By Jordan Bowen, Chattanooga, Tenn. —

The UTC Counseling and Personal Development center offers many services to students seeking assistance for various reasons.  

The counseling and Personal Development center on campus exists to give students a place to turn when they may need some extra help.  Located on the 3rd floor of the University Center in office 338, this important student resource strives to “encourage personal growth and development,” states its home page.  

The counseling and personal development center offers several different kinds of counseling.  Their individual counseling sessions are described as “a confidential, helping relationship between a counselor and the client.”  Each individual session is 50 minutes long and free of charge to the student.  

If individual counseling does not meet a student’s mental health needs, there is also the option of group counseling. This is a safe space where students can come together to discuss similar issues.  

Among the numerous counseling services offered by the center, there are also options for career testing, personality testing and college adjustment.  Students who have a hard time choosing their major or adjusting to a fast-paced college lifestyle may be helped by these alternatives.  There are also career planning services for students who may be unsure.  

The benefits of the counseling and personal development center do not stop with counseling, however.  

The center holds weekly events as a way to reach out into the community in a non-traditional way.  Students have options such as art therapy that are held on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  There are also groups specifically for women, veteran students and new students who may be having difficulty transitioning to campus life.  Many of these groups can be found on Facebook and other social media sites in order to be more connected to the students they serve.  

If students are seeking these services, walk-in hours for new clients are from 9 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The wait is “usually no longer than 20 minutes,” according to the center’s home page.  

For on-campus students who are experiencing a crisis, an on-call counselor is available 24/7.  

Students who wish to find out more about the Counseling and Personal Development center can access their home page on www.utc.edu/counseling-personal-development-center.  The page provides a great deal of information including a frequently asked questions page, parent resources and detailed profiles of all the counselors and center staff.  There is also a ‘myth’ page that addresses common misconceptions about mental illness that aims towards breaking the stigma that surrounds it.