What Is Counseling | What do most people come in to talk about | What happens after I make an appointment | What Sort of Time Commitments Do I Need to Make for Counseling | How Many Appointments Will I Need | Who will know that I am being seen at the Advising, Counseling, and Testing Services department | What Can I Do To Benefit Most From Counseling | What if I am concerned that I will take away time from someone who REALLY needs it | I am not sure I need counseling...what happens if I change my mind
Counseling is a confidential and private process in which you meet with a trained professional who can help you sort out issues, weigh and balance decisions, and formulate personal plans. Once your personal goals are clear, a counselor will help you find the strategies that will be most helpful in accomplishing your goals. Our Counseling Services staff strive to create a "safe place" for you, a place where you can be yourself, and where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without criticism or rejection. Here you will find someone who will help you work through your tough times and who is interested in your hopes and dreams.
There is no one thing that people come in to talk about. Overall, the most commonly identified problems are self-esteem/identity, relationships, homesickness, anxiety/stress, grief, depression, and family issues yet there is a wide range of other issues that students cope with as well.
During the first meeting with a counselor, you will be asked to describe your concerns and what you hope to gain from counseling. In addition, your counselor may ask a number of background questions to more fully understand your situation and ways to help you. This is an opportunity for you and the counselor to decide whether Counseling Services is the best place for you to help yourself. After this meeting, you may decide to continue counseling and will schedule follow-up appointments for individual counseling. If more appropriate for your concerns, you may be referred to another resource, either on or off campus. Our office works closely with the health center on campus for all medical referrals. Some students find that the initial interview itself is all they need to explore and clarify their feelings and options.
Individual counseling sessions are typically 45-50 minutes in length; the amount of time you spend in counseling is determined by your own needs. Your counselor is committed to providing services that meet your needs in a timely and effective manner.
While we do not set a limit on the number of sessions a student can attend, we operate under a brief, time-limited approach to counseling that assumes most concerns can be successfully addressed in a limited time frame. The majority of students attend between 1 and 7 sessions of counseling, with the average falling between 4 and 5. In some situations, referrals to outside agencies may be considered if intense long- term counseling is deemed necessary.
If you are 18 years of age or older, you are no longer considered a minor. Therefore, your records will be kept confidential and we will not speak about you with anyone else, without your written permission, unless we're concerned that you present an immediate psychological or physical danger to yourself or others, or in cases of child/elder abuse or neglect, or in the rare instances when a court of law would subpoena the student's records.
- Be ready to focus on a specific problem or issue, and to set clear and specific goals
- Attend your sessions regularly and take an active part in them
- Talk about what is bothering you as openly and honestly as you can
- Complete any tasks or homework assignments that you might be asked to do
- Be open to trying new or different approaches to dealing with your concerns. Talk openly with your counselor about your progress in counseling. Your counselor is most interested in you benefiting from counseling
- Apply your new insights and growth in your daily activities
We are here for any student who struggles with concerns in their lives. Everyone is welcome to seek our services.
We encourage students who are not sure to come in and try it. Sometimes one visit is all that is needed to gain a new perspective on a problem or to find out another resource that could be of more help. Most of the time, students find that the whole experience is not as bad as they thought and they find it pretty helpful!