For Deaf and Hard
of Hearing Students
Career Assessment and Counseling
Workshops and Outreach
Consultation for Faculty, Staff, Parents
Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students:
The Counseling Center
currently has three counselors who are fluent in American
Sign Language. Individual counseling is available for deaf
and hard of hearing (hoh) students from those counselors.
Group therapy is offered when there are sufficient numbers
of deaf/hoh students available to meet at a common time each
week. Emergency services are available on a walk-in basis
during Institute business hours ( 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.,
Monday through Friday) and by calling Public Safety after
hours. Career assessment and counseling for deaf and hard
of hearing students is offered through the NTID Department
of Counseling Services.
All services offered
through the Counseling Center are confidential. Counseling
Center staff members do have collaborative relationships with
the staffs at the NTID Department of Counseling Services and
on the Student Life Team. With your written permission, the
professionals involved in providing services in these areas
may discuss their plans in order to provide you with more
coordinated and effective care.
does counseling work?
Individual counseling/psychotherapy is a process
in which a trained clinician (counselor, psychologist or social
worker) facilitates a helping relationship characterized by
acceptance, empathy and concern. The goals of counseling are
to help you resolve difficulties, adjust to life circumstances,
succeed in school, establish meaningful relationships and
live a more satisfying and productive life.
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. Awareness and insight into
motives, feelings, thoughts, actions, and perceptions are
crucial components of counseling. Without this insight, maladaptive
and unsuccessful patterns of behavior can be repeated. Understanding
these patterns, for example, where they originated and how
they are unproductive, can lead to choices about new behaviors
and ways of thinking and feeling that contribute to more satisfying
work, relationships, and overall functioning.
Typically, at the
Counseling Center, the student and the counselor agree to
meet on a weekly basis to work on the student’s issue(s).
An attempt is made to offer the student the number of sessions
necessary for improvement in the area targeted for counseling.
At times a student may need to be referred to an agency or
provider in the community if the services needed go beyond
the scope of the Counseling Center. Counseling is confidential.
are some common concerns for which students seek help?
Everyone has life situations that may cause some
distress at some points in their lives. College students are
no exception. Below is a list of common concerns among students
seen at the Counseling Center.
- decision making
- values clarification
- time management
- choice of major
- information about occupations
- graduate school information
- addictive relationships
- sexual orientation/sexual identity
- sexually transmitted diseases
- rape/sexual assault
and other drugs
- family substance problems
- alcohol/drug dependency
- binge drinking
- making friends
- religious/spiritual concerns
- serious illness in family
- loss and grief
- declining school work or grades
- withdraw from school
- decreased motivation
- decreased concentration
- test anxiety/speech anxiety/performance anxiety
- body image/eating pattern assessment/impact
- intense sadness
- ups and downs
- loss and grief
- suicidal thoughts
How do I get started in counseling?
To meet with a counselor, appointments can be scheduled
in person or by calling 475-2261 (V) or 475-6897 (TTY).
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General Process Therapy Groups
Group therapy is a form of treatment that allows
participants to learn about themselves and their relationships
with others and address personal difficulties that are often
shared by some other members of the group. A significant benefit
of group therapy includes not feeling so alone with your concerns
since others in the group will likely have experienced similar
things. Also, the interactions members have with each other
in the group will parallel interactions they have with people
outside of the group. This allows members to learn about their
reactions and practice taking risks with new strategies for
interacting with others in the safe environment of the group.
These insights and new ways of interacting can then be transferred
to relationships outside of the group with the aim of improving
group therapy work?
In group therapy, 8-12 members meet with two trained
group leaders for 1 ½ hours each week. Members are
asked to commit to attending group for a minimum of one quarter.
This is to allow the time to establish trusting relationships
and to develop them to the point of working through issues
that might emerge such as difficulty being assertive, being
vulnerable, or sharing deep feelings. Learning in the group
occurs through participation. However, members can also learn
about themselves by listening and observing the interactions
of others. No one is forced to discuss issues they are not
ready to discuss.
a structured format in group therapy?
There is no agenda. It is up to group members to
determine what they want to work on each week. Often there
is continuity from week to week related to the topics raised.
The co-leaders work with the group to facilitate meaningful
interaction and attend to identified problems or areas of
dissatisfaction in the member’s lives. Also, co-leaders
and members too, over time, begin to address issues, feelings
and dynamics that come up among members in the group in the
here and now. This is a very powerful means of learning about
you and about changing patterns of behavior that are not working.
Can I be
in individual and group counseling at the same time?
Group therapy is often the ideal form of therapy
for college students since a primary focus of group is on
relationships and understanding and managing feelings. These
are common issues for students. Group therapy alone can be
a sufficient means of dealing with these issues. At the Counseling
Center individual therapy is rarely recommended at the same
time as group therapy because there is a risk of confusion
and not fully committing to the therapeutic work in the group.
Skills Training Groups?
Skills Training groups are derived from Dialectical
Behavior Therapy (DBT) and are offered to students who have
issues in four general areas: regulating the expression of
emotions, tolerating stressful situations, saying no or asking
for what they want, or controlling their attention well enough
to deal with these other issues. Students learn many skills,
including but not limited to: how to identify obstacles to
changing difficult emotions, the difference between tolerating
a situation and solving a problem, and how to make a request
while preserving self-respect.
These groups are
psychoeducational in nature and are conducted more like a
class than a process group. In the beginning, students are
asked to identify behaviors they want to change. In each subsequent
session, students learn and practice a new skill. Homework
is assigned each week and reviewed in the beginning of the
following session. Students complete this group experience
when they have satisfactorily changed the behaviors they have
identified as problematic.
