My Experience with TAO
Dawson Westurn, Peer Educator
March 4th, 2021
Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a free online service for all Texas Tech students to use. The service is easy to register for and only requires authentication of a university email for access. Once in the program, you can use all of the services for free, including log entries, mindfulness exercises, an emotional progress tracker, and badges for different milestones. If you are accessing the service through the counseling center on campus, there will also be a to-do list of modules that are assigned for you to complete by your practitioner. Overall, the website is easy to navigate, helpful to incorporate into the everyday life of the college experience, and informative since the modules are designed by licensed psychologists.
Let's take a dive into each of the general activities that make up TAO- now is your cue to register for TAO and use this blog as your official walkthrough!
Let's Walk Through the Activities
I would highly suggest that any and every student should try this service, even if you have a phone application or personal routine that you feel is similar to TAO. I wasn't excited about watching relaxation, meditation, or deep breathing videos before TAO, but after going through a deep breathing module, I found myself looking for more similar modules.
Videos and apps found on the internet can be so complex in nature that the user focuses on the confusing narration or flashy graphics rather than being present during the exercise. The complexity of videos and apps found on youtube is likely due to the creators not being licensed in psychology, which makes the videos found on TAO unique.
Each mindfulness and relaxation log incorporates a journal entry within the activity so you can review how each exercise has benefited you with a number and a description. The TAO service is simple to use, including the mindfulness and relaxation logs and the website as a whole. The logs are designed for the user to interact with the same video as much as they would like and the narration focuses only on the exercise at hand.
Navigating the Site
The navigation of TAO is exceptionally easy for the number of activities that are located within it. Two sidebars make navigation on the site particularly easy. The sidebar to the left helps bring the user to the general services offered, while the right sidebar is more of a website assistant that works based on the feedback given to it.
The sidebar to the right is interesting to use since it asks the user their general feelings based on the multiple choices that are given. What I enjoyed about this feature is how anyone can describe their current mood just by clicking an option that best fits them- the only time you have to type is when you describe a topic you might want to learn more about.
The modules within TAO are directed towards a general topic that any student may benefit from learning more about.
The modules cover topics such as:
· & even choosing a major
While the modules may not specifically cover every situation, they do relate to every situation because of how humans respond to different stressors. There is a module to help with every situation a college student can find themselves in, especially during a pandemic. Everyone has something that they are working on within themselves and this service offers a large diversity and quantity of information that can be used to benefit oneself. Even the badges you can get from completing modules make the experience worthwhile by giving the user a sense of accomplishment!
To Wrap Up:
Watching the same YouTube video or TV show usually gets repetitive after the third time around but TAO, provided free to you (no monthly subscription required) will only become more interesting the more you use it.
My challenge for you is to sign up for TAO and find a module that will benefit you in some way.
There are so many pressures that a college student might face throughout a typical week including assignments, tests, job searching, and extracurriculars. A four-minute break to focus solely on deep breathing might be just the thing that you need to get through the day.
State of Texas and Texas Tech University. “Office of the Dean of Student-TAO.” TTU, www.depts.ttu.edu/dos/TherapyAssistanceOnline.php