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.
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.
Common client concerns:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Eating concerns
- Academic anxieties
- Roommate and friendship problems
- Family problems
- Sexual concerns
- Identity concerns
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 session.
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.
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 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.