Belton, Texas – On Friday, August 23, from 3 to 5 p.m., the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will hold an open house for the Community Life Center (CLC) on the UMHB campus (map). The recently renovated facility is the training center for master’s level students in the university’s graduate counseling program. Since it opened in 2005, the CLC has offered free or nearly free counseling services to more than 10,000 clients.
“Our national accrediting body felt like [the CLC] was one of the best sites they’ve seen in 25 years,” Dr. Marta Garrett, Director of the Graduate Counseling Program said. “I think they really responded to the fact that the center has such a homey feeling. It really feels like part of the community instead of a sterile training facility.”
The CLC offers counseling services five days a week to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Clients over the age of five are referred to the CLC by various agencies and churches. Counseling sessions are led by graduate counseling students and monitored remotely by UMHB faculty members.
“There is a licensed faculty member every hour that we are open, watching sessions live.” Garrett said. “Then students have one-on-one and group review sessions, where they watch their tapes and learn from their experiences.”
During their two and half years of academic training, students in the university’s graduate counseling program are required to complete 700 hours of counseling under the supervision of faculty. Of that time, 600 hours are spent in community-based counseling sites. The other 100 hours are spent inside the CLC.
This summer the facility has undergone renovations that added new counseling spaces and digitized the center’s record-keeping processes. The CLC has also added a full-time director, Dr. Jason Martin. Those changes will allow the center to offer larger group sessions and other expanded services beginning this spring.
This event is free and open to the public.