Counseling Services Covid-19 Updates & Announcements

August 27th 2020

Welcome Back!

Counseling Services is open and here to support you during your Fall 2020-Spring 2021 academic year! A few things to note about our services moving into the Fall semester. To make an appointment you can call into our center at 412-396-6204, walk into our center at 636 Fisher Hall or reach out to Mrs. Samantha Taylor the Triage Coordinator directly at pringles@duq.edu

Until further notice we will be offering virtual therapy sessions via HIPAA Zoom as much as possible. We are encouraging remote therapy in place of face to face therapy in order to mitiagte against the spread of Covid-19, but we do have staff located in office incase there is an emergent situation someone would need to be seen in person. 

If needed we will work with any student to help them find a confidential space on campus to have your virtual therapy sessions. 

Lastly our center is offering check in sessions with any student who is in quarantine due to being in contact with someone who tested postitive for Covid-19,as well as anyone who is in isolation. 

July 16th 2020

International Student Support Group

Are you struggling with isolation and uncertainty during these particularly challenging times and current political climate? You may be wondering if others can relate to your experience or longing for a place to connect with others around shared experience. Join us for an ongoing virtual support group, specifically for international students to talk about, reflect upon, and gather support from each other. The intention of this group is to provide a space in which participants feel validated in their experience, can explore the challenges of being an international student at this particular cultural moment, and can feel supported in their shared experience. It is not mandatory to attend all group sessions and you are welcome to attend as many meetings as you would like.

If you are interested in participating, the next step is to schedule a brief screening with the group facilitators, which will be conducted remotely over Zoom* video and last approximately 30 minutes. The screening is designed to explore your interest in the group and determine if it would be beneficial to you. There is no obligation to attend the group if you participate in a screening and you may withdraw your participation at any time.

To schedule a screening, please send an email to both kouttaba@duq.edu and kesslerl@duq.edu, indicating your interest in exploring the group. Group day and time will be determined based on the availability of interested students. If you have any questions or concerns about the group, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by email. *A HIPPA compliant version of Zoom provided by Duquesne University will be used for all interactions with students.

July 6th 2020

The Village : Where Duquesne African American students can express their emotional needs and recieve support. 

 The purpose of this virtual support group is to provide a space for Duquesne African American students to freely express themselves and recieve support concerning racial stress and the complexities around being Black in America.

Group will be held every Wednesday at 6pm. Group will be led by Quincy Stephenson: Stephensonq@duq.edu. Please email Quincy to sign up for this group and you will receive the Zoom Link. The Village is supported by the office of Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement in collaboration with Center for Student Wellbeing

*Healing Can Occur when The Village Comes Together*

April 14, 2020

Staff and Faculty Support Group

Please Join UCS for Staff and Faculty Support Group - Wednesdays at 4:30pm starting April 15th 

The department of Counseling Services, within the Center for Student Wellbeing, is offering a new virtual support group for all Duquesne University Staff and Faculty to provide support, community, guidance, and relief as we all deal with the COVID-19 crisis. This group is open to all members of the Duquesne staff and faculty community, including those working on campus and from home, all faculty, maintenance, custodial, food service and office staff, Spiritan Brothers and Fathers, administration, Public Safety, and our colleagues in the Center for Student Wellbeing. This group will strive to provide a shared space for all members of the staff and faculty community to more clearly identify and understand the impact of their stressors and feelings, share guidance and coping strategies, and decrease isolation. This group will be guided by the belief that while we are all sharing the same collective trauma (the COVID-19 crisis), we all may be experiencing different stressors, emotions, triggers, challenges and traumas during this crisis. Thus, this group aims to create space for each individual's unique experiences during this crisis and believes that all of our experiences, no matter what we are personally dealing with, are valid, deserving of support, and helpful for others to hear about. Importantly, no one's experiences are "too small or too big" for this support group.

