Meet your 2021-22 Counselors-in-Residence

Friday, August 27, 2021 Meet your 2021-22 Counselors-in-Residence

Portrait of Lydia Nielsen, Natalie Henton, and Aiswary Ganapathy Devendra Rajan

(Pictured left to right) Lydia Nielsen, Natalie Henton, and Aiswary Ganapathy Devendra Rajan are the university's Counselors-in-Residence for the 2021-22 academic year.

Trained mental health professionals serving as “Counselors-in-Residence” (CIR) are available to meet with students close to home in the residence halls. Each counselor is pursuing a degree in the UNL Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program, yet they focus on varying areas of wellness and have much to offer for students seeking help.

Aiswary Ganapathy Devendra Rajan focuses on Harper, Schramm and Smith halls. Her office can be found in the Harper Dining Center, Room 115. An international student from Malaysia, Rajan enjoys watching movies and eating at Mughil's Indian Cuisine with her loved ones.

Natalie Henton represents Knoll, Eastside and University Suites and Selleck Hall. She is located in Selleck Hall in Room 7019. In her free time, Henton loves to take her dog on walks and cook new recipes. She wants to help students feel at home on campus and give everyone space to grow.

Lydia Nielsen's office is located in Abel Hall, within Room 132 of the Abel/ Sandoz Welcome Center. In her free time, Nielsen can be found playing pickleball or reading a mystery novel. She believes all emotions are valuable and humor is important to wellbeing.

"No matter where we grew up, the color of our skin, our religion or our social economic status, we all have wounds. I have wounds. Because of that, I want any apprehensive students to know that the messy things in their life will not surprise me, nor will they scare me away," said Nielsen.

While counselors are located in specific halls and complexes, students may choose to work with whichever counselor they choose. There is no cost and no session limit.

Multiple types of appointments are available to students. Anyone can stop by for a drop-in consultation, schedule a one-on-one appointment or register for group sessions.

The counselors aim to make each therapy room a welcoming space for any topic. Counselors-in-Residence often discuss a range of serious subject matters including homesickness, school stress, depression, anxiety, coping skills, family struggles, roommate and relationship problems, trauma, racial injustice and COVID-19 stress.

The most rewarding aspect of being a Counselor-in-Residence is the ability to give students direct, convenient access to the help they need.

"Ultimately, I believe there is hope for every student no matter what they have walked through, and there are ways that they can lighten the weight of the burdens they carry," said Nielsen.

Students are encouraged to stop by whenever they are in search of someone to talk to. The counselors can be a helping hand or simply a shoulder to lean on, but they all share one passion: assisting students in working toward personal growth and healing.

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