Counseling is the process of speaking with a mental health professional about your problems or concerns. The mental health professional listens with an objective ear and helps you learn more about yourself, and new ways of looking at situations. This process can help you feel more capable of identifying and solving problems on your own. The primary goal is to help you develop the skills and abilities to solve problems as they arise, in order to make the most of your academic experience.
Many students decide to pursue counseling. It doesn’t mean you aren’t “normal”. It is not a sign of weakness but of strength – if you initiate counseling, it is evidence that you are taking charge of your own well being. Your proactivity will pay off. There is no rule for when someone “should” seek counseling. You can ask yourself, simply “Is something bothering me?” There is no such thing as “not a good enough reason” or “not a big enough problem” to start counseling. If there is something that causes worry or concern, then it is important and, therefore, worth discussing with a counselor.
CWS’ services are short-term; the specific number of sessions is determined on a case-by-case basis. Students first attend an initial evaluation (intake) appointment, after which we offer recommendations that are tailored to meet the needs of each individual student. Your counselor will discuss the recommendations with you after the initial evaluation.
Students seek counseling for all sorts of reasons. Some of the most common issues that bring students to Counseling Services include: low self-confidence, academic performance, depression or anxiety, confusing, distressing thoughts or feelings, difficulties adjusting to college, anger or irritability, stress, traumatic experiences, relationship problems, health-related concerns, alcohol or drug misuse, problems with eating or body image, difficulty making friends and difficulties with concentration or motivation.
Your counselor is a licensed mental health professional (clinical social worker, psychologist) who is trained to help you identify and begin to resolve the issues and problems that are of concern to you. It is perfectly common and understandable to have some anxiety about seeing a counselor - your counselor will establish a safe and structured environment in which you can feel comfortable discussing your thoughts and feelings. The approach is non-judgmental and collaborative. Counselors help clarify options, provide support and understanding, assist with setting goals, explore feelings and correct misconceptions.
Sometimes your initial experience with counseling doesn't go as you thought or hoped it would, which can be disappointing or discouraging. There are multiple reasons this might be the case: talking about painful thoughts and feelings can be difficult; counseling may not offer the immediate relief you expected; and sometimes it takes more time to better understand and work on your difficulties.
Counseling & Wellness Services is happy to talk to you about your experience and welcomes your feedback, so if you feel that a previous experience with counseling/therapy was unsatisfactory, we encourage you to let us know and give counseling another try.
Students are referred to community providers for a variety of reasons. Counselors work with students to establish counseling goals and identify what services would best meet their needs. Some students would benefit from a less time limited counseling model (CWS offers short-term counseling) while others would be best served by more specialized - or more comprehensive - services not offered in CWS. Your counselor, in making the recommendation for community-based referral, will work to help you understand the rationale and assist you in connecting with a provider.
Counseling records are not part of your academic record. The counseling process is confidential and your counselor will strictly maintain that confidentially. Some exceptions to confidentiality do apply. Your counselor may need to share information in the event of a psychological emergency requiring hospitalization or in circumstances involving your safety or the safety of others. When these exceptions occur, you will be informed.
You can call to make an appointment or walk-in to the Counseling Services Office to schedule an appointment.View Contact Information
If you are having an emergency (e.g., having suicidal thoughts, having violent thoughts, have recently been harmed or assaulted, or have any concerns about safety), CWS Counselors are available on a walk-in basis Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.
Walk-in hours are for emergency situations; all other services are provided on an appointment-basis.
If you are having an emergency on campus outside of CWS office hours please contact Public Safety by dialing 1-4444 from any campus phone. If you are off campus or using a mobile phone, dial 212-772-4444 to contact Public Safety.
If you are off campus and require immediate assistance, please dial 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room.