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UNLV offering therapy sessions to cope with election

Posted at 11:32 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-19 02:32:48-05

At the Marriage and Family Therapy Center at UNLV, it's common for students to come in for counseling on personal and relationship issues.  But this is the first time UNLV is offering counseling because of an election.

Dr. Kat Hertlein says she noticed a need because student came in reporting anxiety over the results of the election.

She says she decided to host private group therapy sessions to discuss issues people have been feeling after November 8th.

She says this in election in particular has stoked a lot of emotions and fear, especially among women and minorities because of the rhetoric used during the campaign. "People say 'I don't feel like I'm in a place of power and I know what something is going to happen to me or I fear that something's going to happen that I don't have control over," she explains.

Hertlein says it's not just those who opposed Donald Trump attending.  She says counseling is also helping families with differing opinions in the election.  She says with Thanksgiving coming up, it's important to learn to navigating conversations with family.

Students at UNLV were all sent an e-mail telling them the counseling was available, and it's generated a lot of buzz on campus.  "They call us cry-babies," says UNLV student Katie Randolph.  But, Randolph says, she thinks it's a positive thing for students to have the counseling option.  "These are very polarizing times and this is why people feel their well-being is going to be attacked," she says.

Others, like Anastasya Youmans are more skeptical. "Counseling is for something devastating that happens to you or your family, it's personal; if you're really devastated by the election, you need to look on the bright side find something Trump is good at and not just sit here and cry about it," she says.

UNLV says they'll continue the therapy sessions every Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. through the end of the semester in December at the counseling center on the 2nd floor of the MPE-A building on campus.

The session are free to students, but are also open to public.  They're suggesting a donation of $10 for non-students, but say the fee is optional and they just want to help if needed.

For more information, you can call their office at (702) 895-3210.