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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why see a Counselor?
What concerns are addressed in counseling?
Who is eligible to utilize counseling services?
Where is Student Counseling Services located?
Can I walk-in or is an appointment needed to meet with a Counselor?
How long does it take to get in to meet with a Counselor?
Can I schedule a same-day appointment?
What do I do if I need help right away?
What is considered an emergency/crisis situation?
How long is a counseling session?
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
What if I miss my appointment?
What if I call after office hours?
Is there a fee for counseling services?
How often would I meet with the Counselor?
Can someone join me in a counseling session?
If I see a Counselor, does that mean I am “weak or crazy”?
Do I need to be referred?
What qualifications do the Counselors have?
Can I see a different Counselor?
Does Student Counseling Services provide medication services?
What occurs during an initial session?
What can I expect the counseling experience to be like?
Will my discussion with the Counselor be confidential?
Does Student Counseling Services provide "notes" for missed class?
Can Student Counseling Services document my need for an emotional support animal?
What is the process to obtain a copy of my counseling records?
What other services are offered?

 

 

Why see a Counselor?

Counseling can often be beneficial to students in a variety of ways. Counseling offers the opportunity for you to address areas of concerns you may have and can be of assistance in helping you overcome personal or situational challenges that interfere with your academic, personal or social goals. Most people come to counseling when their usual ways of handling things aren't working well for some reason, causing distress and frustration. Some are dealing with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Others do not have a mental health diagnosis, but have found life is presenting more challenges than they feel they are equipped to handle.

Your Counselor will work with you to help identify different options available to bring about changes to resolve the presenting concern. The role of the Counselor is to help clarify the issues, not to give advice. A Counselor does not judge, is patient and is trained to be a sensitive and objective listener, who can support you and your decisions. Counseling can provide a safe place to discuss the issues you are facing and help you find healthy ways to deal with them.

What concerns are addressed in counseling?

There are a variety of reasons why someone may see a Counselor. Some common areas include:

  • Feelings of sadness or loneliness that won’t go away
  • Thoughts of suicide or just not wanting to be “here”
  • Family, parenting issues
  • Dating, relationship concerns
  • Gender, orientation or cultural concerns
  • Adjusting to college
  • Failing grades or struggling academically
  • Study tips, test anxiety, getting organized
  • Procrastination, time management
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief and loss
  • Overwhelming stress and/or anxiety
  • Alcohol and/or drug related issues
  • Decision making
  • Difficulty managing anger
  • Social anxiety, communication issues
  • Trauma, sexual assault, abuse
  • Roommate issues or conflict with friends
  • Weight concerns, body image issues, eating disorders
  • Concerns about health issues
  • Balancing school, work, home life
  • Sleep disruption
  • And more…

Because Student Counseling Services operates on a short term, solution focused therapy model, referrals to outside providers may be appropriate for issues that exceed our scope of care or current resources. Examples include, but may not be limited to: alcohol and drug assessment and treatment, treatment of eating disorders, first episode of psychosis, etc.

 Who is eligible to utilize counseling services?

Actively enrolled students for the current semester are eligible for 5 sessions per issue, as determined by Counselor assessment.

UHD employees may not utilize Student Counseling Services, but have access to a confidential counseling and referral program through the UHD Employee Assistance Program. Employees should call (713) 500-3327 to obtain more information.

Where is Student Counseling Services located?

Student Counseling Services is located in the One Main Building, Suite S445 (same office as Student Health Services). Office hours are: Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Our phone number is (713) 500-3852.

 Can I walk-in or is an appointment needed to meet with a Counselor?

You do need an appointment to see a Counselor; however, exceptions are made in the event of an emergency. To schedule an appointment, please call (713) 500-3852. Responses will be made in the order received.

How long does it take to get in to meet with a Counselor?

When you contact us to schedule an appointment, you will speak with someone right away or will be contacted within 24 hours if you leave a message. The busy-ness of the semester/academic year will determine how soon your appointment will be. With the consideration of everyone's schedule, we work hard on getting everyone accommodated in a timely manner for a regular counseling session. We encourage you to reach out to get an appointment as soon as you feel you would like to start services.

Can I schedule a same-day appointment?

It is possible that a same day appointment may be available, depending on the Counselors’ schedules for that day. You can call (713) 500-3852 to inquire. We will make every effort to accommodate your request.

What do I do if I need help right away?

We are mindful that a student may have an urgent need or be in an emergency situation. Students may come directly to Student Counseling Services in order to meet with a Counselor for brief counseling and stabilization. Please indicate the urgency of the situation and briefly describe what you are experiencing in order to receive the fastest attention possible.

If you have a medical or mental health-related emergency outside of Student Counseling Services’ regular business hours, please call 911 immediately. Also, if on campus, you can contact the UHD Police Department at (713) 221-8911. 

Additionally, you may receive 24/7 Crisis Support as follows:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Hotline…1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433), 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • LGBT Switchboard Houston 24 Hour Helpline…(713) 529-3211
  • The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD 24 Hour Helpline…(713) 970-7000
  • Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT)…(713) 970-7520

What is considered an emergency/crisis situation?

