The Retreat

Loyola University Maryland Counseling Center's Newsletter

November 2020 Edition

Hello, and welcome!

Please enjoy “The Retreat,” a place in your inbox where you can take a moment to pause and breathe. We made this newsletter for you, so if you have any suggestions or comments that you would like to share, please let us know.

Welcome, and please stay awhile.

What's New? Let's Connect Now!

The Counseling Center is offering drop-in spaces for BIPOC students, LGBTQIA+ students, and students seeking support regarding election and political stress. This is not a therapy space, but rather a chance for students to have an informal one-on-one conversation with a counselor.

  • BIPOC Students: Meets on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. EST.

  • LGBTQIA+ Students: Meets on Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

  • Election Distress: Meets on Mondays from 2 to 3 p.m. EST and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.

Students can expect to chat with a counselor for about 20 minutes. Since this is not a scheduled appointment, students should be aware that there may be a brief wait before speaking with a counselor. Information about additional counseling services can be shared during the session if needed.

Visit the Services page on our website to learn more about our new drop-in spaces and other services.

Don't Miss a Special Wind-Down Wednesday

The Counseling Center is hosting a special Wind-Down Wednesday on November 18, from 3 to 3:45 p.m. featuring Gayle Cicero leading Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a gentle meditative experience that encourages relaxation and relieves stress. Participants will need two pillows, a blanket, and a place to lie down. No experience necessary!

Open to Loyola students, faculty, and staff! Join us on Zoom using this link.

Surge Capacity- Have You Reached It?

Months into this pandemic we are all hearing “will this end?”, “how much longer?”, and “I’m not doing well!” What started out as empowered optimism in which we gathered our strength, courage, and resources to contain the COVID-19 spread has turned into a lowest low. For those who have lived through natural disasters, this feeling may be familiar- it’s what Psychologist Ann Masten, PhD, calls “surge capacity,” and it’s intended to get humans through crises.

Yet here we are. Everyone feels depleted and let’s face it: simply awful. How do we adjust to a constantly shifting situation when there is only indefinite uncertainty on the horizon? The usual coping skills of connecting with others in person necessitate completing an entire risk assessment with no clear solution. The experience of ambiguous loss- the small losses in our lifestyle and way of being- is a difficult one, especially for high achievers. It looks and feels like grief possibly wrapped up in anxiety, depression, and disconnection. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup, as the saying goes, and everyone is feeling it.

Our surge capacity has been decimated. Where do we go next? How can we rekindle the hope from those earlier days? Michael Maddaus, MD, discusses the idea of building a “resilience bank account.” (Spoiler: these are all simple yet difficult concepts.)

  • Accept that life is different right now.
  • Expect less from yourself.
  • Recognize the different aspects of grief.
  • Experiment with “both-and” thinking.
  • Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you.
  • Focus on maintaining important relationships. First and foremost with yourself!
  • Don’t neglect sleep, nutrition, joyful movement, meditation, self-compassion, and even saying “no!”

Source: Medium, Your Surge Capacity Is Depleted- It’s Why You Feel Awful by Tara Haelle

Fall Groups & Workshops Spotlight on Excel

Connection is Vital! Social support is especially important to our mental well being in the midst of a global pandemic. While it is important to maintain physical distance to maintain our health, prolonged isolation can also lead to increased mood symptoms and mental health difficulties.

Stay connected while safely maintaining social distancing, by participating in our virtual groups. This month, we would like to feature our new group, Excel.

  • Excel is a virtual support group for students who have a disability or face learning challenges. Excel provides a space for students to discuss their unique challenges related to virtual learning and find support to navigate learning hurdles. Students will also be able to share resources, learn stress management skills, and discuss self-care. Students do not need to be registered with Disability Support Services to join this group.

Visit our website to learn more about all of our group offerings, meeting times, and how to register.

