Groups & Workshops

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About our online groups and workshops:

Student Counseling Services (SCS) offers a range of online educational workshops, affinity groups to connect and create community, and counseling groups for increased support in moving toward healing or change around specific challenges. Students can learn new skills and strategies, connect with one another, and share difficulties and experiences in a safe, supportive online environment. Some groups and workshops meet for the entire semester, and others for 3 or 6 weeks. Groups and workshops are open to all UMN-Twin Cities campus students who are enrolled in Spring 2022 courses.

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Why join?

Our workshops provide opportunities for students to:

  • Receive emotional support        
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Enhance self-esteem and self-confidence    
  • Improve social skills 
  • Decrease loneliness and isolation
  • Learn to deal with personal issues and resolve conflicts
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Talk with other students who have similar experiences

How to join:

For educational workshops and affinity groups:  Complete the brief registration form by clicking on the associated link (below).  Facilitators of the workshop will reply via email with next steps for joining.  

For counseling groups: Email us at [email protected] or talk to your SCS counselor to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitators to learn more. 

Email us with your general groups and workshops questions at [email protected].

Boynton Mental Health also offers group counseling services and workshops.

Educational Workshops

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Taking Charge When Emotions Overwhelm

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions?  Have your emotions ever affected your behavior or relationships in ways you later regret?  If so, this workshop is for you!  Members will learn skills and strategies for managing emotions, and will have the chance to practice these strategies in each online session.  Members will also have the opportunity to share their experiences using these new skills.  Five total sessions, recurring through the semester.

Tuesdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators:  Alexa Fetzer, Rayna Narvaez

To register, complete this sign-up form

Anxiety ACTion Workshop

The Anxiety ACTion workshop helps students better understand their struggles with anxiety, and learn new ways of pursuing a full and meaningful life. This semi-structured group utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which teaches students to see their personal experiences and relationships from different perspectives, and to act in valued ways that allow them to relate differently to anxious feelings, depressed moods, worrying thoughts, and self-defeating behaviors. Three total sessions, recurring through the semester.

Fridays 11:00-12:30
Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Chieh-Yu Liao

To register, complete this sign-up form

Mindfulness Mondays

Feeling Overwhelmed?  Stressed out?  Need a break from the noise and chaos of everyday life? Would you like a peaceful space to connect with other students and yourself?  The Mindfulness Monday workshop is a place where you can learn and practice ways to feel more grounded in the present moment. Each Monday, we will be introducing exercises aimed at helping you engage with your emotions gently and intentionally. Join us on Zoom each week and start your week feeling more centered!

Mondays 4:00-4:45
Facilitators: Chia-Chen Tu, Kara Bauer

To register, complete this sign-up form

Affinity Groups - In Collaboration with our UMN Campus Partners

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Affinity Group for Asian/Asian American Students

This space invites students at the U of M to support mental and emotional health in our Asian experiences and identities.  Join us in building community through sharing about our individual mental health journey and experiences in school and our communities.

In this space, we will create room to support and share about our college experiences, personal growth, xenophobia, racial in/justice, community needs, and other topics that impact our mental well-being as students and Asian community as a whole.  We acknowledge Asian identities are complex and we are committed to holding this space sacred for all participants.   

Tuesdays, 2:00-3:00
Facilitators:  Mae Moua (SCS), Kong Her (APARC)

To register, complete this sign-up form

BAAAM! - Black, African American, African Meeting space

This space is designed to provide an affirming and supportive environment for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who identify as Black, African American, or African here at the U of M. In this confidential and courageous community environment, we will talk about topics including, but not limited to: school stress; lived experiences as Black/African American and African students at a PWI; experiences related to our identities; stereotypes; micro/macro aggressions; socio-political climate; racial in/justice; relationships; culture; community; family; and moments that bring victory and joy. Hope to see you there!  

In collaboration with the MLK Program, and TRIO Student Support Services

Fridays 10:00-11:30 
Facilitators: Greg Sawyer (SCS), Kifaya Bishop (SCS), Cassie Edlund (SCS), Melanie Johnson (MLK Program), Jesse Lewis (TRIO)

To register, complete this sign-up form

BIPOC and/or LGBTQI+ Honors Student Affinity Group

This affinity group provides affirming and supportive space for LGBTQI+ and/or BIPOC identified students in the University Honors Program (UHP). Our goal is to build community and a sense of belonging for those who hold marginalized identities. As a group, we could explore identity development, personal growth, managing mental health as an Honors student, equity/inclusion within the program, and other topics the group identifies.

All group members are expected to maintain privacy/confidentiality in regards to the identities and stories shared. Students can reach out to facilitators regarding confidentiality and group expectations. 

In collaboration with the University Honors Program (UHP)

Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30, Starting February 1st

Facilitators:  Kifaya Bishop (SCS), Rebecca Aylesworth (UHP)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Folx Like Me: Community and Connection for Queer-Identified Students at the U

Folx Like Me is a space for all queer-identified students to find community and support around their lived experiences. In this space we may discuss/explore relationships, cisheteronormativity, racism, belongingness and other issues that impact our community.

