Campus / News / January 31, 2018

Counseling introduces therapy lights

Students can use the therapy lights in Counseling Services to treat a variety of problems such as Season Affective Disorder, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. (Rafael Cho/TKS)

With the installation of therapy lights in the counseling center, students concerned with taking care of their mental health will have a new option for self-guided therapy this term.

The project to install the lights began in Student Senate and was spearheaded by the Student Senate Secretary, senior Kelsie Pos. She stated that bringing therapy lights to campus had been a hope of hers since freshman year.

“I’m someone who I know can benefit from the therapy lights. I know that several of my friends deal with depression, anxiety and different mood disorders,” Pos said.

Pos also felt as though the project was personally important for her to push through.

The lights are meant to be voluntarily used by students struggling with conditions like mood disorder, seasonal affective disorder, depression and other symptoms that may be aggravated this time of year by the dreary weather.

Pos had come to believe the lights could be helpful for the campus from personal experience benefiting from a therapy light in her own home. The lights are used by simply sitting by one for a period of time.

“They’re really effective in the morning and if you get a routine going . . . you may see some of your depressive symptoms start to go away,” Pos said.

Working with the administration and counseling center was important to ensure that they purchased high quality lights.

“Anything that we struggled with was making sure that we had them in a way that students would be safe,” said Pos, touching on the minor safety concerns. ‘“It’s very rare that anything goes wrong, but sometimes eye conditions can conflict with that . . . We’ve made sure to handle all those things beforehand.”

Initially, finding a location for the lights in Seymour had been considered, but it was decided it would be easier to minimize risks by putting them in the Counseling Center. Students will also have to sign a waiver before using the lights to ensure that they’re aware of any potential risks, such as a potential influence on students also taking bipolar medication.

Pos mentioned that there would be a possibility of expanding the presence of therapy lights depending on their use. She hopes the projects will be successful at lifting students’ spirits.

“I think it could be a really great thing for students on campus, especially during the gloomy winter term,” she said.

Carlos Flores-Gaytan

Tags:  anxiety counseling center depression mood disorders seasonal affect disorder Student Senate therapy lights

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