Ivan Samkov

Conversation circle

This is a supportive discussion circle led by students and coordinated by the Counseling Center to provide students with the opportunity to share joys and challenges and make friends from different fields of study. During these semi-structured conversations there is a chance to meet new people, expand one's worldview, and develop communication skills. At the same time, it is important to follow some principles and values to ensure a pleasant experience.

What are the main values we adhere to?

  1. All participants are equal. Some students may have a moderating and guiding role, but facilitators are also participants themselves.
  2. Confidentiality. Outside the circle, we can share our experiences, emotions, and lessons learned, but not identifiable facts about participants.
  3. We wish the best for each other. We respect each other's needs.
  4. We stand up for our needs. If necessary, we set boundaries but try to step out of our comfort zones and be open to new experiences.

What do the discussion circles look like?

The discussion circles take place every other week at a time and location chosen by the students. Usually in the evenings at 18:00-19:30 on weekdays (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). The group size is deliberately kept small (maximum 12 people) to ensure safety. Each meeting starts with a structured opening, includes free discussion where everyone can participate as much as they want, and ends with a positive closing. It's good if you can attend as many meetings as possible, but agreed-upon exceptions are allowed. However, the more consistent the group composition, the better the group functions, and the more there is to gain from the meetings!

When? This semester, there are five discussion circle groups. Some discussion circles are also planned for the spring.

  1. Group:  Every second thursdays from 18:00 to 19:30 (February 29 - May 9, 2024)
    • : English-speaking group for international students, register here.

Who? The discussion circle welcomes University of Tartu students, regardless of study level or field.

Facilitators? The discussion circles are led by volunteer students trained by the Counseling Center, who are currently enhancing their skills in communication or leadership. Currently, the application process is closed.

Where does it take place? It depends on the participants and facilitators, but usually in Tartu. We will contact participants for precise location details.

The idea for the discussion circles originated from the 'mud therapy' developed by the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement. If you have any questions or problems, contact us at the following email:"

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