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Intervention Services provides free counseling for students

If students don’t have enough cash to get counseling, the School of Intervention Services is offering it for free.

Courtney Holmes, assistant professor in the School of Intervention Services, said free counseling services are offered every spring and fall semester. If enough students come, free counseling will sometimes be offered in the summer, Holmes said.

The free counseling is conducted by students in the school, and Holmes helps give supervision to the students giving counseling.

Jaimee Prieur, graduate assistant in the School of Intervention Services, said the free counseling program has had about 100 clients so far, some of whom must go as part of class assignments.

Holmes said the number of students that come to free counseling changes every year.

While some students have heard of the free counseling service, they haven’t utilized it.

Junior Lacy Hoening said she plans on using the service, but hasn’t had a chance to yet. She said she thinks it is a “great resource” and likes that it’s free.

Sophomore Courtney Spears, while never having gone to free counseling, thinks that it’s a good idea for students who want someone to talk to.

Holmes said people come in for things such as relationship and family trouble, as well as suffering from things like anxiety and depression.

Holmes said the free counseling program is part of the graduate students’ training in counseling.

Prieur is one of the student counselors, and also helps to schedule students for counseling sessions.

Working as a counselor through the School of Intervention Services is a part of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs, which is an accreditation program that helps students become licensed counselors.

Prieur said she likes being a counselor because she gets to apply what she’s learning.

“It’s really great that we get the opportunity to work with real clients so early,” she said.

Prieur said this is her first year counseling and she has four appointments each week.

Aside from counseling, the student counselors can also observe each other. The clients and counselors are observed through a two-way mirror, all with the clients’ knowledge.

Prieur said observing other counselors helps her become a better counselor.

“When you’re outside of [sessions], you can pick up on things that you wouldn’t if you were trying to concentrate in the session,” she said.

Holmes said she likes the service because it gives students another place to go.

“We supplement the great services that are already offered,” Holmes said.

To schedule a counseling appointment with the School of Intervention Services, call 419-372-2081.

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