We acknowledge that queer identities may be diverse and expansive. This is a safe and inclusive space for all: transgender and non-binary individuals, individuals on the asexual/aromantic spectrum, queer/trans people of color and many more! We value and encourage maintaining privacy and confidentiality in this space regarding participants and subjects discussed.

This space is facilitated by a trauma-informed, Russian, transmaculine non-binary bisexual person, and a transmasculine non-binary queer Latinx and disabled person.

In collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life (GSC)

Tuesdays 1:30-2:30 

Facilitators: Nikolai Guimaoutdinov (they/them; SCS), Layton Hernandez (he/they; GSC)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Mixed/Multiracial Connections

This is a space for mixed/multiracial folks to explore our lived experience being part of multiple racial communities. As mixed/multiracial folks, we can explore the relationship, connection and disconnection we may feel to our identities, family, friends and community as well as the resiliency we hold that is unique to our experience in being connected to multiple racial and cultural groups. In this space we will work together to affirm one another, better understand ourselves and our community, explore our identities, and the systems that impact us and our mental health, such as colorism, heteronormativity, cisnormativity, racism, sexism, fatphobia, and other systems that impact us in the world. In understanding these systems as mixed/multiracial folks, and following the murder of George Floyd, we can work to understand our place in social movements when social and historical trauma continues. 

We acknowledge that colorism shows up in mixed spaces and we commit to actively co-creating a space where all mixed folks, not just those mixed with white, are able to show up. The group is facilitated by two trauma informed queer mixed therapists.

In collaboration with Boynton Mental Health

Wednesdays 11:45-1:00 Starting February 16th
Facilitators: Nina Hernandez Beithon (SCS), Rayna Narvaez (SCS), Alex Montes (BMH)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Platicas: Latinx Graduate Student Connection Space

Pláticas: Latinx Connection Space is a virtual weekly group for Latina/e/o/x students to come together and discuss specific needs, themes, challenges, joys, and identities in our community. Some of the themes we may discuss include: colorism, language, belongingness, indigeneity, mestizaje, gender roles, religion and spirituality, immigration, and ongoing events that impact our people and communities.

We acknowledge that within the Latinx community there are many different identities, experiences, and preferences in how we describe ourselves. We invite this variety in lived experiences and trust that each of our identities and stories will add to our group and discussions. Sometimes we can wonder if we belong and if these spaces are for us. We want to honor how vulnerable it can be to consider joining a community space and hope to affirm your belonging and enoughness. Come as you are and we hope you will join us and explore these reactions, wonderings, and questions together.

Tuesdays, 1:00-2:15 Starting February 15th
Facilitators:  Nina Hernandez Beithon (she/her; SCS), Alex Montes (she/her; Boynton Mental Health)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Counseling Groups

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Chronic Condition and Pain Support Group

A group for students who have a chronic condition or who experience chronic pain to provide and receive support. Individuals may be in any stage of their condition (i.e. recently diagnosed, struggling to find a diagnosis, in remission), and a formal medical diagnosis is not needed to join the group. Members give and receive support around the experiences of living with a chronic condition and/or pain while also being a student, and share coping strategies with one another in a safe environment.

Thursdays 11:30-12:30
Facilitators:  Alexa Fetzer, Kara Bauer

To join, Email SCS at [email protected] to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitator

Dissertation and Thesis Support

These groups meet every other week to provide support and focus on problem-solving strategies for graduate students at the dissertation or thesis stage. These groups fill quickly, and there is frequently a waiting list for an opening. Space becomes available as students complete their degrees.

Section 1: Thursdays (bi-weekly) 3:00-4:30               
Facilitator: Alexa Fetzer

To join, Email SCS at [email protected] to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitator

Understanding Self and Others

Do you want to develop better relationship skills? This group provides an opportunity to learn from each other, while giving and receiving support around the many personal issues that students deal with. Participants will help each other develop greater self-awareness and increased ability to have satisfying relationships. Relationships, self-confidence, balancing demands, and more–this group will address the issues of greatest concern to its members.  

Section 1: Wednesdays 3:00-4:30 
Facilitators: Alexa Fetzer, Chieh-Yu Liao

Section 2: Thursdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators: Jake Loeffler, Kara Bauer

To join, Email SCS at couns[email protected] to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitator

Grief Support Group for Students Who Have Lost Parents or Siblings

An opportunity for students who have lost a parent or sibling to share their stories, while giving and receiving support around the many issues faced during the grieving process. Participants will be able to discuss their loss in a safe and supportive setting with others who have been through similar experiences. 

Section 1: Tuesdays 12:45-2:15  
Facilitators: Lauren Scholder, Rayna Narvaez

Section 2: Thursdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators:  Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Nikolai Guimaoutdinov

To join, email SCS at [email protected] to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitator

*Please note: Educational Workshops and Affinity Spaces are available to students outside the state of Minnesota. Counseling groups are only available to students who are residing within the state of Minnesota.