You always looked forward to going to college and all of the freedom it would provide. You had this picture in your head of finding the perfect group of friends (perhaps through a sport, club or Greek life), confidently making choices for yourself without parents around to tell you what to do and of course taking classes in subjects that you actually care about. Now that you are here, college stress and…well…life stress is getting in the way. The transition from high to college and then the transition from college to work post graduation are often more difficult than a person anticipates.
College is a unique period in a person’s life. You are still establishing your own identity in the midst of pressure put on you by family, yourself and society at large. You are expected to choose a future profession, navigate adult relationships and independently meet your own needs. Counseling can give you a safe space to explore your feelings and help you overcome the challenges you face in college.
How Can Counseling Help Me?
Our caring therapists can help you tackle a variety of mental health concerns and grow through all of the life transitions you face as a young adult. Here are just a few of the many mental health concerns that might bring college students into our Mid Missouri Counseling Clinic:
- Trauma & Abuse Recovery. Whether you’ve been through a natural disaster in the past, are getting out of an abusive relationship, were sexually assaulted/raped, or feel haunted by any other stressful life experience we are able to help. Aspire Counseling is known for trauma and PTSD treatment and has several qualified counselors that can provide evidence based trauma treatment.
- Grief and loss. Losing a loved one at any point in your life can be devastating, but there’s a unique flavor to it when a loved one dies while you are in college already struggling to define who you want to be. (MU students may also choose to participate in the on campus Grief Support Group).
- Anxiety. We treat social anxiety, generalized anxiety, test anxiety or just anxiety surrounding specific things.
- Gender Identity Affirmation. Aspire Counseling is a safe, affirming space. Our therapists advocate for LGBT rights and provide excellent counseling services to individuals of all sexual orientations and genders. We have sought out training on LGBT+ issues and have a therapist who specializes in working with transgender in the transition process.
- Depression. Depression is common in college, but the good news is that you don’t have to stay stuck. All of our counselors have experience and training treating depression.
- Life Transitions and Identity Struggles. College is a period of change and self discovery. Sometimes that feels unsettling and you need a little help navigating these changes and finding “you.” We can help you mentally, emotionally and socially make the transition from who you were in high school to who you will be in college. We also work with young adults who have recently graduated from college and are transitioning to life post graduation.
- Relationship struggles. While we do not provide couples counseling, we do often see people who struggle in relationships. We can help you improve your interpersonal effectiveness skills so you can be more successful in your friendships, romantic relationships and even future professional relationships.
- Stress management. Stress in college is inevitable and you may not feel equipped to cope with the demands placed on you by professors, friends, family, jobs and even pressure you put on yourself. We put a heavy emphasis on self care and can help you develop a personal plan for coping with stress.
- Worry about the future. Everyone worries about the future, but if you feel overwhelmed and anxious wondering what life will look like post graduation it might be helpful to have someone to process your feelings with.
Need help with something else? When in doubt, give us a call. If we’re not the right fit, we can help point you in the right direction of another local resources.
Why Choose Aspire Counseling?
We know you have choices when it comes to finding a therapist in the Mid Missouri area. In fact, we encourage you to very carefully consider your options and maybe even speak to more than one therapist. Why? Because research shows that having a therapist you feel comfortable with and can form a good therapeutic relationship with is key to getting better. We do want to let you know just a few of the reasons our counselors may stand out from other mental health professionals you speak to.
- We frequently work with college students and young adults. We’ve seen students taking classes at the University of Missouri (MU), Columbia College, Stephens College, Moberly Area Community College (MACC), Westminister and other secondary education programs. This means that we have some knowledge about the culture, campus resources, and pressures you are facing.
- Our therapists use evidence supported treatments. We believe strongly in evidence based practice and each of our therapists are trained in at least two therapies that studies have shown are very effective. We want you to feel better QUICKLY. Therefore, we want to use the type of treatment that has the best chance of helping you reach your goals the fastest. We have therapists trained in EMDR, DBT, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, CBT, ACT and others.
- Our office is comfortable. We want you to immediately feel at peace when you walk into our office. For this reason, we have nature scenes adorning our walls. We have little activities that promote self care available for you to use in our waiting area such as zen gardens, a sand mandala, adult coloring pages and books. We offer both hot and cold beverages and even small snacks. Our office will not feel like a doctor’s waiting room or an old campus building. We place a lot of emphasis on this idea that our office needs to feel inviting and comfortable for you to be able to feel comfortable opening up to us. You can see a few pictures of our waiting room here.
- We will treat you as an individual. Our therapists make every effort to treat you as an individual. We will ask about your goals and strengths and design a treatment plan with you in mind. Yes, we value research (see above), but we also know that everyone is different. At the end of the day, your goals, values and needs dictate your treatment plan. You are a partner in our work together and we will treat you that way.
- Our location. We are located in Columbia, MO. Our office is right off Providence directly behind the Grand Cru restaurant. For those of you who might be living at Campus View apartments, we are just across the street. It is easy and quick to get to our office from the MU campus or from downtown Columbia.
- We want you to see the RIGHT therapist for you, so each therapist offers a free consultation. First, you’ll notice that our website offers you a lot of information to help you find the right fit. Each of our therapists has a page where they’ve written a little about themselves, their approach to therapy and the clients they work best with. Then, when you first call or e-mail, our intake coordinator or clinical director will contact you and take time to assess what you are looking for and recommend the therapist they feel will be the right fit. Just to make sure you are with the right person, each therapist offers a free consultation either on the phone or in person before you commit to working with them. We value the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist and will go the extra mile to find just the right person for you.
Mental Health in College Blog Posts
- PTSD in College Students
- Stress in College
- First Steps to take after a Sexual Assault or Rape in College
If you’d like to talk more about how counseling might help or get started with counseling services, give us a call at 573-328-2288 ext. 0 or just send us an e-mail from this page.
“Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nobody gets through college on their own.”