Student workshops

Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free workshops and group programs on a range of personal development, mental health, and wellbeing issues. Mental health training, including Mental Health First Aid, is also available. For enquiries related to our workshop, group, and training program, email caps-workshops@unimelb.edu.au

Resilience and wellbeing series

Learn a range of fundamental skills to better cope and adapt to life's challenges.  

WebinarDescription Webinar recordings
Growing through change and uncertainty Change is inevitable - some changes are expected, while others can come out of the blue and leave us feeling uncertain and overwhelmed. Join this webinar to understand common reactions to change, learn adaptive strategies to manage the difficult feelings that can accompany change, and uncover new perspectives and opportunities that change can bring. Watch recording
Boundaries and effective communication Understand what healthy relationships look like, the importance of boundaries and how to set them, and effective negotiation and communication skills to resolve conflicts. Watch recording
Managing stress and how to relax Understand how our bodies and minds respond to stress, and how this knowledge can help you build relaxation skills. You will also be guided to learn a range of evidence-based relaxation strategies. Watch recording
Changing negative thinking Identify common unhelpful thinking patterns that can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, and other difficult feelings. Learn and practise how to reframe and balance your thoughts. Watch recording
Let it go: unhooking from unhelpful thoughts and worry During stressful or uncertain times, we can easily get caught up in worries or persistent negative thoughts, but this is often not useful. Learn and practise ways to unhook from unhelpful thoughts so they have less power over your life. Watch recording
Better sleep This webinar aims to help you understand the factors that impact on sleep and offer strategies to get a better night's sleep. Watch recording
Managing difficult emotions Learn more about your emotions and why your attempts to control them can sometimes leave you feeling worse. Join in to develop practical skills to better respond to strong emotions while living the life you want. Watch recording
How to be kind to yourself Understand what self-compassion is (and is not!), and how this approach can enhance motivation and resilience. Learn practical ways you can show yourself a little kindness when you need it most. Watch recording
Building connections: Overcoming loneliness and isolation Feeling connected and having a sense of belonging is a natural desire to have as a human being. This webinar will explore the challenging feeling of loneliness we all experience sometimes, and ways to connect when we feel disconnected. Watch recording
Strengthening motivation How do we motivate ourselves to get things done when we don't feel like it? Learn how to identify your values and use them to plan and carry out effective actions, so that you can do what matters most even when difficult feelings arise. Watch recording

Enhance your learning series

Learn strategies to enhance your study and learning experience.

WebinarDescription Webinar recordings
Optimising focus and attention This webinar aims to help you better understand what attention is and how it works. You'll be able to identify the factors that affect focus, and learn about a range of strategies to build your concentration. Watch recording
Overcoming procrastination: Managing your thinking Do you put off doing study until the last minute even though you know it’s going to cause you stress? This webinar aims to help you identify unhelpful thoughts that lead to procrastination and learn strategies to challenge them so that you can study more efficiently. Watch recording
Overcoming procrastination: Practical tips and strategies This webinar guides you through a range of practical strategies to help you study more effectively, feel more competent, and reduce the likelihood of leaving your study to the last minute. Watch recording
Studying on the spectrum People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can perceive the world differently from others. This webinar can be useful for people who identify as being on the spectrum or neurodivergent, their family and friends, staff or other people with an interest in this area. It can help you identify common issues you may face as a student with ASD traits, better understand the neurodivergent brain, and learn practical strategies to thrive in your study and uni life. Watch recording
Dealing with exam anxiety It's normal to feel tense and worried in the face of exams. This webinar will help you understand what causes exam anxiety, and cover our top tips to manage it so you can be at your best for your exams. Watch recording

Anxiety management programs

We all feel anxious at times, but it's possible to learn ways to manage this so that it doesn't get in the way of life. Find out more about anxiety and how to cope effectively through these programs.

ProgramDescriptionDate/timeRegistration
Beyond study: Overcoming social anxiety This three-week online program will help you understand social anxiety and offer strategies to overcome it. Fri 26 Aug 
Fri 2 Sep
Fri 9 Sep 

1 - 2pm 
Completed
Break free from anxiety group programFacilitated by CAPS counsellors, this online program aims to provide a supportive group environment for students to connect with each other, and learn a range of strategies to manage stress and anxiety more effectively through small group discussions and experiential exercises. This requires a commitment to attend all 4 x 1.5 hour sessions. Tue 30 Aug
Tue 6 Sep
Tue 13 Sep
Tue 20 Sep

10.30am - 12pm 
Completed

Mindfulness programs

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness, curiosity, and acceptance. Regular practice can help us better manage stress and anxiety, improve our focus, engage more fully in life, and take effective action.

