Southeastern Community Counseling Center open
Contact: Elise Doster
HAMMOND- Community members may now seek low-cost counseling services at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Community Counseling Center (CCC).
Developed through the Department of Counseling and Human Development, the CCC serves as a clinical-learning environment for graduate students working to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT).
Graduate students working toward a counseling degree must complete 100 hours of practicum before a two-semester internship in their specialization. The CCC provides graduate students with an opportunity to earn practicum hours while providing affordable and quality counseling to the community.
“Going to class is one thing but now it’s real clients with real-life situations,” said counseling graduate student Elizabeth Berniard of Kenner. “I have gotten a lot more comfortable in that environment, and it has been helpful to use the skills we have been taught.”
“The center is a great example of the partnerships Southeastern tries to establish with our area communities,” said Tammy Bourg, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our graduate students gain the skills and competencies they need to be professionals in their field while providing valuable, supervised counseling to area residents.”
Interim CCC Director Terry Pertuit said that while a professional counseling session can cost over $100, charges for sessions at the CCC are based on a sliding scale. Special financial circumstances may be accommodated.
“Counseling is not scary,” Pertuit said. “You don’t have to be sick. You could be someone who is struggling with some aspect of life or a developmental issue. I think it gives people an opportunity to get some needed help, direction and hope.”
Counseling services of the CCC include marriage and family, individual, child and adolescent, parent and career counseling. The center also hosts a Narcotics Anonymous meeting every Tuesday and Thursday at noon.
Interim Assistant Dean of the College of Education and Human Development Mary Ballard said the center is something that the university has been developing for around 10 years.
“We have a state-of-the-art facility,” Ballard said. “The equipment and furnishings the university has provided are great.”
Pertuit, a Southeastern graduate of the counseling master’s program, returned to the university after receiving her doctorate from Pennsylvania State University to start the CCC.
“What is really neat is that when I was doing my practicum here in 1998, it was very difficult to get clients,” Pertuit said. “To come back and to create an opportunity (for students) is great. It’s been very nice to give back.”
The CCC is located at 912 Oak Street in Hammond; hours of operation vary, and community members should call in advance to schedule an appointment.
For more information about the CCC or to schedule an appointment, call (985) 549-3457.