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 therapy groups for increased support and moving toward healing or change around specific challenges. Students are able to learn new skills and strategies, connect with one another, and share difficulties and experiences in a safe, supportive online environment. Some workshops meet for the entire semester, and others for 3 or 6 weeks. Groups and workshops are open to all UMN students who are enrolled in Spring 2021 courses.

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: 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 Health also offers group counseling services and workshops.

Educational Workshops

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Academic Stress Workshop for Graduate Students

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. Open to all graduate students at any stage of your academic program. Attend any or all three online workshop sessions.

Tuesdays 3:00-4:00
Round 1: Feb 16, Feb 23, March 2
Round 2: March 16, March 30, April 13

Facilitators: Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Jenny Steiner

To register, complete this sign-up form

Living Well: Creating Balance & Meaning During Challenging Times

As you continue facing ongoing life challenges related to the pandemic, injustice, and social upheaval, finding moments of balance and meaning may seem incredibly difficult.  Despite these challenges, you can still thrive. Join our workshop for an opportunity to learn how to implement positive emotions, leverage character strengths, and foster a sense of meaning in your academic and personal lives.  We will learn about the mental and physical health benefits of positive psychology, build skills, and work toward managing the difficult aspects of life in these challenging times.

Tuesdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators: Jake Loeffler, Jessica Weissman

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 off feeling more centered!

Mondays 12:00-12:45
Facilitators: Chia-Chen Tu, Kendra Van Rossum

To register, complete this sign-up form

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.

Wednesdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators: Alexa Fetzer, Jessica Weissman

To register, complete this sign-up form

Affinity Groups (In Collaboration with our 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 MLK Program and Organizational Leadership Policy, and Development (OLPD)

Fridays, 10:00-11:30 - Starting Friday, Jan 29th
Facilitators: Greg Sawyer (SCS), Kifaya Bishop (SCS), Melanie Johnson (MLK Program), Jesse Lewis (OLPD)

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 (BMH)

Wednesdays 1:00-2:00  (Starting Feb 3rd)
Facilitators: Nina Hernadez Beithon (SCS), Alex Montes (BMH)

To register, complete this sign-up form

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.   

In collaboration with Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC)

Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 pm
Facilitators: Mae Moua (SCS), Kong Her (APARC)

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: Leslie Bautista, Rose Simon

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: Mondays 10:00-11:30               
Section 2: Tuesdays 3:00-4:30

Facilitator: Leslie Bautista

To join, Email SCS at [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.

Thursdays 3-4:30
Facilitators: Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Lillian Audette

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: Mondays 3:00-4:30
Section 2: Tuesdays 2:30-4:00 

Facilitators: Mondays - Jake Loeffler, Lillian Audette; Tuesdays - Alexa Fetzer, Jaime Lam

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

White Accountability and Action Group

Do you want to explore your emotions and motivations related to anti-racism work as a white-identified person?  Do you want to practice harnessing some of these emotions and motivations to more actively “show up” for anti-racism work?  The White Accountability and Action Group is a therapy group facilitated by two white-identified therapists that invites white students to explore how we perpetuate racism in our everyday lives, and ways our emotions can get in the way of our ability to interrupt this cycle.  The group’s primary goals are to honestly explore our own racist behaviors and beliefs, to explore and navigate the difficult emotions that arise in this work, and to practice shifting away from white supremacist interpersonal aggressions to create a just, equitable, and inclusive environment.  This group is a space for students who are committed to emotionally exploring their anti-racism approach, who are attentive to addressing white supremacy, and who want to practice accountability with one another.

Thursdays 2:30-4:00
Facilitators: Alexa Fetzer, Meredith Martyr

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.