Connecting to the Duquesne community at this time may also be therapeutic in itself to reduce isolation and the fear of dealing with this crisis alone during this time of quarantine. The group will "meet" over Zoom each Wednesday from 4:30pm- 5:30pm as part of the Center for Student Wellbeing's "Wellbeing Wednesdays." Although confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in any group setting, or over Zoom, we ask that all who participate agree to keep the identities of group members and content discussed confidential to each particular group meeting. Staff and faculty members are welcome to participate on any given Wednesday. The group will start on Wednesday, 4/15, and continue to meet each Wednesday at 4:30pm during the duration of the COVID 19 crisis. If you would like to participate, we ask that you email Amber Lasure at lasurea@duq.edu by 9 a.m. on the Wednesday(s) you plan to participate, so that we can send you a Zoom invitation for that day's group. The groups will be co-led by Laurie Kessler, Ph.D., L.P., Quincy Stephenson, L.S.W., and Amy Horton, Psy.D., post-doctoral resident. Amber Lasure, M.S., will also serve as a guest facilitator.

Please feel free to email us at the addresses below if you have any questions.

Laurie Kessler: kesslerl@duq.edu Quincy Stephenson: stephensonq@duq.edu Amy Horton: horton362@duq.edu Amber Lasure: lasurea@duq.edu

We wish everyone peace, acceptance, and of course health and healing during this time. We look forward to seeing and serving our colleagues through this support group.

April 1, 2020

Meditation Practices for Challenging Times Group

 Please Join Dr. T.J Smith for UCS Virtual Meditation Group for Students- Wednesdays at 2pm- Starting April 8th 

We are living in difficult times. The threat of the COVID-19 virus, and adjustments to manage it, have left many feeling anxious, distressed, sad, and lonely. Counseling Services is offering a Meditation for Challenging Times group for undergraduate Duquesne University students during this difficult period. The leaders of the group will teach practices to help you become more mindful of difficult feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations in hopes of not becoming overwhelmed by them. The group also gives you a chance to experience a sense of community with the group leaders and fellow undergraduate students. The following are some of the skills that may be taught: mindfulness of breath and body; recognizing and accepting our thoughts, emotions, and sensations; self-compassion; and gratitude.

The Meditation for Challenging Times will use Zoom Meetings. The group will be held on Wednesdays at 2:00, starting on April 8th, and is an open group in that you can participate in meetings when you are able. If interested, send an email to Dr. T.J. Smith expressing your interest in the group (smith721@duq.edu), and he will then send you an email with the Zoom link for group meetings. To note, the meditation group is not a psychotherapy group, and so please refer to Counseling Center's Covid-19 Announcements and Updates Page for instructions about inquiries for psychotherapy. Our hope is that the group will provide a community of learning about meditation practices that may help you with experiences of suffering during these challenging times.

March 20, 2020

  • All updates from March 16th, 2020 will continue.
  • Counseling services will continue to offer services remotely: this includes checking phone messages and emails daily during office hours.
  • counseling services will also be interacting with the wider DU community via social media outlets.

March 16, 2020

For most recent university wide updates about Covid-19 check the University homepage
• Counseling Services will be operating at a limited capacity:

  • All scheduled face-to-face therapy is suspended until further notice
  • Evening and walk-in hours have been suspended until further notice
  • For existing clients your therapist will contact you or you can reach out to them via email regarding support and remote therapy options. Refer to staff page on our website.
  • Zoom and teletherapy (e.g. google voice) options will be available through correspondence with your therapist

• For students who are not currently existing clients and feel you need support contact Sam Taylor or Dr. Ian Edwards for referral help or therapy options.

March 13, 2020
• Counseling Services will remain open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM until further notice
• Walk-in hours will be on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
• Counselors will be reaching out to their student-clients to discern availability for ongoing counseling
• In the event that student-clients will be returning home and need ongoing counseling while away from campus, counselors will use Zoom for delivering counseling services
• Our Connnections groups will continue via Zoom
• The 2020 Week of Wellbeing has been cancelled. (Individual events will be rescheduled).

Zoom link access and information