University Counseling Services are available for any students who are in need of psychological guidance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They provide free year-round counseling, crisis intervention, consultation and referral services to members of the Seton Hall University community.
Dianne Aguero-Trotter, assistant director and outreach coordinator for Counseling Services said that, because of recent events that claimed the life of sophomore Jessica Moore and injured four others, Counseling Services wants to make its services more available and well known than ever before.
“In light of recent events we are also available during the day for any walk ins, any emergencies, any phone calls. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from parents and concerned faculty, directly from the students and we just want to have space in our schedule for anyone who wants to come in at any time,” Aguero-Trotter said.
The Counseling Services office is located in 27 Mooney Hall. Offices are open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m. There is also after-hours availability via telephone. A psychologist is on call 24 hours a day to answer emergency calls.
To reach an on-call counselor, a student can contact Public Safety at (973) 761-9300.
Counseling services also offers group therapy and is holding special sessions with groups they believe have been most affected by last weekend’s events.
“We are meeting with certain groups that have been identified to do debriefing, which is a process you can do after such a tragic, extreme event. We try and process what has happened as a group,” Aguero-Trotter said. For privacy reasons, the groups could not be disclosed.
Both group and individual therapy sessions are confidential. Aguero-Trotter said that Counseling Services holds very strictly to legal and ethical obligations to maintain the privacy of everyone who walks in the door.
She also stressed the importance of therapy when dealing with such an extreme event. “It is important to know that whatever reaction a person might have, it is likely a normal reaction. This is a very extreme and extraordinary situation. They can expect themselves to have difficult emotions.
To be sad, angry, worried, afraid; those are all normal,” Aguero
Trotter said. “If anything gets too extreme, a student can always come in and talk about it. Talking about it almost always helps.”
She said that if a student is going through a difficult time it is important to get support from others. She said students who are struggling should get support from each other and seek out friends and help from those they are close to.
“An awful event like this can bring people together, and the main concern for the University is the safety of our students in all ways, physical and emotional,” Aguero-Trotter said. “It is a very tragic, tragic event that, I think, is touching us all at a very deep level.”
A student may have as many as 12 individual sessions per academic year. The duration of participation in group counseling is unlimited. University faculty, staff, administrators and alumni can receive referrals and consultations. Sessions typically run 45-50 minutes for individual counseling and 75-90 minutes for group counseling.
To make an appointment a student can visit the office or call Counseling Services at (973) 761-9500.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at email@example.com.