Graduate school opens LifeSpring Counseling Center

Huntington, Ind.-The Huntington University Graduate School has opened LifeSpring Counseling Center, a free counseling clinic on the university's campus.

The clinic is staffed by students in the graduate school's Master of Arts in counseling program and supervised by the program's director, Dr. Jerry E. Davis.

LifeSpring Counseling Center accepts donations, but the counseling sessions are free. The hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The counseling center is open to the public and serves individuals, couples, families and children.

Play therapy is available for children. The center is also equipped to address the needs of adults who have drug and alcohol addictions.

In addition, LifeSpring will offer therapy groups as common needs are determined. These may address issues such as support for the unemployed, adult children of alcoholics and survivors of abuse as well as anger management.

The center's name and mission are based on Proverbs 4:23: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Teaching people how to guard their hearts is a passion for Davis.

"The idea was to help people take care of their hearts," he said. "With the difficulties we face in today's society and the pressures in relationships, we wanted to provide a safe outlet for the community. Our counselors can assist clients with setting boundaries, learning new skills, and generally understanding how to guard their hearts."

Currently, there are seven students seeing clients at LifeSpring. All sessions are videotaped for supervision purposes.

"This is to the benefit of the client," Davis explained. "I can see what is going on and be directly involved in their treatment."

LifeSpring Counseling Center is located at 479 Campus St., Huntington. It is the second house east of Kids Kampus. With questions or to schedule an appointment, call (260) 454-5500.

In addition to his role with LifeSpring, Davis serves as a part-time counselor for Grace & Truth Counseling Services, a ministry of College Park Church of the United Brethren in Christ in Huntington. He has opened free counseling clinics in Marion and Indianapolis, and he has served as a clinical supervisor for 14 years.

"Part of my goal when I started counseling centers was to respond to underserved populations in the community," Davis said. "One of my passions is to discover what the unmet needs are in the community so that we can address those."

Davis is a licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor and a national certified counselor. He has done private practice counseling with Samaritan Centers, Parkview Behavioral Health and the Family Care Center in Fort Wayne. He is a frequent presenter at local, regional and national conferences and seminars as well as retreats and providing pulpit supply for local churches. His research interests include the integration of psychology and theology, the integration of therapy with spiritual formation and direction, personality disorders, marital enrichment, and men's issues.

Davis has a long history with Huntington University and has served in various roles at the institution, including director of campus ministries and director of counseling services. Before joining the Huntington University Graduate School faculty, he served as professor of graduate counseling and director of the graduate counseling program at Indiana Wesleyan University.