Student. Often we have a variety of identities, and this identity is one that typically takes over our entire existence. School remains a priority on holidays, vacations, Friday nights, birthdays, and if it isn’t, study-guilt often ensues. Pressure to perform at our best exists 24/7 or 604,800 seconds a week, totalling 31, 000, 000 seconds a year and this accumulation of stress takes its toll as we navigate the rest of life.
Life (or lack thereof) of as a Student or New Grad
In addition, we have an assortment of extracurricular activities, obligatory resume-filling clubs, friends, papers, exams, labs, volunteering, financial worries, and regular existential crises where we re-contemplate every decision we have ever made up until this point in time, filling our minds and souls with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. FOMO is a regular occurrence, along with lack of sleep, expectation to “be healthy” and have a balanced lifestyle, while simultaneously supporting family, friends, and ourselves with boundaries, values, and communication strategies.
All this to say, student life has a unique set of challenges that are presented to us in packages often sold as success, intelligence, privilege, or obligation. Our dreams are masked with systemic barriers and the resources in place often don’t yield enough support to keep us feeling grounded and secure.
That’s why we are here.
We are a group of mental health professionals, that have also endured the trials of academia. We value authenticity with genuine opinions and real connections. We hold warmth and approachability in high regard, alongside our deep appreciation for education even as we grapple with its challenges.We understand not only student burnout but life burnout, when there just isn’t enough time for anything, and every decision is clouded by the uncertainty of what to prioritize. We understand school-oriented trauma as we have all experienced the physiological toll of exam stress, the suffocating weight of ‘not being good enough’, and having our identity be diminished to the worth of a grade.
However, we have also established places where we aren’t worried about being a burden, where we don’t feel the pressure to do things ‘exactly right’, where we are able to just be ourselves without judgement, and where we can talk about whatever we want to talk about without fear of judgement or fear of confidentiality, and we want that for you as well.
Our therapeutic specializations include:
- All Empirically-Based Therapies: We love science and want you to as well. We are experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and counselling, and use principles of business strategy and trauma-informed therapy to tailor our approaches to your unique needs and goals. If you are ever curious about what type of therapy is best for you, or how therapy actually works, feel free to ask anytime, as we are always loaded with research on how to heal.
- Feeling Lost in Planning Your Future: What internship to take, what job to find, what resume strength to highlight – these decisions shape your future and are based on a range of unknown variables. We can support you in piecing apart what makes you happiest while balancing your heart and mind in choosing where to go next. Having concrete tools for decision-making, conflict resolution, and self-doubt will help you align your passions with practicality while solidifying who you want to become and how you want to get there.
- Gaining Perspective and Direction in our Global Future: Existential guilt, conflicting values, and fears of what the future world will bring us is often additional noise in our minds when we are trying to pursue our dreams and find hope in our future. Having a therapist with an anti-oppressive, body positive, sex positive, socially-just mind who can not only relate, but has tools to fine-tune what matters to you to help solidify the contributions you want to strive for in this world.
- Mental Health as a Value: Our generations are built of people that understand the importance of having great mental health, but don’t necessarily know how to get there. As counsellors, we have concrete steps, tangible principles, and variances of techniques that we consistently re-evaluate to ensure that your therapy is relevant and effective throughout your journey.
- Inter-Generational Challenges: How to effectively support parents while maintaining alignment with your values and identify what are your core beliefs versus societal pressures. Often generations have different definitions of respect, independence, happiness, and fulfillment, and family intentions of support don’t necessary translate to one being supported. The desire to make our families proud consistently remains, and by reframing the fear of disappointment we can enhance family relationships and strengthen interpersonal dynamics.
- Support on How to Navigate Diagnoses: Clinical depression, generalized anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, ADHD, and C-PTSD are some of the few disorders that are often thrown our way. They are often based on check boxes, or a short doctor’s appointment and often don’t have time to consider context or overlapping characteristics or symptomologies. We support in discussing “word on the street” side effects of medications, benefits as well as challenges, typical things to expect with a new diagnosis, and how to separate stress responses with medical conditions.
- Navigating the Ever-Changing Expectations of a Student: It’s hard to keep up with the school system let alone the unique expectations of each prof and having a therapist on your side to help prioritize, understand, and normalize everything that you are managing can help with your focus, reducing anxiety, and finding a sense of ease. Stabilizing the expectations of ourselves, and expanding our self-worth is essential for life within the school system, and a therapist can identify your blindspots and strengths to balance reality with expectation.
- Neurology Being Wired for Comparisons: The nature of comparing not only is built into our brains, but also built into school structure resulting in patterns of comparisons within ourselves and our peers. The competition of limited academic placements, constant evaluation, black and white success and failure, reinforces and highlights the brain’s desire to focus on consistently being better, as opposed to what is currently working for us or our self-worth. Identity work builds on our belief in ourselves, our confidence, and expansion of our strengths.
- The School-Relationship Prioritization Dilemma: Who do we prioritize in a relationship, when both people are under stress and needing to prioritize other things. Sex, jealously, communication, and commitment are all important challenges to discuss with a professional who can guide you on the questions to ask and helpful strategies to support your relationship.
- Fear of Being a Burden: Feeling guilty about financial pressures, misaligned coping mechanisms, can combine resulting in further isolation, disconnection, and difficulty focusing. Having a therapist as a support that you can email, or just book a session online with when you need it (we don’t believe in waitlists), or disclose things to without impact on personal relationships, can alleviate the fear of adding stress or concern to loved one’s lives.
- Maintaining Motivation while in Active Burn Out: Separating out strategies that do and don’t work for you in finding the drive to continue when it feels like your body is shutting down, your needs aren’t being met, and your mind, body, and soul are tired. Self-care is often a distant concept as a student, and discovering ways to prioritize yourself and success is vital when navigating an academic career.
We have free phone consultations where we support you in finding a therapist, so you don’t have to add more research to your already busy to-do list.
Check out our availability here to book the 15 minute counsellor-match phone consultation, where one of our specialized team members will chat with you to figure out which therapist is the best fit for you, how to know when you find the right fit, psychoeducation around the counselling process, or just time to answer any other questions you may have.
We offer sessions 8am-10pm, 7 days a week, so you have flexibility with your academic schedule, as well as both in-person and virtual sessions without a waitlist so you get the help when you need it.
Student Counselling Coverage
Counselling is often covered by University and College student benefit plans.
Please see an upcoming list of links to their pages soon 🙂