A student at CBNU may have received text messages or seen print flyers at least once from the student Life Counseling Center. In 2022, the Counseling Center conducted various programs such as Visiting Psychological Tests, Connecting with Other People based on MBTI, and Designing My Career Path. As such, the Counseling Center conducts programs, psychological tests, and individual counseling to help students understand themselves and their relationships with others, and explore current problems to design their future. To inform the advantages of the Counseling Center and lower the entry barrier for the new semester, this CBT reporter met Kim Soo-hwan who is conducting individual and group counseling at the Counseling Center. Kim Soo-hwan received a master’s degree in psychology from Chungbuk National University and has been working as a full-time counselor at the CBNU Student Life Counseling Center.
How did he become a counselor? He talked about how he became a counselor, citing his past. “When I was young, my parents argued often, so I naturally thought about why humans are different. After studying business administration for a year, I entered the military where I happened to act as an informal counselor under the direction of my boss. At first, I thought I was only doing what I was told to do, but later I felt proud when I saw that my successors were very grateful to me. Especially, a successor who first consulted with me was very anxious because he grew up in a family where his parents often fought in childhood, just like me. However, I thought the consultation was very valuable as I saw he become stable while talking to him. Therefore, after being discharged from the military, I double majored in psychology and graduated school.”
From childhood experiences to counseling soldiers in the military, he naturally became interested in counseling. To him, what is counseling? He talked about his chosen motto, as well as the meaning of counseling in his opinion. “I live by the motto of ‘Be helpful to others.’ It is important for counselors to have professional knowledge, try to develop humanity, and manage themselves for those under their care. Therefore, for me, counseling is ‘Going with the students who undergo counseling.’ The reason for spending money and time to acquire professional knowledge related to counseling is to help students who seek counseling. Do you know what the difference between a psychiatrist and a counselor is? While a psychiatrist converses with a client for a short time and then prescribes medication, a counselor engages in the client’s life in a step-by-step conversation.”
However, despite the best efforts of counselors, some students feel difficult to receive counseling. How can counselors make it easier for such students to accept counseling? He said, “Although the awareness of counseling has improved a lot compered to before, our center is conducting counseling not only face-to-face but also through non-face-to-face methods such as Zoom or phone calls to students who are still having a hard time receiving counseling. However, non-face-to-face consulting may lead to misunderstandings because we talk without facing each other. Recently, a meta-verse channel was introduced, and it can recognize the user’s facial expression and change the avatar’s facial expression accordingly. In so doing we can minimize the side effects caused by non-face-to-face counseling.”
The CBNU Student Life Counseling Center operates not only individual and group counseling where counselors and clients meet and talk, but also various programs depending on the school season. At the beginning of the semester, students focus on starting human relationships, visiting psychological tests, or individual counseling to manage stress. In particular, students who entered the university in 2020 during the Covid-19 period, had difficulty adapting to school life, and they received a lot of help through counseling centers. During the semester, interpersonal relationships are in full swing, campaigns such as exchanging letters or sharing relays are held in front of a CBNU central library to encourage their participation. During a vacation, students can receive an integrated interpretation of themselves by conducting tests in two of the five related areas.(personality, mental health, career, learning method, and interpersonal relationships). It also conducts programs on smartphone overdependence and suicide prevention.
Since last month, an AI Chatbot has been running on Kakaotalk at the Student Life Counseling Center at CBNU. If someone talk to the Chatbot, the chatbot gives variety of information including the current program and the location of the counseling center. Also, students who are contemplating death or suicide can get help late at night through the ‘24-hour crisis counseling application’ on Kakaotalk. Finally, Counselor Kim Soo-hwan said, “Anyone can have a hard time in college life. At such times, sharing with an expert is courageous in itself. If you could not decide whether to come to the counseling center or not, I hope you will be able to come after reading this article.”
By Jeong Yeon-ju