Interns Help with Mental Issues

Rebecca Krueger, Staff Writer

Marriage Family Therapist interns at GCC offer therapy for students going through an emotional and mental crisis, giving them somewhere to go for help.

“Students coming into college are experiencing an adolescent transitioning period,” said Makeda Abraham, MFT trainee.. “They are learning how to construct themselves as adults.”

Transitioning into adulthood from adolescence is a new, stressful and difficult situation for students to cope with.

According to Abraham, students will often feel overwhelmed not only dealing with school but with personal problems at their home or workplace. They are stressed without recourse. The MFT interns offer a safe environment where students can express themselves.

“They can address anything and everything that is on their mind so that their daily experience can be more progressive and peaceful,” said Crescent Orpelli, clinical supervisor and mental health counselor.

Students don’t need to worry about what is said during a session with a counselor. Everything is confidential.

The main objective of the Health Center is to provide troubled students with beneficial resources which can aid health and well-being in support of personal and academic success.

The MFT interns also help students suffering from depression, family trauma, confusion of sexual identity, addiction issues, crisis management, acculturation issues and social anxiety. These mental health counselors help students take charge of their lives by giving them the confidence to believe in themselves.

Students can participate in brief therapy sessions that run from six to 10 weeks, meeting with an MFT intern once a week.

Orpelli defined brief therapy as, “means of addressing immediate concerns for the students as

well as helping the students stabilize, restore and improve their

daily experiences.”

If students are in need of professional help outside the Health Center the MFT interns will direct them to a therapist for continual extensive treatment at an affordable price.

Interns Sam Zia, Makeda Abraham, Jessica Martinez, and Erica Niem- are on a 10-month rotation that ends in December when their internships are completed. GCC will receive new interns to continue the Health Center’s brief therapy sessions.

The Health Center also provides other professional services such as: health consultation, health education, low cost immunizations, group counseling for wellness and mental health, meditation, physicians, nurse practitioners, and nutritionists.

GCC’S Health Center is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m on Fridays, and is located on the first floor of the San Rafael building. Students can call the Health Center at (818)551-5909.