BY MELISSA FISHMAN | STAFF WRITER
On Thursday, Feb. 25, LIU’s Psychological Services Center partnered with the Theta Chi fraternity to host a talk called, I’m a Therapist: Ask Me Anything. The three panelists, Queenie Lam, Cassie Malouta, and Sean Nickley hosted a pleasantly candid discussion on mental health with questions posed by LIU’s community.
Early this month, we celebrated international Time to Talk Day which encourages people to start conversations about their mental health. Throughout the seminar, questions submitted via an anonymous suggestion box were answered by these three experienced second-year doctoral psychology students and clinicians.
The seminar began with a conversation addressing the fear some patients have of being judged by a therapist. As explained by Malouta, therapists gauge responses rather than judge the individual; It’s their job to piece things together and understand it on a human level.
“We know what it’s like being on the other side; Being the person asking for help. It improves our approach” said Nickley. In fact, some of the therapists admitted to once having a therapist of their own.
Lam explained the calling to work in psychology the best perhaps, by describing it as being just as rewarding to them as it can be for patients. “With each new patient, I am strengthened. You can never be a perfect therapist, but every patient is an opportunity to grow, help, and form a relationship,” Lam said.
For those struggling with issues such as self confidence, therapy is advised but it is valuable to note it is not the only option. Methods such as meditation can be useful to those who want positive change, but are not ready to commit to regular sessions.
During this time, mental health has become an increasingly important issue, especially among college students and young adults. The unique challenges posed by COVID have taken a toll on many fields, but being able to adapt has not been a struggle for therapists in the Center.
“Connectivity is sometimes an issue but overall, it is a positive experience doing therapy almost entirely virtual. Making connections over the screen is very real. Teletherapy quite possibly is the future of psychology, and will likely be very popular in the coming years” reported Nickley.
When asked for advice on staying optimistic, Lam responded, “Everyone has good and bad days. It’s important to be mindful, understanding, and compassionate towards ourselves. There are bound to be days when things are tougher; it’s how you deal with them that matters.”
To put it simply, prospective patients at the Psychological Services Center need not worry, because their office is a safe haven from everyday stressors. Located in room 510 of the Pratt Building, LIU students seeking guidance can go to unlimited free sessions with these experts.
Walk-In hours at the Psychological Services Center are Monday from 12-1 p.m., Wednesday’s from 1:30-3 p.m., and Thursday’s from 10-11 a.m. and 3-4 p.m.
For those seeking immediate, help you can contact the following organizations:
1-800-LIFENET is a suicide prevention hotline and a referral service that can help you find a therapist in your area.
1-800-273-TALK is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, where trained workers are available 24/7 to assist you.
Visit Mentalhealth.gov to help find immediate help in your area.
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a free crisis counselor.