in exploring their own internal world and the meaning of their anxiety


5 Friday sessions 2.15pm to 4pm

9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th October and 6th November


This four-session workshop aims to help students to understand and manage some of the difficulties around self-acceptance that can impact on interpersonal relationships and academic performance, and which can lead to low mood and anxiety, affecting our quality of life. 

The workshop is composed of four 90-minute sessions in which participants will develop a framework for understanding the dynamics of self-acceptance.  The workshop aims to increase the participants’ awareness of how our difficulties with self-acceptance develop, understanding how and why they are maintained or exacerbated, and to question how we might achieve a more fully self-accepting relationship with ourselves.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

- Consider ways of changing unhelpful thinking patterns

- Cultivate a more accepting relationship to themselves

- Share experiences with peers who have similar issues

- Change their behaviour

The workshop is open to all students who feel that issues around self-acceptance are affecting their quality of life.


4 Monday sessions, 12.30pm - 2pm

5th, 12th, 19th, 26th October