Counseling Services Adds Walk-In Hours, Offers Group Sessions
There is help in Lane Hall for students struggling with end-of-the-semester stress, and they may not need an appointment to get it.
Piedmont University Counseling Services added walk-in appointments this academic year. Designed for students who cannot wait for a typical appointment, walk-in hours are 2-4 p.m. Monday- Thursday.
“It’s really geared toward crises. We’ve had faculty and staff walk students over,” said Sean Williamson, Director of Counseling Services. “We’ve had walk-in services utilized nearly 80 times this year.”
Counseling Services is located in Lane Hall, also known as the Student Success Center, on the Demorest campus. Students who come in for the walk-in service will see a sign in the hallway letting them know who is available to talk with that day.
There are three counselors. Along with Williamson, students may see Lisa Shurtleff or Keyla Stephens. All three are professionally licensed through the state.
Williamson said walk-in appointments typically last 15-30 minutes. Students are checked in, and counseling efforts are concentrated on getting them through a crisis. Sometimes a student may need to “decompress.” Once they do, they are encouraged to make a “regular” appointment with a counselor.
“We’ll get that process started,” Williamson said. “A student may be dealing with school-related stress, social or family situations, or a serious mental health crisis. We want them to use this service so we can sit down with them for a few minutes and work through it.”
Counselors are available for longer, one-on-one appointments Monday-Thursday, with the first appointment starting at 9 a.m. and the last at 4 p.m. On Friday, the last appointment begins at 1 p.m.
Counseling services are typically confidential (except threats of harm to oneself or others) and available at no extra charge to students.
Counseling Services also offers group therapy sessions depending on how many share the same issue. For the spring 2023 semester, students gathered at 11 a.m. in Room 106 in Lane Hall on Tuesdays to discuss perfectionism. Stephens led the group.
Together, they studied the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown. It offers daily practices that help ease anxiety, self-doubt, and powerlessness and embrace flaws, vulnerabilities, and imperfections.
“The group helps you navigate your way through those feelings of having to have everything be perfect, everything right all the time,” Williamson said. “There are many good things that happen in a group environment that you can’t do in individual therapy. Participants pull together and learn from each other. It creates a whole different dynamic.”
Students sign up for counseling groups in Starfish.
For more information about the services offered, visit piedmont.edu/counseling.