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New spring group counseling sessions still available for students

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The Counseling and Testing Services Center introduced weekly group counseling sessions this spring, such as Communicating With Confidence, Grief Relief and COVID- 19 Concerns.

While several of the group counseling sessions that began earlier in the semester are now closed groups, there are still many that are open, such as A Starting Point For Trauma Recovery, Communicate With Confidence, Grief Relief, Express Yourself! Art Therapy and the International Student Workshop. 

Marilyn Parrish, one of the counselors at the university and host of the Grief Relief group, said she saw a need for more no-pressure style therapy. She said she believes it is easier for people to open up in a group setting. 

“A sign that we’re processing our grief is that we can look back on those memories with fondness,” Parrish said during one of her sessions.

Grief Relief meets every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m..

Students in the group Express Yourself! Art Therapy, which is still open to students, meet on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pre-studio art junior Aleria Hurks frequently attends art therapy.

“Each week, we sometimes have a theme or sometimes we just do what we want to express ourselves creatively with whatever materials we have or what may be provided by the art therapist for us to pick up from the wellness center,” Hurks said. “I love the fact that there’s no pressure in doing the assigned prompt or idea provided. Plus, if we don’t like it we can work on something else. And near the end, we can share what we’ve created and explain our thoughts on what we’ve done.”

The programs also provide methods for dealing with internal issues as well as external ones. Communicate With Confidence helps students learn how to successfully articulate what they want to say, and it helps students deliver their thoughts in a way that makes people want to listen. 

Dr. Heather Atkison is a counselor at the university and the creator of the Communicate With Confidence group. The group meets on Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

She said she strives to help students understand effective communication, which is something that affects every relationship: familial, platonic, sexual, professional, etc. The group touches on several topics and communication methods that can be applied to various scenarios. 

“We are our own worst critic,” Atkinson said. “But, I often think we are our biggest ally.”

In order to attend a group counseling session, students can email the Counseling Center ahead of time, and they will receive a link to join the meeting. 

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Featured Image: The Counseling and Testing Services Center is located inside of Chestnut Hall. Image by Zach Del Bello

Article Originally Published by Hedija Spahalic on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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