by Jermel Quillopo, staff writer
|In mid-December, local Dr. Kaniala
Kekaulike joined the HPU family as the founding director of counseling
offering counseling and behavior health services to students.
Kekaulike has two bachelor degrees, one in Hawaiian studies from
the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa and one in counseling psychology
from Chaminade University. He earned his doctorate degree in
counseling from Argosy University.
Kekaulike has worked at Tripler Army Medical Center where he
completed his doctoral internship. He also completed his doctoral
practicum at Hana Community Health Center and worked at UH-Manoa
as a academic advisor for the Hawaiian Studies Department. He
has even worked for The Department of Education as a therapist
and behavior health specialist. Now at HPU, he is creating a
counseling and behavior health program from the “ground
Kekaulike said the counseling program he is developing includes
individual, group, couple, and family therapy counseling. Kekaulike
wants the program to help students deal with issues such as depression,
stress management, and alcohol and substance abuse.
Before Kekaulike, there were no counseling program for students
at HPU and advisors at the Academic Advising Center took care
of these type of problems. However, there were so many inquiries “about
counseling that the advisors couldn’t handle it all,” said
Kekaulike. HPU had to take action in order to provide students
the help that they needed.
With the program we want to look at each person as a whole,” said
Kekaulike, who wants the program to help each student with their
own individual needs. “The services that we offer will
look at the person and see how their issues are affecting them
all together,” said Kekaulike.
Kekaulike plans to utilize various majors such as psychology
and social work in clinical counseling. “Traditionally,
interns and post doctoral will participate in increasing their
clinical assessment and direct therapy services, as well as participating
in various trainings on campus and in the community,” said
Rev. Dale Burke, HPU’s chaplain, has also partnered with
Dr. Kekaulike by providing services to the program. Kekaulike
said that Rev. Burke will give students a choice of providers
to address their personal issues. Rev. Burke will be available
to students who seek a spiritual perspective through counseling.
Kekaulike also mentioned that the counseling program also works
closely with the resdent advisors at the Hawai‘i Loa campus’ residence
halls, and is set up to respond to crisis situations at HPU.
Crisis situations are those in which the students are a danger
to themselves and others, like suicidal threats, actions, and
harm towards others,” said Kekaulike.
I’m impressed with the faculty and staff and how they are
very dedicated to the students,” said Kekaulike.
He also is surprised at how the University tends to the students
needs. “I wouldn’t come early and then leave late
if I didn’t love my job,” he added.
Counseling services are available for registered HPU students.
HPU faculty or staff can also contact Dr. Kekaulike for consultations
or concerns regarding their students. For more information and
scheduling call the Hawai‘i Loa campus (808) 236-3587 or
Downtown at (808) 544-1184.