Group Therapy

CPT for Sexual Assault Survivors

Day and Time: Mondays 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.

Starting Date: January 29th, 2018

Weekly Sessions: 10 sessions, 2 hours each

Content: This trauma focused therapy group is intended for students who experience PTSD and related conditions as a result of sexual trauma. The goal of Cognitive Processing Therapy is to improve one’s understanding of PTSD, reduce distress related to the trauma memories, decrease emotional numbing and avoidance, decrease anxiety, guilt/shame, and improve day-to-day living.  All participants will be required to meet for an assessment prior to joining the group and will be expected to complete regular out-of-session practice assignments.


  • Sexual Assault Survivor
  • Current McGill student (part-time, full-time or continuing education)
  • Female-identified
  • Meet sub-threshold or full criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis (To be assessed in interview)
  • Conversational English


Do I need a PTSD diagnosis to join the group?

No. A PTSD diagnosis is not necessary to join group therapy.  Common symptoms include intrusive thoughts or nightmares, an increase in negative thoughts or feelings, hypervigilance,  and avoiding certain people or locations that remind you of the experience.  Other symptoms can although occur. If the impacts of the assault are causing you distress or preventing you from fully participating in your social, educational or professional life, this group may be right for you.

Why is the group reserved for female-identified students?

We strive to create a space in which students feel as comfortable as possible sharing very personal experiences.  Having a gender-specific group and a student-specific group fall under the goals of creating a safer environment for disclosing sexual trauma and impacts.  Female-identified students were chosen as the majority of people accessing our services are female-identified students.  We hope to be able to expand our offer of services soon to include a group for male-identified McGill students!

How will the group uphold participant confidentiality?

Confidentiality is an crucial element of any therapy process.  Participants will sign a contract agreeing to uphold the confidentiality of the meetings, so that what is shared within the group will not be discussed with outside members.

Who will be facilitating the group?

Émilie Marcotte, MSW, ts    

Sexual Violence Response Advisor

A licensed social worker in good standing with the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ), Émilie has over eight years of experience working in the fields of gender-based and sexualized violence in Montréal.  As McGill’s Sexual Violence Response Advisor, she acts as the first point of contact for members of the community looking for support and information in cases of sexual violence.   

Zahara Madhavji, MSW, PST, CFT       

Therapist, Counselling Service

A therapist with McGill Counselling Services, Zahara has over twenty years of work experience in both the public and private health sectors.  She has worked in individual and couple/family contexts and addressed a variety of clinical issues, such as anxiety, depression, bereavement, illness, disability, suicidal risk, and conjugal violence. A licensed social worker, psychotherapist and couple & family therapist, as well as a member in good standing of both the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ) and the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ), Zahara works within a strength-based, client-responsive, resilience-focused approach.  

What does the assessment entail?

One of the facilitators will meet with you to determine whether group therapy meets with your current needs, and your readiness to engage.  During the assessment, we will discuss what the group entails, expectations regarding participation, and your expectations in joining.  

Where will the sessions be held?

The O-SVRSE is located at 500 Sherbrooke W., which is in the same building as the Blue Cross offices! To reach our office, suite 585, take the West Tower Elevators marked 1-11 (end of the hallway on the right).  

What about accessibility?

We strive to create an accessible and inclusive space.  If you require additional accomodations, please discuss during the assessment interview.

  • The building is wheelchair accessible via the main entrance on Sherbrooke. Wheelchair accessible washrooms can be found on the main floor but not on the 5th floor.
  • The washrooms on the 5th floor are accessible by a small set of stairs and are not gender neutral.
  • Please avoid wearing scented products as the office is a scent-reduced space.  
  • Floor lamps are available upon request.  


Have questions? Interested in joining?

Please contact emilie.marcotte [at] (Émilie Marcotte) to book an appointment! 

Tel: 514-398-4486