Taylor Gonzales/Courier Counselors Jennifer McCart, Dustin Weissman, Marcos Briano, Erica Phillips, and Dr. Rich Beyer of Pasadena City College’s pshycological services in the lobby on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
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When the world seems to be filled with nothing but disappointment and life doesn’t seem exactly exciting anymore, it’s important to remember that there is always somebody willing to help. Psychological Services at PCC wants students to know that seeking support is not something to be ashamed of, but is an admirable step.

Stigmas such as “asking for help means being weak” and “seeing a specialist equals to being sick” hold back people who need the support, but are afraid to admit it. Psychological Services is committed to help PCC students conquer all challenges faced in their personal and college lives, as well as coping with stress. Different professors, numerous classes, new responsibilities, midterms and finals altogether might seem like a nightmare, however, with the help of professionals it is easier to handle all the difficulties that students might experience.

Taylor Gonzales/Courier
Various pamphlets and magazines inside the lobby of psychological services at Pasadena City College on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

“I love my job because students come in really broken, really anxious. They come in here and they finally talk about the problem and they get the whole new perspective through their own thinking,” staff psychologist Patsy Wright said. “I think it’s [program] very successful but we need more hours per a day and we need more psychologists here.”

All enrolled students are eligible for eight appointments each semester and six appointments during winter and summer intersessions. Psychologists from the department are willing to help students with any type of problem they might have. The first appointment is an hour and a half long, and all subsequent weekly appointments last for 50 minutes. In addition, students have an opportunity for walk-ins for a 20 minute conversation with a specialist.

From the moment they enter the office, students get help. People working at the front desk are also willing to talk to the patients and provide support while they are waiting for the therapist.

“I like knowing that I’m going to help people and I’ve got to see their expressions as they come in and when they leave a little bit more relieved, I like that. That’s my favorite part,” college assistant Kevin Klein said. “I do think that psychologists do a lot of the work, but I do think that there is a big responsibility for the front desk to be able to at least defuse the situation and make them kind of over the edge.”

Psychological Services offers workshops on a variety of problems that college students can possibly face, such as family, school or relationship stress. They also provide self-care brochures and handouts, which can be found in their office as well as online.

Due to the fact that some people might feel embarrassed about receiving help because of the stereotypes about psychology and mental health, the department is going to switch their name to Student Personal Counseling Services next year.

Taylor Gonzales/Courier
The L Building at Pasadena City College, where psychological services is located on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

“We want students to be successful, we want students to stay here for a while and then transfer. What we want to do is get them strong enough, so they can move on and go to their four year school, that is our whole pusher,” staff psychologist Richard A. Beyer said. “We want students to be successful and if we had been a part of it than we feel like we’re successful too.”

All of the staff psychologists are booked for at least three weeks, so it is very important to schedule an appointment in advance. If a student missed a meeting without letting anybody know 24 hours before the scheduled time, then they are only allowed for walk-ins until the end of the semester. However, if the situation was an emergency, the student will be allowed to reschedule an appointment.

PCC has had psychologists on campus since 1950 and was one of the first colleges to offer these types of services. They provide help to each and every student for no additional cost, since it is included in student health fees.

Their office is located in L-108. Psychological Services are open 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All appointments are scheduled in person.

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