Groups & Workshops

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About our groups and workshops:

Student Counseling Services (SCS) offers a range of 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 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 Summer or Fall 2024 courses.

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

group counseling space with empty chairs

Why join?

Our groups and 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. 

Educational Workshops

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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

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 - 2:30 PM  (virtual)  

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

To register, complete this sign-up form 

Attack Anxiety Workshop

The Attack Anxiety 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.  Four total sessions, recurring through the semester.

Tuesdays 10:30 - 12:00 (in-person)  

Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Gisel Suarez Bonilla

To register, complete this sign-up form 

Inner Balance Workshop: Tools for Balanced Living

The inner balance workshop helps students live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, manage your emotions, and improve your relationships with others. This semi-structured group utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). In DBT, the core goal is to balance acceptance and change, so the workshop will review sets of acceptance skills as well as change skills. Skills are further divided into four skills modules: mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. Four total sessions, recurring through the semester.

Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:30  (virtual)

Facilitator: Siming Xie

To register, complete this sign-up form

Affinity Groups - In Collaboration with our UMN Campus Partners

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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 Dr. Rev Martin Luther King, Jr Program

Fridays 10:00 - 11:30  (virtual)    
Starting Fall '24 semester 

Facilitators: Greg Sawyer (SCS), Mari Weigel (the Care Program), Melanie Johnson (MLK)

To register, complete this sign-up form

BIPOC Mental Health Collective

The Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Collective (MHC) was formed in January 2019 due to a community desire to create a radical healing space to foster conversations around the topic of Mental Health and Wellbeing in our communities. We acknowledge that much of the current resources/services at the University of Minnesota fit within traditional white western mental health framework and our collective strives to disrupt that model. Our group is open to students (undergraduate and graduate), staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota. This is a space for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA), Desi, Asian, and/or People of Color voices, experiences, and stories. Mixed race, QTIPOC, and trans-racial adopted folks, we see you and welcome you into the space.

Every third Thursdays of the month 11:30 - 1:00 PM

To RSVP, please complete this 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 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program

Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:15  (in-person)

Facilitators: Gisel Suarez Bonilla (she/her; SCS), Joselin Navarro (she/her/ella; SCS), Marisela Rodriguez-Gutierrez (she/her/Ella; MLK), and Sonyna Castillo (she/her/ella; MLK) 

To register, complete this sign-up form

International Student Support Group

International students are a significant part of the UMN community. We recognize that international students often face unique challenges. These bi-weekly meetings offer a supportive and safe space on Zoom for international students to discuss specific topics relevant to mental health (adjustment/transition, academic stress, relationship issues, work-life balance, etc.), share your own experiences, and develop practical skills to cope with challenges.

Fridays (bi-weekly) 11:00 - 12:15  (virtual)

Facilitator:  Siming Xie (he/him/his)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Mandarin-Speaking Student Support Group 欢迎加入我们的中文学生互助小组!

We are delighted to invite all students who speak Mandarin to join our group. This group aims to create a safe and supportive space for meaningful connections, where you can share information, resources, and experiences. Feel free to engage, connect, and explore together as we foster a sense of belonging within the Mandarin-speaking community. Your unique perspectives contribute to the rich diversity of our group. Let's build connections and support each other on this shared academic journey!


Fridays (bi-weekly) 11:00 - 12:15 (virtual)

Facilitator:  Siming Xie (he/him/his)

To register, complete this sign-up form

Jewish Student Affinity Group

This space invites students to gather and support one another in our experiences and identities as Jews. Join us in this confidential group to explore topics including but not limited to: our college experience, antisemitism, socio-political climate, culture, and community. 

Tuesdays  2:30 - 3:45  (virtual) 

To register, complete this sign-up form

Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim Student Affinity Group

This space invites students at the U of M to gather and support one another in our experiences and identities as Palestinian, Arab, and/or Muslim students.  

Join us in this confidential space to support and share our experiences with events happening in Palestine, the Middle East, and elsewhere.  This space is designed to create community and offer support in addressing our emotional and mental health needs, including experiences of Islamophobia and other forms of oppression and injustice.

Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00  (in-person)

Starting June 4th - July 30th on the East Bank (Specific location will be provided upon registration)

Facilitators: A Palestinian Mental Health Counselor and a Muslim Egyptian U of M Staff member.

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 1:00 - 2:15  (virtual)
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  (virtual) 
Facilitator:  Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff
Section 2: Thursdays (bi-weekly) 2:30 - 4:00 (virtual) 
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 2:30 - 4:00  (virtual)
Facilitators:  Lauren Scholder, Greg Sawyer

Section 2:  Thursdays 3:00 - 4:30  (in-person)   
Facilitators:  Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff

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  (in-person)
Facilitators:  Alexa Fetzer, Emily Eng

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.