SHAW Counseling Services During COVID-19
For the most up-to-date information about Grinnell College’s COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID-19 webpage.
Available to all students no matter their location.
The international student workshop is an open group which provides confidential space, and supportive space for international. Confidentiality will be maintained, meaning information will not be collected while attending this workshop. Stay connected during these uncertain time, through theme-based discussion, participants will have opportunities to reflect together on their needs and goals and learn to approach challenges with a growth mindset. The workshop provides space for students to share their stories, challenges, and successes as they work to achieve their goals at Grinnell College. The goal of SHAW is to cultivate personal and academic growth by embodying resilience, self-awareness, learning from each other, and creating a caring community. Learn about the process of acculturation (including maintaining your cultural identity while adapting) to the USA.
Facilitator Birant Akbay, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa
When: Fridays, 10/30/2020–12/11/2020
Time: Noon–1 p.m. CST, starting Oct. 30, 2020
Where: Zoom Links for each week are below
Who should attend: Open to all international students in any location
Topics of discussion may include
- How do we cope with the global pandemic and concerns for family and friends in home countries?
- What are ways to cope with feeling invisible and isolated?
- What do we feel about and how do we cope with prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia in the US?
- What is it like to adjust to US academic environments and culture?
- How do we cope with anxiety about VISA issues and employment restrictions?
- How to navigate the current immigration climate in the U.S.?
- How to negotiate expectations and demands from different cultural contexts and norms?
Zoom link for each week
This workshop teaches skills for managing strong emotions and impulses that interfere with our lives and relationships. The workshop uses principles of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT has been demonstrated to be effective in helping individuals across populations facing a variety of challenges. DBT skills center dialectics, or the balance between opposites, and behavior as the catalyst for change. The skills taught in DBT are for anyone interested in improving their relationship to their emotions and managing conflict better.
Facilitator: Teague Craig, Staff Counselor
When: Wednesdays noon–1 p.m. CST, starting Sept. 16
Where: See schedule below for each week’s link.
Who: Students in any location
This workshop teaches skills for managing strong emotions and impulses that interfere with our lives and relationships. The workshop uses principles of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which was originally developed in the 1990s to help individuals dealing with significant emotional and relational instability. DBT has since been demonstrated to be effective in helping individuals across populations facing a variety of challenges. DBT skills center dialectics, or the balance between opposites, and behavior as the catalyst for change. Ultimately, the skills taught in DBT are for anyone interested in improving their relationship to their emotions and managing conflict better.
What are DBT skills and what should I expect?
DBT is comprised of four skills-based modules: distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. In this workshop, we focus on skills in one module each week and present different skills each time we rotate through a module, such as self-soothing for distress tolerance, or assertive communication for interpersonal effectiveness.
Workshop norms and expectations will be reviewed briefly at the start of every session and include the following:
- Honor confidentiality of others
- Refrain from giving advice
- Agree that you are not currently having thoughts of harming yourself or others (or if you are, agreement to share and pursue safety plans to prevent harm)
- Mute yourself when not speaking
- Turn on your camera to allow for optimal facilitation
Who should attend?
Anyone who would like to learn skills to be more in control of their emotions and the ways they interact with people in their lives. This is not a counseling group and is not a substitute for either individual or group counseling. However, participants are welcomed and encouraged to ask questions and share examples of how they have used skills. Students may attend as many or as few sessions as they like and may attend group or individual counseling concurrently. See SHAW’s main page for information on accessing counseling services, depending on your location and/or your insurance.
This workshop is accessible to anyone regardless of location during remote learning.
Please register for this workshop by calling SHAW at any time prior to the session you would like to attend. This allows us to keep the group to 10 participants maximum and for us to send you the secure link to join prior to the start of the session. All sessions will be locked at 5 minutes past the hour, so please be sure to arrive on time.
Call SHAW to register or to consult and find out if this workshop meets your needs. 641-269-3230
- Mindfulness skills help us observe what is happening in the present moment without judgment. This in turn helps us be more effective in our daily lives. Mindfulness also helps us bridge the gap between our rational and emotional minds.
- Developing distress tolerance skills can help us better manage crises. When we feel overwhelmed or pained by events, urges, and emotions and have to deal with circumstances we don’t want to deal with, we can employ distress tolerance skills to get through the moment.
- Emotion regulation skills are about understanding and naming emotions, reducing the intensity of the emotions we struggle with, managing emotional extremes, and reducing vulnerability to intense emotions by engaging in proactive behaviors.
- Interpersonal effectiveness skills help us learn how to deal with conflict, to get our needs and wants met, and to get better at saying no while respecting ourselves, respecting others, and maintaining others’ respect for us.
