Events and workshops
Online Connect: a space for conversation
Don't just survive but thrive!
At a time when life may feel unsettling and overwhelming, it’s good to have the opportunity to talk and connect with others who may be experiencing life in a similar way. Online Connect groups will be facilitated by a Student Counsellor and Study Mentor (Mental Health) and may be particularly helpful if you are waiting for an appointment or would like some support quickly.
The groups are facilitated by Luke and Natasha (get to know them at the bottom of this page!) and will be limited to eight students. Each session will last for up to 1.5 hours and the schedule is listed below.
Online Connect is a student space for conversation with our experts, although it is not group therapy. The group will discuss topics that participants bring to the conversation and there is no fixed agenda. Groups are very good environments for working through interpersonal issues or social anxiety and they provide a unique opportunity to learn about yourself with the support of others. Feeling heard by others can be a particularly healing experience.
We have serveral upcoming groups which you can sign up for:
- Wednesday 20 May at 14:30
- Wednesday 27 May at 14:30
We hope you can join us.
How to sign up
To join an Online Connect session please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, with your preferred group time slot.
You will be sent a short form to complete in advance of participation in the group.
How does it work?
The groups will take place using Microsoft Teams and participants can choose to use audio only or both audio and video. We will send you further details on how to join Microsoft Teams when you sign up. If you are unable to login to your scheduled group on time, we will move you to a future session to avoid distrupting the ongoing group conversation.
The facilitator will give a brief introduction and explanation about how you can use the group and will ask everyone involved to commit to making the space confidential. Make sure you are in private, comfortable space so that you can fully engage with the session.
Here are some suggestions to help you get the most from an Online Connect session:
- Bring whatever is there; whatever is affecting you, whatever you are aware of.
- Share what you want with the group and the group will work with you.
- Seek to clarify or expand, to understand more, either about yourself or others.
- Avoid storytelling and try to concentrate on what is happening in you, at the moment (thoughts, feelings, sensations).
- Try to be open and non-defensive. Defensiveness keeps communication at a level of debate.
- This is an opportunity to be different, to explore and express feelings which you might not normally express.
Get to know the facilitators
Luke Williams - Student Counsellor
I am a qualified person-centred psychotherapist who works both here at Imperial and in private practice. I have been working professionally for 7 years and am a registered member of the UK Council of Psychotherapy. I work with individual clients and facilitate groups. I enjoy helping clients connect, understand and express themselves as they explore their beliefs, values, decision-making processes and patterns of behaviour. Before re-training as a psychotherapist, I worked in operations management, training and education both in the UK and abroad. I do my best to offer an empathetic, non-judgemental space and believe given the right conditions clients explore what is important and meaningful to them. I enjoy finding out about people and helping them deepen their self-understanding so they can explore and utilise the options available to them and become more confident autonomous individuals. I find groups are a particularly potent and alive place to do this, so I am especially enthusiastic to facilitate this type group here at Imperial.
Natasha Cunningham - Study Mentor (Mental Health)
I work in the Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service as a Study Mentor - Mental Health. I am a qualified Integrative Counsellor, accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. My background is in the helping professions including healthcare, public services and charitable agencies where I have worked for over 10 years. I enjoy working with people in an empathic, non-judgemental way; thinking with them about what is important for their own needs, interests as well as what they would like to achieve. I am very much looking forward to facilitating these groups at Imperial.