The faculty and staff of Marieb College provide all the necessary tools to succeed in and out of the program. They are flexible, available and make it clear that our success is their first priority.
At some point in our lives, most of us will be faced with a moment where we either have to change—as difficult and frightening as that can be—or face consequences.
For Paul Cisneros, that moment came when he was an undergrad. He was suffering from a back injury, very overweight and facing anxiety and depression. It was a low point, for sure. But one he was determined to change. And it turned out to be one of the greater opportunities of his life.
He sought counseling, lost weight and changed his track from pre-med to psychology. After he graduated, he volunteered working at a clinic in Tampa where he helped promote a mind/body lifestyle-change approach to dealing with medical illness. But what he really wanted to do was learn more about mental health.
When he learned that saw FGCU has an accredited mental health counseling program he decided to go for it. Being part of a close-knit cohort in his graduate courses helped smooth the transition of moving to a new city for him. And the intensive, full-time internships—40 hours per week on top of classwork—are exposing him to different areas of specialization in the mental health field.
After earning his master’s, Paul intends to work with individuals struggling with eating disorders, anxiety and depression. He feels that mental health is every bit as important to a person as physical health. “I think there is still a stigma around counseling. Some people may think that one only goes to counseling for serious issues, but it’s more than that. I believe counselors provide a non-judgmental and safe environment in which to speak and can help process anything that may be on your mind,” he says. And many, like Paul, can also offer first-hand inspiration for promoting positive mental health.