Welcome Note from the Director
“Integrating the past, present and future”
On behalf of the management, faculty, staff and students of Covenant University I specially welcome you to the Covenant University Counselling Centre (CUCC). The University’s mission includes raising a new generation of leaders. The word “new” in the mission statement implies that there is an old or existing generation of leaders and the rest of the mission statement also acknowledge current endeavors and future needs for a new generation of leaders. The University’s emphasis on human development as reflected in all her academic majors is a deliberate action and to support the driving of the vision, the Counselling Centre was established to provide an array of integrated services. The Centre’s approach is to provide individualized care to members of the University community (especially students), by assessing current situation of the individuals and integrating their past in order to help the individuals function more effectively.
Guided by the code of ethics of Psychology and Counselling professions, the Centre promotes privacy and confidentiality of client information obtained during counseling sessions. Clients can, however, sign a request that their information be released to a third party for further intervention if the need arises. The Centre works in collaboration with the health centre, the chaplaincy, student affairs, international office & linkages and student council. A potential client can self-refer or be referred by anyone; including a parent or guardian.
Once again, welcome to Covenant University Counselling Centre.
The CUCC’s vision is to be highly visible and recognized as provider of integrated supports that are integral parts of the mission of Covenant University. The CUCC aims at facilitating physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health of students, faculty and staff of Covenant University.
The CUCC as a progeny of Covenant University mission is a comprehensive support Centre, established to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University. This Centre is committed to creating a campus environment that supports and values the unique contributions of all individuals.
STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
The CUCC’s goals are:
- To promote campus community’s awareness on the various CUCC’s services through provision of professional information and education.
- To enhance the client’s ability to function normally and maximize his or her potentials, the CUCC offer’s an array of individualized services by effectively dealing with client’s bio-psychosocial needs.
- To provide training and professional development in the various areas of its services.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CENTRE
The Centre exists to develop and offer services designed to assist students, faculty and staff so as to acquire those skills, attitudes, and resources necessary to pursue productive and satisfying lives and to succeed on Covenant University campus. The goal of the Centre includes contributing to the overall educational mission of the Covenant University by facilitating the academic and career development; social and emotional well-being of students, faculty and staff.
In addition, the Centre is also to train new clinical professionals, provide consultation to the campus community, and engage in on-going research activity aimed at program evaluation and the assessment of student needs. The Centre considers it an important part of it mission to design and deliver programs and services to all that seeks it services in ways that recognize, respect, and value diverse backgrounds, characteristics and abilities of students, faculty and staff.
The Centre’s practices rests upon the spiritual and humanistic values of self-reflection, life-long learning and the development of the whole person. Services of the Centre will enable students, faculty and staff to fully participate in and contribute to the academic and community life of Covenant University. The CUCC promotes the psychological health of students and the campus community through preventative programming, clinical interventions and professional consultations.
At CUCC, services are tailored to the needs of individuals, including assessment, consultation, brief psychotherapy, and referrals. Through collaboration with other campus support services, CUCC contributes to student success, academic excellence and the creation of a vital, engaged campus life at Covenant University.
A self-service Resource Room of the CUCC is underway and will provide information on various topics that include anxiety, career exploration, depression, trauma, self-esteem, test anxiety, and much more. Books, videotapes, compact disks (CD), audiotapes, and computer programs at the centre are available for self-help.
Counselling and Psychological Services
The clinical professional staff helps clients explore, understand, and work through problems on an individual basis. Individual counseling can help students find alternatives, expand choices and overcome obstacles that interfere with personal development and a sense of well-being. The clarification and resolution of personal problems often facilitate a person’s ability to concentrate, increase clarity regarding academic direction, productivity, career choice, stability, and enhance relationships.
A wide variety of issues and concerns are brought to the Centre. While some are short- termed and may be easily addressed after one or few counselling sessions, other issues have been present for a longer period of time. In either case, meeting with an appropriate competent professional can help a person address such issues and enhance his/her productivity and life satisfaction.
The issues that could be brought to CUCC include:
- Anti- Social Behaviour
- Adjusting to College life
- Self Esteem and Body Image Concerns
- Stress and Anxiety
- Eating Disorders
- Relationship Concerns
- Family Conflicts
- Substance Abuse
- Victim of Abuse – physical, sexual and emotional
- Learning Disability.
