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Skidmore College
Counseling Center

Frequently Asked Questions

 


Q. Where is the Counseling Center?

We are located on the first floor of Jonsson Tower. We are open from 9:00am – 12pm and from 1:00pm -5:00pm during Fall and Spring Semesters. During Summer Sessions we are open from 9:00am - 11:30am and from 12pm to 3pm. Your Skidmore ID will let you into Tower during office hours, even if you don’t live in the building

Q. Who is eligible for services?

Direct clinical services (i.e., individual consultation and therapy appointments, skill-building workshops, emergency services) at the Counseling Center are available to fully-enrolled, matriculating Skidmore College students. Referral assistance and third-party consultations regarding students of concern are available to all members of the broader Skidmore community.

Eligibility for summer services at the Counseling Center is dependent on being an actively matriculating Skidmore student who is on-campus in order to: (1) take a course, (2) participate in collaborative research, or (3) work at an on-campus job. Eligibility spans the time-frame during which the activity is taking place (e.g., students who are only enrolled in one summer session are eligible for services during that summer session, rather than for the entire summer).

Q. How do I make an appointment?

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 a few minutes’ worth of paperwork, including a brief self-report measure. This measure helps us know a bit more about your difficulties and it helps us schedule your appointment in a timely manner.

Q. What happens in individual consultation with a clinician?

 In your appointment, the clinician will work with you to develop a clear understanding of the immediate concerns that have led you to seek support, will help prioritize your goals, and will help you develop some concrete strategies for addressing the most pressing of these. By the end of the session, you will have some tools and strategies to put into action that help reduce your distress and shift your presenting concern in a positive way.

If your concern is ongoing or part of a larger set of difficulties, you and your clinician will discuss resources that might be helpful beyond the initial consultation appointment. These might include one of the skill-building workshops offered at the Center, open-ended treatment with a local mental health clinician, or returning to the Counseling Center for additional “one-at-a-time” consultation appointments as needed. We might also encourage you to use other campus resources, like the Skidmore Mindfulness program, wellness coaching and peer tutoring.

Q. What happens in skill-building workshops?

In our skill-building workshops, four to six students meet once a week for three weeks with one of the Center’s staff clinicians. The goal of the workshops is to help students better understand the concerns that led them to seek support, and to learn and practice in-session some tools for better managing these concerns. The workshops differ from group therapy in that they are less about exploration and more focused on helping student develop concrete strategies for reducing their distress and coping more positively with their concerns. No pre-screening is required.

Q. Are there session limits at the Counseling Center?

Yes.  The Counseling Center offers up to eight individual consultation sessions per academic year per student. This session limit does not include emergency appointments, third-party consultation appointments, or skill-building workshop sessions. Students who are referred to community therapists continue to be welcome to use emergency services and third-party consultations as needed.

Last year, over 600 individual students sought help at the Counseling Center. A small portion of these students, less than 10%, reached the eight session limit. Having a session limit and working in a “one-at-a-time” consultation model helps us to provide services to as many students as possible while also maintaining a reasonable wait time for appointments. Our average wait time for an initial appointment is typically just 3 business days. 

Q. What if I get referred to the community?

If a student requires ongoing, longer-term, or more specialized care than the Counseling Center can provide, we will offer referrals to clinicians 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 ensure 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 Counseling Center to discuss other referral options.

Q. How does confidentiality work?

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. Please note that we contract with an outside agency to provide a portion of our after-hours on-call coverage. For continuity of care and to help ensure appropriate management of potential emergency situations, we exchange risk-related information with this agency, as necessary. Their records are also confidential.  If you have more questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to ask your clinician.

Q. What emergency services are available at the Counseling Center?

Same-day appointments are always available for any student who is experiencing a risk-related emergency. Situations that would qualify for an emergency appointment include: (1) concern about one’s own safety due to suicidal thoughts or threats from others; (2) having thoughts of seriously harming another person; (3) hearing or seeing things that others are not (that is, difficulty with reality testing); or, (4) experiencing a recent physical or sexual assault. If you are experiencing one of these situations, please come to the Counseling Center immediately and ask for an emergency appointment. If the office is closed, please proceed downstairs to Campus Safety.

The Counseling Center also has after-hours emergency services available by telephone anytime the office is closed, including during the lunch hour. Students can connect with these services by calling the Counseling Center main number (518-580-5555) and following the prompts to access the appropriate resource. Students who are concerned about the safety of a peer are also welcome to use our on-call services or to request a same-day emergency consultation.

Please note that all fully enrolled students are eligible to use emergency services while they are attending classes. This includes students who are receiving treatment from private clinicians. Students who are away from campus (e.g., on leave, on semester break, or studying abroad) should call 9-1-1 or go to their local emergency room for assistance.

Q. I'm worried about a friend - where do I go for help?

The Counseling Center is available for third-party consultation to anyone (faculty, staff, family member, or student) who is concerned about the safety or well-being of a Skidmore student. To schedule an in-person third-party consultation, please call or stop by the office. If the situation is a safety-related emergency, please indicate this so we can respond appropriately. We also provide consultations by telephone for concerned parties who are away from campus. Simply call the Counseling Center main number (518-580-5555) to request a telephone consultation. Finally, after-hours consultations are available for safety-related emergencies by calling the Counseling Center main number and following the prompts.