Ongoing one-to-one support

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of being a student? If feelings of stress, anxiety or depression are getting in the way of your academic progress, the From Intention to Action Program (FITA) can help.

Ongoing support and encouragement from someone at the university can be one of the most important factors in your well-being and academic success. FITA offers a blend of personal and learning support for up to 12 sessions – the length of an academic semester. It requires commitment, but the benefits are worth it!

Contents

FITA Program Office New location — Room 167
Benefits Personal supportive counselling and academic skill building
FITA Eligibility You are a U of T student, undergraduate or graduate, who feels overwhelmed and wants to be proactive
How it works Intake, assessment, goal setting, 12 counselling sessions with a Graduate intern
Contact The FITA Coordinator at fita@utoronto.ca
Tanya Lewis Director Academic Success and Accessibility Services
Dr. Liz Tarshis Psychologist, MEd Counselling Psychology Supervisor
Adina Burden Disability Counsellor, MSW Supervisor
Meghan Litteljohn FITA Program Coordinator & Learning Strategist
Elizabeth Lee Counselling Psychotherapy Intern
Alice Salamon Counselling Psychotherapy Intern
Rachel Holt Masters of Social Work Intern
Yang Du Masters of Social Work Intern

FITA Program Office - NEW LOCATION

The FITA Program Office is now located in the lower level of the Koffler Student Services Centre, in Room 167. To find Room 167, walk through the main Student Success Centre space, down the stairs and follow the hall to the left, all the way to the end.

If you have any trouble or any questions, please call 416-978-4525 or e-mail Meghan or FITA directly: meghan.litteljohn@utoronto.ca | fita@utoronto.ca.

Benefits of FITA

The FITA program can help you to:

  1. Cope with stress, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem
  2. Balance school, life and work
  3. Develop healthy habits around sleep, nutrition and exercise
  4. Manage procrastination and develop organization skills
  5. Cope with culture shock and adjustment to life at U of T
  6. Navigate the University’s administrative and academic systems
  7. Develop academic skills (reading, writing, test preparation, study habits)
  8. Cope with academic challenges and academic probation
  9. Explore identity and transition issues (cultural, sexual, disability, educational, career, personal)
  10. Gain insight into unhelpful thinking habits and patterns of behaviour
  11. Cultivate self-regulation and self-efficacy, set goals and increase motivation
FITA Team photo

Eligibility

The FITA program is for students who are feeling overwhelmed and want to commit their well-being and academic progress. Undergraduate and graduate students in any U of T program are welcome.

How it works

If you want to take a proactive approach to increasing your academic and personal resilience, and would benefit from individualized, consistent support over 12 sessions, contact us to request an application and consider making a commitment to the program.

Following the intake process, we will work together to assess your situation and understand more about how you learn and cope with stress. This feedback will then guide your goals for up to 12 sessions with a counselling intern. Counselling interns are in the second year of their Social Work or Counselling Psychotherapy Masters programs at U of T. Students in FITA may also access the support of a Learning Strategist as needed.

 

Contact

To find out more or schedule an intake interview, please contact the FITA Coordinator, Meghan Litteljohn at 416-978-4525 or fita@utoronto.ca.

Tanya Lewis

Director, Academic Success and Accessibility Services

Tanya Lewis is the Director of the Academic Success Centre and Accessibility Services. She has been at U of T for four years and held a similar role at Ryerson for eight years. Tanya has a PhD from OISE UT, and her interests include critiques of the medical model; critical theory; the intersections of creativity and learning and experiential learning.

Tanya Lewis

Dr. Liz Tarshis

Psychologist, MEd Counselling Psychology Supervisor

Dr. Liz Tarshis, Ed.D., C.Psych. is a registered psychologist who has been working at the University of Toronto for over 22 years.  She has been with UTSC Health & Wellness for most of that time working as a personal counsellor. She also provides supervision to graduate level interns in psychology and counselling. Liz obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from McGill University and her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston University. She also works part time for the Toronto District School Board providing counselling and psycho educational assessments. Liz has a particular interest in mindfulness and psychotherapy.

Dr. Liz Tarshis

Adina Burden

Disability Counsellor, MSW Supervisor 

Adina Burden is a registered social worker who has been working in various capacities at the University of Toronto since 2007, most recently as a Disability Counsellor at Accessibility Services since 2012.  Adina holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Social Work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University.  Adina also completed a Certificate in Solution-Focused Counselling from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at U of T.  Adina has interests in critical disability studies, human rights and access to education, and narrative and solution-focused therapy.

