Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Justin Phillips, executive director of JBU's CARE Clinics, recently outlined some of the great work being done by JBU Graduate Counseling students and faculty through the clinics.
What kind of counseling does the CARE Clinic offer?
We provide counseling for depression, anxiety, relationship issues, marital issues, and now we’re working with children and adolescents as part of the play therapy program. We can help with life adjustment issues or career issues. We also know what our limitations are. We don’t have a medical doctor or psychiatrist on staff, but we refer clients to others if they need medication. They can visit at medical doctor at our referral for any medication they may need, then come back to us and we can deliver psychotherapy in conjunction with medical treatment they may be receiving. We have a great turnaround time when you need to make a counseling appointment. Often, we can get you in the same week that you call.
What’s it like to work at the CARE Clinic?
I get to see the different levels of growth for our students. Not only do I get to see them walking through the counseling program developing skills, confidence and competence in the profession, but I get to see them work with people and become leaders in the field of counseling and to grow in the knowledge of the field. I also get to see and hear the stories of impact, of clients who come in from the community and the difference that we’re making. At the CARE Clinic, we’re able to offer counseling at a reduced rate (based on income and family size; as little as $10 per hour}, which is of great benefit to the community, and our students are gaining real-world experience.
How have people’s lives been changed because of the CARE Clinic?
I’ve heard so many comments from the community about the help they’ve received from the CARE Clinic. Recently, an administrator of a transitional home told me that they’ve used our services and that they always feel comfortable sending the kids and families to us to receive counseling. I’m proud of what we do. While our work is confidential and we can’t share details, there are life-changing things happening every day through our students and JBU’s CARE Clinic. Generations of families are being impacted. In my position, I get to travel to the various clinics, and that’s one of the most exciting parts of my job. I get to see first-hand the great work our students are doing. Beyond their education, our students are getting to touch lives in a major way.
How does someone know if he/she needs counseling?
I think there are times in people’s lives when they need assistance. The might be stuck at a certain point. They’ve probably tried to help themselves, they’ve tried other avenues, they’ve read books, they’ve tried many different things. But they’ve reached the point where something in their lives isn’t producing the results that they want. So they need someone to assist them with that and maybe help identify what that is and provide some clarity to what they’re dealing with. We’re not there to fix people. We’re not there to always talk about their mom or ask them how something makes them feel. We’re more than giving advice; we’re more than telling them what they’re doing wrong. It’s a chance for them to enter into a safe place where they can come and actually take an hour and talk about what’s going on in their lives. They may not have anyone else to talk to. Or they may be dealing with things as a result of choices that they’ve made and they want to find a way to make things better. People feel stuck in some area of their lives and they’re ready to make a change, or some pain in their lives has become unbearable. Counseling helps you reset your life. It provides hope.
Counseling services are available through JBU's CARE Clinics in northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith. For additional information – or to schedule an appointment, visit www.jbu.edu/CAREClinic.
Executive Director, CARE Clinic
Instructor of Graduate Counseling