The Gustavian Weekly

Students Sample Wellness this January

By Renee Hoppe Asst. Sports & Fitness Editor | January 18, 2013 | Sports & Fitness

Through attending these group counseling sessions, students get balanced servings of both physical and mental health.  <em>Blake Van Oosbree</em>

Through attending these group counseling sessions, students get balanced servings of both physical and mental health. Blake Van Oosbree

While many students see January Interim Experience (J-term) as an opportunity to recover from the rigors of fall semester, it can also be a time of personal growth and rejuvenation.This was this idea that sparked the Counseling Center to create the J-term Sampler series.

This four part series was created in response to common concerns they see amongst students who take advantage of the services that the Counseling Center has to offer. The first event, “Moving Your Mood,” provided students with an introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in which they received advice on how to use their thoughts and behaviors to address symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The second sampler, “Mindful Eating,” was centered around the idea of awareness as it pertains to students’ physical and mental health through food. Because students are notorious for choosing food based on what is convenient and eat on the go, mindless eating patterns are common. As a result, many students suffer from poor nutritional health or even disordered eating habits. This workshop provided students with the tools to improve their knowledge of how to fuel their mind and body.

Part three of the sampler, “Grief Healing,” will take place from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Linner Lounge on Tuesday, Jan. 22. This session will present students with facts about the grieving process as well as creative strategies for addressing the emotions and thoughts associated with that process.

The final portion of this sampler, “Call Me Maybe:  Hook- ups, Hang-ups, and Lasting Love,” will take place on the following Tuesday from 2:30-4:30 p.m., also in Linner Lounge. The focus of this class will be creating and maintaining healthy relationships as well as strategies for when things get complicated. Additionally, students will learn techniques for identifying what makes a healthy or unhealthy relationship.

In creating this sampler series, the Counseling Center hopes to attract students who appreciate the importance of being physically and mentally healthy in order to create groups to continue with their counseling throughout spring semester. These groups would support each other as students develop as individuals.

“Unfortunately, there is a stigma against group therapy or group counseling. Because students are oftentimes unsure of what it consists of or nervous for fear of being judged, they don’t realize that group therapy is both empowering and validates you as a human being,” Counselor Jen Hommerding said.

In order to get more students interested in participating in group counseling, the Counseling Center is hoping to create and maintain a variety of groups for this spring. Some examples are Exploring Perfectionism, Moving Your Mood, a GLBT group and any other kind of group that students show interest in.

Although students are usually stretched for free time during spring semester, J-term can provide busy Gusties with the perfect opportunity to take some time out for themselves. By attending group counseling sessions such as these, students receive necessary tools to help them both get through the stressful times during the year, as well as enjoy the good times.