New center opens to help students handle stress

Jenny Rohl/The News During finals week, students can consult the help of graduate students in a new counseling center.
Jenny Rohl/The News During finals week, students can consult the help of graduate students in a new counseling center.

Jenny Rohl/The News
During finals week, students can consult the help of graduate students in a new counseling center.

A new counseling center opened in Alexander Hall, staffed by graduate students available to help students handle finals stress.

Kristen Douglas, counseling clinic coordinator and assistant professor of counselor education, said counseling can help in assisting students with working through the underlying issues of test anxiety.

  “Part of this process often includes identifying and reframing negative or faulty thought patterns that increase anxiety while taking tests,” she said. The counseling service also helps students learn coping skills to calm their mind and body for tests. The combination of these help students deal with test anxiety.

The Counseling and Assessment Center through the College of Education and Human Services offers help with test anxiety, roommate conflicts and other struggles students face.

It also offers assessment services: testing for learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, personality assessment and mental health diagnoses. The new center opened on the third floor of Alexander Nov. 18. 

The counseling center is open two days a week this semester: Monday and Friday. Appointments can be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and there is a $10 fee per session.

“We assist clients with all sorts of personal issues and concerns such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, test anxiety, identity issues, relationship concerns, roommate conflicts, coping with stress and grief and loss,” Douglas said.

The counseling service is a training clinic for graduate students training to become counseling professionals and are closely supervised by Douglas, a licensed professional clinical counselor in Kentucky, and by other LPCC counselor education faculty.

The clinic does not have walk-in hours because of a brief screening before clients schedule first appointments, Douglas said. The screening doesn’t take long and makes sure the center is a good fit for the client and their needs, she said. 

“Test anxiety is a treatable condition,” Douglas said.

There are still openings this semester for students who feel overwhelmed by finals or if students are having other problems.

Carly Dothsuk, freshman from Cadiz, Ky., said she doesn’t have test anxiety yet.

“I am really not nervous because I am a freshman, but I am sure when the time comes I will be considerably stressed,” Dothsuk said.

Megan Riley, freshman from Benton Ky., said she is nervous because of stories she heard from others.

“I have heard scary things and I don’t really know what to expect out of the exams,” Riley said.

Story by Brittany Risko, Staff writer