Counseling services see increase in student patients

Requests by students for counseling services have doubled in comparison to last semester – in the first four weeks of school.

So far, 90 students have sought assistance from counseling services, compared to 48 students in the entirety of last semester.

Fifty-one students requested assistance from counseling services in the first two weeks of the semester alone.

Angie Trzepacz, director of counseling services, said these students are both new clients and those returning from last year.

There are currently three full-time counselors, three part-time counselors and two practicum students providing assistance to students.

Trzepacz said counseling services is in the process of hiring a new male counselor to help manage the increased need for services.

There has not been a decrease in the number of counselors from last semester.

A male counselor will be something new to the counseling services staff.

There are currently about a dozen students on the waiting list at the counseling center seeking assistance.

Those who do not want to wait are encouraged and have the option of seeking assistance from the psychological center.

Laura Liljequist, director of the psychological center, said they usually see high student traffic through the academic year and provide many different counseling services for students.

“The psychological center is an option for students to lessen their current symptoms and distress and to learn coping strategies to prevent the reoccurrence of problems later in life,” Liljequist said.

The psychological center has nine advanced graduate student clinicians available to counsel students. These clinicians are supervised by three licensed psychologists.

The psychological center, as well as the counseling center, is free to students.

Both centers keep all counseling, student information and paperwork completely confidential.

The counseling center primarily provides individual therapy to students, but does occasionally give couple or group therapy. They also provide basic coping and relaxation tools to students.

Jenna Youngblood, junior from Benton, Ky., said counseling services helped her in more ways than she could imagine.

“Going to counseling services was able to make me feel better in life, and lead me in the right direction,” she said.

Youngblood said she encourages all students who are struggling with any personal issue to seek assistance from counseling services.

Counseling services is located in the Oakley Applied Science Building in room C104 and is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Those who wish to make an appointment may drop by during office hours or send in a request for service.

The counseling center also offers resources, such as help lines to be used outside of its hours.

The psychological center is located in Wells Hall in room 401 and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Those who wish to make an appointment may also drop by during open hours or request service.

Trzepacz said Murray State students wishing to seek help from counseling services should know they have nothing of which to be ashamed.

Said Trzepacz: “If students need help, we are here and happy to help in any way that we can.”

 

Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff Writer