We're Here To Help

The Counseling and Life Development Staff are available to assist all current Webster University students, faculty and staff. If you have any personal issues interfering with your success at 四虎影视 or beyond, please know that we are here to help. If you have a particular counselor with whom you would like to meet, just let us know.

The first step is up to you. Stop by or call our office to make an appointment, or email us now to find out more. Just walk in to our office at 540 Garden Avenue, call the Counseling and Life Development office at 314-968-7030, or email counselingld@webster.edu (non-confidential).

Common Reasons for Counseling

The Bullets of Abusive Relationships

  • Does your partner get angry when you talk on the phone?
  • Do they open your mail?
  • Is your partner angry when you are just a little late getting home?
  • Does your partner want you home when they are home?
  • Do they keep you from seeing friends or say bad things about the people you like?
  • Are you sometimes afraid of your partner?
  • Do you worry about what they will think about how you dress?
  • Do you ask your partner who you can see or whether you can go out?
  • Are you careful of what you say so that they won't get upset?
  • Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells?
  • Do they  call you names like "stupid, "bitch" or "bastard"?
  • Does your partner say no one else would want you?
  • Do they tell you what is "wrong" with you in front of other people?
  • Have they made you do things that make you feel ashamed?
  • Has your partner said they will go crazy or kill themselves if you leave?
  • Does your partner react to things by yelling, slamming doors or throwing things?
  • Does your partner refuse to let you go out unless you do as they say?
  • Does your partner threaten to hit you if you don't obey?
  • Do they force sex on you when you don't want it?
  • Do you work so hard to please them that you feel worn out?
  • Are you unable to do things you used to do easily?
  • After your partner has been mean, do they act sweet and loving?
  • After you partner has hit you, do they act remorseful and say they'll never do it again?
  • When you decide to leave, do they give you hope for change?
  • When you consider leaving, do you decide to stay because you think of the good times and hope they will happen again?

If any of these bullets apply to your relationship, it may be abusive

Abuse can be emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational. People in abusive relationships often feel very alone, embarrassed and trapped. The important thing to know is that this is NOT your fault. You have the right to be treated with respect and kindness.

Call or come to Counseling and Life Development. We are located at 540 Garden Avenue, 314-968-7030.

The Signs of Addictive Relationships

  • Even though you know the relationship is bad for you (and perhaps others have told you this), you take no effective steps to end it.
  • You give yourself reasons for staying in the relationship that are not really accurate or that are not strong enough to counter-act the harmful aspects of the relationship.
  • When you think about ending the relationship, you feel terrible anxiety and fear which makes you cling to it even more.
  • When you take steps to end the relationship, you suffer painful withdrawal symptoms, including physical discomfort, that is only received by reestablishing contact.

If any of these signs apply to your relationships, it may be addictive

  • Make your "recovery" the first priority in your life.
  • Become "selfish," i.e. focus on getting your own needs met more effectively.
  • Courageously face your own problems and shortcomings.
  • Cultivate whatever needs to be developed in yourself, i.e. fill in gaps that have made you feel undeserving or bad about yourself.
  • Learn to stop managing and controlling others; by being more focused on your own needs, you will no longer need to seek security by trying to make theirs change.
  • Develop your "spiritual" side, i.e. find out what brings you peace and serenity and commit some time, at least half an hour daily to that endeavor.
  • Learn not to get "hooked" into the games of relationships: avoid dangerous roles you then to fall into e.g. "rescuer," "persecutor," "victim."
  • Find a support group of friends who understand.
  • Share with others what you have experienced.
  • Consider getting professional help.

When to seek professional help

  • When you are very unhappy in a relationship but are unsure of whether you should accept it as it is, make further efforts to improve it or get out of it.
  • When you have concluded that you should end a relationship, have tried to make yourself end it, but remain stuck.
  • When you suspect that you are staying in a relationship for the wrong reasons, such as feelings of guilt or fear of being alone, and you have been unable to over come the paralyzing effects of such feelings.
  • When you recognize that you have a pattern of staying in bad relationships and have not been able to change that pattern yourself.