Social Justice Warriors

Loyola Counseling Center Land Acknowledgement

The staff at the Counseling Center humbly acknowledges and honors the Indigenous communities whose ancestral homelands and resources were stolen and colonized in the creation of this nation, state and campus. We recognize the Piscataway, Nanticoke and Lumbee as past, present, and future caretakers of this land.

A land acknowledgement is a small and insufficient step towards correcting the narrative and injustice of colonialism both past and present. While this small act will never erase the atrocities that have been endured by Indigenous peoples both locally and around the world, it is a part of our ongoing commitment to uplifting the sovereignty of Indigenous communities. We are therefore committed to resisting the oppression that takes many forms, including the attack on mental health, threat to the environment, and continued violence caused by systems of racism.

The Counseling Center has a strong commitment to social justice by promoting a sense of community inspired by Loyola’s values for inclusivity. We live out our commitment in four major areas:

In the Library

For the month of October, members of the Counseling Center participated in Diversity Reading Groups, which met weekly to discuss their selected book. Check out these reads

Brandon Muncy co-facilitated group with Marci Belton from Student Life and Philosophy faculty member James Snow for the book "A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on The American Mind" by Harriet A. Washington. Lucy Holz participated in this group as well.

  • "A 'powerful and indispensable book' on the devastating consequences of environmental racism--and what we can do to remedy its toxic effects on marginalized communities." [Goodreads]

Sheila Graham recommends the book "Blackballed" by Darryl Pinckney.

  • "An incisive reflection on black electoral politics, disenfranchisement, and the lasting legacy of the civil rights movement—now with a brand-new essay on the Covid-19 pandemic, reparations, and the 2020 George Floyd protests." [Penguin Random House]

Beth Adolph participated in a group for the book "Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology" by Deirdre Cooper Owens.

  • "Medical Bondage explores how, in the nineteenth century, experimental surgeries on enslaved and laboring women enabled the rise of American gynecology as a medical specialty, and shaped our understanding of race." [Project MUSE Johns Hopkins University]

Friends of the Counseling Center: The Study

The Counseling Center works closely with many campus partners to better reach all students. Each edition will feature one of our partners in this section and the work we do together.

The partnership between The Counseling Center and The Study supports cura personalis, or care for the whole person. Our two offices frequently send referrals to each other to help students connect with resources for their personal wellbeing and academic success.

The Study promotes academic success through tutoring, coaching, and workshops. Each year, an average of 650 students attend around 4,000 peer tutoring appointments at The Study. This number includes almost a third of all first-year students. The Study aims to support students at all levels by providing peer tutoring for most courses taught at Loyola.

Students can also use The Study’s professional tutoring services for skill development in English as a second language, math, and reading strategies. To assist with skill development in other areas, The Study offers one-on-one time management and organization coaching as well as academic coaching.

Students are also welcome to register for workshops held throughout each semester. Workshops cover topics such as exploring learning styles, taking effective notes, and avoiding test stress and anxiety.

All of The Study’s services are free and can be requested through Any questions about The Study’s services can be sent to or 410-617-2104.

Join Togetherall!

All Loyola undergraduate and graduate students can access free online mental health support with Togetherall, any time, any day.

Whether you’re struggling to cope, feeling low or just need a place to talk, Togetherall can help you to explore your feelings in a safe supportive environment.

What is Togetherall?

  • A community where members are anonymous to each other, they can share how they are feeling & support each other
  • Accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Clinically managed with trained professionals available 24/7 to keep the community safe
  • Self-assessments & recommended resources
  • Creative tools to help express how you’re feeling
  • Wide range of self-guided courses to do at your own pace

Sign up for Togetherall today!

In the Community

Our new partnership with The Shrink Space allows students to more easily search for and connect with providers in the community. This tool will help you connect with a therapist, psychiatrist or group practice within your insurance. Check it out!

Need more support? Our staff continues to provide comprehensive referral support and can also help you get connected with an off campus provider!

To be added to our mailing list please send a message to Hayley Holloway ( or call (410) 617-2273