ETBU Looking At Giving Grad Students Counseling Experienceby Austin King - News Messenger
MARSHALL NEWS MESSENGER (9/15/13) - East Texas Baptist University is gearing up to allow students enrolled in the college’s master of arts in counseling program to get involved and get experience as a counselor in the upcoming spring semester.
Currently the ETBU Counseling Care Center sees visitors (primarily students) on weekdays. The numerous members of the center’s staff offer those seeking a listening ear a number of treatments and therapy.
"We offer a good ear and tools for everyday things like depression or conflict,” said Dr. Tom Haygood, associate professor of psychology. "Other issues such as schizophrenia we won’t do.”
Haygood has worked in counseling for numerous years.
"I’m 69, and I’ve been married for 46 years,” he said. "Prior to my adulthood, I had a very sheltered life. Being a counselor, I’ve heard things and been emotionally impacted by almost anything one can imagine. If I can do one thing it’s to give people hope.”
Come January, Haygood and his colleagues hope to work with ETBU’s graduate students (currently six) in the office. In addition to the experience the students will acquire from counseling Care Center visitors, students will also get the opportunity to watch their instructors and learn, as well as receive critiques from their fellow students, with a client’s permission.
According to Haygood, the experience the students are to receive will be valuable as they continue to pursue their careers. All of the students are experienced in their teachings and have a bachelor’s in either psychology or sociology.
"Without this kind of experience, they won’t be prepared to step further into the field,” Haygood said.
Currently the Care Center sees about 10 clients in a week. With the graduate students and staff working together, Haygood hopes to welcome many more who seek counseling, ETBU students and staff as well as more members of the Marshall community.
"Ultimately, we would like to offer our services to people who call themselves Christian or who are sympathetic to the Christian worldview to be our guests,” Haygood said. "In this day, the world is chaotic. Things change every day.”
When the spring semester begins, the counseling services will be offered for free until June. Come the 2014 fall semester, clients will have to pay a small fee. Accessibility to the Care Center’s services is important to Haygood.
"It’s all just a community service,” he said. "Once the next fall semester begins, we’ll charge people based on what they can afford.”
(Used by permission www.marshallnewsmessenger.com)