Counseling Services takes a goal-focused and collaborative approach to mental health services. Essentially, we help students improve their lives by focusing on the change each individual person wants to make, and we then use our expertise to help them achieve it. We strive to provide immediate, meaningful help focused on what your needs are right from the very first meeting.
During your first visit your counselor will focus on learning about your mental health goals and meeting your immediate needs, and will then make a recommendation about next steps (another meeting at Counseling Services, following up as-needed for the next one, helping you connect with treatment specialists near where you live, or other offices on campus, etc.).
Students tell us that they usually need between just one meeting and up to a few months of meetings to reach their goals. We have found that students that are able to dedicate more time and energy to working on their mental health outside of the meetings usually have quicker and better results.
Scope of Services
We are mindful of the types of things we are equipped to help with, which is referred to as our “scope of services”. Generally, Counseling Services offers individual mental health services for students:
- To help with a wide range of mental health concerns.
- When our goal-focused approach is likely to be or has shown to be effective,
- When the student is freely choosing to access our services,
Connecting to Off Campus Treatment
Although we assist the majority of students that look to us for assistance, there are some limitations in what we can provide (things that are outside of our scope of practice). This is when we help connect students to other sources of care, often by helping you identify providers that you would be interested in seeing and offering assistance in how to make those connections. In general, student concerns are outside of our scope of practice when:
- Our goal-focused approach is likely to be, or has shown to be inadequate, ineffective, or harmful,
- The student can be helped more by another office, service, or specialist on or off campus.
- The student's counseling needs are best met by therapists that offer exploratory, or supportive care, often "long-term"
- The student needs formal face-to-face treatment services or higher levels of care (partial program, inpatient treatment, etc.), more frequent meetings, or specialized services that Counseling Services does not provide.
We also typically help connect students to other resources when rare situations arise such as when there are frequent no-shows or scheduling challenges, when students are already in the care of a treatment provider off-campus, when the student has been mandated to services or coerced by someone to see Counseling Services staff, when the safety of the Counseling Services staff is in question or there has been interpersonal violence against a staff member, among other situations.
Confidentiality basically means an extremely high level of privacy. Counseling Services is one of the few offices at the college that are a confidential resource. Your privacy and our records are protected by state and federal laws, as well as our providers’ licensing rules and professional ethics, all of which hold extremely strict standards on maintaining confidentiality. At your first meeting with us, you will read a form that details our confidentiality practices.