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Counseling Services

The Counseling staff will be providing all counseling services via secure Zoom, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until noon for the remainder of the semester. Please call 423.236.2782 during regular business hours on Monday through Thursday to schedule an appointment with a counselor. If you are unable to reach the office manager, please leave a voice message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned.

The Southern Adventist University Counseling Services designed to assist with concerns that might interfere with the college experience. Individual and group counseling services offer opportunities to increase knowledge and develop greater self-awareness, understanding, and independence. Topics that might be discussed include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Career interests and abilities
  • Stress and time management
  • Test anxiety
  • Learning differences
  • Personal crises
  • Depression
  • Selecting a major
  • Value exploration
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-esteem
  • Loss and grief
  • Family issues
  • Social concerns
  • Adjustment to college
  • Referrals for additional services.


The staff of professionally trained counselors is available to provide students with short-term counseling in a supportive, caring, and confidential environment. 

Appointments are free to all currently enrolled students and can be made by calling 423.236.2782.

Counseling Department Staff

Ric Griffin

Ric Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Tennessee, and is a National Board Certified Counselor. He began his work in Education as an Academy Residence Hall Dean and Physical Education and Bible Teacher. He is married to Bettie, and they have 3 adult daughters and sons-in-law with 8 grandchildren, which he enjoys hanging out with and being Gramps. Ric started the Counselor Education Masters program at SAU in 1997 and received in license in 2004. Rick joined the Student Success team in 2012.

Tiffany Bartell

Tiffany is a full-time counselor at Southern Adventist University who enjoys connecting with students and their stories.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Service Provider who works with individuals and couples struggling with a variety of issues including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, relationships, self-esteem, stress, grief, life transitions and trauma.  A native of New England, she lives with her husband, two children and toy poodle, Pumpkin, in Ooltewah. Tiffany enjoys reading, running and trying new experiences.

Laura Bhattacharjee

Laura is a Licensed Master Social Worker and part-time counselor at Southern Adventist University. She incorporates CBT and a Strengths-Based model to enhance emotional agility, cognitive fluency, and healthy management of anxiety, depression, grief, trauma and life transitions. In her off-time, Laura and her husband jet off to explore and photograph the world.

Lauree Fogg

Lauree is the office manager for the Student Success Center and the first person you meet when you come to Counseling Services. Lauree will help you set an appointment for counseling and always has a cheerful smile to welcome you to the office (make sure to check out her candy bowl too!). In her free time, Lauree enjoys spending time with her family, especially her adorable granddaughter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Counseling is a psychotherapeutic service whereby "normal" everyday people receive help with "normal" everyday problems. The basic premise of counseling is that the person seeking help possesses within himself or herself the resources to solve the problem. By utilizing their skills and creating a special nonjudgmental atmosphere, the counselor is able to facilitate this process. Counseling is:

Psychoeducational: The counseling process involves learning about self, origins of maladaptive behavior, options for changing behavior, interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, and options for change.

The content of counseling sessions as well as the information about clients who seek counseling are kept strictly confidential. The only limits to confidentiality are an immediate and severe threat to the life of oneself or others.

Counseling services are included in your tuition and there is no out of pocket expense for seeing a counselor.

Most counseling processes involve between one and seven sessions with the counselor, but this is determined on a case by case basis.

Stay in touch!

Southern Adventist University and the Counseling and Testing Services office are not responsible for the reliability, accuracy, timeliness, usefulness, or completion of the information found on the linked sites. A link to a site does not constitute an endorsement of that site. Information found in these links belong to that organization, and that organization is the copyright owner of the information contained on the site.
Always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment. Online resources cannot replace the specialized training and potential judgment of a health care or mental health care professional.