How Can Counseling Help Me?

The very fact that you are in college means that you have goals and are seeking a better life. However a personal crisis or problems with depression or anxiety can cloud your thinking and obscure any vision of your own future. In fact, depression can make a person feel completely hopeless about their future and even suicidal. The good news is that there are many ways to get help with these problems. The fact that you are reading this indicates that you have an interest in helping yourself, which is the first step in turning things around. Sometimes education and self-help are all that is needed, and that is why we have included some web links to get you started. However, if you are having thoughts of self-harm or are engaged in risky or self-destructive behaviors that may have lasting consequences you should seek professional assistance now through our appointments and emergencies page.

Discussing your problem with a counselor can be helpful in many ways. At the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) we are optimistic about your ability to be successful. We believe you are the expert about your own life, but after listening carefully to you, we may be able to offer you a different perspective, or a different way of looking at your problem - one that is more apt to take you where you want to go. We realize college is a very busy time, and we don't believe that counseling needs to become another burden. We offer practical, solution-oriented approaches that are intended to empower you to meet your goals. While you may need to meet frequently with a counselor at first, many students find that they don't need to use all of the 6 sessions that are available each semester.

We use a variety of different counseling methods, depending upon your needs. For example, psycho-education is an approach that involves learning new life skills such as stress management, self-esteem building, and communication skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another method by which a counselor can help you identify patterns of thinking that are not serving you well and help you to develop more productive thought patterns. Another approach might be to gain insight into problems by discovering connections between current emotional distress and past events. This sometimes involves temporarily experiencing uncomfortable feelings, or recalling unpleasant and painful memories. We can discuss your concerns and reactions as we go along. You may be asked to do homework assignments or to practice new skills between sessions. It is important that you take responsibility for meeting the goals you set out to achieve in therapy.

In the last 10 years a tremendous amount of progress has been made in identifying the underlying biological bases for anxiety, depression, pre-menstrual mood problems, and a host of other mental health conditions. Medications can be very helpful in treating these conditions and at the SHCC, your practitioner will be able to offer you this treatment if this is what you need. We are also committed to giving you the information and understanding your need to make informed choices. If your condition is beyond the scope of what we can treat here, we will refer you to someone in the community who can help you.