Shubha Chatterjee is the newest staff member looking to make a difference in the lives of ABAC students. Taking on the job as stress counselor, she said she is loving the small town feel of Tifton and can’t wait to get students involved in the counseling program.
Chatterjee became interested in counseling when she was teaching middle school in India. She was especially interested in the special education program, and felt she could help these students and their parents through the difficulties they were facing.
After moving to America, Chatterjee went on to get her master’s degree in art therapy, but then went on to study mental health therapy and alcohol and drug addictions counseling. While working at her university in Kansas, she decided that she liked the college atmosphere, especially working with students, which led to her job here at ABAC.
Stress is a blanket statement, according to Chatterjee, which is why she took special interest in this field. She believes that everyone is stressed, and it is good to look at reasons why. Once students can look at their lives and evaluate themselves and their issues, they can learn better ways to manage stress and thus lead better lives.
A new form of counseling Chatterjee is looking to bring to ABAC is the way of biofeedback. With biofeedback therapy, students would focus on their physiological functions, which can lead to a better understanding of their inner selves and their reasons for their emotions and behaviors. Biofeedback uses a series of tools to help people understand how they are feeling, including stress thermometers and even mood rings.
Chatterjee believes that this form of therapy would greatly help students manage stress and push forward in a positive direction. She recommends that each student try biofeedback therapy at least once, but preferably continue on to have at least three sessions, because that is when most begin to feel results.
When asked what her three main tips are for stressed out students, Chatterjee said that she felt students need to make the best use of the resources at ABAC, including the library and tutoring sessions. She also feels communication plays a key role in stress relief, whether that be communication with your instructors, family, or friends.
Finally, she recommends talking to the counselors like herself. They are here to help and talk to if students feel they may not be able to talk to anyone else.