Although the WCU Counseling Center provides guidance and help to approximately 400 students a semester, an email survey indicated that the majority of the WCU student body is unaware of the valuable services that the center can provide, free of charge. Dr. Dora Ghetie, one of the eight experienced psychologists of the WCU Counseling Center, explained that the center wants to get the word out about its services, and encourage students to come and ask for help if they need it.
“College is a difficult time for people,” Dr. Ghetie said. “Figuring about who you are, what you want to do, and who you want to be can be hard.”
The Counseling Center, the quality of which has been nationally recognized through an accreditation by the International Association of Counseling Services, is located on the second floor of Lawrence Hall. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. students can make appointments in person, or over the phone by calling 610-436-2301. A student who makes an appointment has the option of attending one-on-one sessions with any of the eight psychologists, both male and female, on staff, or attending weekly group meetings. Some of the groups include a “Sexual Identity Group,” an “Interpersonal Problem Solving Group,” and a “Veteran’s Group” for people that have been involved in the military.
Although the center is officially only open during the hours of business mentioned above, the center keeps at least one psychologist on call “24/7” during the school year, so that any student in need of immediate help can be accommodated.
Dr. Ghetie explained that the counseling center wants to dispel the negative stigma that some people attach to counseling and therapy, saying that “the number one factor [for students not getting help, if they need it] is that people are embarrassed, or don’t know about the Counseling Center.” Dr. Ghetie continued by explaining that students should feel welcomed to come and talk about any problems that they feel they have.
“We help students with a wide range of problems ranging anywhere from anxiety or depression, to relationship problems, to drug and alcohol problems.”
The Counseling Center wants to encourage and welcome students to ask for help with any problems that they feel that they may have, regardless of how mild or severe.
“The longer you let a problem go on, the longer it will take to fix,” said Dr. Ghetie, explaining that students should not feel “weak” or “ashamed” for asking for help.
Any student with any problem, from simple anxiety, to severe depression, should not hesitate to benefit from the services that the staff of the Counseling Center can provide; the staff is passionate about its job.
“To see somebody start to feel better, to make changes in their life, is a privilege for me,” Dr. Ghetie explained. “College is a time of change for most people, and if we can help somebody figure something out about themselves at this age, it could really benefit them for the rest of their life.”
Matt Boyd is a student at West Chester University. He can be reached at MB634884@wcupa.edu.