Aug 292002
 
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

The University Counseling Center wants to make sure students always have someone to talk to.

The University Counseling Center offers a variety of services to students. Academic support, skills training, focused workshops and individual counseling are among the services provided. Student fees support all counseling center services.

“The center’s goal is to contribute to the overall educational mission of the university by facilitating the academic, emotional and personal development of students,” said Charles Davidshofer, director of the University Counseling Center.

Other organizations on campus also have links to the counseling center.

“We do a network with other services on campus to better serve students,” said Cindy Swindell, psychologist with the center.

The Office of International Programs, Residence Hall Association, Hartshorn Health Center and the Student Recreation Center are among the programs on campus that work directly with the University Counseling Center to benefit students.

“We specifically do shared programming with members of wellness programs such as Hartshorn and the Rec Center,” said Davidshofer. These joint programs are designed to help students with eating disorders, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Though there is a correlation between these student services, information about a student or his situation cannot be shared without written consent from the student.

“Confidentiality is a legal and ethical principle and is very important to our work,” said Swindell. Only in rare cases, when a person is considered dangerous to himself or others is any information passed between these agencies.

“It’s a very serious judgment call, but it’s designed to protect confidentiality,” said Swindell.

The University Counseling Center offers many group-oriented services. Self-esteem, depression, assertiveness, and anger management workshops are offered once a semester. There are also themed groups such as “Loss and Transition,” “Exercise and Depression” and “Stop Thinking – Start Living” that meet regularly throughout the semester. However, individual counseling is generally more popular among students.

“In our culture, people are more comfortable to start with individual counseling,” Swindell said.

Group sessions have a maximum of eight members and usually fill up in early October.

Counseling services are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to students registered for at least six credit hours. The Counseling Center offices, located in Clark C-36, take drop-in or scheduled appointments Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours or on weekends and university holidays an on-call counselor can be reached by calling the campus emergency hotline at 491-7111.

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