A new workshop called Real Life 101 will be offered in April for graduating students as a joint effort through the Career Center and University Counseling Services.
Dr. Corinne Barker, clinical psychologist and co-coordinator of clinical services at University Counseling Services, saw a need for this specific group of students, and is one of the founders of the workshop.
“We are very excited because it is a collaborative effort from four departments,” Barker said.
During the college years there are many adults telling students what to do, which can leave them feeling powerless, Barker said.
“Many students were coming in for counseling on an emergency because they were dealing with real-life issues,” she said.
The workshop will include speakers from the Career Center, University Counseling Services, the Health Center and Financial Aid.
Patricia Gaynor, assistant director of the senior year transition and employment program at the Career Center, will be speaking on issues like job-hunting and Internet etiquette.
“Many students don’t realize that employers are now looking at your MySpace account,” Barker said.
Gregorio Alcantar from Financial Aid Counseling will talk about budgets, investments and credit card debt. Also, the Health Center will have a representative speak about the kind of health benefits and health care to look for in a job.
University Counseling Services currently offers 14 groups and workshops. Some focus on personal development; such as anxiety management, men’s support, managing your moods or saying goodbye to shy. Others focus on academic support like academic coaching throughout the semester.
Dr. Mark Stevens, director of University Counseling Services, said there is a special need for encouraging academic success, and as students reduce their stress through the workshops offered, they will generally be able to focus more on doing better in school. Stevens said student involvement has increased 10 percent within the past year.
The relationship group led by Dr. Richard Miller, a clinical psychologist and coordinator of training at University Counseling Services who has worked at CSUN for 32 years is the most popular. Miller’s group deals with different kinds of relationships from family to spousal. Although the group started meeting in September, it is still open for new students.
“Groups are usually a better form of therapy because it is more like the real world,” Miller said.
Another valuable workshop is called Overcoming Procrastination.
“Procrastination is predominant in the student population,” said Dr. Marshall Bloom, clinical psychologist at University Counseling Services. The object of the workshop is to help students eliminate bad procrastination habits.
All the services are free and confidential, but still there are reasons students avoid counseling services.
“There is definitely a stigma that you have to be crazy to need or benefit from counseling,” says Carolyn Okazaki, director and peer coordinator of Project Act at University Counseling Services.
Miller said it is a very destructive myth that you have to be sick or mentally ill to seek counseling. He said everyone needs someone to talk to at one point in his or her life.
“A little bit of help now makes a huge difference down the line,” Miller said.
Real Life 101 will be held at the Career Center in a three-week workshop scheduled for April 18, April 25 and May 2 from 2-3:30 p.m. Students interested in this workshop will be available to sign up online through the Career Center home page in mid-February.