2021 Update on The Zen Den


zen den

Abby LeCheminant, Staff Writer

Castaic is a brand new high school, and with that comes new opportunities. The Zen Den is a welcomed new addition to the school, with Wellness Coordinator Dr. Fields there to provide students with the help they need.  The Hart District recently started implementing wellness centers into all Hart District Schools. The focus is to create a safe space for students to go and focus on their mental wellbeing.  A special interview with Dr. Fields gave us some insight into what the Zen Den is and how it’s used. 

Dr. Fields recommends the Zen Den to be used “for students to come in and get services in between seeing their academic counselors, or their possible school psychologist or even school social worker. It’s kind of like the bridge to determining whether services could be used to support students and adults.” 

The Zen Den, located in room 212, is open Monday through Friday every week. In addition to Dr. Fields being there, a social worker intern is also there for additional services on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Zen Den is a safe place for students to go when needed, whether for a little brain break and de-stress or a one-on-one therapy session with a licensed professional.  Sessions usually are around 15 minutes long but can go longer depending on the student’s needs.

The counseling sessions with Dr. Fields are 100% confidential, “anything that’s discussed here with me stays in here with me.” One-on-one therapy is available, but group sessions are also an option.   

The Zen Den is a calm and relaxing space for students, with dimmed lighting, couches and bean bags, diffusers, and peaceful music. This area was made to provide students with a place they’ll feel comfortable going to and relaxing in.

Sharing her thoughts on the Zen Den, Dr. Fields explains, “I think it’s really underutilized.” This is partially because not many people knew the Zen Den was open.

A teacher must let the student go to the Zen Den if needed, and they will be sent over with a blue slip. The blue slip system is part of what the Zen Den uses to ensure that the student is allowed to be there and not just skipping class.

When asked how she plans on connecting with the students, Dr. Fields answered, “We’re going to have lots of different activities. We’re kind of in the middle of a couple of different hurdles. I mean things like the end of the semester and all the holidays coming up.”  This coming Monday, December 13th, service dogs will be in the Zen Den.

Dr. Fields is here for students to talk to and get help from, don’t overlook this fantastic opportunity. Sometimes having someone to talk to makes all the difference. So stop by and give the Zen Den a visit. Anyone is welcome at any time.