The counseling process is designed to aid individuals who have the capacity to resolve their own problems with some assistance. Most students seek counseling because they recognize that they need some help in being able to face a certain challenge--or they find themselves stuck in a particular dilemma. Typically Counseling Services sees clients an average of 4-6 weeks, however, in extenuating circumstances, the process may extend beyond this limit. As a student, you are in complete control and may end the counseling relationship at anytime. Your counselor will respect any such decisions and ask only that you inform him or her of your plans and resist the tendency to just “not show up anymore”. If counseling is successful, you should feel that you are more able to face similar challenges or dilemmas in the future without a counselor’s help. In other words, you will have taken some “tools” with you.
Normally, your session will last about 30 minutes. If you need to cancel your appointment for some reason, we ask that you inform our office (x3776) as soon as possible. This will permit us to reschedule your meeting promptly and will also allow for your vacated appointment to be used in a productive manner. The time spent with your counselor will most often be limited to your private counseling sessions; and when your counselor sees you in the community, you will be greeted as any other person would be. Your counselor will not discuss your sessions with you outside of the office. This “method” of greeting outside the office is intended to safeguard your privacy.
A professional code of ethics guides counselors in matters of confidentiality and the release of information. Information gained in counseling sessions will not be disclosed outside Counseling Services with the following exceptions: (1) you give written permission to your counselor to discuss a matter with another party, (2) your counselor determines you are a danger to yourself or others, (3) in the extremely unlikely event that your counselor is ordered by court of law to do so, or (4) if you are under the age of 18 and are experiencing abuse (the law requires abuse of minors to be reported.) In situations 2-5, your counselor will make every effort possible to inform you of the situation prior to making any such disclosure.
Your work with your counselor will be rendered in a competent manner and consistent with accepted ethical standards. While it is impossible to guarantee specific results regarding your counseling goals, you and your counselor will work together to achieve the best possible results for you. If, however, at any time you are dissatisfied with the services, please let your counselor know. Should you be unable to resolve the matter between you and your counselor, please report your situation to the Associate Provost, Dr. Monica Varner. If you have any questions concerning the information above, you may ask your counselor or the administrative assistant about them.