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Therapy/Counseling Misperceptions

Counseling is only for people who have severe emotional problems.
Yes, counseling can help people with severe emotional problems. However, students seek counseling for a broad range of issues that may include personal development, stress management or life circumstance problems. Please refer to the list of Common Counseling Issues that are addressed at the Counseling Center.

Someone will find out.
Our policy is that we will not release any information about clients without their written permission, except in cases of imminent harm to self or others, suspicion of child abuse, or upon court order. We cannot even tell someone that you are a client of the Center without your written permission. Our confidentiality policy is in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Counseling and Development and federal and state laws.

My problems are too small/big for the counselor to help me.
The counselor is sensitive to the fact that any problem you are experiencing is important to you and is subjectively distressing to you. Every student gets the same attention and care regardless of what the problem is. Depending on the type or severity of the problem, counseling can be very brief or take place over a period of time.

Only weak people need counseling.
There is nothing weak about participating in counseling. In fact, entering counseling can be the first step in confronting and solving difficulties, which is, in fact, a courageous thing to do.

The counselor will tell you what to do and how to “fix” your problems.
Counseling is not a “quick fix” to your problems. The counselor is there to help you explore your feelings, thoughts, and concerns, learn more about yourself, examine your options, overcome obstacles, and achieve your goals. This is a process that takes time and the counselor is there to facilitate the process of change.

The counselor can’t understand you unless she/he has had similar experiences or is from the same background.
Counselors are trained to be sensitive to and respectful and valuing of diversity including individual differences related to gender, race/ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Your counselor may not have had the same experiences as you, but she/he work empathically from your unique cultural background to help you figure out how you want to handle different aspects of your life.

If I go to see the counselor, my chances for obtaining a certain job will be hindered.
Counseling is confidential and we will not provide any information about you to anyone outside the Counseling Center unless we have written consent from you. You will be given detailed information about our confidentiality policy and its limits when you first come to the Counseling Center. You can ask questions and discuss any concerns about it with your counselor.

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