Mental health is a crucial component of overall wellness. For college students, it is vitally important they heed their mental health needs, as they face a myriad of pressures, stresses, and anxiety-inducing situations, all while learning how to manage life on their own away from home.
At OBU, students, employees and members of the community have a critically important resource available to them to care for their mental health. The Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, located on the southeast corner of campus, is among the many services offered to OBU students. The Kemp MFT Clinic provides affordable, high quality therapeutic services to individuals, couples and families of the OBU and greater Shawnee communities.
The clinic is named for Dr. Ronald and Lou Kemp. Both OBU alumni, Ronald in 1958 and Lou in 1957, the couple spent their lives dedicated to serving others, with the latter part of their careers working in the field of marriage and family therapy in their clinic in Missouri. They gave a generous gift in 2018 to endow of the operation of the clinic which now bears their names.
Universities typically offer on-campus counseling services to their students. However, the Kemp MFT Clinic is unique, as it is an educational training facility and services are provided by graduate therapists under faculty supervision in the OBU Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree program. Due to its role as a training clinic, the fee structure allows the clinic to offer high-quality services at an affordable price.
OBU students, faculty and staff receive an annual allotment of therapy sessions at no charge from the Kemp MFT Clinic. As part of their student services fee, OBU students may receive up to 10 sessions per fiscal year (June 1-May 31) at no charge, and subsequent sessions for a discounted rate of $10.00 per session. OBU faculty and staff may receive up to 3 sessions per fiscal year (June 1-May 31) at no charge, and subsequent sessions will be based on the sliding fee scale.
Clinic therapists work with clients in a way that incorporates mind, body, faith and community, and therapists utilize an adaptive approach to help clients find positive change. Therapists at the clinic value relationships and seek to help clients connect with support systems in meaningful ways. The clinic operates under the premise that clients are able to find healing when approached by presenting problems through a holistic lens that sees opportunities for growth in clients’ faith, relationships, minds and physical health.
The Kemp MFT Clinic offers a variety of therapy services, including individuals, couples, premarital, families, and art/play therapy. Currently, the Kemp MFT Clinic provides counseling services in a hybrid format of in-person therapy and telehealth.
Dr. Tara Signs, MFT clinical director, encourages students and employees to take advantage of the clinic services to improve their personal mental health and overall well being.
“We all experience life difficulties and struggles that, at times, can become overwhelming and difficult to manage.”
Signs believes that therapists can provide support and offer fresh perspectives that help process the challenges in life. Therapy can foster a fuller understanding of oneself and one’s relationships, improve self-esteem, improve communication and form new ways to deal with emotional pressures.
Therapists at the clinic work with a wide variety of client concerns common to a college campus, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, grief/loss, health or medical illness, relationship concerns, trauma, and adjusting to various life challenges such as living away from home for the first time.
The master’s degree program is a fantastic option for those interested in building a career in therapy and bringing healing to individuals and families. The MFT program will host a virtual informational session Monday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 7 p.m. Attendees will meet professors, speak with current MFT students, and learn more about OBU’s Master of Science in marriage and family therapy. A virtual tour will also be offered for attendees to tour the Kemp MFT Clinic. Register for the free event.Learn more about the Kemp MFT Clinic.