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Frequently Asked Questions

About Counseling & Psychological Services

Plus IconWho is eligible for services?

Counseling and Psychological Services provides short-term counseling to registered full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Henrietta campus as well as registered part-time matriculated students that have paid the Student Health Services Fee. Services provided are based upon a determination of your goals for counseling. 

If our office is unable to meet your needs, Case Management will work with you to identify an appropriate resource.

Plus IconWhat is the cost for counseling services?

Counseling and Psychological Services provides short-term counseling at no additional cost to registered full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Henrietta campus that have paid the Student Health Services Fee. Part-time undergraduate and graduate students who have voluntarly paid the Student Health Services Fee are also eligible for services at not additional cost. Ineligible students are those who have not paid the Student Health Services Fee and will be charged $45 per visit. Ineligible students seeking a walk-in appointment will not be charged for the first two walk-ins and then $45 for each subsequent visit.

Ineligible students walked over by Campus Public Safety or checking-in following a hospitalization will not be assessed a fee. Ineligible students have the option to pay the $175 Student Health Services Fee and become eligible for sevices for the entire semester with no additional cost. 

Psychiatric Services are available at no additional cost to registered full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Henrietta campus that have paid the Student Health Services Fee. Part-time undergraduate and graduate students who have voluntarly paid the Student Health Services Fee are also eligible for services at not additional cost. Ineligible students are those who have not paid the Student Health Services Fee and will be charged $45 per visit. Ineligible students have the option to pay the $175 Student Health Services Fee and become eligible for sevices for the entire semester with no additional cost. 

Plus IconWhere can I park?

There are a very limited number of parking spaces available behind the August Center.  As these tend to fill quickly during the academic year, we advise that you leave enough time to find parking in one of the standard RIT lots in case our lot is filled.

Plus IconAre there walk-in hours?

If you are in urgent need of immediate assistance, please let our front office staff know that you need to speak with someone immediately. A walk-in counselor is available Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You may also choose to call ahead before coming to our office. Our office number is 585-475-2261.

Please know that you may be asked to wait in our reception area until the next available walk-in counselor is available, as another walk-in may have already arrived. 

In the case of such immediate same-day services, the focus and interactions are limited in content and information gathering. Walk-in apppointments do not involve a thorough history and/or complete delineation of the issues and concerns, but rather focus on assessing for imminent risk to self and identifying a later time when you can return to conduct a more formal assessment and begin therapeutic services.

Plus IconIs there a wait time?

We have restructured our staffing model, in an effort to schedule initial appointments with you as soon as possible (generally within two business days). 

Our team utilizes a telephone consultation model, which allows us to connect with you to discuss your needs soon after your initial request for services. You may, however, elect not to participate in an initial telephone consultation appointment and our team will work with you to schedule the first mutually convenient open appointment. While efforts are made to make sure that your initial appointment occurs in under a week, competing demands from the student’s schedule and availability as well as momentary limits on the available resources may occasionally cause the delay in requested appointment to take longer.

Due to increasing demands throughout the semester, it is possible that you may experience an increased wait time. In those instances, however, we will inform you of additional resources for support in the interim.

Plus IconIs what I say in counseling kept private?

Our clinicians are committed to ethical practices and principles that promote respect for and protection of your dignity, privacy, and rights. To this end, we maintain high standards to ensure your privacy and confidentiality, and generally do not share details and information you discuss in sessions with outside parties unless required by law or ethics. For example, if you disclose information that may indicate that you are in immediate danger or risk of serious harm to yourself or others, we could be required to disclose a limited amount of information sufficient to get you immediate help and/or to protect others.

Plus IconWill my parents find out that I’m getting help at Counseling and Psychological Services?

We will not release information about you (including information kept in your records records, content of therapy sessions, and information about services received at Counseling and Psychological Services) to your parents, as long as you are 18 or older and are not presenting an imminent risk of harm to yourself or others, without your written or verbal permission. You do have the option to sign a Release of Information (ROI) form to authorize us to speak with your parents. If you are being prescribed medication by RIT’s psychiatrist, and you are utilizing insurance coverage under a parent’s plan, however, this information may be accessible by the policy holder.

Plus IconHow often will I meet with my therapist?

The frequency of your appointments will depend on the goals, treatment plan and estimated number of sessions you develop with your therapist after your first meeting, and may be subject to change over time. In cases where there is high risk involved, you may be encouraged to meet more frequently to ensure your safety is closely tended to.

