Counseling profession growing in midst of pandemic

Local News

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — As the spread of COVID-19 continues more Hoosiers are turning to mental health counseling. At Huntington University (HU), the school is seeing an increased interest of those looking to join the field and those looking for mental health counseling.

“There’s a need for counselors to be trained very specifically, in this environment, and it’s not something we could ever imagine, training counselors in the midst of a pandemic,” said Dr. Elijah Lee, Huntington University professor. “It’s how to be with people in the midst of human suffering. So I think there is a great need for counselors and a need for them to grow in their own self-awareness.”

Lee is a licensed professional counselor and educator at Huntington University. He says that the level and dynamic of anxiety and depression he and his fellow counselors have seen with the pandemic has been “unprecedented.”

“There is a need one for counselors to be able to ground and stabilize individuals within the crisis at hand,” Lee said. “Certainly after they fall out of the pandemic myriad of various issues I believe that will emerge and some already have.”

He says that students joining HU’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are wanting and are willing to be in the middle of a person’s trauma and help alleviate the suffering. That’s part of the draw for students coming into the program.

“A growth process for a councelor is that they need to do their own work,” Lee said. “It’s an essential piece of can I be there in the midst of this person’s pain and also have what’s going inside of me and take all the training and apply it.”

The coronavirus pandemic caused widespread social distancing. That lead to several people in need of support for anxiety and depression. More importantly, Lee says people are in need of human connection which HU is helping teach:

As the spread of the coronavirus continues Lee predicts that the increase in people looking for mental health counseling will increase as well as an increase in the field.

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Huntington University click here.

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