What to Expect from Counseling

The Initial Appointment

When you call or stop by Counseling Services (NOTE:  we do not schedule appointments via email/the internet), our secretary will offer you the first available appointment that matches your schedule. We call this first appointment with a counselor a MEETing, which refers to Meet, Evaluate, Educate, and Treat.  During this initial MEETing, you and your counselor will explore your concerns and decide on one of several possible outcomes as described below:

  1. Single-Session Intervention
    You and your counselor might engage in problem-solving around your presenting concerns.  Your counselor might help you develop a plan for how to address your problem and might also recommend resources such as books from our Self-Help Lending Library.  In this case, a single session might be sufficient to meet your needs.
  2. Psycho-Educational Resources
    You and your counselor might determine that further education or skills in a particular area would best meet your needs.  In this case, your counselor might refer you to an on-campus resource, such as an activity sponsored by Active Minds (a student-based mental health advocacy group)
    , a GOLD programHealthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, a series of skills-based workshops offered by Health & Counseling professionals through GOLD, or our AOD Program Coordinator, Sarah Covell, who meets with students for individual consultations to discuss potential alcohol and/or drug concerns.
  3. Brief Contracted Counseling (BCC)
    You and your counselor might agree that you are dealing with a specific, short-term issue which could be addressed by a course of Brief Contracted Counseling (BCC).  In this case, you will contract to meet with your counselor for 1-3 follow-up sessions centered around continued support, education, and problem-solving.
  4. Short-Term Individual Counseling
    You and your counselor might decide that treatment on a more ongoing basis would be appropriate.  In this event, your counselor would schedule you for an intake appointment, which would involve a more complete assessment of your concerns.  Following the intake, you and your counselor would have the option of meeting for short-term therapy, usually on a biweekly basis (most students are seen an average of 5-8 sessions).
  5. Psychiatric (Medication) Treatment
    You and your counselor might pursue the option of medication treatment by facilitating a referral to a Health Services clinician or to our part-time psychiatric nurse practitioner.  Students may also wish to pursue psychiatric services at home if this is an option.
  6. Off-Campus Referrals
    Finally, based on your presenting issues, your counselor might explain that an off-campus referral would be most appropriate, especially if you require services which we do not provide through our office (such as testing for AD/HD, alcohol/substance abuse treatment, intensive eating disorders treatment, and longer-term therapy) or for areas where our own resources are very limited, such as psychiatric treatment (see above).