Counseling is the development of a professional relationship between you and a therapist to help you with personal problems. Unlike friendships or medical doctor-patient relationships, your counselor will not usually give you specific advice. Instead, they will serve as skilled listeners helping you clarify issues, assist you in uncovering and exploring your feelings, which can help you deal more effectively with your problems.Q: What kind of services does the Counseling Center provide?
- Individual & group counseling
- Alcohol/drug and health education
- Relaxation training for anxiety
- Communication and relationship skill development
- Consultation and training for students, staff, and faculty to recognize and respond to students who may be at serious risk
- Group workshops and outreach, scheduled upon request and tailored to meet your needs
Any currently enrolled undergraduate student can use the Counseling Center services.Q: Are there limits as to how long I can meet with my counselor?
We are fortunate not to have session limits for our students. During our busier times, we may have to schedule every other week to accommodate all students. We thank you in advance for understanding and being flexible.Q: What are the hours and location of the Counseling Center?
The Counseling Center is open 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday – Friday (with clinical hours starting at 9 a.m.). The Counseling Center is located on the 3rd floor of Silliman Hall, above the Health Center and Registrar's Office.Q: What if I feel that I am not a good match or I am uncomfortable with my counselor?
We check our egos at the door. If you feel you are not a good match or are uncomfortable with your counselor please ask to make an appointment with a different counselor. If you are more comfortable, you can call 388-6161 and speak to our administrative assistant to change who your appointment is with. We would prefer for you to get the assistance that you need rather than not come back due to a fit that is not the best.Q: Can someone request a particular counselor?
Yes, you are able to request a specific counselor. Many times students are referred by friends who are seeing a particular counselor. Additionally, you can request a specific gender of therapist if you are more comfortable speaking with a man or woman.Q: Can someone come in to talk about someone else (friend, roommate, family member, etc.) they are worried about?
We consult with students, faculty, staff and family often. Please just give a call to 388-6161 and get into someone's schedule (by phone if you are from a distance) and we will happily sit down and discuss the situation with you.Q: Can someone receive counseling by email, instant messaging, Facebook, etc.?
Due to limitations (lack of intonation, non-verbal communication, etc.), the Counseling Center does not offer counseling in this manner. Email is only used to schedule or reschedule appointments.Q: Can Faculty and Staff use the Counseling Center?
Counseling Center staff are not able to see faculty and staff. Union College has an Employee Assistance Program through The Wellness Corporation.Q: When should I use your services?
The college years are known to be extremely stressful for many students. The academic demands and competition that are associated with an excellent higher education institution like Union College add to the amount of stress. Most students are able to cope adequately with the academic and social stressors, however, there are times when students find that the stress becomes unmanageable and interferes with learning. Students seek assistance from the Counseling Center for a variety of reasons including: academic issues, stress, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, substance use or abuse, grief, and loneliness/isolation, among others.Q: Isn't counseling for people who are 'crazy'? Do I have to be crazy or have a 'serious' problem before coming to the Counseling Center?
No, you do not have to have severe problems or 'crazy' to speak with a counselor. In contrast, it is a sign of health to recognize when you have a problem that you need assistance with and to seek help for it.Q: Isn't it better for me to try to solve problems on my own?
You will still be solving your own problems. A counselor helps you clarify issues so you can more effectively resolve the issues on your own. The goal of counseling is to help you develop the skills to solve issues on the future on your own (i.e., help you become more self-sufficient).Q: Is there a fee?
Services are offered at no cost to students.Q: Who can use the Counseling Center?
Any enrolled Union College student is entitled to the Counseling Center services. The psychologists are sensitive to racial, cultural and language concerns and are trained for LGBT issues.Q: Is counseling confidential?
Confidentiality is strictly respected at the Counseling Center, and all staff members are expected to abide by the American Psychological Association's standard of ethical principles. Both law and the ethics of professional practice of psychology require that information discussed during counseling sessions must be kept strictly confidential. No information about students seen at the Counseling Center can be shared with anyone outside of the Counseling Center without the student's written consent.
Unless it is a matter of a student being at a clear and present danger to themselves or someone else, you specifically give us your permission, we have been served with a court order, or we are required by law (as with child or elder abuse), we promise that whatever you share with us stays with us.
Outside of the rare circumstances listed above, we will tell no one that you came to the Counseling Center, why you came, or what you shared. Your parents, friends, resident assistants, faculty, or other Union College offices have no access to any information you share.Q: Will counseling show up on my transcript or any official record?
Absolutely not. Visits to the Counseling Center are confidential and will not be revealed to the Registrar or other Union College offices. Counseling Center staff may confer with one another as needed to provide the best possible services.Q: How long does counseling last?
That depends on the nature of the issue or concern. Some problems lend themselves to short-term counseling, such as 3 or 4 sessions. Other problems may need longer-term treatment. There is no set limit for how long counseling will last.Q: What if I am concerned about a friend?
We encourage people to call or come in and speak to one of the counselors whenever they are concerned about another person and are unsure as to how to help.
There are certain instances when you might be concerned about a friend. For example, if your friend expresses difficulty with stress, alcohol or other drugs, or if they have exhibited unusual or disruptive behavior. You should always contact us in some way if a student mentions suicide, whether directly to you or in an indirect manner (email, IM, etc.)Q: How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
The Counseling Center is committed to assuring that students are seen as quickly as possible. Appointments are often scheduled within the week of the initial request. During peak stress times of the year, it may take a little longer to schedule an appointment. Students encountering a significant crisis will be squeezed in for an appointment. Please let the receptionist know if you are experiencing a crisis and feel that you need to be seen immediately.Q: Is there a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center?
We contract with a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Lois Lambrinos, Ms, NPP. She is in the office every other Friday. Please call her office to schedule your on-campus appointment at 782-3815.Q: What can I do if I want more information?
Call 388-6161 during regular office hours and we will be happy to answer your questions and/or schedule an appointment.Q: What if I need assistance after hours?
The Counseling Center provides 24/7 on-call coverage. If you are in crisis, please contact Campus Safety at (518) 388-6911 and ask to speak with the on call counselor.