Abstinence means waiting to have sex. And, a lot of young people are choosing abstinence. Why? Here are some of their top reasons:

  • I'm just not ready for sex.
  • I'd rather not have to think about birth control and safer sex.
  • I don't want to risk HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease.
  • I'm not ready to risk pregnancy.
  • I'm following my values.
  • I'm honoring my religious beliefs.
  • I want to wait for a committed relationship or marriage.
  • I'm not ready for the emotional stress of a sexual relationship.
  • It's my body, my decision!

The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project states that weapons of abuse include:

Intimidation

Yelling, screaming , belittling, raising fists, knocking down doors, "playing with" guns or weapons, threats, playing mind games....these are subtle messages that an abuser uses to tell their victim to "watch it."

Verbal Attacks

By attacking verbally the abuser keeps their hands clean but effectively degrades and intimidates their victim until the victim's senses of perception is unstable, and the victim's self-esteem is lowered until they believe what the abuser says is true.

Isolation

The abuser is better able to control their victim if they can isolate them from family, friends and people who can help. Often the victim becomes a prisoner in their own home, unable to invite people over, and unable to go out, without the abuser's permission.

Minimizing, Denying and Blaming

The abuser needs someone else on which to place blame because their fragile ego cannot handle it. An abuser may become psychotic by denying that they hurt the victim followed by accusing the victim for hurting them and then minimizing the injuries. It is also common for an abuser to say to their victim, "you made me hit you."

Using Children

An abuser who wants to use children as weapons may take their ex-spouse to court when they withhold visitation because the children are sick. An abuser will also feel a great sense of control by keeping the children past the court-appointed time of visitation or refusing to provide their ex-spouse with travel information when they take them out of town.

Abusing Authority

Many abusers distort the Scriptures to validate their heavy-handed control and to keep their spouse in line. Whenever their spouse fails to meet their demands there is a reminder that they are head of this house and the spouse must submit to whatever they said.

Economic Control

This type of abuse leaves the victim helplessly in the abuser's control as they have to beg for every penny and account for the pittance they are given. It often leaves them trapped without means to get help.

Coercion and Threats

An abuser uses threats to keep their victim in continuous fear so they will do whatever is demanded. They may even coerce you into illegal acts by intimidation and belittling.

Physical Violence

When an abuser's power and control is threatened they will usually resort to physical violence to instill fear and regain control.

Types of Dysfunctional Families

The following are some examples of patterns that frequently occur in dysfunctional families.

  • One or both parents have addictions or compulsions (e.g. drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, gambling, overworking and/or overeating) that may have strong influence on family members.
  • One or both parents use the threat or application of physical violence as primary means of control. Children may have to witness violence, may be forced to participate in punishing siblings or may live in fear of explosive outbursts.
  • One or both parents exploit the children and treat them as possessions whose primary purpose is to respond to the physical and/or emotional needs of adults (e.g., protecting a parent or cheering up one who is depressed).
  • One or both parents are unable to provide, or threaten to withdraw, financial or basic physical care for their children. Similarly, one or both parents fail to provide their children with adequate emotional support.
  • One or both parents exert strong authoritarian control over the children. Often these families rigidly adhere to a particular belief (religious, political, financial and personal). Compliance with role expectations and rules is expected without any flexibility.

There is a great deal of variability how often dysfunction interactions and behavior occur in families and in the kinds of severity of their dysfunction. However when patterns like the above are rather than the exception they systematically foster abuse and/or neglect.

Children may:

  • Be forced to take sides in conflicts between parents.
  • Experience "reality shifting" in which what is said contradicts what is actually happening (e.g. a parent may deny something happened that the child actually observed, for example when a parent describes a disastrous holiday dinner as a good time).
  • Be ignored, discounted or criticized for their feelings and thoughts.
  • Have parents that are inappropriately intrusive, overly involved and protective.
  • Have parents that are inappropriately distant and uninvolved with their children.
  • Have excessive structure and demands placed on their time, choice of friends or behavior; or conversely, receive no guidelines or structure.
  • Experience rejection or preferential treatment.
  • Be restricted from full or direct communication with other family members.
  • Be allowed or encouraged to use drugs and alcohol.
  • Be locked out of the house.
  • Be slapped, hit, scratched, punched or kicked.

