Our groups are facilitated by an experienced practitioner and provide a safe space to learn how to manage difficulties

Wellbeing Groups

Wellbeing Services offers a range of groups to support students during their time at the University of Exeter. Our groups are run by a qualified practitioner and cover a range of topics related to student wellbeing. In order to attend one of our groups, you must be referred by a practitioner within Wellbeing Services. If you would like to attend a group, please book a Telephone Referral Appointment to discuss your current concerns with a practitioner who will then refer you to the group if this is deemed appropriate. 

The practitioner running each group will contact you before you attend the first session to introduce themselves and give you the chance to voice concerns and ask any questions. For some of the groups, you will be offered an orientation session which allows you to meet the practitioner in person beforehand and get a greater understanding of what to expect from the group.


Anxiety Management Group

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, however for some it can start to become an ongoing problem. This course consists of 3 two hour sessions which aim is to give you more information about anxiety and provide useful techniques that you can use throughout life to reduce feelings of anxiety. All of the techniques are based on the principals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

2018 dates:

  • Group 1: every Wednesday from Wednesday 7th February to Wednesday 21st February, 10:30- 12:30
  • Group 2: every Thursday from Thursday 1st March to Thursday 15th March, 14:30 - 16:30

Each session builds on the previous one, therefore we ask for attendance to all three sessions to complete the group.


Mindfulness Course

Mindfulness is a well-researched, non-religious and effective means of alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, and promoting wellbeing. This practical course was designed with the needs of students in mind and has been successfully used with Oxford University students. It primarily aims to teach people skills when they are feeling fairly well which can help with stepping out of the unhelpful thinking patterns that may lead to worsening mood and increasing stress levels. The group runs weekly for eight weeks.

Next dates: 

  • 2018: every Friday from Friday 11th May to Friday 1st June, 10:00 - 11:30 

Each session builds on the previous one, therefore we ask for attendance to all sessions to complete the group.


Compassion Focused Course

Compassion is “sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a deep commitment to try to relieve it”. Developing compassion involves acknowledging that we all face difficult situations at times and accepting any mistakes we may have made. If we can support ourselves through these challenges, with kindness, we are likely to feel better.

When depressed or anxious, it is very common to focus on what we see as our own shortcomings. We can become very self-critical and expect criticism and rejection from others. This can lead to many strong negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness and shame. If we’ve had experiences of being criticised or under threat from others, and few experiences of feeling protected or soothed by others, it can be really hard to know how to soothe ourselves. Developing self-compassion and our ability to soothe ourselves can help to manage distress and difficult feelings. It can also increase positive feelings of acceptance, contentment, and kindness, which are crucial for our wellbeing.

In this 6 week course we will be learning ways to soothe ourselves to manage distress and emotions such as anger, fear, disgust and shame. Compassion is something that we can develop to help us become more nurturing in our relationships to ourselves and others.

Next dates:

  • 2018: every Tuesday from Tuesday 20th February to Tuesday 27th March, 10:00 - 12:00

Each session builds on the previous one, therefore we ask for attendance to all six sessions to complete the group.


Autism Social Group

The Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) Group welcomes any student at the University of Exeter who identifies with autism spectrum conditions (such as Asperger’s syndrome) or believes they would benefit from being involved. The  social group is facilitated by two AccessAbility mentors, Lindy and Sasa, who attend each social helping to run activities and support those who may feel anxious or apprehensive about taking part.

It doesn’t matter when you get involved in the year, you’re welcome any time. Some students come a few times a term whilst others come to every group. You’re able to attend at any point in the session too whether you just want to pop in for 10 minutes or stay throughout. It’s totally up to you. The group runs over lunch time and you’re welcome to bring along your own lunch or snacks.

We always welcome student ideas and input but typical activities for the group include:

  • Board games, cards or crafts
  • Getting to know other students and chatting about different topics
  • Organised trips for students to go out e.g. bowling, cinema.


  • Wednesdays 12:30pm - 2pm on a fortnightly basis.
  • Dates for term 3: 2 May, 16 May, 30 May.


  • Laver LT3 , Laver Building, Streatham Campus.
  • This is different from last term.

What do the students think?

‘I’d encourage everyone who has difficulty overcoming social anxiety to come to these events for some light hearted games and interactions with others who have similar problems.’

‘An excellent, welcoming and laid-back group with no pressure and complete mutual understanding’


If you are interested in finding out more about the group or have any questions, please email accessability@exeter.ac.uk. We will happily share more information and welcome students to join at any point.


Fatigue Social Group

In September 2018 we will be starting a group for students who experience fatigue. Students do not need to have a formal diagnosis of a specific condition; we welcome anyone who feels they would benefit from meeting other students who have similar experiences at university.

There is an initial informal meeting on Thursday 24 May, 11:30am-12:30pm in the Activities and Volunteering Conference Room, first floor Devonshire House. AccessAbility Advisors welcome any ideas about what you’d like this group to involve. Come along and chat with us and other students over tea, coffee and cookies.

Contact AccessAbility@exeter.ac.uk for more information.