Staff Writer

When the pressures of life and school become overwhelming, it's nice to

know someone is here to help.

The primary mission of the Student Counseling Service Center is to help

students, faculty and staff reach their full potential and contribute not

only to society, but their families and careers as well. Their main purpose

is to help students succeed in their academic lives.

The center ensures that students will get professional-level service by

employing nine licensed psychologists. The counseling team also includes

the center's director and licensed psychologist Garry Klukken and licensed

counseling psychologist Marci Burroughs.

To be placed in individual or group therapy, students must visit the

center during walk-in hours, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:30

a.m. and in the afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The center then

administers an intake interview to each student, so the psychologists can

assess the student's needs and recommend a course of treatment.

At the reception desk, students will receive papers to fill out. The first

part of the application requires some basic background information from

students, such as age, level in school, major, and family and medical

history. Next, students will fill out two different screening surveys that

help the counselors get an idea of the students' lives. Students also

receive a handout on therapy and their rights as a client.

It is important for students to know that the patient/doctor

confidentiality will not be broken. The patient must give permission for a

psychologist to break confidentiality -- unless the person is a threat to

themselves or others.

After students finish the intake process, their work is given to a

therapist, who will review the information given. Then the therapist

recommends the type of counseling each student needs.

There are three types of counseling services offered at the center:

Individual therapy offers support in a confidential setting, so students

may feel more comfortable about discussing their problems. Students who

participate in this service have problems ranging from adjustment to

university life to childhood trauma or alcohol and drug use. After students

go through the intake process and talk to a therapist, they are referred to

a individual therapist.

Group counseling offers a setting where students can talk about their

problems with other students who have been in the same situations and

understand the feelings involved.

"There is something about having a group of people who really understand

what you gone through because they have been there," Klukken said. "That

helps heal."

The focus of therapy groups includes general therapy, eating disorders,

dissertation therapy and survivors of sexual abuse. Again, students go

through the intake process, but they are scheduled for a group

screening.

"It's a chance for the person to meet with the group leader and to find

out more about the group," Burroughs said. "And it is a chance for the

group leader to get to know the client, to make sure that they are going to

be appropriate for that particular group."

The last type of counseling is crisis intervention. Crisis intervention

counseling is for students who experience any type of crisis. Counseling

gives them a means to cope with the crisis.

In addition, the center offers self-help courses, outreach presentation,

consultation with faculty and staff and a training program. The self-help

programs are meant to assist students in their personal, academic and

professional development. There are four one-credit hour courses offered

during the semester that students can register for.

"There is a how-to-study class and that's really for anybody who's wanting

to improve their study skill," Burroughs said. "It is a very valuable

course that teaches all kinds of study skills: note taking, test taking --

general study skills."

Another course that is extremely useful to students is a stress-management

class.

The center's main wish is to help students, Klukken said. "If we could do

that for only one or two people, it's worth it," she said. "We have been

really successful in enabling a lot of students to be able to stay here as

scholars who would have had to leave school or whose work would have been

significantly diminished because of other things that were happening in

their lives."

The Student Counseling Center is located at 900 Volunteer Blvd. For more

information, students can call the center at 974-2196 or visit its Web page

at http://web.utk.edu/~counsel/counsel.html.