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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, June 24, 2024
The Echo
Kathy Chamberlain.jpeg

New counseling director seeks stability

A new season for counseling

Taylor’s counseling center currently sits in a season of transition. Kathy Chamberlain, the new director of the counseling center, works to bring calm. 

Chamberlain worked as a social worker for 29 years in Cleveland, Ohio. During her career, she worked in residential areas, schools, churches and a private practice. She specializes in anxiety, mood disorders, grief, trauma work, couples work, adjustment issues and women's issues.

Chamberlain also has a daughter and son attending Taylor.

“My kids came home at Christmas and told me I should apply… it has been my dream to work at a college,” Chamberlain said.

At the end of last year, nearly a fourth of Taylor students had contact with the counseling center. In a changing world, that number will likely increase. 

Chamberlain's goal for the counseling center is biblically based and modeled after Luke 10:27, which reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” 

The four components — emotional, social, physical and mental health — in this verse represent a leg to the chair every student sits in. 

To support each student's chair, Chamberlain has implemented changes which she hopes will provide intervention in all ways necessary such as individual, couples and group counseling and direct care to any student. 

The counseling center seeks to provide crisis care as well. Any individual that finds themselves amid a crisis can reach out to the counseling center for support. Additionally, safety is the center's priority. 

But in order to adapt to the current climate, changes had to be made to the counseling center. 

"The transition over the last few years has been hard, but I am certain God has called Kathy to this office, her leadership has been life-giving and valuable,” Lori Heath, assistant for campus ministries said.

In her line of work, Chamberlain observed trends in help needed by individuals. She noticed that college-aged students dealt with the same issues as patients that were older in age.

Preventative care is all about working proactively — this is where Chamberlain finds she is making the most change. 

“The earlier we can help somebody recognize patterns and change that, the less likely they are to experience trauma later on,” Chamberlain said.  

To help with this, Chamberlain has implemented a weekly de-stress and restore class. This class is held on Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. behind the Dining Commons. The class seeks to teach mindful breathing. 

“We want to provide a place for people to learn breathing and mindfulness,” Chamberlain said. 

John and Zuko, campus therapy dogs, will also be at Taylor twice a month. Along with this, the center will offer workshops once a month focusing on topics like transition and anxiety.

The counseling center now has a “grounding room” that is open to anyone. In order to access the room, call the counseling center. The room offers aromatherapy, yoga balls and coloring books.

“We just want to provide options for all students,” Chamberlain stated. 

Heath echoed the same sentiment.  

If students need help, the counseling center has options. Students should email or call to make an appointment, the center will work to get students an appointment the day of.

Typically, Lori Heath will answer the call. She cares deeply about supporting students.

“My goal is for all students to know that they are heard...and get them the resources they need,” Heath said.  

To contact the office, email or call the number (765) 998-5222.

There are also walk-in hours each weekday. Call in the morning to find out the best time to come in. 

Along with this, there are accessible online resources. Students can find resources regarding breathing techniques through their Taylor portal. Interactive videos are soon to come as well.

“What I want students to know that we’re here for them, really more than anything,” Chamberlain said.