Under the leadership of director Tina Borke, the Community Psychology Clinic at Texas A&M University-Commerce is finding innovative ways to provide mental health services to the university and the Commerce community.
The clinic, staffed by student clinicians under the supervision of licensed psychologists, provides services including school accommodations, testing, group therapy and psychotherapy counseling services for a range of emotional and behavioral issues experienced by children, adults, couples and families.
As a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Special Education, Borke supervises students from the department who are earning master's degrees in psychology. These students provide psychological assessment and psychotherapy counseling services to university students, staff and faculty. The clinic also serves residents of Commerce and Northeast Texas.
Borke said the clinic strives to be a beacon in the lives of the people it serves.
“We have dedicated and caring student clinicians who are passionate about serving our A&M-Commerce family, the Commerce community and underserved populations in the region by providing quality services that help improve the lives of our clients,” Borke said.
Working with Alison Walker, Family Services coordinator and director of Head Start for Commerce Independent School District, the clinic is now providing classes for grandparents with parenting responsibilities.
“Commerce ISD has many families where grandparents are serving as the primary guardian of children, which presents a number of unique challenges,” Walker said. “This group aims to provide these grandparents with information and support to face these challenges and offers participants an opportunity to connect with others in similar circumstances to share stories, struggles and successes.”
Graduate students who work with Borke are also exploring innovative ways to serve specific demographic groups on campus.
Clinical students Zeemal Zubair and Ali Noel started a support group for international students after identifying that these students often feel misunderstood and underserved. Borke reported that the group has been inundated with requests to join.
“Being an international student can feel very overwhelming,” Zubair said. “Finding people and a platform for opening up, sharing and connecting with others is a big victory. We hope this group will provide a friendly atmosphere and a safe space for members of the international community to express themselves and find a home away from home.”
In addition, student clinicians have formed support groups to address addiction and are providing no-cost assessments to A&M-Commerce students who are referred by the university's Office of Student Disability Services.