Renew Counseling is a clinic at SNU that offers a variety of services to SNU students and the SNU community. They house a number of clinicians with clinical experience ranging from psychologists to master’s level interns, and they offer a variety of pricing options that are affordable for all. Like many professions, counseling is often subject to misconceptions and misunderstandings, especially from those who aren’t aware of the easily accessible resources Renew has.
After talking with SNU students who are interested in going to Renew, I asked them a few of the misconceptions and misunderstandings that they had about Renew. One of the biggest ones was the cost of Renew. Undergraduate students at SNU get a free consultation in order to get paired with a clinician who is the right fit for them. I found that this was another misconception with students not knowing if they get assigned a clinician, or if they get to choose one. It is a little bit of both; you will complete a free phone screen with a clinician, and the results of your screening will be forwarded to the intake staff, who meets every Thursday. During those meetings, the staff will assign new clients to the clinician that they believe will be the best fit for you and your needs. Then you will be put in contact with the clinician to schedule your first appointment, and if they are not the best fit for you, there are referral sources.
After being paired with a clinician, an undergraduate’s first five sessions are completely free. The next five sessions are $5, and after ten sessions they are $10. There are also free group sessions offered to undergraduate students. These prices are very affordable, with no college student having to worry about expensive prices for counseling care.
After talking to an SNU female student, who is a junior and also a student-athlete, she had many misconceptions before trying Renew. “I didn’t think my mental health problems were big enough to need counseling, so I avoided it altogether, and that was a mistake.” She learned after finally going to counseling that Renew is for everyone, no matter how big or small your needs. She continued, “It is great to have an affordable resource right on campus for students to use and that is so accessible to us.” Renew wants to be a resource to any student, no matter how high or low you are in your life.
A male SNU student also had similar misconceptions when it came to Renew. However, he also spoke about his experiences at Renew and his appreciation of Renew’s services. “I have experienced a lot of growth since starting Renew. I used to think it was just a place for someone to go and talk about problems, but it has become so much more than that for me.”
These testimonies are what make Renew such an essential resource for those who want to seek counseling for anything going on in their lives. These misconceptions and misunderstandings push those away from a service that might be a benefit to them and their mental health. Challenging these misconceptions and promoting a more accurate understanding of therapy will encourage more people to seek the help they need for their mental and emotional well-being and to utilize the cheap and accessible services that Renew offers.
Photo by Kimalee Cook