Plus IconHow long are appointments?

While appointment times may vary, the average appointment time for each appointment type is:

First-time, in-person appointments:  90 minutes, including 30 minutes allotted for intake paperwork

Individual sessions:  50 minutes, though check-in sessions may be scheduled for 30 minutes

Group sessions:  range between 60-90 minues

Plus IconWhat if I have to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please call our office at 585-475-2261. 

You may choose to leave a voicemail if you are calling outside of business hours. 

 

If, for some reason, a counselor cannot keep a scheduled appointment with you, we will attempt to contact you as soon as possible via phone or your RIT email. 

Plus IconHow long will I be in counseling?

Duration of services is dependent on your needs and condition as well as your identified goals, your progress toward attaining those goals, and the work you do both in session and between sessions to practice and apply the insights, skills and strategies you are developing. This is a good subject to discuss with your therapist.

Some students only require 1-2 visits to meet their needs, while others may require more sessions. If you feel you need regular long-term individual therapy, we may discuss possible referrals to community providers who can better meet these needs.  There is no rigid limit to the number of sessions you can participate in with us although there are guidelines and recommendations for ensuring that the time, energy and resources of the student as well as our office are being used effectively, constructively and prudently. For example, progress and service plans can be reviewed as one approaches five individual therapy sessions in order to determine if an alternative service model is advisable.

Plus IconAll I need is a prescription refill - what do I do?

If you are only looking to have your medication continued by the RIT Student Health Center and are not interested in therapy services, you may not require a psychiatric referral from our staff. In this case, we ask that you obtain a letter from your current prescribing physician detailing your diagnosis and prescription information, which you can then bring or fax to the Student Health Center (fax: 585-475-7788). You may then request an appointment with any of the prescribing physicians at the Student Health Center, who will then work with you to continue prescribing your medication(s) either by themselves or by making an internal referral to the psychiatrist.

Plus IconDoes Counseling and Psychological Services offer Couple’s or Family Counseling?

At this time, we do not provide any formal ongoing Couple’s or Family Counseling services, but we do regularly allow for partners/spouses to be involved in a client’s treatment, provided that this is requested by the client and is appropriate within the context of your treatment. Consultation sessions may also be scheduled by parents or partners at the consent and agreement of the student client to discuss specific concerns or issues.

Getting Started with Us

Plus IconHow do I get started?

For deaf and hard-of-hearing students, please go to this page.

For hearing students, please go to the following page.

If a student needs to be seen immediately, emergency services can be accessed.

Plus IconWhat happens during the initial phone call?

When you initially call, email, or walk-in to our office, you will speak with a Clinical Intake Coordinator, who will begin by reviewing some basic information about you. These conversations generally last just a few minutes and help our office to learn more about your needs and your mental health history. In all cases, you will also be discussing an initial plan for treatment with us, which will typically involve scheduling an in-person appointment with one of our mental health providers. In some cases, you may be asked to come in for a same-day assessment, if we feel you are in need of immediate help. 

Plus IconWhat will happen at the first appointment?

If you have not yet completed paperwork, you will spend some time initially completing forms upon arriving to your first appointment.  The mental health professional will meet with you for about 50 minutes during an intake session, or 30 minutes for a group consultation visit.  During your first appointment with the mental health professional, that person will ask you questions about your relevant history, current problems, resources and strengths, as well as help you determine your goals for coming to Counseling and Psychological services.  The mental health professional will work with you to determine a plan for therapy, consultation or referral to other resources.

Plus IconWho will be my assigned therapist?

Your assigned therapist will be determined based on mutual availability, and a match based on the needs and goals of your work together. The therapist you work with will have specific experience in working with college students. Your individual preferences will also be considered in the decision.

Plus IconWill my counselor be the same person I speak to during my telephone consultation or intake appointment?

When scheduling an appointment, you will be referred to a therapist who specializes in treatment for your need and goal areas. In addition, we take a look at each therapist to determine availability. This person may or may not be the mental health professional you spoke with during your initial telephone consultation. Sometimes, a Clinical Intake Coordinator will want to meet with you for an additional assessment appointment to make sure they have a full picture of your needs and goals before referring you to a therapist.

Plus IconWhat if I need to be seen right away?

