Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I have to have a serious mental health or psychological problem to come to the Mental Health Counseling Center?
  2. What about my privacy?
  3. What happens at my first appointment?
  4. What can I expect from counseling?
  5. What do I need to do to maximize the potential benefits of counseling?
  6. Are there any potential risks to seeking counseling?
  7. How much do sessions cost?
  8. How long and how often are the sessions?
  9. Are there any limitations to counseling?
  10. Who are the Mental Health Counseling Center staff?
  11. What is the Mission Statement of the Mental Health Counseling Center (MHCC)?
  12. What is the Vision Statement of the Mental Health Counseling Center?
  13. What are the Organizational Values of the MHCC?

1. Do I have to have a serious mental health or psychological problem to come to the Mental Health Counseling Center?

No. Students come to our office to discuss a wide range of problems. Students are encouraged to come in to discuss any concerns, big or small.

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2. What about my privacy?

The issues you discuss with your counselor are protected by confidentiality laws. Prior to seeing a counselor you will be asked to read and sign a confidentiality agreement; this agreement goes over your privacy rights and any legal limitations. Please ask your counselor if you have any questions and s/he will be happy to go over any concerns you might have.

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3. What happens at my first appointment?

At your first appointment, the counselor who talks with you will be asking questions to better understand the stressors or problems for which you are seeking help. While the issues that brought you to counseling can not be resolved in one session, many people start to feel better because they have had the chance to talk to an objective listener and have begun to take action to change their current situation.

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4. What can I expect from counseling?

Counseling is a process that requires your participation and commitment. Problems build up over time and they take time to resolve. Some of the potential benefits of counseling are:

  • Figuring out how to better cope with old problems and new stressors. Being in college can be challenging and you may be experiencing new stressors or have old problems surface. Often these issues have many sides and are not easily solved. Through counseling you have a chance to examine life issues within a positive, supportive environment and gain better coping skills.
  • Breaking harmful habits. Sometimes unhealthy habits form in response to stressors, to escape emotional pain and/or to feel more socially comfortable. Because habits form over time, they are not always easy to break away from. Counseling can help put you back in the driver’s seat, re-establishing control over your life.
  • Creating healthier relationships. Throughout your academic career you have studied many subjects like Science and English, however it’s unlikely that you took a course on relationships and communication – one of the essential factors of thriving. Counseling can be beneficial in fostering healthy relationships throughout your life.
  • Discovering personal strengths. Counseling can help you discover your strengths and begin to use them for personal growth and to overcome obstacles in life.
  • Succeeding in college. Counseling can help you develop better coping strategies for social and/or emotional difficulties that may be interfering with your ability to focus on your studies.

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5. What do I need to do to maximize the potential benefits of counseling?

  • Attend scheduled sessions regularly as determined by you and your therapist.
  • Be specific and honest about the concerns that led you to seek counseling.
  • Together with your counselor, establish goals for your sessions.
  • Participate actively in sessions.
  • Begin to practice and integrate what you are learning through counseling in your everyday life.
  • Tell your counselor if you do not think the sessions are helping.

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6. Are there any potential risks to seeking counseling?

Discussing personal matters with a counselor or therapist may be a new experience. You may possibly experience some uncomfortable emotions such as feeling nervous or sad during the counseling process as you put forth effort toward understanding your problems and how to overcome them. Your therapist will help you to move through these feelings.

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7. How much do sessions cost?

Services are free of charge for enrolled students as part of your student support services offerings.

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8. How long and how often are the sessions?

Sessions are 45 - 50 minutes in length and are generally scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Most students benefit from anywhere between 4 – 8 sessions.

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9. Are there any limitations to counseling?

Yes. The Mental Health Counseling Center does not provide long term psychotherapy, psychiatric medication, on-call or after-hours services, letters of recommendation or letters for the court on a student’s behalf. Students requiring psychiatric or medication evaluation, or more specialized/ intensive therapy than is available through the Mental Health Counseling Center, will be referred to appropriate sources of assistance in the community.

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10. Who are the Mental Health Counseling Center staff?

Our staff is composed of a licensed mental health professionals and graduate and senior undergraduate interns. For more information about our staff please go to “MHCC Staff.”

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11. What is the Mission Statement of the Mental Health Counseling Center (MHCC)?

The mission of MHCC is to help students benefit fully from the college experience by supporting personal, social, and emotional well-being. This is accomplished through confidential and culturally sensitive individual, couples, and group therapy, crisis intervention, and outreach and prevention efforts. MHCC also provides consultation and referral services.

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12. What is the Vision Statement of the Mental Health Counseling Center?

MHCC strives to promote student mental health by providing high-quality, timely, culturally-sensitive and evidenced-based counseling. In addition to counseling, MHCC seeks to promote wellness through campus-wide events, prevention and awareness campaigns, psycho-educational workshops, and support groups.

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13.What are the Organizational Values of the MHCC?

MHCC is strongly committed to affirming the many forms of diversity that enhance the SDCC campus. MHCC is dedicated to treating all with dignity and respect, and to opposing discrimination, prejudice, and oppression. MHCC is committed to reducing stigma associated with mental illness and to providing a comfortable and welcoming environment in which to promote mental wellness. MHCC is dedicated to the use of evidenced-based practices when implementing clinical interventions and programs. MHCC is committed to the research process, knowing this is a constant practice as new information is continually becoming available.

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CRISIS POLICY: All appointments may be shortened or rescheduled in the event of a presenting crisis or emergency. Thank you for your patience and understanding.