The counseling center has been working to accommodate the needs of students amidst the COVID-19 precautions, offering video call sessions online and adapting in-person sessions to be socially-distanced and masked. And this year, two new counselors join their staff, Veronica Hanson and Anna Meier, to help meet the demand of students seeking counseling.
In past years, meeting the demand for counseling appointments has been a challenge, with students experiencing shortened sessions, fewer sessions, cancelations and rescheduling. In February, The University News spoke with Dean of Students Julia Carrano regarding these problems.
Carrano said that there were a “number of opportunities to address this increasing demand.” She listed “expanding clinical hours through the use of practicum and pre-practicum student clinicians [and] bringing on psychiatric providers” as two possible means of providing for all students looking to attend counseling. This year, the University has done just that.
The new presence of Veronica Hanson might not be well known to students, as she is not listed on the Counseling Website’s staff page. This is because Hanson is a contract employee who also has a private practice in the area.
“I like the Catholic environment of this university setting as it reminds me of Franciscan University,” Hansen said. She hopes to be able to become more of a presence on campus.
Hanson got her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, after attending Florida State University for a Bachelor of Science in Social Work.
Her previous work includes an outpatient addiction counseling center and she specializes in addiction, anxiety, trauma and relationships.
Hanson said she teaches “clients how to understand their emotions and thoughts at a deeper level without casting judgment on them.”
Meier is the other new addition to UD’s counseling center. With multiple siblings who have graduated from UD, she has been familiar with the school for some time.
Meier is currently a graduate student in Divine Mercy University’s counseling program.
“The program [from Divine Mercy University] begins with two years of learning and practicing how to counsel, and the final year (of which I am in currently) transitions into a practicum internship,” Meier said.
Meiers said that “when it came time for me to apply for practicum internships, I was overjoyed to find an opening at UD.” Speaking on the new challenges that the coronavirus has added to life at UD, Meier said that “this stage in students’ lives is often plagued with unknowns. That uncertainty has been amplified by the pandemic… and I think it has potential to unify us in an unprecedented way. Additionally, I think these times can be an invitation to live more fully in the present moment.”