Support groups available in the student advocacy center

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Counseling is offered in the center for academic enrichment.

By Julian Gonzales

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Support groups are offered through the counseling services in the center for academic enrichment.

The services are designed to help students get through tough times, which almost every student goes through, Counselor Marco A. Mar said in an interview Sept. 17.

There are numerous support/therapy groups for the center.

The groups are arranged around veterans assistance, Explore You (LGBTQ), anxiety, recovery, non-traditional students, poetry support, and music therapy.

The support groups offer opportunities to share experiences and allow students to make connections in the college community.

They offer “great ways to connect with peers,” Mar said.

Counseling services help students deal with problems such as loneliness, anxiety and insecurity.

Support groups meet Monday-Thursday each week in the advocacy center.

“Students can attend group any time and as many times they would like,” Mar said.

Mar said that he likes to think of the “brain muscle.”

The brain muscle is an example set for students trying to flex or stretch their strengths in a mental capacity, and when the muscle is stretched too far it can weigh on person severely.

Students also can get individual counseling.

Counselors start by asking students questions. Based on the information given, counseling will “measure urgency by asking the students some questions, and then based on their report if there is an indication of high distress, they will be seen immediately,” Mar said.

There are two full-time counselors and one part-time counselor at the college.

This semester, there are five counseling interns at the master’s level who provide counseling services to students.

“A student may come to the student advocacy center and simply let the lobby attendants know they are here to sign up for counseling,” Mar said.

The attendants will then take the students to the intake area and front desk staff will help them set up counseling services.

Results of counseling that the students might see are improved focus, better grades and a higher level of comfort, he said.

For information, call 210-486-6120.

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