As part of the GSE’s Counselor Education program
, students and staff operate an on-campus community counseling clinic that serves anyone in the community, regardless of income. Students, supervised by professional staff and interns, have the opportunity to practice their skills by interacting with real clients. Each day, the clinic receives from five to 25 calls from community members seeking mental health and other assistance. Because of the recent decrease in available low-cost services in the Metro area, and the increase in unemployment and uninsured community members, there is a greater need than ever for affordable counseling. The clinic charges $15 per session, but will negotiate fees in cases of financial hardshipClinic staff work with each caller to determine the appropriate services and if the clinic is not a good fit, they work to help them find other available resources in the community. This kind of “triage” work is a valuable, though time consuming experience for the counseling students. They may spend hours on the phone helping a caller who may need medication or addiction treatment at another facility.
The Community Counseling Clinic also provides group services to clients as they wait for individual counseling to become available. Counseling groups are organized in a variety of ways. They can be of a general nature or may be specific to certain population or skill sets. Examples of special groups are the “help for daddies” group for single fathers working on relationship and parenting skills, or a “discovering yourself” group where women use art therapy techniques to develop confidence, esteem, and social support.
Currently, the clinic is working with clients from ages four to 86 and all points in between.
2009-10 Annual Report | Contents