Counseling services: a listening ear

By Staff Writer
November 11, 2005

Have you ever felt like you needed someone to talk to, but no one was there to listen? Do you ever wish you had someone who would listen to you confidentially with an unbiased ear? These are very common thoughts and feelings for college students to encounter. The chances are, many students feel like this but are unable to get the help they need. Usually, students are simply unaware that Cabrini even offers assistance for things like this. Once you know where to look, it is quite simple to find them. Kallie Parkinson Coles and Dr. Sara Maggitti of Counseling Services like to help students find out the right places to look for help.

Cabrini has free and confidential counseling services that are available for any student who feels they could benefit from it. They welcome any student enrolled at Cabrini. Also, faculty and staff can have consultations with the counseling center if their concerns are in regards to students or student affairs. Parkinson Coles, the director of the Counseling Services, describes the process a student would go through to utilize these services. She explains that “students are given an assessment in which the student fills out a questionnaire, followed by meeting with a counselor who works with the student to determine what course of action to take.”

The next course of action depends on the outcome of the assessment and of course, the nature of the individual’s concerns. The student may wish to participate in counseling sessions with a counselor or may choose to receive referrals to off-campus providers and resources. Usually counseling is offered on a “short-term basis which includes 10 sessions or less with the counselors,” Parkinson Coles said. Occasionally, group therapy is arranged if common concerns from many students arise and if all those involved would benefit from hearing other student’s views.

The counselors see many different types of problems and concerns in their office. Some students come in troubled by their friends or roommates. “These individuals receive confidential consultation and suggestions on how to manage their anxieties right away,” according to Parkinson Coles. Another topic that comes up in this office is leadership issues. Ms. Coles also stated that “counselors provide training for resident assistants and other student leaders whenever needed.”

This office also deals with people struggling with anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and alcohol use and abuse. The Office of Counseling Services sponsors mental health screenings for any of these afflictions if someone is unsure whether or not they are undergoing one of them and wishes to find out more. Along with these screenings, health and mental health programs are co-run by the counseling center along with Health Services and the Office of Health and Wellness Education.

The counseling center does not have a large staff, but manages to get everything done with the diligent personnel they possess. Terry McGrath is the secretary whom sets up appointments and balances schedules. Parkinson Coles is the clinical social worker who handles some social issues. Maggitti is the licensed psychologist who handles the heavier psychological issues. They both deal daily on a variety of concerns and issues.

Everyone at the counseling center encourages students to make the most out of this facet of Cabrini’s campus if so desired. They are located in Grace Hall, room 196. Their hours of operation range from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and occasionally at night by appointment. A student wishing to make an appointment could either come into the office directly or call 610-902-8561 to contact McGrath who will make arrangements. They can also be reached through their website off of the Cabrini homepage.

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Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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