Groups & Workshops

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About our 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 who are enrolled in Fall 2022 courses.

*Groups and workshops listed below are offered online, unless otherwise noted.  Face masks are required for any in-person groups offered at SCS.

group counseling space with empty chairs

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: Contact us at 612-624-3323, email us at [email protected] or talk to your SCS counselor to schedule a groups screening/information meeting with group facilitators to learn more.

Please note: While many of our groups and workshops remain open for the duration of the semester, some do have a maximum capacity and close to new students when capacity is reached. Please contact us to learn more about the status of each group, and how you can join a group in future semesters if it is currently closed. 

Boynton Mental Health also offers group counseling services and workshops.

Educational Workshops

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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.

Tuesdays 2:30-4:00
Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Kate Picard

To register, complete this sign-up form

Academic Stress Workshop for Graduate Students (Pre-Recorded)

Feeling stressed about graduate school? Want to gather some insight and skills on ways you can better manage the stress of your program? Join staff from Student Counseling Services and Student Academic Success Services to discuss emotional response, skills, and strategies for tackling issues like procrastination, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome.

Facilitators: Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Jenny Steiner

View the pre-recorded workshop series here

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, Sierra Paup

To register, complete this sign-up form 


The Sex Ed Class You Wish You Had

Much of the sex education in this country is fear and abstinence based. This can leave many people to their own devices (or porn *not saying porn is a bad thing, but there can be misconceptions that can stem from it) when it comes to learning about sex, consent, sexuality and its impact on our overall well-being. Sex is a healthy and normal part of development and we believe that everyone has a right to safe and inclusive education and discussions about sex. The Sex Ed Class You Wish You Had is an interactive group space, tailored to the needs of our group members. We know that a lot of sexual education curriculum is based in cisgender, white, heterosexual, thin, able-bodied, monogamous, vanilla, Allosexual norms, so this group tailors sessions to be inclusive of all folks in the space, and with a sex-positive and trauma-informed lens. 

All participants are asked to keep other participant information confidential: what’s said here stays here; what’s learned here leaves here. Some of the topics we hope to explore include reproductive anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases and how to protect oneself, consent, pleasure, substance use and sex, body image and sex, porn, what healthy sex looks like, and much more!

In collaboration with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE)

Fridays 1:00-2:15 
October 7th  -  Nov 11th , 2022

Facilitators:  Nina Hernandez Beithon (she/her; SCS), Dan Piñon (she/her; SCS), Mick Castro (he/him; MCAE)

To register, complete this sign-up form 

Affinity Groups - In Collaboration with our UMN Campus Partners

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Asian Students Affinity Group

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 journey with personal wellness during our experiences in school and in 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 to thrive 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.  

In collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC)

Mondays 12:00 - 1:00
Starting October 24th

Facilitators:  Mae Moua (SCS), Sarah Rost (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 Care Program, and the department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD)

Fridays 10:00-11:30    
Starting October 7th

Facilitators: Greg Sawyer (SCS), Kifaya Bishop (SCS), Jesse Lewis (OLPD), Marrie Weigel (the Care Program)

To register, complete this sign-up form

BIPOC and/or LGBTQI+ Honors Student Affinity Group

This affinity group provides an 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)

Wednesdays 2:30-3:30
Starting September 28th, 2022

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

To register, complete this sign-up form 

First Together!: Affinity Group for First Generation Undergrad and Graduate Students

Feeling overwhelmed or disconnected? Nervous about visiting the financial aid office? Stressed about expectations from family or worried about family members at home? While many first generation students are quite academically skilled, navigating policies and procedures in college and expectations from various sources can be challenging. This affinity group is designed to support students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) did not complete a four-year college degree. Participants are encouraged to share how their first generation identity interacts with their personal and academic life. The focus of each meeting will be based on members' needs and interests. We hope this group provides first gen students a sense of community and supports them to achieve personal, academic and career goals.

Thursdays 3:00 - 4:30
Starting October 13th, 2022

This group is offered in person at Student Counseling Services (3rd Floor, Appleby Hall) Masks are required for in-person meetings at SCS.

Facilitator:  Chia-Chen Tu (SCS) and Ntxheb Chang (SCS GA)

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 trauma informed, mixed therapists.

In collaboration with Boynton Mental Health Clinic (BMHC)

Wednesdays 11:45-1:00
Starting October 12th

 Facilitators: Nina Hernandez Beithon (SCS), Dan Piñon (SCS), Alex Montes (BMHC)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Pláticas: Latinx Connection Space

Pláticas: Latinx Connection Space is a virtual weekly group for Latina/e/o/x undergraduate and graduate 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 enough-ness. Come as you are and we hope you will join us and explore these reactions, wonderings, and questions together. 

In collaboration with Boynton Mental Health Clinic (BMHC) and the Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. Program

Tuesdays 1:00-2:15
Starting October 4th 

Facilitators: Nina Hernandez Beithon (she/her; SCS), Alex Montes (she/her; BMHC), Marisela Rodriguez-Gutierrez (she/her/Ella; MLK Program) 

To register, complete this sign-up form

Counseling Groups

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Chronic Condition and Pain Support

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

To join: Contact SCS at [email protected] or 612-624-3323 to schedule a group screening/orientation meeting with group facilitators

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 of their programs, who have passed oral preliminary exams and/or their dissertation/thesis proposals.  These groups fill quickly, and there may be a waiting list for an opening.  Space becomes available as students complete their degrees.

Section 1: Tuesdays (bi-weekly) 2:00-3:30 
Facilitator:  Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff
Section 2: Thursdays (bi-weekly)2:30-4:00 
Facilitator:  Alexa Fetzer

To join: Contact SCS at [email protected] or 612-624-3323 to schedule a group screening/orientation meeting with group facilitators

Grief Support Group for Students Who Have Lost Parents or Siblings

An opportunity for students who have lost a parent or sibling in their life 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. We know not all families look alike; some of us were raised by our grandparent or foster parent. Grief Support Group is inclusive of your family's definition of "parent" and "sibling" and can include the loss of any primary caregiver (e.g., parent, grandparent, uncle/aunt) or a peer-aged relative in the same household (e.g. cousins, siblings) whom you were raised with or by.

Section 1:  Wednesdays 2:15-3:45
Facilitators:  Lauren Scholder, Greg Sawyer

Section 2:  Thursdays 3:00-4:30   
Facilitators:  Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Donna Phonsane

To join: Contact SCS at [email protected] or 612-624-3323 to schedule a group screening/orientation meeting with group facilitators

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, Kate Picard

*Section 2:  Thursdays 2:30-4:00   
Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Sierra Paup

*Section 2 is offered in person at Student Counseling Services (3rd Floor, Appleby Hall)  Masks are required for in-person meetings at SCS.

To join: Contact SCS at [email protected] or 612-624-3323 to schedule a group screening/orientation meeting with group facilitators

*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.