Our Counseling Services offers these three guielines for dealing with grief.
Since 1990, the Women's Center has offered individual, couples, and
group counseling services to University of Virginia students, faculty,
and staff, as well as to members of the Charlottesville community.
Counseling is offered for both men and women individually, as well as
for couples. We offer clients an empowerment-based counseling model
through which we integrate evidence-based practice with a person-centered approach. We support survivors of all genders who have
experienced rape; sexual assault; stalking; domestic violence;
emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse; as well as other concerns.
Additionally, we are available to support survivors' friends, family
members, and significant others.
The counseling staff at the Women's Center is composed of advanced
master's students from counseling programs in Virginia. We partner with
James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and
Lynchburg college to offer a valuable internship experience for
students. We have a full time trauma counselor who works with U.Va.
students and staff who have experienced any type of violence. The
coordinator for our eating disorders initiative is also part of the
counseling staff. For more information, follow the link below to our
Body Positive Program.
You may call our office at 434-982-2252, Monday-Thursday, 9:00
a.m.-5:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment with one of our clinicians.
Body Positive at U.Va.: Information about eating, body image, and exercise concerns; disordered eating; and eating disorders.
What is the Counseling Process?
Individual, couples, and group counseling services are available for
U.Va. students, staff, faculty, and alumni, as well as members of the
Charlottesville community. Some people may initially feel hesitant about
seeking counseling services. They worry that coming in for counseling
may indicate that something is “wrong” with them. However, most people
who come in for counseling report that it is a very positive and
productive experience and often recommend it to their friends. The
counseling staff is trained to work with you on a wide range of issues.
Here is a partial list of common client concerns:
• Alcohol or drugs
• Eating concerns
• Academic anxieties
• Roommate and friendship problems
• Family problems
• Sexual concerns
• Identity concerns
When you call the counseling office, a clinician will gather some
basic information from you. You will then be asked to schedule an
appointment, or you will be added to our waiting list. Your first
appointment is called an "intake" and is scheduled for one hour. When
you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to fill out a few
forms in order to gather information about you and your concerns. The
intake session is the time for you to tell the story about what brought
you to the Women’s Center for help at this time of your life.
At the end of the first session, the counselor will help you to
summarize your concerns and identify some goals for counseling. This is
when you and the counselor will clarify if your needs will be met with
individual, couples and/or group counseling, and you will make a
follow-up appointment that fits your schedule. In some cases you and
your counselor might determine that your needs would be better served
by another agency or service provider. If this is the case, your
counselor will help you to make the necessary arrangements. The Women’s
Center does not provide crisis counseling and does not have 24 hour
coverage available for counseling services.
The number of counseling sessions and length of the sessions vary
based on client needs, but typically 10 sessions seem to be helpful and
most sessions last 50 minutes. If you are going to be late for a
session or need to miss a session we ask that you call to let your
counselor know. To cancel a session, please give at least 24 hours
notice so that other clients who are waiting for services can be
offered your cancelled time.
Confidentiality: Information you disclose in clinical
sessions is confidential and may not be released to anyone outside of
the Counseling Services Program/Graduate Program faculty without your
written permission. The Women’s Center adheres to professional, legal,
and ethical guidelines established by professional organizations and
state laws. Legal and ethical exceptions to confidentiality are
provided to clients in writing and will be discussed in your intake
session. Sessions are audio-taped for the educational needs of the
counseling interns. This will also be discussed with you in your intake
Group counseling: Group counseling consists of several
people meeting with a counselor to discuss common concerns and life
issues. Group members give feedback and support to each other in a safe
environment. The first few sessions of a group typically focus on
establishing trust and getting to know the counselor and group members.
Group trust is achieved when all members make a commitment to the
Group counseling can be helpful in several ways: Members
experience the feeling of not being alone while working through their
personal concerns. Members have an opportunity to help each other and
receive feedback about communication skills and other behaviors, both
of which can be be rewarding and enable positive changes in other
relationship patterns. Group experience can increase self-awareness as
well as offer a safe place to practice new behaviors.
Cathy Erickson, Liberty University
Robyn Sharkey, Lynchburg College
A student group that works towards removing the stigma of mental
illness and promotes an open environment to discuss mental health
CAPS Counseling and Psychological Services at U.Va.
HOPE Hoos Open to Preventing Eating Disorders; a student group to raise awareness about body positive issues.
SARA Sexual Assault Resources Agency in Charlottesville
SHE Shelter for Help in Emergency in Charlottesville
Tips for Coping with Stress
Women’s Initiative Counseling services in Charlottesville- sliding scale
In case of an emergency, contact the following centers for immediate help:
If you are a student: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Daytime: 434-243-5150. After-hours Emergency: 434-972-7004.
HELP Line (434-295-TALK) available 24 hours, 7 days a week during the academic year.
If you are not a student: Region Ten Emergency Services: 434-972-1800.
The Women's Center offers free and confidential
counseling for U.Va. students, faculty, staff, and Charlottesville
community members. For more information and to schedule an appointment,
Getting to the Center
The Women's Center is located at the intersection of University Avenue and 14th Street across from the U.Va. Corner.
Address: 1400 University Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903
The Women's Center is #8 (square E-2) on this U.Va. web map. Click here for full maps of the U.Va. Grounds.