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What are Psychological Services and Personal Counseling?

Administrative+assistant%2C+Patricia+Meza+Parada%2C+diligently+works+at+her+desk+in+the+Psychological+Services+and+Personal+Counseling+Center
Administrative assistant, Patricia Meza Parada, diligently works at her desk in the Psychological Services and Personal Counseling Center

Administrative assistant, Patricia Meza Parada, diligently works at her desk in the Psychological Services and Personal Counseling Center

Jocelyn Lombera

Jocelyn Lombera

Administrative assistant, Patricia Meza Parada, diligently works at her desk in the Psychological Services and Personal Counseling Center

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Therapy, the process of receiving support either as treatment for a diagnosis or aid for an overwhelming emotion, is often not thought of as an option for students in college. Because even one appointment with a licensed psychologist can be expensive and money is one of the largest concerns for students in school, the idea of seeing a therapist can be impossible. Finding a reliable, trustworthy professional that one feels comfortable with can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Others may think that a “serious” diagnosis is required to receive support from therapy, or that receiving such help is weak.

The truth is, therapy is a service that is useful to everyone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “85% of college students reported feeling overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point last year” and “41% of college students stated anxiety as their top presenting concern”. Students can, and are advised to, use psychological services when experiencing feelings of overwhelment, sadness, anxiety, academic stress, or even conflict in their family or romantic relationships. Fortunately, Foothill College offers free and confidential counseling sessions for all registered students year-round.

The mental health professionals at The Psychological Services and Personal Counseling Center help with a variety of problems, including stress and/or anxiety, academic pressure, sexuality, relationships, roommate disputes, cultural adjustment, substance use and abuse, and more. Students are able to receive up to eight free sessions a year.

Not only does the center provide individual and couple’s counseling, but they also offer the following: crisis intervention services, mediation for student/student or student/faculty conflicts, mental health information and referral services to campus and community resources, and stress management workshops during fall, winter, and spring quarters.

Jocelyn, a student at Foothill College continues:

As a student who has used the Psychological and Counseling Services myself, I can say that they have helped me significantly, and I encourage all students who might be struggling with personal matters of any sort to take advantage of this great resource.

The process of paperwork to getting help is simple. Before seeing a therapist, you only need to fill a few papers with things like emergency contact information, your student ID, why you are coming in, what your goals are in seeing somebody (for example, maybe you want to learn how to reduce stress or maybe you are having family problems and don’t know what to do, so you want advice), etc. Once you have those papers filled out, you can make appointments.

When you go in for an appointment, you fill out a single, two-sided paper. On the front page, there’s a “before” and an “after” section. Before you see your therapist, you fill out the “before” section so he or she knows how you are feeling in the moment. The “after” section is filled out when the appointment is over to record how you feel after the counseling session. The back page is also completed when the appointment is over: it asks questions about your experience seeing the licensed mental health professional. Once you’re done filling out the paper, you drop it in a box on your way out. Overall, the process, which is completed for each session, is very simple.

Students receive eight free sessions throughout the academic year. Over the summer, however, if the student is taking a class, he or she can continue coming in for appointments regardless of their number of remaining sessions. If the student isn’t taking classes over the summer or has used up their eight sessions, then they can be referred to low-cost mental counseling agencies.

Being able to talk to somebody about my problems was a huge weight off of my chest. By seeing a therapist and, equally important, following the advice they offered, I’ve grown as a person, become more confident in myself, and learned to stress less from school, work and family.

In our society, stigma does not exist when somebody seeks professional medical help, but unfortunately, there is stigma when seeking professional mental help. Sometimes life is difficult and we need assistance to help solve problems. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, asking for help is a sign of courage and can improve one’s life immensely.

I hope I can encourage others to speak about their experiences of mental health issues and how getting assistance has helped them. The more we talk about the need for mental health support, the less uncomfortable and stigmatized of a topic mental health becomes. I also hope to encourage students to take advantage of the eight free confidential counseling sessions with great therapists. There is no need to suffer in silence when you can get important help from this great resource.

 

  • Psychological and Counseling Services is located in the Campus Center, Building 2100 Room 2120, Lower Level
  • Phone Number: 650.949.7910  
  • Hours: M-TH 8am-4pm, Fri 8am – 3pm
  • For more information, go to the Psychological and Counseling Services website: https://foothill.edu/psychservices/

 

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