Counseling Center - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is what I say in the counseling center confidential?
Information shared in the counseling center is confidential as indicated in Pennsylvania Law and professional ethics. Communications between a counselor and client/student are confidential and are not to be disclosed to anyone outside the Counseling Center without your prior written consent. There are a few exceptions to your privilege of confidentiality.

Circumstances in which confidentiality is not protected by law,

  • if it is necessary to protect you or someone else from imminent danger;
  • if it is suspected that abuse or neglect of a child (under 18) or an incapacitated adult is occurring;
  • if it is one of the rare circumstances when a court of law orders the counseling center to release records.

Is there a fee for services?
No. The Counseling Center is funded through Student Life. Full time and part time students are eligible for consultation, and when appropriate individual counseling sessions with a counselor at no financial cost.

If I come in to see a counselor will that become a part of my educational record?
No. You educational record is separate from the Counseling Center records. The Counseling Center maintains its own records for 7 years from point of discharge from services. After seven years, any closed charts/consultations are shredded. Only the Counselor and the Counseling Center Director have access to your file, which is kept in locked filing cabinet. Your records can only be released if you sign an Authorization for Release of Records, or if ordered by a court of law.

What is a consultation like?
Students meet with a counselor for a brief period of time to discuss any issues which may be presenting concern. Following consultation, students are given recommendations for support on the presenting concern, recommendations for on campus services, or services within the community of your preference.

If I need counseling, do I have to have services on campus?
No. The counseling center can serve as a referral base if a student desires to receive services off campus, and/or if it would be more appropriate to for a student to receive services off campus.

Can all matters of mental health be managed in the Counseling Center?
Not all matters can be managed in the Counseling Center. Depending on the nature of the concern some issues require referral to a community resource, such as a hospital, outside treatment provider, and/or physician. At this time the Counseling Center does not have a psychiatrist on staff. Students needing medication or medication monitoring will be referred to an outside provider.

What is an intake session like?
If counseling sessions are appropriate, you will be provided with an intake packet to complete before you attend your intake session. Upon intake, the intake packet will be reviewed and additional questions regarding your current concern, history, and background will be discussed. Goals for treatment will be identified and discussed. Generally, the intake session is completed in an hour. At times, the intake may take more than one session.

What is a therapy session like?
The counseling session is generally 45-50 minutes. You can expect during that time, discussion of the current concern, processing how that concern is affecting you, and problem solving to address the concern. During each session, typically time will be taken to notice any change in status, and on-going planning for continued sessions.