Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve never been to counseling before. What happens in a counseling session?
Please arrive ten to fifteen minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out paperwork. Be as honest as you feel comfortable. It’s important for the counselor to know as much as possible to best assist you, even if you are hesitant to talk about certain things.
The counseling sessions last 45-50 minutes. If you need to leave a little early to get to class, just let your counselor know.
Your counselor will go over limits to confidentiality and will ask for your consent to receive services.
The counseling session is all about you. If you don’t know how to start the session, just share your hesitation with your counselor. You can always start by talking about your major, your hobbies, and what you’d like to do with your career.
My mom/dad/professor wants me to come to counseling. Are you going to tell them I’m here and what we talk about?
There are limits to confidentiality, which include a client telling the counselor that they have plans to harm themselves or others, or if a judge has subpoenaed their medical records. Otherwise, these services are protected under confidentiality and your counselor cannot confirm or deny any information without your written consent. If you would like the counselor to speak with someone on your behalf, they will have you sign a release of information.
My roommate is a client of the counselor I’m going to see. How do I know the counselor won’t talk with them about me?
Confidentiality is held at a premium in the counseling office. Your counselor is bound by confidentiality to not discuss cases with anyone other than their supervisor. Counselors cannot discuss or acknowledge clients with other clients. In addition, they cannot confirm or deny that they know clients, even when directly asked.
My friend said she saw her counselor on campus and the counselor didn’t speak to her. Isn’t that rude?
University counselors understand the sensitive nature of personal information. They want to respect the privacy of their clients and will not acknowledge them in public. However, if a client approaches them first, they will speak to them, but will not discuss personal information.
What about if I drink or use drugs. How do I know I can trust the counselor to not judge me or tell anyone what I’ve done.
It is not the job of the counselor to judge right or wrong behavior or to deliver lectures. Your counselor will listen and help you in areas you want help in. The counselors in our office have heard many things and want to understand where you are coming from. Unless you tell the counselor you have plans to harm yourself or others, what you have done in the past will not be reported.
I’ve gone to a couple sessions, but don’t feel like I’m getting any better and don’t think I’m working well with my counselor. Is there someone else I can work with?
University counselors encourage open communication and feedback from clients. If you are struggling in session or don’t agree with what your counselor has to say, speak up and let them know. The client and counselor both need to have input in the process for it to be effective; it can’t be one-sided. This is a great way to find your voice and build resiliency as well. From there, perhaps you and your counselor can work together to provide a safe and successful environment.