JMU Counseling Center launches new services

by Caitlyn Read


The Studio, the Counseling Center's new expressive arts space

The Studio, the Counseling Center's new expressive arts space

The JMU Counseling Center is pleased to announce new services that support its mission of empowering students to develop the awareness, values and skills needed to meet future challenges and lead meaningful lives.

In addition to the services that will continue to be offered, including individual counseling, group counseling, crisis assistance, the Sexual Trauma Empowerment Program and more, the center now offers:

“#tacklinganxiety” and “You’ve Got This” treatment programs
Launched in spring 2014, both of these programs are designed specifically to assist JMU students in increasing resiliency skills and reducing anxiety symptoms.“#tacklinganxiety” provides proven strategies to effectively reduce anxiety, worry and panic symptoms. “You’ve Got This” helps students develop realistic perspectives and effective skills for coping with the stress of both daily college life and challenging personal situations.

Within the next month, students with a referral from their current counselor will also be able to access the treatment program content through online self-guided modules.

Expressive art theory space and relaxation room
The move from the Varner House to the new Student Success Center has allowed the Counseling Center to create The Studio, an expressive arts space and Oasis, a relaxation room. Both rooms will open on Sept. 4.

The Studio will house a plethora of art supplies, including paint, fabric, Play-Doh and more, allowing students to manage their stress and help themselves in a less formal way than traditional treatments. Time in this space can be as guided or as free as students feel helpful, and there will be resources available with ideas for expressive arts activities.

The Oasis will offer students two massage chairs, iPads loaded with relaxation and mindfulness apps, yoga mats, noise-canceling headphones, aromatherapy and more. The space is meant to help students deal with the stress in their lives by introducing relaxation and mindfulness practices that help promote peacefulness.

Expanded access to Francis
Francis is the Counseling Center’s therapy dog. While he will continue his Animal Assisted Therapy duties in individual counseling sessions, he will also be made more available to students across campus, outside of the center.

Students are welcome to meet Francis in the Student Success Center atrium on Tuesdays at 2pm. He’ll also be roaming campus around lunchtime on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Students are encouraged to drop by and see what it’s like to work with him, potentially breaking down any barriers that may have existed for seeking treatment.

“In studying our students’ needs, we found that managing distress and anxiety are top concerns,” said Dr. David Onestak, director 
of the Counseling Center. “These new resources and programs help us provide the highest quality of counseling to those struggling with these and other problems common to college students.”

If you are interested in learning more about these services or others offered through the center, please visit or call 540-568-6552. You can also stop by the Counseling Center’s open house on Thursday, Sept. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Student Success Center.


Sept. 1

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Published: Monday, September 1, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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