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Counseling Center debuts new workshops, revamped group session schedule


Central Michigan University's new counseling center activity room in on Sept. 7 in Foust 135. 

Central Michigan University students in need of a little help to organize their life and push through the school year will find new programs available to them in the Counseling Center this semester.

The Counseling Center, located on the first floor of Foust Hall, has revamped its group session calendar, which features activities such as art journaling, therapy dogs and hour-long presentations about how to overcome procrastination, improve test performance, cope with grief and more.

"Anxiety Busters," a workshop about reducing anxiety, was rescheduled from early Thursday afternoon to 4 p.m. every Wednesday to fit in better with students’ schedules. The workshop is led by Associate Director Michelle Bigard.

“'Anxiety Busters' has been designed to help students understand what happens to their body naturally when (they're) anxious and stressed,” Bigard said. “This is intended to help people recognize when their anxiety and stress reaches a point where they know they’re not coping well, and what they can do for their body to get calm enough, to then say, ‘Alright, what do I need to do?’”

Amy Campbell, a counselor who was hired in late September, is hosting the "Spring It On" series, which offers methods for a sort of “spring cleaning” of your personal life. The workshop features sessions on strengthening friendships, a five-step morning routine, tips for changing your mental state, and creating positive habits, which rotate throughout the semester.

"Spring It On" is hosted at 4 p.m. every Monday in Foust 135.

Campbell said she began developing the program halfway through the Fall 2019 semester and adapted the material from a workbook which laid out a four-week process for improving and optimizing your life.

Campbell has experience running intensive outpatient group sessions for substance abuse recovery at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Behavioral Health Clinic, where she worked for 10 years. Her transition to developing group workshops for CMU students wasn’t without its challenges, but she said the process is collaborative between all of the counselors to help fine-tune the specifics.

“There are definitely always challenges with something new,” Campbell said. “I would say really being aware of my audience, the students, opportunities to get the word out there, different departments that we could potentially partner with to help promote this, because it is a new group in general.”

Also new this semester is "Keep Calm & Carry On," a workshop led by counselor Ross Rapaport that focuses on reducing negative thoughts, test anxiety, procrastination, perfectionism and developing healthy coping mechanisms.

"Keep Calm & Carry On" takes place 4 p.m. every Thursday in Foust 135.