Making Changes

Sometimes we continue in our roles because we are waiting for our parents to give us permission to change. But that permission can come only from you. Like most people, patterns in dysfunctional families often feel threatened by changes in their children.

As a result, they may thwart your efforts to change and insist that you "change back." That's why it's so important for you to trust your own perceptions and feelings. Change begins with you. Some specific things you can do include:

  • Make a list of our behaviors, beliefs, etc. that you would like to change.
  • Next to each item on the list write down the behavior, belief, etc. that you would like to do or have instead.
  • Pick one item on your list and beginning practicing the alternate behavior or belief. Choose the easiest item first.
  • Once you are able to do the alternate behavior more often than the original pick another item on the list and practice changing it to.
  • In addition to working on your own, you might find it helpful to work with a group of people with similar experiences and/or with a professional counselor.

Special Considerations

As you make changes, keep in mind the following:

  • Stop trying to be perfect. In addition, don't try to make your family perfect.
  • Realize that you are not in control of other people's lives. You do not have the power to make others change.
  • Don't try to win the old struggles you can't win.
  • Set clear limits: e.g. if you do not plan on visiting your parents for the holiday, say "no," not "maybe."
  • Identify what you would like to have happen. Recognize when you stop behaving the way you used to, even for a short time, there may be adverse reactions from your family or friends. Anticipate what the reactions will be (e.g. tears, yelling, other intimidating responses) and decide how you will respond.

The Prevalence of Eating Disorders

In the United States, conservative estimates indicate that after puberty 5-10% of girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders, including: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or borderline conditions. Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases are probably not reported.

In addition many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. For example 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

The drive for thinness

  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
  • 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
  • The average American woman is 5'4" and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5'11" and weighs 117 pounds.
  • Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.

Dieting

  • 51% of 9- and 10-year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.
  • 46% of 9-11 year olds are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets, and 82% of their families are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets.
  • 91% of women recently surveyed on a college campus have attempted to control their weight through dieting 鈥 22% dieted "often" or "always."
  • 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.
  • 35% of "normal dieters" progress to pathological dieting; of those, 20-22% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
  • 25% of American men and 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day.
  • Americans spend over $40 billion on dieting and diet-related products each year.

Our lives are changing all the time. We hope and plan for some of those changes. Other changes hurt, such as the end of a friendship, a long-time relationship, a career ending or even the death of someone we love.

Grief is the normal, natural reaction to the loss of something or someone important to us. There is no one way people grieve. However, some common signs of grief include:

  • Emotional numbness
  • Brain fog (difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly)
  • Fatigue or sleep disruptions
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression or guilt

As mentioned, everyone experiences grief differently, so there is no one  right answer to dealing with grief. However, here are some things to remember and some helpful tips to cope with grief:

  • Let yourself mourn. Sometimes people feel like they shouldn鈥檛 be sad, or they don鈥檛 want to make others uncomfortable with their grief. Sadness is a natural reaction to loss, and it is healthy to express it if you are feeling it.
  • Moments of happiness don鈥檛 dishonor your loved one, so it is okay to smile or laugh sometimes, even if it feels wrong.
  • Acknowledge your own timetable. Some losses take longer to recover from than others. Some people may want you to resume your pre-loss life faster than you feel able. Honor your own sense of what you can manage.
  • Make sure to take care of yourself. This includes:
    • Remember to eat. If you can, include vegetables and protein, but eating something is better than nothing.
    • Get a good night鈥檚 sleep. Grief can result in sleeping too little or sleeping too much. A routine can help you rest better at night.
    • Exercise. Movement improves mood. If a regular exercise routine feels too hard right now, set small goals.
    • Go outside. At least a few minutes each day, especially on sunny days.
    • Meditate and/or pray. Grief can be a time to examine moment by moment, or perhaps, to entrust yourself to a higher power.
    • Have fun. Do something that makes you feel better: play a game, watch a favorite show, read a book, go out with friends, create something, etc.
    • Express your feelings. Keeping all your emotions bottled up inside is healthy and expressing emotions (or lack thereof) can help you work through your grief.
    • Be kind to yourself. Some days you won鈥檛 want to do anything, or you won鈥檛 want to do what you always used to do. That鈥檚 normal, so don鈥檛 beat yourself up.
    • Make healthy choices. It is also important to remember alcohol and drugs won鈥檛 make you feel better in the long term.

