Communication is Key for Counseling

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Choosing a college and a major is a difficult and stressful process. Jacob Hilton followed in his brother’s footsteps and decided to come to Louisiana Tech University to be an architect major. This decision quickly changed during the first quarter of school once he saw his classmates sleeping over in the architect building to finish their projects. Jacob decided to try the field of sociology with a minor in psychology for his undergraduate degree and never turned back.

Hilton was always passionate about becoming a counselor. People were telling him that he would have to put in a lot of hours and receive little pay if he went through with his plan. Defying all the pressure and stereotypes Hilton had a couple of different internships and he now works in Louisiana Tech’s counseling center. His dream of being a counselor has come true and is now a guidance counselor with an emphasis in mental health. He is all of that plus a counseling coordinator of student relations and special projects.

Hilton says his job consists of “60-70% counseling and the remainder is making all the signs, PR and brochures.” Verbal communication is very important between Hilton’s clients and himself. He uses “talk therapy [which is] to be able to meet a client at their level and to talk to them at their level.” He also uses analogies to get complex points across to his clients. To accomplish this he uses simpler terms in verbal communication in his sessions with a client. Hilton describes his profession “as one where you constantly have to learn.” With this constant learning process the staff and the other counselors have to all talk to be on the same page with one another to make the counseling center run correctly. The counseling part of Hilton’s job is his favorite but he emphasizes on how important written communication is as well.

He believes written communication is extremely important. As stated before Hilton is in charge of creating brochures for the counseling center. This job needs to be taken seriously because if someone can’t read it for certain reasons or if the grammar is wrong then the result will be confusing instead of good advertising. When Hilton is making signs he wants to make sure people can take one look at it and get all the information they need about the topic. He also believes that graphics have an important role by helping get the point across. All of these projects help advertise the counseling center in a positive light.

Louisiana Tech’s counseling center is a true mental health facility, which means all of their clients have a file. This is the most important paperwork Hilton has to do. He needs to maintain a log of every client so he can follow up with every person. The notes Hilton makes in these files have to be extremely precise to where if someone doesn’t come for a year then randomly shows up again he needs to be able to look at his notes and know exactly where they left off. Most importantly, these files can be used in court. So if someone needed his help to get out of trouble his notes need to be solid and accurate. Through these files he creates a treatment plan for all of his clients in hope for a positive outcome.

Hilton believes that both verbal and written communication is equally important in his specific job. Written is more difficult because “it has to evoke imagery and [not] offend anybody which has been the ultimate pain because [the counseling center] talks about a lot of sensitive issues, so they have to get their point across and yet make it interesting enough where people will want to show up.”

Louisiana Tech students are lucky to have such convenient counseling services for free on campus. Hilton plus many more great counselors are there at multiple hours of the day for anyone interested in counseling services. This center is located in Keeny Hall on Louisiana Tech’s campus.

IMG_5272Keeny Hall

Laura LeFevour, Guest Blogger

 

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