Counseling Services FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why would someone want to go to counseling?
How much does counseling cost?
Do I need health insurance to go to counseling?
Where are you located?
When is the office open?
How do I make an appointment?
What can I expect during my first appointment?
What's counseling like?
Is counseling appropriate for both men and women?
If I start going to the counseling center, how often do I need to go and for how long?
Does counseling help?
Will people know that I'm in counseling?
What if I want to tell someone about my counseling experience?
What if I don't feel comfortable sharing personal information with a counselor?
What about medication?
Can my friend come with me for my first counseling session?
What if I can't make my scheduled appointment?
What crisis services are available?
Students come to us with all kinds of concerns. Some might be having a conflict with a friend, roommate, or partner. Others may be struggling with the adjustment to college. Others still may be feeling down or anxious or having some other kind of distressing feeling. Some students may have been in counseling in the past and are looking to continue that work. Some other common concerns that bring people to counseling are:
Making friends and establishing a social life
Managing greater responsibility for your own learning
Concerns about the future
Relationship problems and break-ups
Life after college
Worried about things at home
Illness in the family
A troubled sibling/ family member
Death of a family member, friend or pet
Recent or past sexual trauma
Alcohol or other drug use
Counseling and consultation are available to all registered students at no cost.
No, insurance is not needed when you receive counseling services on campus.
We are located in Romero Hall, which is on Springfield Road, right next to Health Services and across the street from the baseball diamond. If you are having difficulty finding us, call us at (315) 445-4195 and we'll get you here.
We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 12:30PM and 1:30PM to 4:30PM. We are generally closed for services when class is not in session (i.e., winter break, holidays, etc.).
Just give us a call at (315) 445-4195. Or stop by in person. We will ask you for some basic information (name, class year, phone number, etc.) and set up an appointment for you with one of our counselors.
Many people feel nervous about their first counseling appointment. Your counselor understands that it may be hard to talk to someone you don't know about your personal problems. It might help you to feel less nervous if you know what to expect on your first visit.
When you get to the counseling center office, you will be greeted by the receptionist. You should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out some paperwork and read some information about the counseling center and your rights as a client. When you are finished with your paperwork you should give it back to the receptionist and she will call your counselor to let them know you are ready.
Your counselor will come to the office to meet you and escort you to their office. Your counselor will probably begin by telling you about him or herself. Then she/he will discuss your rights as a client and issues of confidentiality.
After that, the counselor will probably ask you to describe why you came for counseling. The counselor may ask questions about all the different parts of your life in order to get to know you more and to understand how the problem fits into and/or affects other areas of your life. Don't worry, the counselor can take the lead in this part of the conversation and help you to explain why you are there.
It is important to understand that you and your counselor are partners in understanding and working on your problem. If there's something you want your counselor to know but she/he hasn't asked yet, feel free to offer the information. If you have questions or concerns about counseling or any other issue, it is important to ask. The better you can communicate your worries or needs to your counselor, the better your counselor will be able to respond to your concerns or needs.
At the end of the first meeting, you and your counselor will together develop some goals for counseling. Its helpful to discuss some goals for counseling so that you and your counselor are on the same page and understand what you want to accomplish in counseling. The counselor may then make recommendations about how they feel you could best achieve your goals, which may include short-term individual counseling at the counseling center, group counseling, referral for more evaluation or treatment by a specialist in your area, or a consultation with a health professional about medication.
Your counseling experience depends a lot on the concerns you are bringing and your counselor's style. However, we do what we can to provide students with a safe, judgment-free place to express themselves and to get help with something that is bothering them. Your counselor will likely spend your first session asking questions about the problem at hand and about your personal history. After that, you will collaboratively come up with a plan to address that issue and work toward it together.
Yes. Some men may think that counseling is not for them or cannot help them, but that is untrue. Many men have been taught to think that it is weak to talk about problems or to need some kind of help. However, coming to counseling is not all about weakness and having problems. Many people use counseling to strengthen themselves and develop new coping skills. When scheduling a first appointment, you can request a male counselor who can help you become accustomed to counseling.
This depends on the student and the problem at hand. After meeting with you, your counselor will discuss with you your treatment recommendations, which are tailored to you and your particular set of circumstances. Some students see a counselor for one or two sessions and others are here for a little longer. In general, the counseling center works with a short-term, solution-focused model. Most students who use our services report feeling better within 4-5 sessions. Once you start counseling, you are not obligated to continue, but we would encourage you to discuss those feelings with your counselor.
Yes! The counseling staff can help you to make positive changes in your life, based on established and well-researched therapy techniques. Sometimes, just having someone to listen to you can be very helpful. However, going to counseling does not necessarily guarantee that your problems will go away. A lot of this depends on you. Regular attendance, a commitment to making changes in your life, and thinking about your sessions afterward help counseling work. If you feel like counseling is not helping you or not helping enough, talk to your counselor about this. You can both discuss how to make counseling more effective.
Counseling is confidential. The counseling staff has an ethical and legal obligation to maintain your privacy. We will not tell anyone, including parents and professors, that you are coming to counseling or what is discussed in sessions. There are some limits to confidentiality (typically invoked when someone is in serious danger) that you counselor will discuss with you during your first session.
You are free to tell anyone whatever you want about counseling, but the counseling staff will not share this information with anyone without your express written permission. Sometimes students give us this permission so that we can confirm counseling attendance with professors or parents or if they are seeing another therapist in the community, so that everyone involved in the student's care has the relevant information.
This is a common concern. Remember that counseling is confidential. All of our counselors are highly trained professionals who are quite accustomed to helping people with these problems. Sometimes it is hard to disclose personal information, but your counselor will treat your personal information with dignity and respect and will only ask about things that are relevant to the problem at hand. Sharing such information usually gets easier once you have been working with the counselor for a few sessions.
Medication for issues such as depression, anxiety, and drastic mood swings can sometimes be an important part of treatment. The Wellness Center for Health and Counseling has a consulting psychiatrist - a medical doctor who specializes in mental health - who can meet with students and prescribe medication if necessary and follow up regularly. We can also direct you to a psychiatrist off campus if you wish. If you are interested in medication, please let your counselor know.
Yes, your friend can accompany you to your first counseling session. Counselors understand that starting therapy can be hard and its ok to have a friend with you to make it easier. However, your confidentiality is important to us so we may ask your friend to wait for you in the waiting room for a few minutes at the end of the first session and for subsequent counseling sessions in order to give you a chance to talk with your counselor about things that you might not want to discuss in front of your friend.
That's fine. Just call us at (315) 445-4195 to reschedule. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible if you need to cancel, so that your appointment time can be given to another student who may want to be seen.
If you are in crisis and we the office is open (Monday through Friday, 8:30AM-4:30PM), you can call or walk in. We will try to schedule you with a counselor as soon as possible. If you are in crisis after hours or on the weekend and cannot wait until the next business day, contact your RA or RD or call campus security at (315) 445-4444.