The Importance of Counseling Through Difficult Times

Graphic by Lena Greeling

By Alexandra Blockton
ablockton@lc.edu

Many people in the world tend to turn to counseling when they are struggling with certain issues in life. It just all depends on the individual and exactly what they are going through.

During this time of quarantine due to COVID-19, the CDC has stated the outbreak of the disease has caused lots of stress for many people. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, as well as worsening of chronic health problems, worsening of mental health conditions, increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, etc.

Catherine Campbell stated in an article in The Odyssey that “If you have people in your life that are judging you for going to counseling, cut them out of your life. You do not need that type of negativity and bad stigmas associated with something used to help people.”

Counselors give you the chance to talk without interruption. Many times we may seek advice from family and friends but when talking with them, the majority of the time, they will get their opinion out of the way when speaking to you and just hope for you to listen to what they say. Whereas when you speak with a counselor, they would like for you to tell them exactly how you are feeling without interrupting you and causing you to feel judged and without basing your words solely on a time limit.

“During times of high stress and uncertainty, self-care is critical. It is important to take care of your mental and physical health. If you are feeling overwhelmed and isolated, talking to a counselor may help you to better cope with stress related to a crisis,” said Transition Counselor Terri Austin, who is located at L&C, as well as the Scott Bibb Center.

It feels so good as a human being having someone who you can talk to without gossiping about what you have told them. Keeping your feelings hidden inside and all built up is not healthy at all. Remember, you can not do everything on your own because you simply are one individual.

Furthermore, counselors actually do care, it is exactly why they have dedicated their valuable time and life to this profession. It is because they are genuine people!

Renee Bauer, L.C.P.C, who is the Counselor of Student Development at L&C said, “We are currently living in a time like no other in recent history. For the most part, I am calm and am coping well. However, being a counselor does not make me immune to bouts of anxiety like everyone else due to the many unanswered questions. When will this situation end? I do not know. Nor does anyone know. So, I will endure this unknown along with my fellow humankind as long as I must. Am I being safe enough? I am being as safe as I possibly can. If there was an even safer way to behave, I would already be behaving that way. Are my loved ones and friends being safe enough? They are being as safe as they can, as well. If they should have a lapse in taking precautions, or through no fault of their own, they contract the virus, I know that it is out of my control. I would then provide as much support to them as possible. I then ask, what can I do to contribute to the welfare of others at this time? I know that no matter how tired or frustrated I may become of taking precautions, I do not want valuable resources to be used for the benefit of another. So I will continue my best to keep myself safe.”

While getting the chance to speak with a counselor, you will always end up getting the answers you need. They explain why you are feeling certain ways and can help you take the steps you need to improve yourself.

“I love Lewis and Clark and trust the staff deeply, but I also like to keep certain parts of my life separated from others. Therapy is one of them. I had a long term relationship with an excellent therapist but after I lost my insurance I wasn’t able to continue treatment. I started using a service called Open Path Collective. It’s a non-profit that helps you find counselors at affordable rates. I would recommend looking into them if you’re wanting outside counseling but cannot afford it”, said an Anonymous Student.

If you really just have not been feeling the same lately and you feel as if you need someone to talk to about certain situations that you are going through in your life, by all means, do not hesitate to contact our counselors here at L&C. Listed below is their contact info.

Terri Austin, L.C.P.C
Transition Counselor
Adult Education
Phone: 618-468-4157
Email: taaustin@lc.edu

Renee Bauer, L.C.P.C
Counselor Student Development
Phone: 618-468-4125
Email: rbauer@lc.edu

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