View From the Hill: “Talley Talks” continue to provide professional growth virtually for counseling students

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - This time last year, educators around the world were scrambling to figure out how to keep the learning process going amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

WKU’s Talley Family Counseling Center implemented weekly virtual sessions known as “Talley Talks” and they have been a huge success.

“I think my favorite part about the Talley Talks is the variety. Like you’re going to hop on and get a different experience every week. "

Graduate student Brooke Zarotny looks forward to Fridays at noon when she can connect with fellow students for a “bonus” learning opportunity.

“Professional development has been amazing just getting to kind of like bounce ideas off of each other and talking to professors.”

The sessions, dubbed Talley Talks, grew out of a need to keep counseling students as engaged as possible.

“You know it became something that we did not anticipate. It was more of like something we had to do to accommodate the changes of everything going to telehealth and virtual last March.”

“We were all kind of in panic mode. You know what do we do with our clients? How do we get our clinical hours? How do we keep operations going?”

Graduate assistant Jamie Garden, who coordinates the talks, says the virtual component opens up a whole new world of learning possibilities.

“Partnering with our department head, Dr. Sauerheber, she was able to connect me to tons of great therapists and professionals here in Bowling Green but also in other states and nationwide.”

“They brought in such a good range of topics covering things from general wellness to eating disorders to trauma, depression/anxiety and just the student support piece.”

For Brooke and other grad students, the sessions, even the ones that are just a coffee and support hour, provide that moral support from peers that has been missing due to COVID.

“We haven’t really gotten to see a lot of our classmates in person in so long and just, I think the first years in the program, they don’t get to meet the older students and stuff.”

“The Talley Talks have been a way for us to meet each other and talk and kind of get to know each other too. “Garden says the next Talley Talk will feature WKU counseling faculty addressing burnout prevention.

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