Group counseling lets students come together

Jill Byerly

Bad relationships, stress about classes, separation from family — everyday problems students may deal with.

Three months ago, the idea to start new small group counseling programs to deal with such problems became a topic of discussion at the Counseling and Human Development Center.

“Having sat on the Student Quality Advisory Committee as a member, being both an adult student and a graduate student involved with practicum this semester — and knowing we have international students who are also active in both — I just felt that there is a segment of our student population that may feel disenfranchised in some sense,” said Jay Weisburd, community counseling graduate student.

The goal of the group counseling is to bring together students who might have issues and are not aware of the available services. The counseling programs are free of charge to students, faculty, staff and to some extent, the community because the counseling center is a training facility.

“What I am trying to do is bring people together who share similar perspectives, or similar issues,” Weisburd said.

For the international student groups, the discussions can range from what it’s like to be an international student in a foreign country to handling the school work.

“I know there are multicultural issues when it comes to international students, but I think recently what happened at Virginia Tech is an indication that if we don’t address some of the stresses of the students who might feel alienated from the school, we might end up with barriers and unresolved issues,” Weisburd said.

Students should be aware that counseling is not only available on a group basis. Weisburd encourages students who are feeling stressed with any issue and do not want others to know can have individual sessions, and the counselor must keep it confidential.

Weisburd and the other counselors are currently searching for students who would like to sign up for these groups. Interested students can contact the Counseling and Human Development Center at (330) 672-2208.

“It is a general support group for anyone in college,” said Jason Miller, director of Counseling and Human Development Center. “Topics such as paying bills, raising kids or living in a new country — students should take advantage of it, and we are really available to meet their needs.”

Contact student affairs reporter Jill Byerly at [email protected].