Our Philosophy

SUNY Geneseo Counseling Services embodies the conviction that college is a pivotal time of development for students. Becoming a mature individual involves not only the acquisition of knowledge and career oriented skills, but also developing healthy relationships, learning to appropriately manage emotions, and integrating a sense of self. Counseling Services staff believe that students endeavor to grow and to actualize their full personal and educational potential and that they have the resources and qualities to cope with personal and life circumstances which may impede or hinder that growth. Ultimately, Counseling Services staff strive to help foster students' development in addition to their progression toward attainment of an academic degree.

Counseling Services provides students with an experience that enhances their personal resources by affording them access to support in times of need. For most students, counseling is an option which offers support and education as they learn to make wise choices regarding maintaining self-care, making life decisions, and developing a healthy balance between autonomy and interdependence with others.

A smaller yet significant proportion of students needs more involved support during their time in college. This includes students who either arrive on campus with or develop during their college careers more serious psychological problems. Issues such as significant relationship loss, substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual trauma and medical illness can have a profound impact on a student’s sense of identity and purpose. Furthermore, these issues often affect an individual’s ability to function in various life spheres, including the academic realm. For students struggling with these types of concerns, having ready access to effective treatment may mean the difference between success and failure—both in the college environment and in their lives beyond campus. While there are definite limits to the treatment which a college counseling service can appropriately provide, having a full-service outpatient mental health facility on campus reflects the College’s recognition of the diverse needs of its student body.

Thus the goal of Counseling Services is to provide students with psychological support and necessary growth experiences through short-term treatment. Individual and group counseling can be key experiences in the attainment of the skills essential to students’ academic and personal success. In certain situations, the needs of student are beyond what Counseling Services staff realistically can provide for.  In instances where a particular student's needs is beyond our scope of services, the role of Counseling Services is to help both to provide the student with access to the appropriate source of treatment and to ensure a suitable transition into treatment.