Bobbi Emel is here to help.

Bobbi Emel, Skyline College´s new Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) counselor, is looking forward to working with stressed students.  (Neill Herbert)

Bobbi Emel, Skyline College´s new Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) counselor, is looking forward to working with stressed students. (Neill Herbert)

Bobbi Emel is here to help.

Emel is Skyline College’s new Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) counselor here to help students with the various personal issues that they encounter including stress, relationships and depression.

Life changes brought Emel to the Bay Area from Bakersfield. Emel had worked at Kern Mental Health for 13 years, where, among other things, worked as a vocational rehabilitator, helping the chronically ill get back to work. Emel says that she became aware of the counseling position through counseling dean Jennifer Hughes. Emel was interested in working in the community college setting because one of her previous roles was of helping people get back to school.

“I enjoy [the] students and being in the community college setting,” she said.

Emel decided to become an MFT counselor when, years ago, she was seeing a therapist. During that time she had already held a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Therapy was helpful for her and so she thought she could help people too. Emel went on to get her masters and has been working as an MFT for 15 years.

One of Emel’s concentrations is stress management. One of the most important things to keep in mind about it, she says, is that you’re always going to have stress.

“I taught stress management for 10 years and I still have stress,” she said.

The trick lies instead with managing the stress. Emel emphasizes two essential ingredients in stress management. One of them is simply remembering to breath.

“Literally, people, when they have test anxiety… forget to breath,” she said.

Most of our stress is caused by how we perceive things, and she says that there is always more than one way to perceive things.

“It’s important to look at how you’re perceiving a situation or a problem and see if there’s other ways to think about it.”

Fellow counselor Linda Van Sciver is happy about Emel’s arrival.

“We’re thrilled to have her here because there’s a need for students to discuss personal issues that come up in their life,” she said, noting that there is no additional cost to the student receiving counseling as it falls under the health services fee.

Likewise Emel is happy to be here and happy to help.

“I hope that all students would feel free to knock on my door anytime that they want,” she said. “I’m just very glad to be here and I hope I can really help the students.”

Emel is also available to talk to students interested in majoring in psychology. Her office is located behind the DSPS counter in room 2210; her hours are, Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.