There will be days that are harder than others. Have a plan for days you know will be hard. This could include holidays, birthdays, anniversaries 鈥 especially death anniversaries. Remembering the first time you did something with your loved one can be difficult, too.

Have a plan for moments when grief will ambush you. Triggers are hard to pinpoint, and grief comes in waves, so you won鈥檛 always see it coming. When you are caught unexpectedly:

  • Remember to breathe. Make your exhalations longer than your inhalations to calm your nervous system.
  • If you鈥檙e in public with others, excuse yourself if necessary. Find a quiet place to calm yourself down.
  • Keep tissues and sweets, such as chocolate or candy, either with you or easily accessible.
  • Express your feelings. This could include dumping them in a journal you keep with you, or you can even cry the feelings out.
  • Talk with someone, whether that be someone in your life, to yourself or even talking out loud to the person you lost.

The Student Counseling and Life Development staff members are here for you. We are available to help in any way we can.

If someone close to you has died, or if there was some other major loss, you may want to consider taking a leave of absence from work or school.

Homesickness is a term that is often used to describe feelings of loss, confusion, anxiety and loneliness following a move or major change in life. It is very common. Almost everyone experiences it at one time or another, and people who have just started at a new school in a new place are at high risk.

What that means is that if you are feeling homesick after starting at Webster, you are probably not alone; in fact, you're normal! The other good news is that homesickness can be overcome. This web page will provide you with some resources to help deal with and beat homesickness. Read through it, try some of the ideas, and if they don't work try something different!

So what can I do about homesickness? All kinds of things. Here are some ideas of things to help you stay connected to home while still getting comfortable at Webster. Try these and see if you can think of others:

Create a "home away from home."

  • Bring familiar things from home to decorate your room; make your new space somewhere you feel comfortable.

Keep a journal.

  • Write about your fears, excitements, achievements, expectations and other experiences.

Talk with someone who has been through it.

  • If you have an older friend or sibling, even a parent, who has survived homesickness, it may help to talk to them about what you are feeling and what they did to get through it.

Make plans to go home and stick to them.

  • Don't just go home impulsively, and stay on campus at least as often as you go home.

Find ways to communicate regularly with friends & family at home.

  • Budget money for phone calls.
  • Send email.
  • Use instant messaging or other internet chat options.

Make a commitment to meet people here, and make the time to do so.

  • Attend floor functions.
  • If you live in a residence hall, leave your door open so people can stop by and say hello.
  • Talk to people in the halls and other common areas.

Get to know the place - Explore!

  • Get comfortable with the campus and surrounding area.
  • Bring someone else along with you and share the experience.

Go to campus events.

  • Sports, concerts, theatre, homecoming, etc.

Get Involved.

  • Make an effort to get to know your classmates.
  • Find an that involve your interests and go to the meetings.
  • If the first organization you try isn't right for you, try another!

Find a hobby.

  • Just having something to do will help keep you from brooding about home.

Avoid negative coping strategies.

  • Don't use alcohol, drugs or sex to hide from homesickness (or anything else); those problems will still be there and new ones will get added on!

Find a balance between work and play.

  • Added stress from pushing yourself too hard in class and having no fun can make homesickness worse. So can stress from playing too hard and blowing off class!

Take care of yourself.

  • Be sure to get enough food and sleep. Hunger and exhaustion will only make things worse!

If things get too bad, talk to us.

And remember, homesickness often passes on its own as a person becomes more involved with his or her new surroundings. The suggestions above will help you to do just that while keeping some of the support you have from home. With time and some effort, almost everyone does just fine!

What if Homesickness doesn't go away on its own? While homesickness usually goes away after a few weeks, it can sometimes be more persistent. If this is the case, you may wish to: talk to someone who can help you through it.

  • A trusted professor
  • Your RA
  • Your advisor
  • A clergy member
  • A counselor

Consider if Webster is the right place for you to be right now.

