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Student Medical & Counseling Clinic

Pathways: An Introductory Counseling Seminar

After you’ve completed the screening paperwork and spoken to a counselor you will most likely be enrolled in a Pathways series. At the completion of Pathways you will once again see the counselor that conducted your screening. Your counselor will then talk to you about your experience of Pathways and collaborate with you about the next step in the counseling process.

If you have questions or concerns about the counseling process please contact the counselor that completed the screening with you.

In our effort to provide quality professional counseling services to the students of CWU, we offer an innovative program developed specifically for a university setting. The program is educationally oriented to reflect the college environment.

The first step in the counseling process is for you to develop some basic understanding and skills that will be value-added to the counseling process. With the idea of accelerating the change process we have developed a three-session, fifty minutes per session, seminar that nearly all students can find beneficial.

The seminar is not group therapy. It is a curriculum driven workshop that has structure and specific learning objectives. The amount of personal sharing is limited and participants are not required, nor especially encouraged, to talk about why they are seeking counseling. We respect your right to privacy and  have designed the seminar with that in mind.

What’s required of me?

We ask that you become personally engaged in the material presented in the three seminars. We’ve kept the material at an introductory level but also at a level we believe all students, regardless of why they came to the Center, can benefit from. If you typically have a judgmental and critical mind, ask yourself if you can show up with your judgmental mind and still participate fully, just to see if you can be judgmental and still get something useful for yourself.

But why a seminar?

Pathways is a psycho-educational group. As a psycho-educational group it has a lesson plan and each seminar session has specific objectives with each seminar building on the material in the preceding seminar.

We have chosen to present the Pathways material in a seminar format because students are accustomed to learning in a group setting and, through participation with other students, the concepts and ideas presented may actually become clearer and more personally meaningful. Through participation you might come to the realization that other people can understand what you’re experiencing, that you can learn from others, and that other students might share similar experiences as yours.

So what’s covered in Pathways?

Pathways introduces the practice of being mindful of what’s going on within you in the moment. Often, if we are paying attention, we will find our minds wandering into the past or into the future. Being mindful of the present moment helps us to ground ourselves with what we are experiencing right now and what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Pathways introduces the idea of acceptance; acceptance of our experiences. If you think about it, whatever our experiences are in this moment are exactly as they should be. Given our unique histories the experiences we have couldn’t be other than what they are. Of course, it’s a lot easier to step back and accept unpleasant thoughts and feelings if we have some psychological space from which to observe and experience them and this space is cultured through being mindful.

Finally, Pathways introduces the idea of willingness. Willingness asks whether you are ready to stop struggling with your inner experiences—your thoughts, feelings, sensations - are ready to mindfully accept what shows up for you, AND move yourself in a direction that gives your life meaning, value and purpose.

We appreciate that Pathways has an aggressive agenda for only three sessions; however, we view students as capable learners and our goal is to merely introduce being mindful, accepting and willing for your consideration.