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Contact Information

Counseling Center

Deb Thorstenson, Director


Student Center 240

1200 S. Jay St.

Aberdeen, S.D. 57401


Phone: 605-626-2371

After Hours Emergency

Northeast Mental Health Center

605-225-1010 or 605-229-1000


Portions of this webpage are used with permission from Hobart Williams and Smith, North Dakota State University, and University of St. Thomas.

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Northern State University
Welcome to the NSU Counseling Center

Study Skills

myNSU - Current NSU students can visit myNSU for additional Counseling Center information, resources and support
What Northern students say about the Counseling Center
"I feel that the Counseling Center is really helping me to cope with things better. It has helped me out a lot." 
"The Counseling Center is what has kept me in school.  With all the pressures of being a parent and step-parent, going to school, and maintaining a part-time job, my counselor  has been the one to keep me sane."
"I really appreciate the counseling services I was given.  They really helped me get through some tough times.  I believe that the counseling service is a necessary part of NSU.  It provides services to students at no cost – a plus because some of us could not otherwise go due to lack of money.  School is a high-stress environment and sometimes students need help.  It’s good to have a place to go to get help."
Northern's professionally trained counselors are specialists in the concerns, problems, and issues of college students. Whether you are adjusting to college for the first time, experiencing "sophomore slumps," or are an older returning student balancing school, work and a family, you will find the staff able to help with the challenges you are facing.



Our services are free and confidential to NSU students and their families.



The Center staff has extensive experience in working with students who have concerns with:


  • Increasing self-understanding
  • Improving confidence and self-esteem
  • Creating healthy relationships
  • Coping more effectively with stress
  • Healing the effects of sexual, physical, digital or emotional abuse
  • Exploring sexual orientation in a safe environment
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Learning about addiction and self-destructive behaviors
  • Overcoming feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Coping with an eating disorder
  • Coping with grief and loss
  • Dealing with loneliness and isolation
  • Homesickness


The NSU Counseling Center views college as part of the journey towards personal growth and development. At times, this journey may call for guidance and support. The NSU Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling, as well as substance abuse prevention, education and early intervention to assist in this journey.


Transition Year

Transition Year is your source for emotional health at college. Whether you need help picking a school that is the best fit, are looking for tips on managing stress once on campus, or want guidance in making a smooth transition for a student dealing with an issue like depression, this site has the tools and information you need. The Transition Year is an online resource center to help parents and students focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition.


It's common to assume that the major obstacle in adjusting to campus life will be academic. However, research shows that emotional issues are most likely to interfere with success at college. Transition Year helps you prepare.



The mission of the Counseling Center, a department of the Division of Student Affairs at Northern State University, is to help students resolve personal difficulties which may interfere with optimal personal and academic functioning and acquire skills, attitudes, abilities, and knowledge that will enable them to succeed in attaining their educational and personal goals.