Homesickness is often just a manifestation of fears about the future and is overcome once we realize that we can cope in a new situation; however, sometimes it is a sign that we need to be somewhere else in order to do what is best for us. If you feel that this may be the case in your situation, we encourage you to discuss this option with your advisor and/or a counselor before you make your final decision so that you can make the most informed choice possible.

If you want some more resources for homesickness, there are many resources on the Internet.

If you are having a mental health emergency or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to one of these hotlines immediately:

  1. Behavioral Health Response (BHR)
    314-469-6644
  2. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  3. Crisis Text Line
  4. The JED Foundation
     

Campus Advocate (a licensed counselor in the Office of Counseling and Life Development)

  • 314-246-7009 (Note: this is the number to leave a message or to schedule an appointment)
  • The Campus Advocate serves as the support and resource person for students, faculty and staff who are survivors of a sexual offense. The Advocate has training in crisis intervention and support techniques and provides, either directly or through referral, emotional and informational support for survivors.

Department of Public Safety: 314-246-7430 or 314-246-6911 (for emergencies)

Title IX - Sexual Misconduct Education and Resources

Kimberley Bynum-Smith
Director, Office for Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119
314-246-7780
kimberleybynumsmith@webster.edu

Exams. Sports. Homework. Work. Friends. Family. No wonder you're stressed! It is tough to balance school with the rest of your life. Before you get too stressed, take a look at the tips below:

Find out how to manage stress, time and even manage to have fun! You Know you're stressed if....

  • You're not sleeping.
  • You feel nervous all the time.
  • You forget important things.
  • You get sick a lot.
  • You want to drop out.

If stress has taken over, it is time to take action.

When stress hits big, take a time out.

Walk around the block. Clear your head breathe slowly in and out. Close your eyes and picture a favorite place. Taking a few minutes to regroup can help you get a handle on stress. Walk around the block. Clear your head breathe slowly in and out. Close your eyes and picture a favorite place. Taking a few minutes to regroup can help you get a handle on stress.

Take time for you.

Eat well. You'll be able to handle stress better. Exercise. It is one of the best ways to help with stress. No time to exercise? Walk to the library. Stretch at your desk. Take the stairs. Don't use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. They are likely to create more stress.

Share your problems with your friends and family.

It helps to talk things over with someone close. Ask for help. A friend could fix you dinner. A classmate could help you study.

Sleep at night, not in class.

Without sleep you can't think straight or make good decisions. Try to get at least 7-8 hours a night an all nighter may seem like a good way to catch up on studying, but you are wrong. Chances are that you will crash the next day in the middle of that exam!

You can't do it all. You're only human.

Learn to say no to extra activities, you'll have more time to focus on what really matters. Remember, being too busy is a large source of stress.

Plan ahead to avoid being too busy.

Take a few minutes each night to organize the next day. Always keep your glasses, keys, and class supplies in one place to avoid last-minute panics. Consider making weekly schedule, include time for studying, exercise, friends and work.

Take it one day at a time.

You may feel extra stress during an illness, exams or a big break-up. Take a deep breath. Then use the tips above to get through it. Plan a reward for yourself when the crunch is over. If you feel you can't get through it talk with a doctor or a counselor.

At Webster, we promote responsible choices concerning drugs/alcohol and to assist students who have substance abuse problems.

Client Confidentiality

Client confidentiality is always a priority for the Counseling and Life Development Staff. We understand that confidentiality is essential to the success of your counseling experience. As a client, you can trust us to protect your privacy.

Confidentiality is not a privilege; it is a right. No family members, friends, faculty or staff have the right to your personal information. Of course, as with any rights there are particular circumstances under which you waive this right. The counselor will discuss this with you during your initial session or over the phone should you prefer.

Student Counseling and Life Development Staff

Patrick Stack

Dr. Patrick Stack

Director of Counseling

Dr. Patrick Stack (he/him) is in his 36th year as Director of Counseling and Life Development and is a gender affirming therapist. He received his BA in Philosophy from Suffolk University, Boston; MDiv from St. John's School of Theology, Boston; MEd in General Counseling, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; DMin from Eden Theological Seminary-St. Louis and Professional Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. Stack is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and approved Missouri State Supervisor, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and approved Missouri State Supervisor, national board-certified counselor (NBCC), certified reciprocal advanced alcohol drug counselor (CRAADC), and holds clinical status and approved supervisor status in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Stack promotes wellness as a clinician, author and speaker, and has designed and implemented a wellness clinical assessment instrument.

