The Introduction to Counseling and Mental Health DeCal is intended to introduce students to the client-centered, Rogerian model of student peer counseling and to increase campus awareness of mental health issues. Through readings and a variety of interactive exercises, students will explore the Berkeley peer counseling model and various psychological disorders. Through education and open discussion, we hope to decrease the stigma attached to counseling.
We want students to feel empowered by their knowledge about helping others and the information they will receive about seeking help. Students will be expected to learn some of the theory behind peer counseling, as well as different forms of counseling. Students should be able to discuss the role of a peer counselor in a university setting, as well as understand the limitations of a peer counselor. The students will learn the model used by UC Berkeley’s Student-to-Student Peer Counseling. For the second half of the course, students will investigate various mental disorders common on college campuses through guest lectures with professionals and open discussions. Even if you are not interested in a future as a counselor, come hone your communication skills that can be used in everyday situations.
This class is taught by trained members of SSPC, Berkeley’s oldest on-campus peer counseling group.
For more information, please check the decal website!
Please note that the DeCal is separate from our counseling services and taking the DeCal does not replace our training to become a peer counselor.
Comments from former Counseling DeCal students:
“I really feel like I got so much out of this class and grew as a person. I feel as though I’m a much better listener. I am so glad I took this class!”
“It seems that the practice of peer counseling bases its hope on people taking charge of their own unique well-being, understanding the deep parts of themselves that they didn’t even realize, and growing as a person through the hardships they’ve encountered. This empowerment of the human spirit speaks very strongly to me, and I will always keep that in mind as a counselor when speaking to a client who seems to be broken in spirit, but who I know has the power to come out of that situation having grown stronger.”
“This is the coolest class I’ve ever been in and actually learned something at the same time.”
“It’s been a great journey taking the Peer Counseling Decal. I have learned many things that will help me not only in counseling others but also in my everyday interactions with different kinds of people.”
“What I liked best about this class was the way the instructors made me feel welcome in class. The word welcome is definitely an understatement at how cared I felt. It’s a really good feeling and the perfect way to end the day.”
“I felt that the small discussion groups really helped bring cohesion to the group and let us get to know each other, as well as share our individual struggles and worries. The guest speakers were really informative, engaging and helpful in giving insight about counseling experiences and methods.”
“I love the dyads!!!! They were good practice. I was able to apply what I have learned and challenge myself to come up with appropriate and effective questions promptly.”
“I looked forward to check-ins and catching up with my group. It was great getting to know what was going on in everybody’s lives.”
“The small groups made me open up. The intimate discussions were fun and definitely made a safe space.”