Counseling Center - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Counseling Center at Holy Family University

The Counseling Center can help students with a wide array of concerns and mental health issues such as those mentioned on the Counseling Center homepage and more. At present the Counseling Center does not have a psychiatrist on staff, however, our staff will help students find an area provider to prescribe and monitor medication if needed. Some students benefit from or need additional or complementary treatment such as topic-specific specific support groups such as AA or NA, intensive outpatient treatment, or hospitalization. The Counseling Center staff will help students seek this kind of support should it be those necessary.

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.

The services of the Counseling Center are free and available to all students, however if for any reason a student wishes to seek services of campus we can assist with a referral as needed and support students who wish to continue services with a provider they have been working with before coming to Holy Family.

No. The Counseling Center is funded through Student Life. Full-time and part-time students are eligible for counseling services at no financial cost.

Information shared in the Counseling Center is confidential in accordance with Pennsylvania Law and professional ethics and standards. Communications between a counselor and client/student are confidential and will not to be disclosed to anyone outside the Counseling Center without a student’s 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.

A counseling session is generally 45-50 minutes. You can expect during that time, discussion of students’ concern(s) including processing and problem solving to address the concern(s). Students may introduce new concerns as circumstances may change and/or the student feels it may be helpful. In addition, during each session time will be taken to note any change in status and planning for continued sessions.

Students meet with a counselor to discuss whatever concerns or issues have prompted the student to seek or explore counseling. The counselor will explain the counseling process and offer thoughts on next steps in the counseling process and/or other recommendations for support on presenting concerns. Students will be asked to complete a 1-page Pre-Intake Screening and an Informed Consent form during this meeting.

If a student chooses to move forward with counseling they will be provided with an intake packet to complete before they attend their intake session. The intake and all counseling sessions are 45- 50 minute sessions. Upon intake, the intake packet will be reviewed and additional questions regarding students concerns, history, and background will be discussed. Goals for treatment will be identified and discussed. Generally, the intake session is completed in one session. At times, the intake may take up to two sessions.