Need counseling? UMKC offers its help

U-News Staff

Counseling is available through the Counseling Center located at 4825 Troost Ave. building. Students have eight free sessions per academic year.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an initial appointment with one of the staff counselors, call 816-235-1635.

“If a couple has been having some problems, it’s possible that Valentine’s Day could be an opportunity to try to reconnect or make each other feel special, which could temporarily help the relationship,” said Rachel Pierce, Counseling Center Staff Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator. “If they don’t eventually get to the root of the problem, what is sometimes referred to as the ‘honeymoon phase’ can end and the original problems are still there.”

Couples counseling is just one service provided by the Counseling Center, which specializes in psychology, health, testing and disability services.

Couples counseling is an option as long as one member of the couple is a UMKC student or employee.

“If both members of the couple are students here, they have 16 free sessions they can choose to use for couples,” Pierce said.

After the free sessions are exhausted, each session costs $15.

Pierce emphasized that all couples are welcome regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation.

Pierce said that each therapy session is tailored to the unique situation of the couple. The sessions discuss issues such as the history of the couple’s relationship and family matters, past romantic relationships.

Pierce said sessions may also address the need to communicate more effectively, increase understanding of both partners’ needs and values and learn adaptive ways to deal with conflict.

The Counseling Center’s staff includes licensed psychologists, a social worker and advanced graduate students studying counseling under the supervision of licensed staff.

“Counseling centers at many universities offer this because, for traditional-aged students, college can be a time of developing serious romantic relationships (perhaps for the first time),” Pierce said. “For all students, including older students, relationship problems can be difficult to navigate and may start to negatively impact one’s school performance, so learning to have a healthier relationship could be connected to a student’s success in school.”

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