An emergency/crisis experience is individually based – it all depends on what it feels like for you based on your “normal”. We encourage students to come in for an emergency/crisis session if they feel it is indeed one. We prefer to see you; and, please know that you will be seen as a Counselor becomes available. Some examples of a need for an emergency/crisis counseling session, include:

  • Imminent suicidal thought and/or a plan
  • Imminent homicidal thoughts
  • Severely losing emotional control
  • Gross impairment in thinking ability
  • Exhibiting bizarre behavior
  • Experienced a recent trauma

How long is a counseling session?

Counseling sessions last approximately 45-50 minutes. Please be punctual and let us know in advance if you are unable to keep your appointment.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

If you must cancel your appointment, we ask that you notify us at least 24 hours in advance. Please call (713) 500-3852 to cancel your appointment and reschedule.

What if I miss my appointment?

If you miss an appointment, it will be your responsibility to reschedule with us. If we do not hear from you in 30 days from the missed appointment, we will assume you are no longer in need of services and your record will be closed. You may call us anytime at (713) 500-3852 to reinitiate services.

What if I call after office hours?

If you call after hours, you will be able to speak with someone who will assist your need and direct you accordingly.

Is there a fee for counseling services?

Counseling services are covered by your tuition and fees, so no additional payment is required when you come for an appointment. If you are referred to a counselor or community resource not affiliated with UHD, a fee for services may be required.

How often would I meet with the Counselor?

You and the Counselor will decide together how often you should meet. Usually, you meet once a week or once every other week.

Can someone join me in a counseling session?

Yes, students may be joined in a counseling session by their child, family member(s) or partner for family or couples counseling.

If I see a Counselor, does that mean I am “weak or crazy”?

You are not “weak or crazy” if you meet with a Counselor. It is often a sign of maturity and resourcefulness to seek help when it is needed. It is also usually better to consult someone while it is still a small problem and not wait for the problem to get worse and be harder to resolve. Counseling can offer ways to take responsibility for what is bothering you and recognize the coping skills that you already possess. In counseling, you can discover more about yourself and feel more confident and competent.

Do I need to be referred?

You do not need a referral in order to meet with a Counselor. You may call (713) 500-3852 to schedule an appointment at any time. Though family, faculty, staff or medical providers may recommend you make an appointment, you do not require a referral.

What qualifications do the Counselors have?

All Counselors hold professional Counseling or Social Work licensure by the State of Texas and have experience working in various counseling areas in academic, community and corporate settings.

Can I see a different Counselor?

Yes, you can request to meet with a different Counselor or to be referred to an outside provider. Please let us know if you would like to meet with another provider. Also, you have the right to discontinue counseling at any time.

Does Student Counseling Services provide medication services?

Student Counseling Services does not provide medication to students. If you have medication needs, please schedule an appointment with a medical doctor or psychiatrist. You may, however, discuss any challenges with medication adherence with your Counselor.

What occurs during an initial session?

You will be asked to complete an intake form and will be given documents that explain the services we offer, your consent for services and our policies regarding confidentiality (we ask that you arrive 10 minutes early for your first session in order to complete the required paperwork). You and your Counselor will discuss this information and will both sign and date the documents.

During your initial session, time will be spent exploring your reason for seeking counseling, gathering history and background information and discussing your current functioning and needs. You and your Counselor will develop a plan for future support. 

What can I expect the counseling experience to be like?

We recognize it can be difficult to talk to a new person about personal things and hope to make this as rewarding an experience as possible. The Counselor may ask questions about you, your problem, your family and your background. This is in the interest of understanding you to help you find healthy ways of coping and regaining your footing. Counseling is a dialogue in which you and the Counselor work together to understand your issues, to clarify your concerns and to develop a plan to improve your situation. You should feel free to ask any questions you might have.

Will my discussion with the Counselor be confidential?

All records and conversations are personal and confidential as set forth by federal and state laws. The counseling record is separate from the academic record. With few exceptions (as noted below), we do not communicate with your friends, professors, parents or family without your written consent. 

The exceptions to confidentiality are 1) if the Counselor assesses you are a threat to yourself or someone else 2) if the Counselor learns of or have strong suspicions of abuse or neglect of a child, disabled person or elderly person 3) if legal proceedings require disclosure of your counseling sessions 4) if information is disclosed about client abuse or sexual exploitation by a previous mental health provider.

Does Student Counseling Services provide "notes" for missed class?

Student Counseling Services does not provide "notes" for absences from class. If you are ill and unable to attend class, please communicate with your professor to make up any missed work at your earliest convenience.

Can Student Counseling Services document my need for an emotional support animal?

Please contact the UHD Office of Disability Services at (713) 221-5078 for assistance.

What is the process to obtain a copy of my counseling records?

Please contact Student Counseling Services at (713) 500-3852 for more information.

What other services are offered?

In addition to individual counseling, consultation, crisis support, campus outreach/collaboration and workshops, we also offer referrals to community providers for your support needs. Referrals are frequently made to other departments on campus such as the Career Development Center, Academic Advising Center, Tutoring Resources, Veterans Services and Disability Services.



Last updated 11/10/2017 3:57 AM