Adina Burden

Meghan Litteljohn

FITA Program Coordinator & Learning Strategist

With a background in education and program development, Meghan’s work has been shaped by a love of reading and learning, a strong belief in access to education, and a desire to work with students to overcome systemic barriers. She is pursuing a Masters of Education in Developmental Psychology, and has interests in literacy development, different learning abilities, equity & social justice, holistic wellness, creativity and mindfulness.

Please see the note above about the new location for Meghan's office and the FITA Program office.

Meghan Litteljohn

Elizabeth Lee

Counselling Psychotherapy Intern

Program of Study: M.Ed. Counselling and Psychotherapy, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), U of T

Academic & Professional Interests: I hope to help and empower the adolescent/young adult population through various modalities of psychotherapy, including: Client-centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Emotion-Focused Therapy

Personal Interests: reading (especially the Harry Potter series), de-stress by running, hiking and camping! 
Why I want to work with the FITA program: FITA’s holistic approach aligns well with my personal biopsychosocial approach to health and my intrinsic interest to support students navigating through this transitional/pivotal moment makes me so appreciative of this opportunity. 

What I wish I had known when I started university: This life stage is all about exploration and cultivation; it’s okay to not know exactly who you are and what career you want to go into.

Fun fact about me: I am addicted to chess! 

Elizabeth Lee

Alice Salamon

Counselling Psychotherapy Intern

Program of study: M.Ed. Counselling & Psychotherapy, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), U of T

Academic & Professional Interests: Success and persistence in post-secondary studies, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Mindfulness

Personal Interests: Enthusiastic bibliophile, passionate yogi, mom of two, and fervent life-long learner.

Why I want to work with the FITA program: I believe many students’ academic experiences would be greatly enriched by participating in the FITA program. With over 10 years experience working with post-secondary students, I am excited to support students' emotional development to flourish in their studies.

What I wish I had known when I started university: There are so many avenues of support! These are the years of personal growth and discovery. I wish I had stressed less and lived more in the moment.

Fun fact about me: In my spare time, I teach yoga.

 

Alice Salamon

Rachel Holt

Masters of Social Work Intern

Program of study: Masters of Social Work, Specializing in Mental Health and Health, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW), U of T

Academic & Professional Interests: I have various academic and professional interests including but not exclusive to: grief, loss and bereavement, mental health advocacy, mood and self-esteem work, social justice, and access to education. 

Personal Interests: Animal care and advocacy, dance and aerobic exercise, playing and listening to music, gardening, cooking and being outdoors!

Why I want to work with the FITA program: As a student myself, I recognize how difficult and stressful university can be as each student experiences their own unique set of responsibilities, stressors, and diversities. I have also come to recognize how powerful it can be to access support from sources of strength including friends, family, and the resources available to us in the academic community. I feel privileged to be a part of the services offered to students at the University of Toronto and look forward to supporting individuals in finding, recognizing, and building upon their own strengths and resiliencies to work towards balance and fulfilment in their lives. 

What I wish I had known when I started university: Focus, dedication, and hard work can all be important ingredients in achieving academic success. However, practicing self-care, and taking the time to nurture the body, mind and soul through whichever means make sense to each individual are such important ingredients to growth, vitality, and happiness. 

Fun fact about me: I have two rescue cats who both love to play fetch and drop the ball right back into my hand! They are the best!

Rachel Holt

Yang Du

Masters of Social Work Intern

Program of study: Masters of Social Work, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW), U of T

Academic & Professional Interests: My interests lie in mental health and the therapeutic modalities that can be used to promote it.

Personal Interests: I have recently discovered the joy of solo travelling! I also enjoy a good laugh so I enjoy all sorts of comedy - TV shows, stand-up, improv, etc. Physics too - everything from quantum mechanics to relativity; the universe is way too interesting!

Why I want to work with the FITA program: I know that university can be an exciting but also stressful time for many, especially combined with stresses from their personal lives. Therefore, I am glad for the opportunity provide some much-needed support for my fellow students!

What I wish I had known when I started university: That it's okay to explore other areas and change majors if you are starting to get the sense that you're not actually suited to what you had picked instead of trying to power through a program that does not excite you anymore.

Fun fact about me: Podcasts are taking over my life. I'm subscribed to around 50 and that number is slowly increasing.