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Counseling Center Paraprofessionals
Counseling Center Paraprofessional Newsletter | October 2016 Edition

Jump to: CC Staff, CCP Alumni, and CCP Spotlight

Welcome to the Paraphrase!

Since this is the first issue of the school year and we have many new staff, we want to welcome everyone to The Paraphrase, the newsletter put together by CCPs. Our newsletter will come out once a month during the school year. We hope you find it informative and that it gives you a chance to learn more about the people around the Counseling Center and the outreach we're doing. If you have any questions or ideas for future issues,  please contact CCP GA Dimitri Cacean or Media GA Rachel Park

Outreach Spotlight: Successful Suicide Prevention Week
by Ashley Asuncion, CCP 340

The Counseling Center held it's 4th Annual Suicide Prevention Week from September 5-11. New to this year were the Jars of hope! At the three tabling locations, students were able to write a message of positivity to other students in need of support, as well as take one for themselves to help combat potential feelings of hopelessness or depression. The tables also included a trivia wheel students could spin to answer a question about topics related to suicide prevention and general wellness to win a prize. Information about the services the Counseling Center provides and our online interactive training, Kognito At-Risk, was shared with participants. Counseling Center staff, graduate students, and CCPs wanted to make the topic of suicide awareness and mental health more fun and approachable since it is the second leading cause of death among college students. This approach seemed to work since over the two days of tabling, approximately 920 students participated!

In addition to reaching students in person, the Counseling Center has worked very hard to promote awareness online. Social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and the recently added Instagram allowed outreach to over 9,500 individuals! This only accounts for the posts done by the Counseling Center meaning even more students could have been reached by other University of Illinois accounts and students sharing or retweeting posts. The efforts of the Counseling Center to have a stronger online presence haven’t gone unnoticed and contributed greatly to the success of this week.

Thank you to all who helped out with this important awareness week!

Counseling Center Staff Spotlight: Jeffrey Graham, CCP Program Coordinator

by Alex Cooke, CCP 340

Jeffrey Graham is the new CCP Coordinator. He was hired this summer to run the program when longtime CCP Coordinator Theresa Benson decided she wanted to pursue being a full-time clinician at the Counseling Center at the end of this past school year. 

What's your educational background? I earned my B.A. in History (Social Sciences) and Theatre Education from Illinois State University as well as my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University. My master’s practicum and internship were in domestic violence counseling and addiction recovery treatment settings.

What lead you to being involved in CCP? Part of my role at Illinois State was serving on the supervisory and training committee for our Academic Peer Advisors, a group of undergrads that helped us advise students. I enjoyed the leadership and mentoring opportunities that afforded me. So, when I found the CCP Coordinator position, it seemed like a unique and excellent opportunity to combine my teaching, higher education, mentoring, and counseling professional experience and training. I grew more excited as I learn more about the program and the Counseling Center as a whole during the interview process.

What are you most excited about in regards to this program? I am most excited to see where the CCP Program can move into the future; the program has an incredibly rich history and it seems each coordinator brought their own strengths into the program. I hope to build upon that history and identify ways we can continue to make a deep impact on students in the program as well as serve the needs of Illinois students.

What is something you wish you had known about the helping profession before you starting working in the field? Irvin Yalom said, “Look out the other’s window. Try to see the world as your patient sees it.” I think this is important as both an educator and counselor; while we might feel right in our convictions, it is always important to try to see how our students, clients, and even peers see the world differently than us.

What fun fact about yourself would you like others to know? I am a huge science fiction nerd. I try to read a variety of sci-fi books but I also love all kinds of science fiction movies and TV shows. I have a life goal of being a published science fiction author someday.

Counseling Center Staff Spotlight: Emily Barnum, Clinical Counselor and CCP Instructor

by Alex Cooke, CCP 340

Another change to the CCP program this year has been the addition of a co-instructor to the CCP course. In addition to her role as a clinical counselor at the Counseling Center, Dr. Emily Barnum co-teaches the CCP course with Jeffrey Graham.

