Echo Spring 2021 - 17

By Amy Mongiovi
" Students at times become overwhelmed
with the balance and responsibilities
of family, vocation and academic
preparation, " he said. " They struggle with
the stress of academic achievement and
lose sight of the goal of development
and growth in Christian service. "
Added Ogunlana, " It is a delicate dance
to manage the rigor of graduate school
with a triad of other responsibilities.
Thus, finding time to practice wellness
and self-care could easily be put on the
backburner of their lives. "
Throughout the process, Jackson was
positively impacted by the transparency
of the students and their willingness to
share their personal experiences. " This
has promoted effective services that
meet the needs of our students and lead
them toward academic success and
vocational competence with their client
base, " he said.
Similarly, Bond welcomed the
opportunity to be involved as a way to
reach students, team up with colleagues
and give back to his alma mater. " There
is more of a need for mental health
services than ever before, " he said.
Even though COVID-19 and some of the
stresses of 2020 and 2021 were new,
Bond recognized that current students
share similar concerns of pre-COVID
students, asking questions like: " How do
we transition into public or professional
service? How are we to integrate our
professed faith into our professional
career as a counselor/therapist/clinician?
How are we truly equipped to help the
needs of those we are called to serve?
And of course, have I learned and
retained enough to pass the National
Counselor Examination? "
In fact, Bond wished a similar support
program was available to him as a
student.
" The eagerness in which the students
have gravitated to this support group
has impacted my own thinking of how
to assure them they will be well, " he
shared. " It is interesting to note the
encouragement we all need-regardless
of our level of success. I have been
encouraged as I sit with the group,
and I see myself in their struggles and
challenges. "
Now that Bond is on the other side of
his educational experience at LBC |
Capital, he sees the value of the
preparation he received.
" I can truly say that my journey with
LBC | Capital has prepared me in a
multitude of ways, " he said. " I certainly
acquired the academic tools I needed.
The reinforcement built into the program
to study and share prepared me for
future licensure. The internships required
prepared me for a seamless transition
after graduation. However, it was the
sense of the family environment-that
LBC | Capital was concerned with the
whole person and not just creating a
title that helped me. "
Bond's classmate Chavis admits she
was a bit reluctant when Ogunlana first
reached out, concerned she may not be
able to deliver due to time constraints.
" However, once I met with her and
understood more fully the goals, I
thought, 'Why would I NOT do this,
especially at this time?' " Chavis said. " I
knew that something like this support
group would be beneficial to the
students because I was recently a
student myself and certainly could have
used something like this safe space to
ask questions and learn tools and coping
strategies to help me navigate life. "
Those coping strategies can help
with the anxiety and stress that lead
to burnout, occurring when one
feels exhausted and overwhelmed
emotionally, mentally and physically.
" Many of the students are dealing with
having to juggle full-time employment,
children, marriage, elder parenting,
personal and financial issues, academic
expectations, and add on top of that
having to deal with this during a
pandemic and heightened social justice
issues-it's a lot! " Chavis said. " They want
to know, 'How do I remain sane and
productive during so much chaos and
when there are so many expectations
of me?' "
Involvement in the support group
reinforced an important point Chavis
already knew: " It does not matter your
culture, gender, religious orientation,
Christian or not, we are all impacted by
anxiety, depression and stress. Question
is-what do we do about it? "
Like Chavis, Owens was tuned in to two
main struggles students face: 1) Trying
to juggle personal and professional
responsibilities while also keeping up
with the demands related to school, and
2) finding time to engage in one's own
needed self-care.
She added that her LBC | Capital
education helped her incorporate both
secular academics and spiritual values
into her counseling style. " As a counselor
who is also a Christian, learning both
styles and learning how to integrate the
two has been very instrumental in my
approach to counseling within a very
diverse society, " she said.
Through her engagement with fellow
alumni and faculty members who were
instrumental in her own journey, Owens
also witnessed the sovereign plan for all
involved, realizing that " God placed Kenn,
Brenda and I (founders of the private
practice, The Relationship Builders, in
Laurel, Maryland) in a position to offer
students support and encouragement.
Supporting the students in ways that
we ourselves were also challenged in as
students has truly been heartwarming. "
(To learn more about the Clinical Mental
Health Counseling program at LBC |
Capital - Washington, D.C., visit lbc.edu/
macmhc-md. For national mental health
resources and facts, visit prsinc.org/
crisis-link, call 800.273.TALK [8255] or
text CONNECT to 85511.)
ECHO 17
https://www.lbc.edu/capital/academics/master-of-arts-clinical-mental-health-counseling-md/ http://www.prsinc.org/

Echo Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Echo Spring 2021

Echo Spring 2021 - 1
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