All groups require a pre-group screening in order to learn more about the group and whether or not it will meet the individual’s particular needs. A therapy group consists of a small number of people, usually not more than eight or ten, and one or two trained group Counsellor(s). Group therapy offers a unique opportunity of joining a small group of people who share common concerns. The purpose of the group is to provide a safe as well as challenging place in which to work on personal and interpersonal concerns. Members can discuss perceptions of each other and give and receive feedbacks on how they are perceived by others. Therapy groups are different from other groups because everything that happens in the group is confidential; what is talked about or disclosed is not discussed outside the group.
Establishing a level of trust allows group members to talk openly and honestly. The group members and therapists work together to establish trust and commitment to the group. The first few sessions usually focus on the establishment of trust, as well as other ground rules for the group. Groups are designed to foster active learning, a place to work on issues rather that just talk about them. Members often experience in the group the same difficulties they have elsewhere. The group, with the help of the therapist, is able to give support and understanding, offer suggestions, or gently confront the person. Groups offer opportunities to experiment with different ways of communicating with others and to try new behaviors. Those who benefit most are usually those who take an active part in the process and who allow themselves to give and receive honest, helpful feedback. Group counselling also provides opportunities to learn that others have similar difficulties and to also learn about oneself as others works on their own problems. In an atmosphere of mutual concern, members can care about and help each other.
The CUCC is committed to helping individuals work through problems they might be having in their relationships with others. Couples seek counselling to address issues such as: frequent conflicts, interpersonal communication, power or control struggles, sexual concerns or other threats to their relationships.
Interpersonal relationship skills such as healthy communication, conflict resolution, and cooperative goal setting are often fostered as key parts of treatment. With the assistance of the therapist, many couples develop a more intimate, satisfying, and healthy relationship and learn skills, which help the relationship continue to grow after counselling has ended. Couple counselling is available to students, faculty and staff, even if their partner is neither a student nor employee of CU.
University students typically encounter a great deal of stress (i.e., academic, social, family, and finance etc) during the course of their life on campus. While most students cope successfully with the demands of college life, for some, the pressures can become overwhelming and unmanageable. Students in difficulty have a number of resources available to them. These include close friends, relatives, the chaplain, and coaches. In fact, anyone who is seen as caring and trustworthy may be a potential resource in time of trouble. Competent clinical professionals who can assist students in times of personal crisis are available at the CUCC. Staff at the Centre can also provide debriefing for traumatic events that may occur on campus, such as in the student’s Halls of Residence, or in an academic department for faculty and staff.
Confidentiality and Privacy of Records
It is the policy of the CUCC that clinical counsellors and staff must adhere to the policies and procedures of the centre, CU policies and regulations and the ethical guidelines of the respective professions. All client records will be kept as private data and may only be reviewed by the client or the client’s designated representative with a written authorization from the client. It is the policy of the CUCC clinical counseling services to have a statement of these practices available to clients in the form of a statement of “Client Rights and Responsibilities” which is given to the client at the time of registration and initiation of services.
Reporting Physical and other forms of Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Persons
Physical or other forms of abuse of vulnerable persons will be reported to the appropriate university authorities.
If and when a clinical staff learns of sufficient information to report abuse of a vulnerable person, a report will be made. When possible and deemed advisable, the client will be told of the need to make a report and will be given the option of self-reporting with the support of the clinical counsellor or staff involved. The staff will discuss the action taken with a supervisor or the Director or during a case consultation meeting.
The CUCC’s Testing Services offers CU students and students of other institutions access to a variety of standardized testing and test preparation materials. The CUCC represents many international Testing and Assessment Organizations and maintains a library of reference and resource guides for the various tests offered. The CUCC Testing Services administers a variety of tests, including computer-based testing (CBT), paper and pencil testing and counselling tests.
Career CounselLing, Assessment and Resources
Anyone who wishes to explore career and vocational choices, as well as academic majors and changes in goals, can benefit from career counselling. The CUCC often uses personality and interest inventories and other assessment measures to assist in the process of choosing and developing a major or career.
The ultimate goal is to assist individuals in developing sound self-evaluation techniques. In addition, the center has a variety of current reference material about careers, as well as a computer-based system that includes information on specific occupations, job characteristics, employment outlook, training and educational facilities.