If you need to see a counselor right away, please come directly to our office for a walk-in appointment. You may also choose to call ahead to let us know that you will be coming. 

Plus IconHow do I obtain information about the person/service to whom I am being referred?

If you receive a referral, please feel free to ask your therapist for additinoal information. They can provide you with written materials, web resources, and other suggestions so you are informed.

Most resources and referral sources will have information and profiles on the web. See our Self Help Resources page, too.

Plus IconWhat if I do not like the person/service to whom I am referred?

As a client, you have the right to request a change and ask questions about the therapist or services to whom you are being referred. If you request this change, it will be reviewed among the treatment team and the decision will be discussed with you.

Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy

Plus IconWhat happens after I am referred to my therapist for services?

After your initial meeting, you and the therapist will work together to identify your goals and a therapy structure that helps you to achieve those goals. The therapy plan may include an estimated number of sessions, a timeline, and appointment frequency, but the plan will remain flexible, adjusting to meet your needs. 

Plus IconHow do I tell if I am making progress in therapy?

You and your therapist will determine goals for your work together. You will be encouraged to periodically review your goals, reflect on your work, and provide feedback on your progress. You will also be asked to complete standardized measures of symptoms, expressed concerns and clinical signs to check on levels of change over time. You may ask to see these results at any time. Our hope is that over time, your concerns will lessen as you continue to improve in areas such as coping, resilience, and resource connection.

Group Counseling and Psychotherapy

Plus IconHow is confidentiality upheld in group therapy?

Students participating in group therapy are not bound by legal and/or ethical standards in the same way that clinicians are. This means that we cannot guarantee full confidentiality in a group therapy setting. Our team instructs, encourages, and reminds all group members that it is important to have respect for one another, which involves protecting their privacy. 

If an infraction is identified and confirmed, corrective actions can be taken which could include removal of the offending member of the group.

Additionally, it is important to remember that even with professional clinicians, there a limitations to confidentiality including situations where clinicians are legally mandated to report and disclose elements from therapy sessions.

Plus IconHow many groups are held each semester?

The frequency and focus of the group therapy program changes each semester based on student needs. We typically run 10 different groups each semester, based on student needs and staff interest and expertise.

Plus IconHow will I know if I am making progress toward my goals in group?

You will work in conjunction with your individual therapist and the group participants to identify your goals. Those goals should be identified prior to or soon after your weekly group therapy sessions begin. 

You and your individual therapist/group facilitator will check in periodically throughout the group session series to determine your progress toward these goals. You may also be requested to periodically complete standardized measures of symptoms, expressed concerns, and clinical signs to assess for change in levels over time.

Examples of group goals may include:

  • Improving ability to trust others
  • Challenging assumptions about interpersonal patterns
  • Increasing authenticity in relationships
  • Gaining practice in opening up to others 

Each group may also have specific goals depending on group topic - with Stress Management, for example, group members might have specific goals to improve their ability to manage stress and increase relaxation.

Plus IconWill I have to talk at each group?

Group therapy encourages the disclosure and exploration of personal issues, but you should never feel forced to disclose. It is important to disclose at your own pace.

Additionally, with some of the more psycho-educationally focused groups, emphasizing provision and exploration of information pertaining to the related topic, some students may, just as in their academic classes, use the time in therapy to listen and take in information which they can apply to themselves later in the privacy of their own thoughts and lives. 

In all situations, however, the greatest benefit for individuals and the group is the free and open exchange and sharing of information and perspectives by all persons.

Plus IconHow do I decide what group is right for me?

The clinician that you spoke with in your initial telephone consultation or your ongoing individual therapist may suggest group therapy for you based on your unique needs and goals. Groups are tailored to fit the current and most common goals of students who come to Counseling and Psychological Services.

Crisis and Emergency Services

Plus IconWhat is a mental health crisis?

Although the definition of crisis is different depending on the uniqueness of each individual, an emotional crisis is generally defined as an intense and painful response to a difficulty that exceeds the ability of the person to respond with their own healthy coping skills. 

Responding to crisis is critical when the individual has experienced: 

  1. Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or impulses
  2. Sexual or physical assault
  3. Hearing voices or otherwise misperceiving reality
  4. Any major disruption in ability to function
  5. Overwhelming loss or tragedy
Plus IconHow do I refer a student of concern to Counseling and Psychological Services?

