North Texas Daily

Discovery Park’s counseling center offers more help for students

Discovery Park’s counseling center offers more help for students

November 02
19:29 2016

Stress is a part of every college student’s life. Whether it’s anxiety or a more serious concern, UNT’s counseling center at Chestnut Hall has been valuable to students. And now Discovery Park’s new counseling center that opened Sept. 7 will deliver the same services to their students.

“Our services consist of personal and career counseling, and dog breath, which is a weekly workshop,” outreach coordinator Lasandra Ward said. “One of the benefits of the new location is that it is more readily available for students at Discovery Park. When students reach upper class-man years, often they don’t have a need to come on the main campus, so counseling services at Discovery Park increases the accessibility and adds convenience.”

Dr. Ward is providing counseling services Wednesday by appointment. Thursday mornings the director, Tamara Grosz, is another clinician. She does Dog Breath, which is a weekly therapy group on Mondays and on Thursdays at 10 a.m. with her poodle, Buddy.

“Since the center is new, there are openings available,” Dr. Ward said. “As more students become interested, the availability of services may increase as the demand for them increases.”

But despite the increased availability, students have not always been satisfied with the services at Chestnut. Students like psychology junior Zachary Hainlin have claimed that, in the past, Chestnut Hall felt understaffed and took too long to schedule a session.

“It would help if they had more counselors, and if they were more open about the services that are available and advertise them more,” Hainlin said.

While the counseling center at Chestnut has some criticism from students, those who have recently used the services have expressed appreciation.

“They are very helpful and there are a lot of free options for those who don’t want to pay for the actual counseling sessions themselves,” psychology junior DiAnré Lazarus said. “Many of the free sessions are specific to areas of your life you’re struggling with like body positivity and self-confidence issues. They’re also for different kinds of people so you have some that are creative and some that are athletic. They have group sessions, which are intimidating but free, unlike the one-on-one sessions.”

But Lazarus had one criticism of the services provided.

“The only thing I would say could be improved is the testing process because it is very long, and could scare away students who don’t have much extra time,” Lazarus said. “I feel like it could be shortened. Maybe they could cut back on some of the questions. The initial appointment is longer and you have to go in at least an hour early to answer their questions.”

Students also showed appreciation for the counseling provided at the center on Welch Street, which is not covered by student tuition, but is only $5 a session.

“It’s great because you get counseled by graduate students,” psychology junior Bete Workye said. “Everyone there is eager to help and they are not very much older than the students themselves. The graduate student has a supervisor. They are the only two people who will watch the video-taping of your session and they will destroy your session when the semester is over.”

The services provided at both Chestnut and Discovery Park are covered in student fees, which cover the first eight one-on-one counseling sessions with a licensed professional. Students wanting to use services at either location can call 940-565-2740 or schedule appointments at the general office in Chestnut.

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Jonathan Lichtenwalter

Jonathan Lichtenwalter

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