Student Practicum and internship Experiences
The CUCC is an available facility to students of Covenant University Psychology Department and appropriate departments of other universities to participate in counselling practicum and internship, which provides an intensive supervised experience in counselling with individuals, groups and/or couples. The practicum students are exposed to the process and conduct of clinical assessments, psycho-education, consultations, and crisis intervention services.
These courses are designed to help students gain increased competence as counsellors/therapists-in-training, as well as to expose them to a variety of clinical activities and topical issues. Eligibility of an interested applicant is based on criteria set by both CUCC and the academic department of the student. Academic programs may include psychology and counseling.
These supervised experiential opportunities provide students from the appropriate academic programmes opportunity for development and expansion of basic counselling and psychotherapeutic skills, promote insight regarding human development, behavior and motivation, greater awareness of ethical issues, and an increased sense of professional competence. Practicum/internship students obtain counselling experience under the individual supervision of professional staff members of CUCC. In addition, they have opportunities to co-lead groups and participate in various educational and outreach activities. Through the training experience, students develop their clinical and consultative skills so that they can take on new professional roles.
The philosophy that guides both student practicum and internship programmes is the practitioner-scholar model, which is grounded in “learning by doing”, utilizing research findings to direct the counselling process. Practicum/internship students are engaged in multiple activities, which give them experience in individual, couple and group counselling, testing, and other related functions at the centre. The CUCC believes that the greatest trainee growth transpire through ongoing feedback in a sensitive and supportive climate.
Practicum/internship students also work in a supervisory capacity to one another through case conferences, training seminars and case review meetings. It is the aim of the Center that the training program assist each student to develop professionally, ethically, and therapeutically so that she or he becomes a competent clinician.
LINKAGES, COLLABORATIONS AND COMMUNITY IMPACT
The CUCC, on behalf of Covenant University in partnerships with Small and Medium Entrepreneurial Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Prison Fellowship Nigeria (PFN) and Nigerian Prison Service, runs “the Onesimus Project” in Kirikiri Medium Prison. This is a rehabilitative “life recovery” project for inmates who are at six months to their release dates. The components of the project consists of psychological services including assessment and psychotherapy, spiritual development and counseling, entrepreneurial training, vocational skills training and one-on-one mentoring that starts six months before an inmate’s release date and continues for at least six months after release date. “The Onesimus Project” involves recruitment and training of mentors from various church denominational memberships of Prison Fellowship of Nigeria, screening and selection of eligible inmates, admission and matriculation, instructional training of inmates, provision of individualized psychotherapy and graduation ceremony.
CUCC is being actively represented and playing a major role in the University’s Faculty Support Programme (FSP), which plays an in-loco parentis role to students by ensuring that the physical, social, and spiritual needs of students are met and continually improved upon.
CUCC is daily represented on Hebron FM which is the university’s community radio station. The centre’s segment tagged “Body & Soul” is transmitted live to the community. This programme provides practical solutions on relationships, mental and emotional health issues. Staff of CUCC also serves as on-air counsellors for Hebron FM’s other programme where issues concerning marriage and clinical counselling are broadcasted to members of the community.
Outreach and Consultation Services
The CUCC is committed to reaching out to the university community. Outreach services that include presentations and workshops on various emotional/mental health topics and interpersonal issues comprise other important component of service the centre offers. The Centre sponsors programs that range from specific psychological and interpersonal topics to simply informing members of the CU community about the range of available services. The CUCC staffs are also involved with other members of the university community such as chaplain, faculty, and healthcare professionals in providing collaborative programmes. In addition to workshops and presentations, CUCC staffs are available upon request to consult with faculty or other university officials about the psychological and academic well-being of students or employees. Whether responding to concerns about an individual who is in a crisis, speaking to a group of students regarding specific concerns they may have, or simply being available following a more public crisis or trauma, the CUCC staffs are constantly available to assist the campus community.
Efforts to accredit CUCC as authorized Test Centre for different standardized assessments and foreign universities admission tests are at various stages. The Centre, in no distant future, will be able to offer many testing services and assessments to the university community and the general public.
CU students and students of other institutions will have access to a variety of standardized testing and test preparation materials from this centre. CUCC will spare no effort to continuously represent many international Testing and Assessment Organizations and maintain a library of reference and resource guides for the various tests offered. The CUC Centre Testing Services administers a variety of tests, including computer-based testing (CBT), paper and pencil testing and counseling tests. The current plan to offer these services per fee as may be prescribed authors and organizations that publish them.