If you are concerned about a student, you should:

  • Encourage the student to visit our office, providing them with information that helps them to connect with us and sharing any positive experiences that you may have from the past. 
  • Assist the student in connecting with our office. You could offer to assist by making the first call to schedule a counseling appointment together or you could escort the student to the Counseling and Psychological Services office, located on the second floor of the August Center.

If you are unsure of how or when to refer a student, we encourage you to contact our office for a brief consultation. 

Plus IconWhat can I expect after referring a student to Counseling and Psychological Services?

We encourage you to check in with the student after your referral to inquire about their experience. 

At their appointment, students will be encouraged to understand, sign, and review consent forms that may allow our team to speak with referral sources. If the student chooses to sign the consent form allowing us to speak with you, our team will contact you to work with you on how best to support the student. 

In some emergencies or urgent situations, a counselor may not require written consent by the student, and may consult with you for purpose of assessing and planning for the student's safety. 

We encourage you to reach out to us, so that we can work with you to address any questions or concerns. 

Plus IconHow can I address disruptive behavior in my classroom?

Although many instances of disruptive behavior in classrooms can be dealt with directly, disruptive behavior, such as violent, threatening, or insulting language or actions should be taken seriously. Contact campus partners such as Counseling and Psychological Services, Public Safety, and the Student Behavioral Consultation Team as soon as you begin to experience these issues. Early intervention may help to prevent larger issues that may arise at a later time. 

Plus IconWhat is Student Behavior Consultation Team (SBCT)?

The Student Behavior Consultation Team (SBCT) assists students who may be in distress or experiencing challenging or difficult life circumstances. SBCT also provides consultation and intervention when students exhibit aggressive, concerning or disruptive behaviors.

Plus IconWhat to do if a student is having a “break down”' or “'panic attack"?
  1. Know that a panic attack is not dangerous.  It cannot cause someone to pass out, have a heart attack or 'go crazy'.  The process of calming down from a panic attack generally takes about 10-20 minutes. 
  2. Stay with the student and stay calm.
  3. Ask the student what they need. 
  4. Make sure the student is in a quiet place if at all possible. 
  5. Speak to the student in brief, calming statements. "you can get through this, I am going to help you stay safe". "let's focus on taking one breath at a time". 
  6. Help the student slow down breathing, demonstrating deep breaths yourself and or by counting slowly from 1-10
  7. Offer to help the student get to resource they might need after they have calmed down.  You can offer to contact a friend or family member, connect them with Counseling and Psychological Services, or contact Public Safety
Plus IconWhat to do if a student is expressing thoughts of suicide?

In most cases, talking to the student and referring the student to Counseling & Psychological Services is the best option.  If you are concerned about the student's immediate safety, please contact Pubic Safety on campus or see Get Help Now.   

The following exceptional website includes a comprehensive list about how to respond to a person who might express thoughts of suicide.

http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/whattodo.htm

Plus IconWhat happens during a crisis appointment?

Crisis Appointment Steps

Assessment:

During a crisis appointment, a therapist will talk with you to assess the situation and provide immediate support. Sometimes talking through a crisis situation with a therapist will be all that is needed.

Safety Planning:

After assessing for your immediate safety needs and wellness, the therapist will also help you to plan for your future safety and wellness, and a plan for linking to further services if needed.  This may include a plan for self-care, a plan for seeking family or other natural supports.  We will help you decide the best course of action to meet your needs

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of someone else, we will work with you to develop a plan of action to address your concerns.     

Follow-up Plan:

The therapist will help you decide what to do in the longer term to help prevent future crisis, to link you to any needed resources, information or referrals.  The therapist may give you some ideas to try at home, some information to read or some suggestions for how to respond if the problem comes back.

Training Program

Plus IconI have a question/concern about the trainee I’m working with. Who do I talk to?

Any concerns about trainees are taken seriously and directly addressed by supervisors of trainees as well as the Training Coordinator.  If you are working with a trainee, and you have questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Raquel Bateman (you may contact the office of Counseling & Psychological Services at 475-2261 and ask to speak with Dr. Bateman). 

Plus IconWhat if I don’t want to work with a trainee?

As a client of RIT Counseling & Psychological Services, you have the right to refuse to be treated by a therapist in training.  If you choose to refuse, there will be no adverse consequences for that decision.