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Counselor Education Clinic Offers Services to Community

Play therapy, which offers a safe environment for children ages 4 to 10 to address a range of issues, is among the services offered at the Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

The University of Mississippi Counselor Education Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment provides resources to the entire Lafayette County and Oxford community, including assistance for all ages and for a broad range of issues.
Founded in 2015, the clinic, known as COPE, is staffed with two doctoral students and 14 graduate-level counselors-in-training. The student counselors are trained in counseling, interventions, diagnosis and treatment planning under the supervision of skilled counselors. The qualified staff can assist the needs of any from children to adults.
“The main benefit for the community is the lower cost of mental health services that we provide,” said Joshua Magruder, the clinic’s interim clinical coordinator. “We are dedicated to providing the best service at little to no cost for community members in need.
“Being a training clinic gives us the ability to make sure that the service quality is high due to the massive amount of supervision our counselors-in-training receive, but also provide that service at a lower rate than other professional counselors in the community.”
Working in the clinic has helped graduate student Brittany Power Holly, of Madison, better understand what it means to be a professional in the mental health field.
“COPE is a special learning environment because it allows students to struggle in a healthy way,” Holly said. “We are constantly challenged to push ourselves and learn from our mistakes.
“It takes knowledge and experience to become a better counselor, and COPE provides a safe environment for students to grow in that experience and it provides access to learn more about the profession. We are constantly receiving helpful feedback in a caring and supportive manner.”
The clinic can meet the needs of adults through individual counseling, couples counseling, family counseling, divorce mediation and group counseling. Many college students and adult community members use these services to treat mental health symptoms including anxiety, depression, grief, trauma and substance abuse, Magruder said.
Having students help staff the training clinic benefits clients by offering flexible hours and affordable care, Holly said.
“The community can greatly benefit from knowing about our clinic because COPE provides affordable services from passionate and eager students who are monitored and guided by the best professionals,” she said. “One of our bigger goals this year as a clinic is to educate the community more about mental health and inform them of the services we provide, like individual therapy, play therapy, group therapy and couples therapy.”
COPE is also an approved play therapy provider that offers a safe environment for children ages 4 to 10 to address issues from behavior problems, divorce, anger management, developmental delays, ADHD, autism, trauma and grief, among others.
“We use toys as the child’s language because they don’t have the developmental vocabulary to explain all their thoughts, feelings or behaviors at such a young age,” Magruder said. “Play therapy fosters responsibility, creative solutions, respect for others and self, learning to express emotion, and new social skills.”
The facility, at 850 Insight Park, Suite 163A, is part of the UM School of Education. Services are offered on a sliding-scale pay system to reach as many people in need as possible. The clinic also accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance.
For more information, visit https://cope.olemiss.edu/ or contact the clinic at 662-915-7197 or by email at cope@olemiss.edu.

By Christina Steube
For more questions or comments email us at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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