What is Counseling?
Counseling is a cooperative process between you and a counselor to explore and resolve your personal concerns. Counselors may vary in their specific approaches, but there are many similarities, including building trusting and nonjudgmental relationships, maintaining your privacy, and helping you seek ways to resolve your struggles.
Counseling can help you cope more effectively with a variety of concerns, including adjustment to college, family and relationship concerns, academic and career questions, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
Please see below for information about individual counseling, career counseling, crisis counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, assessment and testing, and referral services. For additional information about counseling in our center, here are some frequently asked questions.
The most common form of counseling is individual, where you meet with a professional counselor for about 45-50 minutes. During the initial meeting, the counselor will ask questions about your concerns to gain a better understanding of you and your issues. If you and the counselor agree that additional sessions would be helpful, you can continue to meet to explore concerns, feelings, and options more in depth, and develop and improve coping skills.
Career counseling typically takes place in individual or group counseling and consists of personal exploration and sometimes psychological assessment to learn more about your skills, interests, and values. At our center, career counseling may be simply one component of personal counseling or it may be the primary focus. Students who are seeking to learn more about job and internship opportunities, writing resumes, interview skills, and other “nuts and bolts” of education and career selection are encouraged also to seek guidance from the Career Services Center.
Crisis counselors are available during normal office hours to meet with students who are in urgent need. Please see resources for after hours crises and emergencies. We occasionally have faculty, staff or friends walk students about whom they are concerned to our center. We make every effort to accommodate the urgent needs of students whether they come in on their own or with a concerned person.
In group counseling, students have the opportunity to discuss topics and issues that concern them in a confidential, small group setting with the assistance of a professional counselor. At different times throughout the academic year, groups may be initiated either around general concerns or various themes or issues (e.g., relationship skills, eating concerns, men’s perspectives, managing anxiety). For more information, or to check out our current list, please see groups.
Students in relationships may seek counseling together to help them explore relationship direction and resolve conflicts, improve openness and communication, and help partners manage personal concerns that impact the relationship.
Assessment and Testing
Assessment instruments are sometimes used as an aid in self-understanding and focusing on personal goals. Various assessment instruments are available that measure personality characteristics, psychological concerns, and vocational interests. You and your counselor may decide whether assessment may be useful and appropriate for you. There is a fee for these services.
Following initial assessment or during the course of counseling, counselors may refer a student to seek additional or alternative services on campus or in the community. Referrals are made in order to best meet the specific needs of individuals. Please check our list of referral resources in the community.