Mental health: Outpatient group programs

Mental health: Outpatient group programs

At Markham Stouffville Hospital, we offer a variety of types of group therapy in our outpatient mental health program. A referral from a physician or nurse practitioner is required unless otherwise specified. Please note that all Adult OPMH Groups are being offered virtually through zoom.

Find referral form here.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a behavioural therapy rooted in mindfulness-based practices. The goal of ACT is to find ways to create a “rich and meaningful life” in the presence of our struggles by connecting to who or what matters to us. As we do this, group members may notice barriers, challenges, distressing experiences, and ACT offers skills to handle these experiences differently. ACT is helpful for those who experience depression, anxiety, OCD, chronic pain, PTSD, and more. Two hours weekly for eight weeks.

Art Therapy
A form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of art making to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Promotes problem solving and self-soothing skills, the development of insight and self-awareness and also aims to improve self-esteem, manage stress and enhance interpersonal skills. This program is held two hours weekly for eight weeks. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses negative thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and unhealthy coping behaviours in depression and anxiety. In this group, you will be encouraged to access different coping mechanisms and develop a set of personal coping strategies that you can use to solve current and future problems. We use a type of therapy called behavioural activation and will encourage you to set goals and try out mindfulness exercises. ALL CBT programs are held two hours weekly for 8 weeks.

We also offer:

  • CBT for transitional age youth (age 18 – 26): This group is offered to youth struggling with depression and/or anxiety, combining CBT with a life skills component.
  • Cantonese CBT: A CBT group for people whose first language is Cantonese.

Concurrent disorders group – surf's up!

This group is for people who have both substance use and mental health challenges. The group is a safe, non-judgmental space to:

  • Reduce stigma
  • Learn skills such as CBT, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), mindfulness, relapse prevention, self care and healthy relationships
  • Acquire information about the biology of addiction, neuroplasticity and medications
  • Share experiences

This program is held two hours weekly for 6 weeks

Emotional resiliency

This group focuses on DBT skills to help people learn new strategies for regulating their emotions. DBT skills include mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

The program is held two hours weekly for 8 weeks.

Interpersonal psychotherapy group

This is a time-limited and structured psychotherapy group. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) focuses on relationship problems and on helping people identify how they are feeling and behaving in their relationships. When a person is able to deal with a relationship problem more effectively, their psychological symptoms often improve.

This program is held two hours weekly for 14 weeks.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

This group is for people struggling with low-to-moderate levels of depression and anxiety in addition to health-related conditions such as chronic pain, osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, diabetes or cardiac conditions. MSBR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness and yoga to help people become more mindful and present in the moment, in the midst of stress. This group is held 2 hours weekly for eight weeks.