Where were you before CCP? I spent the last six years in graduate school. I attended Ball State University for my master’s in clinical mental health counseling and social psychology as well as my doctorate in counseling psychology. As part of my program I worked at the Ball State University Counseling Center and provided testing services at a local private practice. In addition, I taught four undergraduate courses for the undergraduate counseling minor. For my doctoral internship, I worked at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

How has the transition been for you? What has been the biggest obstacle? The transition to University of Illinois and the Counseling Center Paraprofessional program has been full of exciting new opportunities. I have very much enjoyed working and living in a college environment, which is what led me to want to work on a college campus.

I believe the biggest obstacle has been the combination of all of my recent transitions. I am not only transitioning to a new position as the CCP instructor, but also to my role as a clinical counselor in the Counseling Center as well as to a new city and state.

What are your goals for the program this year? My goal for the program is to continue to learn about the program both from the students and from other Counseling Center staff.  Jeff and I have also been discussing the importance of the assessing needs of students based upon the mission of the Counseling Center and CCP mission.

What advice would you give to CCPs about facilitating a year of progress and good outreach? I would say the importance to learning about programming is being open to feedback as well as learning your own biases and learning flexibility. No matter how many times a program is practiced or provided, a new audience can always bring new rewards and challenges.

In what ways do you practice self-care? I very much enjoy being creative, especially in the kitchen. I really enjoy cooking and/or baking. I also really like exercising, especially after a difficult day at work. I am a big fan of gardening and reading as well!

CCP Alumni Spotlight: Anna Hoffman

by Jaridd Albert, CCP 340

Anna Hoffman was a CCP from 2009-2010. She's originally from the Chicago area, but  says she's fallen for a slower pace of life after living in the corn fields for nine years. She's currently a pre-doctoral intern at the Counseling Center as part of her doctoral program in counseling psychology.

What have you been up to since you graduate from the University of Illinois?
After I graduated in 2010, I took a year off from school to work, spend time with family, and save money. I took the GRE and applied to various Counseling Psychology Ph.D. programs in the fall of 2010 and, happily, was accepted into the University of Iowa's program. At the University of Iowa, I spent five years researching intersections of physical health, trauma, and culture, and I completed practica at the university counseling center, homeless shelter, chronic back pain clinic, and women's resources center. Over these past six years, I also married my best friend, visited new North American cities for conferences, and traveled to Japan and Hawaii!

What are you up to currently?
I am currently completing my doctoral internship at the University of Illinois Counseling Center. I always carried fond memories of the Illinois  Counseling Center from my paraprofessional days, so I was thrilled to come back to the counseling center to complete my doctoral training.

What do you think the future holds for you?
I plan to defend my dissertation by the end of my internship year and apply to university counseling centers for my postdoctoral training. I'd like to settle down with my partner on a big piece of land with big skies and a pack of big dogs. And maybe some big cats. I greatly enjoy working with college students and would like to be part of a counseling center team in the future as well.

Upcoming Counseling Center Events

October 18, 7 p.m.—Tuesday @ 7: What’s Love Got to Do with It? Maintaining Healthy Relationships, Illini Union Room 406

October 19, 6:30 p.m.—InterConnect: Mindfulness: Discovering a Peaceful Mind for Success, Asian American Cultural Center

October 20, 12 p.m.—Test Anxiety Drop-In Workshop, Counseling Center 2nd Floor

October 25, 7 p.m.—Tuesday @ 7: Seeing Your True Reflection: Overcoming Body Dysmorphia, Illini Union 406

November 1, 7 p.m.—Tuesday @ 7: I Am Enough: The Value of Vulnerability, Illini Union 406

November 2, 6:30 p.m.—InterConnect: Keeping Up with Technology: Useful Apps for Everyone, Asian American Cultural Center

November 10, 12 p.m.—Test Anxiety Drop in Workshop, Counseling Center 2nd Floor