He and his wife P.J., who is retired as a board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), are the parents of two daughters and proud grandparents of two granddaughters.

Email: stackpa@webster.edu (non-confidential)    

Samantha Sasek

Samantha Sasek

Assistant Director of Counseling and Life Development

Samantha Sasek (she/her) is the Assistant Director of Counseling and Life Development and serves as the Sexual Offense Advocate for 四虎影视. Sasek received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and her MSW with a concentration in Mental Health from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and approved Missouri State Supervisor. Sasek is a nationally rostered trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapist (TF-CBT) and is certified in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) through the Linehan Board of Certification. Her clinical interests include acute and complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-injurious behavior and suicidal behavior.

In her spare time, Sasek enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family and friends.

Email: samanthasasek@webster.edu (non-confidential)

Julia Schmitt

Julia Schmitt

Julia Schmitt (she/her) is a graduate student at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in Mental Health. Schmitt received her BS in Child Studies and Communication Studies with a minor in Special Education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Schmitt鈥檚 clinical and research knowledge of eating disorders鈥攊n conjunction with her lifetime as a dancer鈥攕trengthen her conviction for psychosomatic awareness and mindfulness as a therapeutic foundation. Schmitt intends to integrate principles of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy in her counseling. Her clinical interests include eating disorders/disordered eating, emotional regulation, life adjustments and anxiety.

You can find Schmitt teaching yoga, watching reruns of Saturday Night Live, and jamming to her prized Taylor Swift CD collection.

Email: julia.m.schmitt@wustl.edu (non-confidential)

Gon Ratanshevorn

Gon Ratanashevorn

Gon Ratanashevorn (he/him) is a graduate student in the counseling program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is an international student from Thailand with BS in Psychology and MA in Counseling Psychology from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He has worked mainly in the college setting as a university counselor after his graduation. As a clinician, he has a background in person-centered therapy, existential therapy and group counseling. Ratanashevorn believes that everyone needs to be respected, loved and accepted for who they are and how they prefer to identify with. He believes that his role as a counselor is to be a companion in his clients鈥 self-exploration and self-understanding journey and help support them along the journey. Ratanashevorn鈥檚 clinical interests include multicultural counseling, acculturation, adjustment, sexual and gender diversity and trauma. He is completing his dissertation on the topic of LGBTQIA+ cultural competency and cultural humility among mental health practitioners.

In his free time, Ratanashevorn enjoys cooking, trying out new food, spending quality time with his friends and staying connected with his family in Thailand virtually 鈥 especially with his niece (1-year-old) and nephew (4-year-old).

Email: grbc6@mail.umsl.edu (non-confidential)

Alexandra Shuman

Alexandra Shuman

Alexandra Shuman (she/her) is a graduate student at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Shuman received a BA in Psychology at Northern Illinois University. She gained experience at NIU working with a team of social-industrial/organizational psychologists that focused their research on the BDSM/kink community. Much of Shuman鈥檚 coursework and experience surround clinical mental health, sexuality, gender and intimate partner violence. Her experiences have helped form a holistic approach to therapy and she plans to use a variety of techniques; emphasizing unconditional positive regard in person-centered therapy and elements of both cognitive-behavioral therapy and solution-focused therapy. Shuman鈥檚 professional interests involve exploring themes of sexuality, gender, interpersonal relationships and trauma. She plans to obtain licensure and become a sex therapist post-graduation.

In her free time, Shuman enjoys reading, taking care of her plants, yoga and playing video games.

Email: a.c.shuman@wustl.edu (non-confidential)

Arriell Pinkston

Arriell Pinkston

Arriell Pinkston (he/him) is a provisionally licensed professional counselor (PLPC) with a master鈥檚 degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Pinkston enjoys working with college students and young adults as they navigate the rigors of establishing their individuality, academics and life expectations. He comes with experience in counseling medical students, crisis counseling, residential counseling, mentoring, the criminal justice system and child protective services. Pinkston is open to helping anyone experiencing mood dysregulation, anxiety, life stress, adjustment issues, manage of mental health or simply looking to find balance with oneself. As a clinician, Pinkston is a social justice advocate who takes an eclectic view of therapy incorporating CBT, philosophy, narrative therapy and insight-oriented theories that appreciate individual differences and diversity. Life sometimes moves at a faster pace than we anticipated and during these times having someone to help navigate the journey can be helpful.

