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SHSU Clinic To Offer Free Counseling In The Woodlands

May 17, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Sam Houston State University counselor education students will share their expertise with members of north Houston community by offering free counseling service in conjunction with the opening of the university’s The Woodlands Center.

The SHSU Community Counseling Clinic, at 3380 College Park Dr., will begin holding sessions on Wednesday afternoons and evenings in its state-of-the-art facility beginning June 6.

The clinic will serve as a training facility for master’s-level and doctoral students in the SHSU counselor education program, with members of the doctoral cohort offering sessions in family, couples and play therapy, as well as career counseling this summer, according to Judy Nelson, associate professor of educational leadership and counseling at SHSU.

“This clinic is the same state-of-the-art facility as the Jack Staggs Clinic in Huntsville, through which we offer free counseling to the community,” Nelson said. “Our students are very good at working with couples who are experiencing ‘couple distress;’ and they’re very good with families, which are often a challenge because you may have three or four people in a room whose perspectives you’re trying to honor. We also have a group of students who have a specialization in play therapy, for children generally between the ages of 3 to 9 or 10.

“Counseling can be beneficial for people who are experiencing any type of distress or dissatisfaction in their lives, or just want to experience some personal growth,” she said.

Because sessions are conducted by SHSU graduate students, all of whom take advanced coursework before conducting practicums, sessions are both audiotaped and videotaped.

“Clients sign paperwork stating that they understand that,” Nelson said. “All of the material is destroyed at the end of the semester, so the clients’ information is very confidential; it is never compromised. But they do have to give us permission to tape their sessions.”

Students are supervised by professors who monitor the sessions on a plasma screen TV and conduct group supervision during each class meeting. Doctoral students also conduct individual supervision with each trainee outside of the class setting.

“The clinic offers a dual benefit because our students have the opportunity to work with clients with real life challenges, and clients from the community have the benefit of receiving free services,” Nelson said. “They receive some great services for no charge. I think we’ll be very busy there.”

Appointments for the fall semester will be available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 936.294.1121.



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