Counseling is available for confidential sharing

By Gwenn Reiser

Class deadlines, exams and stress need not leave students frazzled when a multitude of programs at the Counseling and Student Development Center might be helpful.

Dr. Kathy Hotelling, a registered psychologist in Illinois, is the director of the center, located across the street from the Holmes Student Center in Swen Parson Hall. She said the center offers a variety of personal, social, educational and career counseling. Individual and group help is available as well as counseling for married couples, dating partners or roommates. The center also has a 24-hour on-call number for emergency crisis problems.

One program for individuals is the Learning Assistance and Study Skill Laboratory. LASSL is designed to “help students address education skills” and offers workshops in alleviating test anxiety and improving study and organization skills, Hotelling said. Students also can listen to cassettes and read instruction manuals about such topics as time management, listening skills and memorization.

The center also offers group workshops in the following areas: adult children of alcoholics, survivors of incest and assertiveness. Topics for group discussions change and are decided by counselors who assess student concerns and then decide a topic “which would be best in a group with a common theme,” Hotelling said.

Students also might encounter speakers from the center in residence halls, sororities, fraternities and classrooms throughout the campus to talk on a variety of subjects, she said.

Individual help also is offered for students wishing to talk privately to a professional. If a student wishes to engage in private consultations, he or she goes through an initial “intake” interview in which a personal history is taken and the general problem is discussed, Hotelling said. The student then is assigned to a counselor appropriate to his or her needs, she said.

The counselors hold doctoral or master’s degrees in counseling or psychology, Hotelling said. In addition, some are graduate students under a professional counselor’s supervision, she said. The center has 14 staff members, consisting of 10 full-time counselors and four part-time graduate students.

Students need not fear that their discussions with counselors will be revealed to others. Hotelling said everything discussd between a counselor and a subject is confidential, except for emergency situations involving homicide, suicide or child abuse.