Counseling FAQ

How do I know if counseling could help me?
Having questions, concerns, and big choices to make are all a normal part of college life. Sometimes students are able to work through challenges on their own or with the support of family and friends. Other times, the issues can seem too overwhelming, complicated, or private to share with someone you know. When this is the case, speaking with a counselor can provide a safe and confidential setting to discuss your concerns, clarify the problems, identify goals, and explore options that might improve your situation. No problem is too big or too small to benefit from counseling. Your counselor is trained to help people struggling with the challenges that normal life presents as well as problems resulting from mental illness like Bipolar Disorder and severe anxiety. Some of the most common reasons for seeking on-campus counseling are:

  • Relationship problems
  • Adjusting to college/being away from home
  • Poor self-confidence
  • Sadness, anxiety, or depression
  • Worrying too much
  • Thinking about ending your life
  • Alcohol and drug concerns
  • Identity exploration
  • Body image and eating concerns
  • Family problems
  • Reactions to traumatic experiences
  • Stress management
  • Grief

Is on-campus counseling confidential?
Yes! Confidentiality is taken very seriously and your protected health care information will almost never be released without your written consent. There are a few rare situations in which we can or must share information with others:

  • When you sign a release, requesting that we share your information with others;
  • When it seems that an individual is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else (for example, there is evidence to believe that an individual is likely to attempt to kill himself or herself);
  • When information is shared that leads a counselor to believe that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected;
  • When a court of law subpoenas information from your record.

In any of these cases, you can rest assured that only the minimum amount of information necessary will be shared with the appropriate person(s). In your first meeting with your counselor, the two of you will review these potential reasons for releasing your information and your counselor will answer any questions you may have.

Do you prescribe medications for problems like anxiety or depression?
Your counselor does not have the capability to prescribe medications for you. However, she can assist you with a referral to a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who can prescribe medications. If you do not want to see a medical professional specifically trained to treat the symptoms of mental health issues, your counselor can work with you to talk to your Primary Care Provider (PCP) so that you may better explain what symptoms you would like to change.

Can I get D.E.E.P. counseling here?
No, at this time we do not provide any court-mandated services.

Can I bring a friend or family member to my meetings? What if they aren’t a student?
Friends, partners, spouses, and family members who are not students are not eligible for counseling services at EMCC. If you would like to have a friend or family member attend a session with you, discuss the request with your counselor in advance so that a plan for their visit may be created.

Can I get counseling at EMCC if I am already seeing another mental health professional somewhere else?
The counselor will be happy to offer a consultation appointment in order to discuss the reasons why you want to work with two counselors. It is often not advisable to see two counselors simultaneously though.

Can the EMCC counselor help with everything?
The campus counseling staff is able to provide treatment for a broad range of concerns and diagnoses. However, there are cases when a student would be best served by counselors in the community, such as those who need to meet more frequently than possible on campus or those who would benefit from specific treatment modalities that the campus staff does not provide. All students interested in counseling should attend an Intake Interview during which you and the counselor can explore treatment options. Even if on-campus counseling isn’t a good fit for you, we can help with referrals, navigating insurance, locating financial support resources, and accessing transportation.

Currently, our counseling staff cannot adequately or ethically provide treatment for substance abuse issues, severe eating disorders, psychotic disorders which are not medically managed, chronic suicidal thoughts, or personality disorders which require Dialectic Behavior Therapy. If your reason to seek counseling falls under one of these categories, we still want to help you obtain the best care and you are welcome to access crisis services on campus if needed.

Do you provide supporting documentation for requests to have an emotional support animal?
No. The counseling staff at EMCC do not provide supporting documentation for emotional support animals. We love animals too, but we don’t have the staffing to be able to do the necessary background work required for an ethical recommendation.