(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s counselors are embracing telecounseling to help students through the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
TSTC counselors Courtney Moltzer, Colby Walters and Shanta Williams began video conferencing earlier this month to keep in touch with students they would normally see in-person on campus. All the counselors and students need is a secure internet connection and a smartphone, iPad or laptop to communicate.
Walters said the key for students is to find a place where they feel comfortable talking to the counselors during sessions. She said the biggest concern for her students is anxiety.
“Right now, it is grounding them and keeping them in the here and now,” she said.
Williams is using telecounseling for the first time to talk to her students.
“So far, it’s been good,” she said. “I have had a few keep their regular weekly appointments and have emailed to some of them with resources.”
Williams said her students have expressed concerns about their classes. During discussions, she has emphasized self-care and social distancing.
Students in need of counseling must contact TSTC’s counselors before being scheduled for visits, Moltzer said.
“We can never turn a student away,” she said.
The American Psychological Association supports telepsychology, with guidelines covering privacy and HIPAA compliance.
Walters said the current health situation could signal a change in how the counselors do their work in the future, and video could be a part of it.
For more information on Texas State Technical College’s counseling services, go to tstc.edu/student_life/counseling2.