Counseling Center Creates New Group Therapy Workshop

By Blake Stewart

The Trevecca Counseling Center is now offering three 50-minute group sessions a week because of a large increase in student demand for counseling services.

In the past year, the number of counseling hours provided to students has quadrupled from 1,557 in fall of 2015 to 2,310 in fall of 2016, according to Sara Hopkins, director of counseling services.

Last week the counseling center launched its first continual group therapy workshop called Recognition Insight and Openness (RIO).

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“RIO is simple. It is powerful for someone who really needs therapy, but also helpful for basic mindfulness”, said Jennifer Neely, coordinator for counseling and vocational engagement.

Each session will be focused on one of the three topics from R.I.O (Recognition, Insight and Openness).

RIO is meant to be a stepping stone into therapy. Ninety-five percent of students seeking counseling will go to RIO after their first session with a therapist. However, students don’t need to be placed by a therapist to join the workshop. Anyone can join.

Neely hopes to change the culture of Trevecca to be more open to group style sessions of therapy and create a sacred space for group therapy.

Dustin Ellis and Brandon Khanna, Trevecca counseling interns will be leading Monday sessions. There will be various exercises during the sessions, such as finding stress in the body. Students will also receive a workbook along with a worksheet to guide them through each session.

“A key focus of RIO is to show students a different perspective on how to deal with stress and to help unpack unpleasant experiences students go through such as break-ups,” said Ellis.

The group sessions are centered on developing a better understanding of self as well as educating students to deal with emotional issues.

“It is meant to give [students] a language for emotional health and wellness”, said Neely.

If You Go:

RIO Sessions

Mondays at 10 a.m.

Wednesdays at 1 p.m.

Fridays at 10 a.m.

Students should take all three sessions, beginning on a Monday.

Students can sign up for the workshop at the CLCS in room 213.

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