Therapy offers support for students adjusting to NIU

By Clint Gendusa

Students facing difficulties in adjusting to new relationships or being away from family members are invited to participate in group therapy located on campus.

The NIU Psychological Services Center is offering a psychotherapy group for men and women ages 18 to 24 who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships.

The service started last semester with sessions dealing with issues such as separating from the family, independence, girlfriend and boyfriend problems, trusting new people, difficulties with teachers and meeting others.

Kristen Schaaf, staff therapist, said, “Group therapy is really good because it gives you the opportunity to talk with others about similar problems and gain their support and friendship.”

The group is an “open therapy group,” with members joining and leaving at different points as part of the group process. The group has gained more members through local agencies on- and off-campus that deal with related problems in relationships.

Clinical Psychologist Carol Yoken said, “Feedback has been positive and the group is looking to get stronger with new members.”

Since an eight-week commitment is recommended, new members will be accepted through the first week of March. The group leaders, Kerri Lehman and Kristen Schaaf, are doctoral students in clinical psychology. Yoken is a clinical psychology consultant.

The group is free of charge and meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday beginning Jan. 19 and continuing until the end of the spring semester. Meetings will take place in the basement of the Psychology/Math Building in the Psychological Services Department.

Those interested in scheduling a screening interview can call the Psychological Services at 753-0591.