Counselling students on the gentle art and science of counselling
Dick Shugar, a part-time faculty member at Brescia, was a clinical co-ordinator at the Child and Family Counselling Centre in St. Thomas for many years. As a result, he brings to his teaching of psychology at Brescia a prodigious interest in counselling. Students have been benefitting from this expertise and passion in a new course this year – Introduction to Counselling that began in January 2012. Not only did the 35 students in his class receive great teaching, but they also had a unique experience with hands-on counselling and training, positioning them well for future studies and possible careers in counselling.
Dick partnered with Dr. Felicia Otchet, who is the principal holder of a grant from the London Health Sciences Centre and the Canadian Mental Health Association, on an important pilot project. This project has focused on low-income subjects who currently face long wait times for much needed help. Dr. Otchet helped these clients and, in turn, 18 Brescia students watched the counselling on closed-circuit televisions, thereby learning much about the practice.
Dick says he is grateful to have taught these students, all of whom are committed to helping others. He says, “They are dynamite students – eager and smart. I feel enriched just having been able to teach them.”