Why would I see a counselor?
Students seek counseling for a number of different reasons. Some students are simply seeking the opportunity for personal growth. Some desire an adult perspective and want a confidential opportunity to talk with someone besides a friend or parent. For others, they may be experiencing homesickness, difficulty connecting on the campus, loneliness, conflict with a friend or partner, or anxiety about the future and deciding what degree/career to pursue. There are students who experience depression, anxiety, or even thoughts about suicide and seek out counseling to assist them in addressing the problem. On occasion, students experience the death of a loved one while they are at college and seek the support of the counselor to help them balance the grief amidst the multiple demands of the college environment. Although college is a rewarding and fun opportunity, it can also be stressful. At times of significant stress, those things that had once seemed manageable can become overwhelming. Talking with someone such as a college counselor can assist in reducing the stress and increasing one’s ability to tap into his/her own knowledge and skills.
Does it cost money to see a counselor on campus?
No. Counseling services provided by a member of the University counseling team are free of charge.
Who is on the counseling team?
The Director of Counseling Services is Danette Norman Till, MS, MSW, LCSW. Danette’s office is located on the first floor of Calvin Ulrey Hall, sharing an Administrative Assistant and waiting area with Health Services. Additional team members are available to assist students in the Director's absences, or because the student’s need is a better match to one of the other team member’s skills and expertise. The counseling team also includes April White, MSW – part time temporary. Facilitators are also available: Allen Machielson, M.Ed., Walt Wiltschek, M.A., M.A.R., and Michael Dixon, M.Ed.
How do I make an appointment for counseling?
The easiest way to make an appointment is to call the Health and Counseling Services office at (260) 982-5306. Kelly Hippensteel, the Administrative Assistant, will coordinate a time that works best for both the student's and counselor’s schedule. When calling for an appointment, just say you want to schedule an appointment with the counselor. Kelly will not ask questions as to why you want the appointment, but will simply schedule the time. If you prefer to walk into the office to schedule an appointment, that’s fine too.
Where do I go for Counseling?
Counseling Services is located on the first floor of Calvin Ulrey Hall at the opposite end from the Education Offices. If it looks like you’re in the Health Services office, you’re in the right place! (Counseling Services is a part of the Success Center, but is located in a different building.)
What is a Facilitator?
Sometimes a student may want an adult to “run things by” or “talk things through with”. If a Counselor is not available, a Facilitator may be able to meet your needs. Facilitators have a wealth of knowledge, experience and education to assist students with many of the issues, problems or concerns that may be faced in college. The Facilitator can help you decide if your problem would better be addressed by one of the Counselors.
Who will know what I talk about in counseling?
Counseling is CONFIDENTIAL and the only information that can be released, even to a parent, is that information for which a student signs an “Authorization for Release of Information.” If the student is a danger to him/herself or others, confidentiality may be violated only to the extent of assuring the student’s and other’s safety.
Isn't counseling just for really big problems, or people who have something seriously wrong with them?
If the problem is your problem, and it’s bothering you – then it’s big enough to allow yourself to have help. Receiving counseling does not mean you are “crazy” or that something is seriously wrong, but rather is greater evidence that something is “seriously right” with you. It is not easy to ask for help and when someone has the courage to do so, that action alone is evidence of the individual’s intelligence. Counseling is really talking things out, problem solving and brainstorming solutions.
What if I think I might be interested in receiving counseling, but don’t know? Can I just come by the office to meet the counselor and ask a couple questions?
Yes – Please do. If you, or any of your family, have never been to counseling, it can be a bit mysterious as to what it is or what will happen. A visit would be welcomed to just check out the office, meet the counselor, and ask any questions. If the door is open, feel free to stop by. If it’s closed see the Administrative Assistant, Kelly, and schedule a few minutes for us to just meet.
So what really happens if I set up an appointment to meet with the counselor?
The counselor will greet you in the waiting room and you will meet in a private office. In the office, you can speak freely about whatever is concerning you. The counselor will help you to understand your thoughts and feelings. The counselor will not judge you or tell you what to do. Rather, you will be helped to understand your problem in a larger context of your life so that you can do what is right for you.
What if I start counseling, but then don’t think it’s for me or don’t think I have the time with my other commitments?
You are under no obligation to come any number of times – that is totally up to you. Timing can be everything when it comes to counseling. Sometimes you need to talk because you are dealing with a particular crisis or situation. Other times, although it may be something you know you want to talk about or work through, with everything demanded at college – now may not be the time. Typically people end up coming to counseling because they have been trying not to deal with or think about something, but they cannot get it off their mind. That is usually a clue that the problem or situation in not willing to wait – it wants and needs attention now.