Feb 7, 2013 11:26 AM by Elizabeth Hill

UL's Department of Counselor Education provides valuable resource to students and clients

UL's Department of Counselor Education is all about the hands-on approach.

"They work with real clients or they work with role plays," says department head Dr. Irv Esters.

The department operates a teaching clinic, housed in the newly built Picard Center, that provides free counseling services. It also allows students to get valuable feedback and real world experience.

"We will videotape role plays or videotape counseling sessions with the consent of the client and students are always supervised."

In addition to being recorded for review and teaching purposes, student counselors can also wear an earpiece to receive real-time guidance from supervising faculty.

"It is a little intrusive sometimes, but most of the times students are happy to have that extra tell me what to do kind of thing."

The clinic specializes in basic counseling needs for individuals, couples, families and groups. Anything from relationships to dealing with stress or anxiety.

"A lot of the clients that we get don't know what their resources are."

With statewide mental health and wellness resources dwindling, Esters says the clinic acts a sort of clearing house.

"If they come in and they have an issue we aren't prepared to deal with, we can make an informed referral to somebody that can help them."

The clinic also offers one of the area's few play therapy rooms. This allows them to specifically address the needs of children ages 4 and up.

The services offered by the clinic are free. If you are interested in counseling sessions you can call 337-482-1018.



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