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 students who are enrolled in Fall 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 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, Chieh-Yu Liao

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.

Wednesdays 1:30-3:00
Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Kara Bauer

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 12:00-12:45
Facilitators: Chia-Chen Tu, Nikolai Guimaoutdinov

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 MLK Program, and TRIO Student Support Services

Fridays 10:00-11:30 Starting October 1st 
Facilitators: Greg Sawyer (SCS), Cassie Edlund (SCS), Melanie Johnson (MLK Program), Jesse Lewis (TRIO)

To register, complete this sign-up form

DACA and Undocumented Student Affinity Group

This is a space for University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students (undergraduates, graduates, and professional students) who are Dreamers, Undocumented, DACAmented, and/or a part of a Mixed Status family. In our weekly meetings, we envision co-creating a space to cultivate community and receive support. As a group we could explore topics such as navigating the University system, mental health, relationships (including the disclosure of immigration status), professional/major/career exploration, xenophobia, racism, colorism, various additional intersecting identities, current events (including changes to immigration law/policy), and other topics the group identifies.

We know that privacy/confidentiality is of utmost importance, and all group members are expected to maintain privacy/confidentiality in regards to the identities and stories shared. There will be 30-minute individual orientation meetings for any student who is interested in the group to learn more about your goals for participation and to answer any questions you may have. Although group members may come with various immigration statuses we hope to create space to support one another.
In collaboration with the Immigration Response Team, and the RWJF Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program

Thursdays 4-5 pm Starting October 14th
Facilitators: Nina Hernandez Beithon (SCS), Marissa Hill-Dongre (Immigration Response Team), Hemant Persaud (RWJF Research Leaders Program

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

Tuesdays 3:00-4:15 Starting Sept 21st
Facilitators: Nina Hernandez Beithon (SCS), Rayna Narvaez (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.   

Day/Time TBD
To indicate interest, complete this sign-up form


Pláticas: Latinx 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.

In collaboration with President's Emerging Scholars Program (PES)  

Tuesdays, 1:00-2:00; Starting Sept 28th
Facilitators:  Nina Hernandez Beithon (she/her; SCS), Alex Montes (she/her; Boynton Mental Health), Steve Cisneros (he/him; PES)

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, 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: 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

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 1:00-2:30 
Facilitators:  Alexa Fetzer, Rayna Narvaez

Section 2:  Wednesdays 2:00-3:30
Facilitators:  Alexa Fetzer, Chieh-Yu Liao

Section 3:  Thursdays 3:00-4:30
Facilitators:  Jake Loeffler, Nikolai Guimaoutdinov

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 3:00-4:30   
Facilitators: Sarra Backham-Chasnoff, Lauren Scholder

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.