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Skidmore College
Counseling Center

Fern in a water garden
Counseling Center Core Principles

We believe these principles are at the heart of every effective clinical interaction. Individually and collectively, we strive to make sure that we adhere to these principles. They shape our interventions as clinicians, our interactions as colleagues and our liaison, consultation and outreach to the larger Skidmore College Community.


Students who come to the Counseling Center are typically in some kind of emotional pain, distress or confusion. We strive to provide an empathic, nonjudgmental environment where we listen to students carefully and without preconceptions and where students will feel heard and validated.


Effective mental health interventions always involve good collaboration between clinicians and clients. We strive to insure that our clients are equal participants in their therapy, that they understand their treatment plan and that the relationships between students and Counseling Center staff are open and respectful. We also strive to maintain effective teamwork within the Counseling Center and to collaborate effectively across campus with other student services, with faculty and with parents.


As clinicians, we take our responsibility to provide expert care seriously. We take responsibility for our continued growth as professionals. We are open about our professional credentials and training and we use consultation services as needed and appropriate.

Respect for Autonomy

We respect that the students coming to the Counseling Center are emerging adults, who are taking responsibility for seeking help to solve their problems. We believe that treatment is there to help students provide their own answers and solutions to their questions and problems. We encourage students to work with us to meet their goals and to assume responsibility for their current lives and future direction.

Sensitivity to Difference

We understand, appreciate and celebrate the differences that exist between individuals at Skidmore. We are committed to insuring that the Counseling Center is a welcoming and safe space for all.


Our staff recognizes the importance of privacy and safety as the basis of effective therapy. We take student confidentiality very seriously. We do not share information about students seeking help at the Counseling Center with anyone without written permission. Exceptions to confidentiality are rare and specifically mandated by law and professional ethics. We make sure to review confidentiality during our first contacts with all students and are available to answer any questions about confidentiality as they may arise in the course of treatment.