Week 1: Sept. 16 — Mindfulness
Week 2: Sept. 23 — Distress Tolerance
Week 3: Sept. 30 — Emotion Regulation
Week 4: Oct. 7 — Interpersonal Effectiveness
Week 5: Oct. 14 — Mindfulness
Week 6: Oct. 21 — Distress Tolerance
Week 7: Oct. 28 — Emotion Regulation
Week 8: Nov. 4 — Interpersonal Effectiveness
Week 9: Nov. 11 — Mindfulness
Week 10: Nov. 18 — Distress Tolerance
Week 11: Dec. 2 — Emotion Regulation
Week 12: Dec. 9 — Interpersonal Effectiveness
This workshop provides preparation for demanding careers and graduate study to first-generation Grinnell students by addressing some of the unique challenges they face as well as introducing them to real life examples of first-gen college students. We plan to provide examples from first-gen college students who have matriculated from college and are utilizing their skills and experiences in different careers and graduate studies.
Facilitator: Enrique Smith, Doctoral Candidate, University of Iowa
When: To be determined
Where: Zoom — link coming soon
Who: Students in any location who identify as first-generation college students
Only available to students residing in Iowa. Must meet with SHAW counselor to be enrolled.
This group provides therapeutic counseling for students who self-identify as Black, indigenous, or as people of color. The aim of this group is to connect members with one another to identify challenges and strengths of BIPOC students and their mental health. This group honors the needs for self-preservation in times of racial stress, and for culturally relevant, radical self-care.
Facilitator: Hodan Farah (Hodie) Staff Counselor
When: Tuesdays noon–1 p.m., starting Sept. 15
Where: Zoom — link sent after enrollment meeting
Who: Students currently located in Iowa who identify as BIPOC. Interested students should call 641-269-3230 to schedule a short meeting with Hodie to discuss enrolling.
Finding a Local Mental Health Provider
For students who would like to pursue mental health services locally, there are a few ways you can go about searching for a provider.
This is probably the simplest, most streamlined way to find providers. For most people, it will be the most efficient option.
- Go to your insurance carrier’s web site and search for a provider, or call and ask for a list of providers.
- Call or mail those providers to ask about current openings.
- Ask to schedule a consultation to determine goodness of fit.
- Search based on location, insurance carrier, and any specialty areas of focus you would like your provider to have.
- Create a list of providers you’d like to contact and reach out.
- Ask to schedule a consultation to determine goodness of fit.
If you are struggling to find an available provider in your insurance network, you have other options.
- Many areas have low-fee, sliding-scale community mental health agencies with qualified providers. Reach out to determine whether you are eligible for the services they provide.
- Some mental health providers offer sliding-scale options based on financial need. If you’d like to work with someone who doesn’t state they offer a sliding scale, ask directly if they have that option, and if not, if they have any referrals who do.
- Web sites such as Open Path Psychotherapy Collective allow you to search for providers in private practice who have committed to providing low fee, sliding scale mental health services to clients who meet financial need.
- Apps such as BetterHelp and Talkspace can connect you with providers offering online services who are licensed in the state you’re residing in. These providers typically charge less per week than a full-fee individual session would cost in private practice. Bear in mind that these platforms are primarily a way to connect providers and clients, and that the mental health provider is still ultimately responsible for your care, rather than the company.
- Students in remote parts of the country with limited access to mental health providers may find greater access now as many, if not most, providers transition to providing services remotely. As such, you might expand your search to cover a wider area, for example, or set your search for the nearest urban areas.
- The first provider you make contact with may not be the best fit, or may not be available. Ask for referrals. Not all skilled providers have an online presence.
- Many providers are offering mental health by videoconferencing for the first time in their careers. Brace yourself for some technical difficulties and general awkwardness as folks adjust to new modalities.
- Many mental health providers will offer a free 15-minute or longer phone or video consultation to ensure goodness of fit. If they don’t offer, ask. A large body of research indicates that the relationship between client and provider is one of the most important factors in effectiveness of psychotherapy. It will benefit you to put some effort into finding someone you feel comfortable talking to.
We know that whatever affects the personal lives of students can also affect the ability to learn. Our goal at Student Health and Wellness is to provide access to counseling services which help Grinnell students succeed academically, personally, and interpersonally. Some students seek our services simply because they want to have a confidentiality conversation with a counselor; others are experiencing significant distress.
Our counseling team includes:
- licensed psychologists
- licensed mental health counselors
- licensed independent social workers
- therapists pursuing license and under the supervision of a licensed staff therapist
- graduate level trainees under the supervision of a licensed staff therapist
We also have connections with providers in the surrounding community for students who prefer to see an off-campus provider.
The cost of counseling services are covered by student tuition fees. Thus, you must be an enrolled student at Grinnell to seek our services. We do not provide services to benefits-eligible employees of the college. We also do not treat families, friends, or peers of students who are not enrolled at Grinnell.