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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.
All counseling services are confidential. The Counseling Center will not release information about students to family members, potential employers, or government agencies without a student's written permission except where required by law, as required to protect the student or others from physical danger, or upon court order. No record of counseling is contained in any academic, educational, or job placement file.

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 a prospective employer without your written permission and consent. Background Checks: Some employers and government agencies as part of background checks for employment or co-op placements request or even require applicants to sign consent forms to release information about their counseling histories. It is the policy of the Counseling Center that all requests for information accompanied by an authorization for release of information signed by the student from institutions such as the military, FBI, Peace Corps, graduate schools, employers, etc., will be handled by the Director of Clinical Services and discussed with you, if you are accessible, as well as the investigative agent prior to the release of any information.

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