Investigating Benefits of Therapy for College Students
Mental health awareness and destigmatizing therapy continue to be hot button issues that come up periodically, especially for young people and college students. In recent years, there has been a greater respect given to the need for more nuanced understanding of mental health needs and self-care. However, some people can still be hesitant to invest time into any kind of professional therapy, especially if they don’t have a diagnosed mental illness.
Yet therapy can be a healthful, impactful tool for anyone and everyone to help relieve stress and gain clarity on their goals. College in particular is a great time to consider beginning a journey in therapy, as it can be a time filled with excess stressors and mounting responsibilities. Do yourself a favor and utilize the resources available to you to connect with a professional that can serve as a safe, sympathetic ear while also creating space for you to define your future path to a more purpose-filled life.
Life University (Life U) offers many ways for students to utilize therapeutic services, which we will address further into this blog. First, let’s examine some reasons why therapy can prove beneficial. By definition, therapy is personalized for the individual receiving it so for now this blog will cast a wide net and mainly delve into the benefits of personal talk-therapy.
How Can Therapy Help You?
Healthline’s article “Benefits and Options for Therapy” serves as a good baseline for this conversation. The reasons that typically lead people to consult with a mental health professional are complex and layered. You might decide to reach out to a therapist for situational reasons, needing help to work through a significant crisis or coping with a big life transition. Or perhaps it is relational, as you seek assistance with navigating confusing family dynamics or relationship issues. Lastly, you might need help managing addiction, substance abuse, anxiety, depression or simply wanting to improve your mental and emotional health.
It is also perfectly valid to decide to seek therapy even if you are currently feeling emotionally stable. Therapy can serve as a preventative measure to help avoid major emotional pitfalls but also, it can be infinitely helpful to have an unbiased and professional sounding board to serve as accountability and encouragement as you strive to reach your personal goals. Talk therapy in particular encourages open, honest dialogue about the issues that cause you discomfort and stress. As you grow more comfortable with your therapist, you will work together to identify and understand how certain stressors impact your life. Additionally, you and your therapist will develop strategies to manage your symptoms.
Individual therapy can also help you to improve your self-awareness through self-exploration, as well as help improve communication skills, foster a sense of empowerment and helping you to learn how to make healthier choices.
Telehealth- The New Frontier
If you don’t have the time or the desire to sit in a therapist’s office, then online therapy can be a great option. Psychology Today highlights how telehealth for therapy can help serve patients better in its article, “14 Benefits of Teletherapy for Clients”. Being able to engage in therapy in your own private space, snuggled up on the couch with a steaming mug of coffee and maybe a beloved pet by your side can help therapy feel less clinical and foreign. And if you make sure to have your appointment in a contained space, this can help to boost that feeling of safety and privacy, as there are no worries of running into someone in an awkward traditional waiting room scenario.
And face it, college kids are busy. You don’t always have time to go to a traditional office between normal office hours. With telehealth, therapy can be when and where you need it to be. Not to mention, it is simpler to schedule emergency check-ins if necessary, in a telehealth scenario. Also, telehealth opens up your options for qualified therapists from around the world.
Counseling Options at Life U
The added cost incurred with therapy can be a barrier to care for some, but luckily for enrolled Life U students, counseling services are available at no additional cost. For a full list of all counseling resources, visit life.edu/campus-life-pages/counseling/.
Counseling Services is located in the Guy F. Riekeman, D.C. Center for Chiropractic Education (RCCE). For an individualized response to setting up counseling support, fill out the Counseling Support section on the bottom of the Counseling Services page linked above.
Student Assistance Program (SAP)- Life University offers individual and couples counseling through the Student Assistance Program (SAP). SAP provides 24/7 availability of an off-campus counselor via phone. Life University students can request face-to-face visits with an off-campus therapist and will be provided with six free sessions per year. In addition, students have six free coaching sessions available (telephonic), a text option for services as well as a dedicated Life U phone number. With the use of the dedicated phone number, students receive unlimited calls for services and immediate help from a mental health professional.
This service allows students consistent availability, including nights, weekends and/or holidays with a licensed mental health professional outside of the University. In addition, the service can be utilized by students’ dependents, which include spouses and children. You can contact SAP directly at 866.734.5890, text 94097 and/or request support at (password – lifeu). A Counselor can also assist you in contacting SAP.
Counseling Wellness Workshops- During each quarter, Counseling Services offers several wellness workshops to give students a chance to discuss relevant therapeutic topics in a safe space, group environment. All wellness workshops and activities are held via Zoom unless otherwise noted in the event description listed on the Counseling Services page, under the “Counseling Wellness Workshops” tab. Visit engage.life.edu to locate Zoom links or other information for each event. Popular ongoing programs include Wellness Wednesday, Parent-to-Parent (P2P) and Circle of Hope (for grief and loss).
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