I be involved in a Skills Training group as opposed to a general
Often a person comes
to a skills training group to address and change specific
behaviors that interfere with their functioning in the above
mentioned areas. Unlike the process group, the skills training
group provides structure and has a distinct agenda each week.
Students who finish the skills training groups may be encouraged
to enter a process group to continue to work on their issues
and deepen their understanding. In this case, students are
better prepared to participate in the process group because
they have developed the skills necessary to interact successfully.
The Eating Disorders Group meets weekly and is co-facilitated
by a counselor from the Counseling Center and a nurse-practitioner
from the Student Health Center. It is designed to be one component
in a comprehensive service for students who have been identified
as having an eating disorder by either the Counseling Center
or the Student Health Center.
The group format varies and depends upon the individual group
members and their needs. At times, it is psychoeducational-
students are taught skills for managing the uncomfortable emotions
which often lead to restricting, bingeing and purging. Students
may also be taught skills for managing distress and improving
their relationships. The group functions as a support group,
providing the members with a safe and confidential place to
discuss their experiences with others who have had similar experiences.
Group members may be working individually with the Student Health
Center on medical management, nutrition, and exercise planning.
In addition some may be working individually with a therapist
at the Counseling Center.
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Assessment and Counseling:
could benefit from career counseling?
Many students at RIT change their major after arriving
at college. For some, this process is clear and quite effortless.
For others, it can be a difficult process involving a lot
of questions and exploration. Some students may also have
academic difficulty in their chosen major, be interested in
plotting their next coop job or permanent placement, or have
questions about graduate school application and selection
processes. Career counseling may be helpful to students in
each of these situations.
career counseling work?
It really depends upon what your needs are. During
the first session, the counselor will gather a lot of information
about you: your academic history, your previous and current
thoughts about your choice of major or occupation, your interests,
values, personal traits, and abilities. You and the counselor
may also decide to do some career assessment which is usually
1 1/2 - 2 hours of career interest and personality inventories.
Your counselor can provide you with occupational information
and/or refer you to appropriate resources to get further information.
career assessment (testing) work?
If you and your counselor think assessment would
be helpful, you will schedule 1-2 hours when you will come
into the Center for assessment. When your assessment
is complete you will be scheduled to meet again with your
counselor. The two of you will thoughtfully consider the results
together, generating a list of occupations that you may want
to investigate. Your counselor will show you written and web
resources that will help with your research.
does this process take?
It could take from 1-3 weeks to complete the entire
process if you do assessment. For some students a single session
is all that is needed.
It certainly is. Information about you is only shared
outside the Counseling Center with your written permission.
for online career assessment, occuptional information, and
college and graduate school information.
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with stress is a major challenge for many college students.
Ineffectively managing stress has been identified by many
students as a significant cause of academic disruption. There
are multiple means of managing stress and it is important
for students to identify strategies that feel comfortable
to them and to work with those strategies on a regular basis.
Individual and group therapy are two ways to identify causes
of stress and establish healthy ways of managing it. Other
stress management methods offered through the Counseling Center
are described below.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of careful
attention to, and deep engagement in, the experience of life
as it unfolds in the present moment. Mindfulness meditation
can help us to cultivate, in an intentional way, this invaluable
quality of presence in our lives.
sessions will include basic instruction and practice in mindfulness
of breathing. Both experience and research have demonstrated
the value of mindfulness in managing stress and living a more
balanced, satisfying life.
where are the sessions?
These sessions are held on Thursdays at the Counseling
Center. For newcomers to these sessions, an orientation to
mindfulness and meditation instruction will begin at noon.
Returning meditators are welcome to attend the entire session
or to join the group when the practice segment begins, around
How do I
These sessions are free of charge, and are open to
all students, faculty, and staff of RIT. There is no need
to register, and you may come to a single session or more
- each session is basically the same unit of background, instruction,
The staff at the
Counseling Center has a range of professional interests and
areas of expertise. They are available to provide programs
to student groups on a range of topics. Training is also available
for faculty and staff on topics related to behavior problems
and to helping students succeed at RIT. Some of the workshops
that the Counseling Center has offered in the past include:
- Dealing with grief
- How and when to refer a friend to counseling
- Dealing with vicarious trauma
- Stress management techniques
- Myers-Briggs and career choice
- Mental health issues in college students: increasing
severity and complexity
for Faculty, Staff, Parents and Students
the behavioral and emotional problems of others is available
for parents, students, faculty, or staff. While information
about current clients is confidential, staff at the Center
can offer recommendations after a discussion about the behavior
and emotional state of the individual in question. Recommendations
might include strategies for approaching the troubled individual
and making a referral. Relevant resources on or off campus
could also be discussed. Please see Referring
Others for more information on recognizing problems and
making an effective referral.
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Intervention and Emergency Services:
I do in case of an emergency during the day?
During Institute Business Hours ( 8:30 a.m. - 4:30
p.m.), for psychological emergencies contact the Counseling
Center at 475-2261 or go directly to Room 2100, August Center
(second floor). If someone is in physical danger, call
Public Safety at 475-3333.
the emergency is at night or on a weekend?
For psychological emergencies
that cannot wait for business hours, call Public Safety at
475-3333 and ask to speak with the counselor who is on call.
The counselor will conduct an assessment of what your immediate
needs are and make a recommendation to you. This most often
includes follow-up at the Counseling Center for an appointment.
I send an email?
Do not use e-mail in an emergency situation, since
you cannot be assured that a counselor will open it at your
time of need. Even in non-emergency situations, care should
be used when communicating by email since it is not a confidential
form of communication.
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College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Counseling Center no longer offers CLEP exams.
Go to the CLEP web site
http://www.collegeboard.org/clep/ to find other
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