Dr. Eric Wood is the Director of Texas Christian University (TCU) Counseling and Mental Health. He offers insight into TCU’s counseling support and observations and direction on improving college counseling centers in this interview.
At Eating Disorder Hope and Addiction Hope, we are continually contacted by college students seeking help for eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. We were thrilled to interview Dr. Wood and learn more about TCU’s counseling support and resources available to college students.
He also enlightened us further on the overall current state of college counseling and his recommendations for meeting the changing needs of the current student population.
Dr. Wood shared that demand for the counseling of college students has increased significantly over the years. This is likely due to a combination of factors:
- Less stigma surrounding mental illness
- Greater promotion of mental health awareness and support options
- Increasing need for students seeking support due to various environmental & personal factors
Dr. Wood shared the exciting new “Comprehensive Collaborative Care Model” that TCU has developed to meet the growing needs of their student body.
The model is designed to address key mental health issues that many college students struggle with today:
- Substance Abuse
- Ripple Effect
- Depression & Anxiety
- Eating Disorders
Dr. Wood and his team are proactively addressing these issues for students through various forms of support such as Aftercare/Recovery Communities, Wellness Promotions, Specialized Services (such as an on-campus eating disorder treatment program), Drop-in Counseling and more.
Dr. Wood noted that many colleges and universities are revamping their treatment/service delivery models in an effort to meet the increased demand.
The “step-care/multi-track model” is the most commonly implemented.
However, this step-care model is most effective when part of a larger scale Comprehensive Care Model is designed around the needs of the students.
He also stated that unfortunately, there is a high burnout rate among college counselors as they wear many different hats and have a lot of responsibilities pulling them in many directions.
This makes meeting with students who need counseling or are in crisis more taxing since they are already overextended with other job requirements.
Dr. Wood recommended that the counseling center therapists be freed up from as many extraneous tasks as possible so that they can be fully available and emotionally present for the students seeking counseling. TCU has taken steps to ensure the availability of counselors and to protect their time for counseling from other demands.
Most profoundly, Dr. Eric Wood expressed his sincere desire for every struggling college student to be able to find the help and support they need to succeed. His commitment to TCU’s counseling support and the well-being of students was clearly evident throughout the interview.
To learn more about Dr. Wood and TCU’s state of the art Comprehensive Care Model, please read Eric Wood’s article titled: Rethinking the Traditional Model of College Campus Counseling.
About Dr. Eric Wood:
Eric Wood, Ph.D., L.P.C. serves as the Director of Counseling & Mental Health at Texas Christian University. He is both a licensed psychologist and a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. He is also on the Governance Board for the National College Depression Partnership and a peer reviewer for the Journal of American College Health.
His professional interests include treating depression, anger management, social justice, diversity issues, and clinical system management. He speaks at national conferences on issues related to mental health among college students and has works published in outlets such as the Texas Tribune and the New York Times. Dr. Wood completed his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of North Texas.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective on eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published August 5, 2019, on EatingDisorderHope.com
Reviewed & Approved on August 5, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC