Written by: Helena Mazzarella
“It’s okay to ask for help.”
As information for on-campus counseling services flooded students’ emails this past semester, I spoke to Kellie Berger, the Director of Counseling Services at Adrian College, to discuss the services further and how they can help AC students.
This semester, there are four free counseling groups offered to students. All therapy groups are virtual and are run by licensed professional counselors. Between February and April, weekly sessions are offered for the Multi-Focus Men’s Group, Depression Group, Multi-Focus Women’s Group, and Anxiety Group.
The Multi-Focus Women’s group is open, meaning new members can join the group session at any time. The three remaining groups are closed sessions— to participate in the session, you must register for the entire session length.
When asked why the unique groups, Berger said that “After a survey was sent out regarding counseling services, [faculty] based the group choices off of what students viewed as important. While we weren’t able to hit all of the desired groups, we implemented the two highest-ranked choices (anxiety and depression groups) to start. We will continue to add additional options for next semester.”
This semester, all counseling groups are being held virtually. Berger stated, “Virtual counseling allows students to continue to receive services during the pandemic when most face-to-face options have been left for emergency situations.”
Besides lessening direct contact to stop the spread of COVID-19, there are additional benefits to virtual counseling services. Berger explains, “[Virtual counseling] allows students to receive counseling services from the comfort of their own space and reduce commuting times.”
Similarly, Berger believes that “There are a lot of benefits that can [come from] participating in counseling services in both one-on-one and group settings. The goal is that students will develop the skills and knowledge to change self-defeating behaviors or habits. They will become more self-aware and learn coping skills and stronger communication skills. Hopefully, through counseling, [students] will become better equipped to navigate obstacles on their own.”
Students today are facing immense amounts of stress and pressure in all aspects of their lives. Between school, sports, the pandemic, and just life in general, some days will inevitably be better than others. Berger says, “Students should seek counseling when they feel like they are having more days than not that are mentally distressing and/or they are coping with their feelings in unhealthy ways.”
To someone apprehensive or nervous to participate in counseling, Berger assures, “It is completely okay to be nervous and unsure. [These services] are the first time some students go to counseling, so they probably aren’t sure what to expect. I would recommend reaching out to simply gather information about counseling and the process. This could be through an email or phone call. After they have more information, the student can decide to move forward with an appointment or not. With counseling, the student is always in control of the process. They always get to decide what they want to talk about or not, and when they want to start or stop the services.”
If you or someone you know needs counseling, call or email to register:
517-265-5161 EXT. 4214