January 12, 2010
10-005

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Affordable Counseling During Economic Strain

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University’s Moore Street Clinic offers individual, couple and family confidential therapy sessions affordable to any income. During these difficult economic times, Dr. Martha Laughlin said the clinic is an ideal setting to address a variety of concerns without the financial burdens that are sometime associated with therapy sessions. No one is denied services based on an inability to pay.

“During times of high economic stress, job loss, and fears about finding employment, people are in particular need of trained clinicians. As money gets scarce, family relationships can be severely strained, and violence has a tendency to increase as adults worry and anxieties rise. The Moore Street Clinic offers a solution,” Laughlin said. “We offer our services to all people who seek them, regardless of age, gender, race, political or religious affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, education, economic status, disability or ethnic background.”

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) graduate program outfits the clinic with advanced standing graduate students under direct supervision of experienced, state licensed therapists. A variety of therapy methods are offered -- including one or two therapists and team therapy, during which one therapist is in the room and a team of therapists sits behind a one-way mirror to observe and provide suggestions for improvement in a safe and friendly environment. Family therapy student Reba Nelson said the Moore Street Clinic feels like one big family working to impact people’s lives for the better.

“The setting, the people, and the exchanges in and about therapy, all create a reasoned and assuring confidence in the transformative capacity of families, in all the forms that families come,” said Nelson. “Every day at the clinic, we are all -- faculty supervisors, student interns, and clients -- continually growing into our roles as accomplices in change that makes a difference.”

Even though family therapy suggests that therapists work with entire families about group issues, the Moore Street Clinic works with individuals, couples, and families to address a variety of issues, including anger management, anxiety, divorce, relationship and child behavioral problems and difficulty with communication. While the focus is on helping clients gain perspective into their lives, MFT students gain invaluable experience working with a variety of populations and issues throughout their career at VSU.

"Even though I am new to the field of marriage and family therapy, I feel I have learned an amazing and valuable piece of information that might seem obvious to some, but it is one that I know will impact my life and the way I now see others: My response will affect others’ responses," said Marcela Leiva, a first-year student in the MFT graduate program.

Therapy sessions are available at a variety of days and times, including evenings and weekends. Laughlin said the clinic makes every effort to work with individuals and families to find a time that works for them.

To schedule an appointment, at Moore Street, 210 West Moore Street, call (229) 219-1281 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. If you cannot call during these times, call anytime and leave a message, and an intake coordinator will return your call.