SAD? How To Feel Better

Do you struggle with getting out of bed in the morning? Have you been getting down on yourself, lost energy for things you used to love, or realized you’re just not feeling yourself lately? Imagine having a time set aside to just talk about everything going on in your life with an objective person. It’s the season for Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as seasonal depression, so there is no better time to give therapy a try. Luckily, it’s offered at QU for free!

Macy Ferguson-Smith’s front desk is the first one you would see as you walk into the counseling offices. She is an understanding and down-to-earth person. Becca Griffith has regular appointments with her.

“She’s cool as hell,” Griffith said.

She is also a great resource for anyone with questions about LGBTQIA+ topics and experiences.

Ferguson-Smith’s phone number is 217-222-6550 ext. 3418.

Torre Stark focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy. She focuses on how thinking patterns affect behavior. If you have the same problem with a lot of people, run into the same uncomfortable situation all the time, or find yourself struggling with bad thoughts or habits, talking to her might be very beneficial for you.

“I think Torre is a good resource for those struggling with unhelpful thinking patterns that greatly interfere with everyday life. She is a caring individual who wants to help others who struggle with unhelpful thinking patterns that interfere with their everyday lives,” Elivia Edge said.

Stark’s phone number is (217) 222-6550 ext. 3748.

Ashley Christensen’s specialty is short term intervention. She is very good at coming up with plans and solutions for immediate problems. This includes things like panic attacks or feelings of intense stress or anxiety, depressive episodes, or even just one specific stressful event.

Christensen’s phone number is (217) 222-6550 ext. 3724.

Therapy has much less stigma attached than it used to, in fact it seems more normal every day. However, getting started can still seem intimidating.

The easiest way to make an appointment is to simply call one of those three numbers. You just ask to schedule an appointment and give your name and availability.

You can also schedule an appointment by stopping by. Counseling services are located inside of Friars Hall. Enter from any door and head to the far right. You’ll pass the security offices and the bathrooms and open the door at the end of the hall. Right before your first appointment, they will have you sign a bit of paperwork saying that you consent to being treated by the professionals.

“Being treated” might also sound intimidating, but it really isn’t a big deal. You will go back into their office and sit down in a comfortable chair and just talk about whatever is bothering you. You can ask for advice or just vent things you can’t say to anyone else. It ends after 45 minutes or whenever you are ready to go.

Once you have attended an appointment, making a regular weekly appointment is simple. After your first appointment, simply let them know that you would like a recurring appointment and come back at your weekly scheduled time.

At both of the QMG offices, your privacy is well-respected. There is a white noise machine in the waiting room which prevents anyone from overhearing anything. The therapists are under contract to keep what you say completely private. If there are serious concerns about self harm or risk of suicide, they will not just suddenly call emergency services without telling you. They are there to help you.

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