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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center offers a new way to cope with stress

The display shown on the television screen during a biofeedback training session. The information gathered displays the participant’s heart rate and their coherence ratio, referencing which level of a relaxed state they are currently in. (Abbi Elston/Staff Photographer)

College students are seeking out new ways to cope with high levels of anxiety and stress, and biofeedback training offered by TCU’s Counseling and Mental Health Center may be the answer.

Biofeedback training is “a mind-body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology for the purpose of improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health,” according to the National Library of Medicine

Through this process, students receive feedback about what is going on in their bodies. With the feedback, students can then evaluate with an on-staff therapist about how to address certain concerns.

A survey done by Gallup that examines college students’ daily emotions showed that 66% of students experienced stress a lot during the day. (Gallup)

Dr. Eric Wood, a psychologist and counseling center director, said, “When people talk about anxiety a lot of times people worry about the mental part or the emotional part of anxiety, but what biofeedback really does is it shows you how it affects you physically.”

TCU’s biofeedback training has been used during Resident Assistant training, one-on-one therapy sessions and in the classroom by showing students how to manage their stress and see a physical depiction of how stress affects the body.

When participating in a training session, a sensor is placed on the student’s middle finger, which then measures their heart rate and can assess the student’s relaxation state.

The information is displayed on a television screen in the room, which shows the different levels of relaxed states the participant could possibly be in. The screen also instructs participants on their breathing levels and helps students equalize their breathing to put them into a calmer state.

Once a participant reaches a relaxed state, they will engage in a variety of “games” that test their anxiety levels and ability to react to situations and maintain their calmness and stable level of thinking.

“When you’re anxious it shows you the different physical states you are in and it actually trains you, hence the name, to actually reduce and lower those physical states,” Wood said. 

TCU’s Counseling and Mental Health Center is located on the second floor of Jarvis Hall on TCU’s campus. (Lucy Puente/Staff Photographer)

Through this training, students can then evaluate their fight-or-flight response with a licensed therapist and work towards the greater goal of maintaining peace in stressful situations.

Marco Alvarez, a sophomore educational studies major who has been doing biofeedback training for the last year, said, “It has helped me a lot academically, being able to relax and not have to be too stressed or too worried about classes, grades, finals, tests, etc.”

“More people should come in to do this and learn more and to be able to see how far they can progress in such a short amount of time,” said Alvarez.

Housed in the counseling center, located on the 2nd floor of Jarvis Hall, TCU students can come and participate every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at their own convenience.

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