North Texas Daily

New student support groups looking for members

New student support groups looking for members

September 09
20:12 2014

Olivia Sylvain / Staff Writer

Counseling and Testing Services is currently looking for students interested in attending various weekly support groups, from the LGBT support group to a new creative arts based group.

“Of a Feather” is an LGBT support group that started four years ago. Enedelia Sauceda of Counseling and Testing Services introduced the group to students with the hope of encouraging them to share their experiences and create a support system for one another.

“The goal was to have a safe, non-judgmental space for people to practice authenticity and have the courage to be vulnerable,” Sauceda said. “Only when you can be vulnerable can you start to connect.”

“Based on a True Story” is a new support group that will use art and media for self-expression. Robbie Kinney of Counseling and Testing Services created the group along with Sauceda to offer a unique way for students to express their inner thoughts.

“There is power in finding something that speaks to you and helps you speak to others,” Kinney said. “Creative things can speak to you even if you didn’t create them.”

The group will encourage the use of movies, poems, art, and pop culture to help members connect to one another and share openly.

In order to join any of the support groups offered through counseling and testing services, prospective students must contact the office and set up an individual screening. This is required in order to familiarize the student with the standards of the group and ensure that they are choosing a group that will meet their needs.

“There is only so much that individual counseling can do, something changes when you’re in a group with your peers,” Sauceda said.

Counseling and Testing Services is part of the Division of Student Affairs’ Health and Wellness Programs.  These programs are aimed at creating a network of student support services and helping with any issues that may come up during a student’s college career, according to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Teresa McKinney.

“The role and scope of the center on campus is to deliver short-term, effective counseling, psycho-education through outreach, and consultation with the campus community,” Mckinney said.

Student Affairs is also responsible for Gatekeeper training throughout the year. This training is for all staff that frequently comes in contact with students including Housing and Health and WellnessCenter staff, according to Interim Director for Counseling and Testing Services Timothy Lane.

“Of a Feather” will meet Wednesdays 2-3 p.m. and “Based on a True Story” will meet Thursdays 1-2:30 p.m. in Chestnut 311. Students can contact Counseling and Testing Services to schedule an individual screening.

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