Who should contact Counseling Services?
Anyone experiencing academic or personal difficulties such as (but not limited to) these:
- thoughts of hurting oneself or someone else
- relational problems
- drug or alcohol problems
- hearing/seeing things that others don’t
- feeling out of touch with reality
- marriage and family problems
- unmanageable stress
- eating disorders
- sleep problems
- slipping grades
- other issues you would like to talk about to someone!
Does going to a counselor mean I’m crazy?
Absolutely not. Many people use the services of a counselor, whether a pastor, psychologist, professional counselor or social worker, when life becomes difficult. Some people have issues they need to talk about. Other people may have serious mental health problems that require professional treatment. There is nothing wrong or crazy about asking for help when you are dealing with a difficult situation.
Are you going to call my parents? The cops?
Your meeting with your counselor is strictly confidential – however, there are some limitations. Your counselor will discuss those limitations with you when you meet.
What is going to happen when I come in for counseling?
If you make an appointment ahead of time, you and your counselor will meet for approximately 50 minutes. You will fill out some paperwork, then sit down and talk about the problem you are dealing with. Your counselor will get some history, possibly create some goals, and maybe even give you some homework! Counseling is brief, usually lasting no more than 9 sessions.
How long will counseling last?
It depends on you and your situation. We will assess it as we go along, but normally we don’t go more than 10 sessions. This is considered brief therapy. We may meet weekly, biweekly, or monthly – depending on your needs and scheduling. Counseling sessions last approximately 50 minutes.
Can I be a student in my counselor’s class?
It is the practice of Emmanuel College Counseling Services staff not to have clients as students in a class the counselor is teaching. This is done to protect both the counselor and the student from any unethical “dual relationship” roles.
What if I see my counselor outside the office?
Emmanuel College counselors generally exercise a rule of thumb called, “You first, every time.” This means your counselor will not initiate interaction with you outside the office. If you are comfortable speaking to your counselor in public, he or she will respond, just not initiate any contact.
The reason is that some clients do not want others to know they are seeing a counselor – it is a private matter. For others, it is okay. Since your counselor sees many people and will probably not be able to remember whom to speak to and whom not to speak to first, the general rule is that he or she will not initiate contact.
Is there a charge for services?
No. Counseling Services are free for Emmanuel College students.
Can I be a “friend” on my counselor’s Facebook page or other social network site?
It is the practice of Emmanuel College Counseling Services staff not to have clients as friends on any social networking site. This is done to protect both the counselor and the student from any unethical “dual relationship” roles.
Do you see family members?
Counselors will work with the EC student, a spouse or other friends or family members (if they are involved in the issue), but the student will always be the “identified patient.” In other words, the student must always be the person with whom we are directly working.
What if my counselor is an intern?
The Counseling Services Department is an internship training site for some graduate programs. All interns are supervised by the Director of Counseling and fully capable of providing counseling services to you. The intern and supervisor are bound by the same confidentiality rules that your counseling intern explained to you. Your information will not be shared outside of the counseling/supervisor relationship.
What kind of counseling do you do? What can I expect?
On your initial meeting and maybe the second, we will go over some paperwork, and you may possibly be asked to do an assessment or two. We will get to know each other and talk about some of your history.
From that point, it depends on your situation. We will talk a lot about specific things you can do and skills you can practice to help create positive change in your life.
Please understand – counseling is not a passive activity. If you sit in a counselor’s office for an hour a week and do nothing outside of that, you can probably expect little change. If you are willing to be honest with yourself and your counselor, work hard and practice outside the counseling office, you will find success.
How do I file a complaint?
If you have a complaint about your counselor or counseling services, talk to your counselor about it first. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, go to Mr. Croy, VP of Student Life, and present the problem to him.
Will I get a reminder about my appointment?
A reminder about your appointment may be sent to you. Whether or not a reminder is sent, it’s your responsibility to remember your appointment day and time, to keep your appointment or notify your counselor if you are not going to make it.
The counselor(s) are busy and usually have a waiting list. If you know you cannot keep your appointment, please call so someone else may be able to use that time. Mrs. Carey keeps the counselor’s schedule and can be reached at x2881 (706-245-2881 off campus) or firstname.lastname@example.org
What about missed appointments?
If you miss 3 appointments in a row without notifying your counselor or the Student Life Administrative Assistant by phone or e-mail, your appointment will be deleted from the schedule. You are welcome to call and reschedule another appointment, but your original appointment day and time may not be available.
Is there confidentiality when I talk to my counselor?
You can rest assured that the content of your session with your counselor will be shared with NO ONE. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of your counselor’s ethical responsibility. The only exceptions to confidentiality occur if you tell or imply to your counselor that you are going to harm yourself or someone else, or if you tell or imply that some kind of child or elder abuse, neglect or endangerment is taking place in your life or the life of someone you know. This doesn’t mean that if you were abused as a kid, your counselor is going to call the police and have the abuser taken to jail. Also, if your counselor is an intern, he or she will discuss your case with a supervisor.
There is another issue of confidentiality about which people get confused sometimes – it cannot always be kept a secret that you are coming to counseling. The people who work in Student Life have been trained in the area of confidentiality and are not to talk about who has appointments, but someone else could see you walking out of the counselor’s office and infer that you are seeing the counselor. That is beyond our control.