Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS COUNSELING?
Counseling is the process of talking with a trained professional to assist you with sorting out emotional and school difficulties. This may include educational and/or career goals, and it may take the form of individual or group sessions. This process can help you become more aware of yourself and the personal options available to you for effective problem solving and decision making.
THE COUNSELING PROCESS
Counseling involves a cooperative interaction between you and your counselor. Early in this process you and your counselor will need to make a number of decisions regarding your counseling plan. Among these decisions are the modes of counseling (individual or group), frequency and number of sessions, and your counseling goals to meet the needs of as many students as possible, most clients are seen in a brief therapy format (one to ten sessions). Counseling is concluded at the point when clients have the capacity to work through problems on their own without undue difficulty. If long term counseling is required, a referral may be made within the professional community.
Your scheduled sessions with a counselor may be the first steps you take to bring about positive changes in your life. Both you and your counselor are responsible for an effective experience. Your active participation in the counseling process is critical in reaching your personal goals and self understanding. If this is your first experience with counseling, you are encouraged to discuss this with your counselor.
CONFIDENTIALITY and EFFECTIVENESS
For counseling to be the most effective, clients are expected to be open and honest about themselves and their problems. In return the professional staff assures confidentiality. With the exception of a clear danger to one’s self or others, or certain very selective court subpoenas, no person or institution outside of the Counseling Center will have access to nay client information without the client’s written permission. Within the Center, however, information about clients may be shared for the purpose of training and/or consultation.
Your counselor may ask for permission to tape sessions. These are used for professional training and supervision. They are treated as confidential, and are erased when counseling had ended.
A trusting relationship is a key ingredient in successful counseling. Conflicts and tensions are sometimes a past of the therapeutic process. If you experience this, you are encouraged to bring it up with your counselor – when such issues cannot be resolved through discussion, the counselor’s responsibility is to facilitate an appropriate transfer to another counselor or service. As a client you always have the right to raise a concern about your treatment with a counselor, the center Director, or the Dean of Students.
Your initial intake will take approximately twenty minutes, and can be done during or drop-in hours (Monday & Wednesday from 9:30 – 11:30, Tuesday & Thursday from 1:30 – 3:30, no appointments necessary). A counselor is always available during these times. If these hours conflict with your class schedule, and appointment can be scheduled during other times. After your initial intake, regular scheduled sessions can be arranged between you and your assigned counselor. We will attempt to see you and all of our clients as soon as possible. In order for us to provide timely service to as many students as possible, we would appreciate your keeping your appointment once it is made, or notifying our office if you need to reschedule. If you miss two consecutive sessions without contacting us, it will be assumed that you wish to end your counseling, and your appointment time will be made available to other students. When you decide to discontinue your counseling we encourage you to discuss your plans with your counselor.
In order to provide more effective services, you may be requested to (anonymously) complete a questionnaire regarding your counseling experience. We appreciate your feedback and welcome your suggestions as we find students’ feedback valuable in updating and improving our services.