Your first appointment will provide you with an opportunity to talk confidentially with a counselor about your immediate concerns. Your counselor will talk with you about some of the reasons you scheduled the appointment and will evaluate what services or resources will be most helpful for you. Some students find that talking with a counselor once is sufficient to resolve the immediate concern. If further services would be beneficial, these will be discussed and a recommendation will be made by the counselor. These additional services typically include resources offered by the Counseling Center such as individual or group counseling but could also include a referral to another campus or community resource.
Getting started with counseling begins with a first-time “intake” appointment. Your counselor will ask you about your concerns explain our counseling services and go over some of your personal history. There are a lot of questions to get through in the beginning and some of them may be difficult for you. Part of counseling is getting to the point where you can work through the difficult stuff and if you aren’t comfortable starting that right away it is ok to tell your counselor.
You can expect to meet with someone who is interested in listening to your concerns and in helping you develop a better understanding of them so that you may deal with them more easily and effectively. Your counselor will take you seriously and be willing to openly discuss anything you wish to discuss. Because counselors have different strategies as to how to assist you, they may differ on how much talking they do in sessions, whether they ask you to do homework, and their focus of discussion. If you have any questions about your therapy, by all means ask. Counselors have no magical skills or knowledge, and will be unable to solve your problems directly for you. Your counselor will want to work with you and will support you in what you are capable of doing for yourself. Your counselor will maintain strict confidentiality except under unusual circumstances. If you have any questions about the limits of confidentiality, please bring them up with your counselor.