ProgramDescriptionDate/time Registration and recordings
Midday mindfulness  These sessions aim to introduce the experience of cultivating calm and wellbeing from within. Give your brain a break from study or work by joining a CAPS counsellor in a guided mindfulness meditation.

All students and staff welcome.
Every Monday and Wednesday
12 - 12.30pm

(Running from Mon 1 Aug - Wed 16 Nov)
Completed
Mindfulness for stress management group program  This online group program aims to provide a supportive learning environment for participants to develop a regular mindfulness practice to better manage stress.

This requires a commitment to attend 6 x 1.5-hour weekly sessions and 20 minutes of practice per day. All students welcome.
6 consecutive Thursdays, starting Thu 11 Aug - Thu Sep 15
 
2.30 - 4pm       
Completed

International student programs

Reflect on your experience as an international student and extend your social network. Gain support from counsellors and other international students in learning ways to adjust to a new environment, build meaningful relationships, and maintain positive wellbeing. 

ProgramDescriptionDate/timeLocationRegistration
International student discussion group: Social connectionsFacilitated by CAPS Counsellors, this is a 3 x 1.5 hour in-person discussion group program. We aim to provide a supportive space for international students to share experiences around cultural adjustment, making and deepening social connections, navigating interpersonal conflicts, and developing coping strategies to cope with stress or other challenges you may experience in the process of settling into life in Melbourne. You're welcome to attend 1 or 2 or all 3 sessions as it suits you!Mon 19 Sep, Mon 26 Sep, Mon 3 Oct, 2.30 - 4pm Parkville Campus, location provided on registrationCompleted
WebinarDescription Webinar recordings
How to make challenging (or tough) decisions (CAPS x UMSUi Collaboration) We make decisions everyday; however, some choices are not easy to make. “Do I stay in Melbourne, or move back to my home country?”, “Do I stay in this relationship, or leave?”, “Do I stay in this job - or quit?” Join this webinar to hear from UMSU International students, CAPS counsellors, and your peers about their experiences, and workshop how to make sound decisions in difficult situations. Watch recording
How to manage family and societal expectations (CAPS x UMSUi Collaboration) "My family spent quite a fortune to support my studies, so I have to make them proud." "Should I become a ... like everyone else, or pursue a career I'm truly passionate about?" Sound familiar? We carry expectations from family, society, and ourselves. Although expectations can motivate us, they can also sometimes overwhelm us. Join this webinar to share your experiences, hear from UMSU International students and CAPS counsellors, and explore ways to effectively manage expectations. Watch recording

Graduate researcher (GR) programs

ProgramDescriptionDate/time Registration and recordings
Graduate research: Early tasks and considerations   In this online workshop, co-facilitated by Academic Skills and CAPS, you'll learn about the most important tasks of early stage candidature (pre-confirmation) including establishing first-year goals, critically reviewing the literature, and refining your research topic; developing habits to prioritise your wellbeing and work-life balance; setting up an effective supervisor-student relationship; and psychological strategies to build resilience and sustain yourself for the research journey. Tue 23 Aug, 1.30 - 3pm Completed
Going the distance: Sustaining motivation in the graduate research journey Facilitated by CAPS counsellors, join this online workshop to share ideas for navigating changes in motivation throughout the graduate journey, and how to stay on track. You’ll develop a toolkit of strategies to generate motivation and tackle procrastination as a GR, and learn how to build healthy self-care habits to sustain yourself over the long haul. Mon 12 Sep, 1.30 - 3pmCompleted
Addressing imposter syndrome and quietening the self-critic with self-compassionGraduate research can be a rewarding journey, and have times when it can leave many GRs doubting their abilities or feeling like a 'fraud'. In this workshop facilitated by CAPS counsellors, we’ll unpack what ‘imposter syndrome’ is and learn strategies to handle it. You’ll discover evidence-based tools to overcome perfectionism and address unhelpful expectations you might be placing on yourself, managing your inner critic so that it doesn’t get in the way of you achieving your study and career goals.Fri 7 Oct, 1.30 - 3pmCompleted
Responding to and thriving through expert and public scrutiny of your research This online workshop, co-facilitated by Academic Skills and CAPS, explores strategies for building constructive understanding and psychological resilience in the face of scrutiny of your research. We will discuss effective and practical strategies to engage with critical feedback from supervisors, examiners, and peer reviews. You'll learn to manage your response adaptively to benefit from feedback to enable your research stands up to the highest levels of expert and public scrutiny. Wed 2 Nov, 1.30 - 3pmCompleted

Mental health training

Learn to recognise and assist someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis, including Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.

Learn more and register