When away from work, Pinkston is an avid outdoors person who enjoys hiking, camping, flyfishing and playing and coaching baseball. He is a foodie and routinely visits a variety of restaurants around the city.

Email: apinkston@psm.edu  (non-confidential)

Amalia Tollas

Amalia Tollas

Amalia Tollas (she/her) is pursuing graduate degrees in social work and public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in Mental Health. Tollas received her BFA in Acting and Musical Theatre Performance from NYU鈥檚 Tisch School of the Arts, after which she spent nearly 10 years as a musical theatre performer and singer/songwriter in New York City, NY, and, more recently, Cincinnati, OH. Tollas鈥 diverse experiences in life and the arts inform her holistic, person-centered approach to therapy in which she prioritizes mindfulness and client self-determination. She aims to provide a safe, supportive space for clients to process any questions or challenges, past or present, that may lead to healing, growth and self-discovery.

In her free time, Tollas loves baking bread, eating delicious food, connecting with friends and family, gardening and being in nature.

Email: a.tollas@wustl.edu (non-confidential)

Laurel Hayes

Laurel Hayes

Laurel Hayes (she/her) is a graduate student in 四虎影视鈥檚 Counseling program, concentrating in Clinical Mental Health. She has spent most of her career in higher education-related settings. Much of Hayes鈥 prior work has encouraged people to reflect on the deeper meaning of their lives, and to listen for the voice of wisdom within themselves. She prefers mindfulness-informed therapeutic approaches. If clients wish, she welcomes exploration of the spiritual dimensions of the issues they bring to counseling. Hayes鈥 professional interests include grief (for both personal and societal losses), individuation (finding one鈥檚 own voice and place within one鈥檚 family and community) and study/work/life congruence and balance.

In her free time, Hayes enjoys reading, writing, singing, walking and spending time (even virtually) with friends and family.

Email: hayesl@webster.edu (non-confidential)

Brady Toliver II

Brady Toliver II

Brady Toliver II (he/him) is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Program at University of Missouri-St. Louis with a concentration in Multicultural Counseling. Toliver is originally from St. Louis, MO and completed his undergraduate studies at DePauw University where he majored in Sports Medicine and minored in East Asian Studies, along with being a Renaissance man. Toliver鈥檚 background in business, yoga, martial arts, dance and comedy allows him to connect with clients using multiple therapeutic ideologies regarding the importance of the mind-body connection. He plans to integrate elements of solution focused therapy, person centered therapy and existential therapy in his counseling. Toliver鈥檚 clinical interests include exploring one鈥檚 journey through difficult transitions in life, relationship problems, anxiety, depression, sports and business performance.

In his free time, Toliver enjoys expressive arts (comedy/dance/yoga), making business deals, reading, triathlons and martial arts.

Email: bct3bm@umsl.edu (non-confidential)

Will Palmer

Will Palmer

Will Palmer (he/him) is a graduate student at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Master of Social Work candidate with a concentration in Mental Health. He studied psychology and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. Palmer believes in dynamic counseling approaches that adapt to the varying needs of people; therapy should differ based on the person. Palmer has training in cognitive processing therapy and motivational interviewing. Some of his clinical interests include themes of relationships; sex, sexuality, and gender; mood regulation and life purpose. Young adults are a population he wishes to focus on in his practice, and he is looking forward to working with that population at Webster.

In his free time, Palmer engages in policy advocacy to address material, environmental barriers to self-actualization. He also enjoys writing comedy, reading and watching terrible television.

Email: palmerw@wustl.edu (non-confidential)

Emergency Counseling

The following professional associations offer emergency counseling.

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Emergency Assistance

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四虎影视 is committed to helping our students through unexpected financial hardships. Emergency aid, including loans, grants, tuition adjustments/waivers, food assistance, and funds for textbooks and technology, is available to students enrolled at campuses in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

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