Frequently Asked Questions

Is counseling right for my daughter/son?

The goal in the University Ccounseling Center is to assist students in addressing personal or relational concerns that are impeding academic success or personal development.  We are staffed by psychologists and primarily provide mental health counseling, but we also regularly collaborate with career services and the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center in assisting students with a broader range of concerns. While we operate primarily within a brief therapy model (most students seen for fewer than 10 sessions), we are also able to provide longer-term support for students. We are here to help students solve problems, not to tell them what to do. Over 90 percent of students using the counseling center reported that it was helpful, and 90 percent reported that counseling helped them maintain or improve their academic performance. 

How do I refer my daughter/son to your services?

Encourage your daughter/son to call us between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment. If students indicate they are in crisis, we will make every effort to make sure they are seen by a counselor (or appropriate student development administrator) that day.

What should I do if my daughter/son is reluctant to seek counseling?

While counseling is a personal decision, sometimes it can be helpful to encourage a student to talk to a counselor about his or her concerns. It is important to remember that it's ultimately the student's decision to seek help, but the following strategies might help persuade an ambivalent student to consider counseling:

  • Inform your daughter/son that information shared during counseling is confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
  • Remind your daughter/son that she or he can meet with a counselor for one session without committing to ongoing counseling. We often describe this as consulting with a counselor to see if counseling would be helpful.
  • Reduce the stigma associated with counseling. Tell your daughter/son that our counseling services are regularly used by many students for a variety of concerns and that utilizing counseling services reflects good use of one's resources. Just as it is common to visit a doctor when one has a medical problem, there should be no shame in meeting with a counselor to discuss a personal issue or concern.
  • Suggest that your daughter/son visit our website to become familiar with our services. Encourage your daughter/son to try our anonymous self-assessments.
Is it possible for the counselor to update me on what my daughter/son talks about in counseling?

Not without the student's written consent. Federal and state laws require that counseling conversations and records remain strictly confidential.

Knowing that your son/daughter is in counseling, but not knowing anything about the content of those sessions, can sometimes be challenging for concerned parents. However, it is important to understand that confidentiality is an essential element of the counseling process, as it creates a safe environment for students to discuss their personal concerns openly and honestly.

Will counseling become part of my son's/daughter's academic record?

No. Our records are confidential and are entirely separate from students' academic records.

Can I schedule an appointment for my student?

No. The student will need to contact our office of his/her own free will. If you are speaking with your student and would like to contact our office with your student him/her present, we will still need to speak directly to the student.