Counseling Center
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 Q.Where is the Counseling Center?

Q.How do I make an appointment?

Q.What happens at my first meeting with a counselor?

Q.What happens in individual therapy?

Q.What happens in group therapy?

Q.Can I see a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center?

Q.Are there session limits at the Counseling Center?

Q.What if I get referred to the community?

Q.How does confidentiality work?

 


Q. Where is the Counseling Center?

A. We are on the first floor of Jonsson Tower, across from Health Services. We are open from 9:00 a.m.-12 noon and  from 1:00 p.m.-5:00p.m during Fall and Spring Semesters. During Summer Sessions we are open from 9:00 a.m.-11:30am and from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

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Q. How do I make an appointment?

A. You can call our front desk (580-5555) to schedule a time to come in, or stop by during business hours. We ask that students coming to the Counseling Center for the first time come in during the morning hours, if possible, so that you have time to fill out some paperwork. All students coming to the Counseling Center for the first time are asked to fill out about 15 minutes worth of paperwork, including a brief self-report measure. This measure helps us know a bit more about your stress and distress and it helps us schedule your appointment in a timely manner.

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Q. What happens at my first meeting with a counselor?

A. The clinician you meet with individually will try to get a sense with you about what is difficult for you currently, what brings you to the Counseling Center and what types of services you are looking for. He or she will also ask some questions about your background and family situation as well as some standard questions. During the first meeting, you and your counselor will develop a plan together for the type of treatment that will best fit your needs, preferences and resources.

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Q. What happens in individual therapy?

A. Therapy is a very low-tech experience. You and your therapist will decide together what the focus of counseling should be. You may also set some specific goals and/or a timeline and schedule of meetings. During individual sessions, you'll talk about what is important to you at that moment. Your therapist can help you put your feelings and thoughts into words. Over time, we hope, the two of you will build a trusting and collaborative relationship. 

Talking to someone who is not involved in any other part of your life and who is committed to helping you figure out what you want can help you understand things about your life and choices you may not have known before. Once you know yourself better and understand your situation more clearly, you are usually able to find creative solutions to problems and difficulties. Your therapist may have also direct advice, suggestions and information for you as you consider how to help yourself.

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Q. What happens in group therapy?

A. In group therapy, four to eight students meet once a week with one or two group therapists. Group therapy is an opportunity to get help and to help others at the same time. Group members often learn that they are not alone in their experiences or feelings. Group is a great opportunity to practice new ways of being with others, of asserting yourself, or of taking a new role in a social situation. It is also a chance to give and receive feedback about interpersonal patterns of which you may not be fully aware. All groups at the Counseling Center are confidential. Students typically meet with the group leader(s) first and are then asked to make a regular commitment to attending group for the duration of the semester.

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Q. Can I see a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center?

A. Students who are being seen in therapy at the Counseling Center may also see our consulting psychiatrist. Our psychiatrist meets with those students for an initial evaluation, and, if they elect to take medication, he or she will meet them regularly for follow-up appointments.

Our psychiatrist does not see Skidmore students who are not being seen in therapy at the Counseling Center. If a student is seeing a clinician in the community, that clinician can arrange for a referral to a local psychiatrist. If a student is interested in medication treatment solely, the Counseling Center can arrange for appropriate referrals to area psychiatrists.

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Q. Are there session limits at the Counseling Center?

A. Yes. Because of a 50% increase in demand for services over the last eight years, the Counseling Center instituted a limit of eight individual psychotherapy sessions per academic year per student, beginning Fall 2009. This session limit does not include emergency appointments, consultation appointments, group therapy appointments or psychiatric appointments. After reaching the session limit, students will be offered appropriate referrals for care in the community. Students  continue to be welcome to use emergency and crisis services as needed.

Session limits mean we can prioritize keeping the Counseling Center accessible to all students in a timely way.

Last year, in 2013-2014, 548 individual students sought help at the Counseling Center. A total of 33 students, or less than 6% of our total clinical population, reached the eight session limit that year. Our average wait time for an initial appointment was 6 business days.  If you have questions or concerns about this policy, please don't hesitate to contact Julia Routbort, Ph.D., the Director of the Counseling Center at jroutbor@skidmore.edu.

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Q. What if I get referred to the community?

A. If a student requires longer-term or more intensive psychotherapy or specialized care the Counseling Center cannot provide, we will make a referral to a clinician in the community who can provide that care. If you are referred to a clinician in the community, you will need to use your health insurance or pay out of pocket for that care.  We will make every effort to make sure that referral fits your clinical and practical needs. If the referral is not working for you, for any reason, you are encouraged to contact the clinician at the Counseling Center that you initially saw to discuss your options.

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Q. How does confidentiality work?

A. We take your confidentiality very seriously. We will not disclose any information about you, including the fact that you have come to the Counseling Center, to anyone without your permission. In rare and very specific cases, we may be ethically and/or legally obligated to break confidentiality. Exceptions to confidentiality include:  if we judge that you are at imminent risk for seriously hurting yourself or someone else, if you tell us about any current instance of child or elder abuse or if we are court-ordered by a judge to disclose records. If you have more questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to ask your clinician.

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