Q: How is counseling different from just talking to friends, family, or other people in my life?
A: The counselor is a trained professional who has spent several years learning how to help students explore and find ways to resolve any number of issues discussed in therapy. Things discussed within the counseling relationship are kept confidential, whereas, this is not always the case when talking with friends or family. The counselor will respect your privacy and is bound by ethical standards and legal statutes. Unless the student is an immediate danger to themselves or others, their conversations with a counselor will remain private. Meet our staff!
Q: How many times can I see a counselor and what does it cost?
A: Undergraduate Students: All undergraduate students receive 10 free individual sessions per academic year, but more than 10 sessions are available regardless of your ability to pay. Please talk with your counselor about options for continuing therapy beyond your 10th visit. Please note, no student is ever denied needed counseling due to financial constraints. Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Students: All graduate and postbaccalaureate students can receive an initial consultation with a counselor in the Counseling Services at no charge for an appropriate referral to community mental health providers.
Q: What is the difference between a counseling group and a workshop?
A: Counseling groups generally meet once a week for at least 4 weeks in a row. A group intake appointment is required before attending groups. Workshops are more casual, introduce new information, and can be a one-time session. No intakes are required for attending workshops, just show up! All groups and workshops are free of charge and are facilitated by 1-2 counseling staff members. View our Fall 2018 Counseling Groups and Workshops.
Q: How do I make/cancel an appointment?
A: Please call the BMC Health Center at 610-526-7360 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In order to avoid a $20 late cancellation fee, students must call the receptionist 24 hours prior to their scheduled appointment. When making an appointment, make sure to specify what kind of appointment you are requesting:
- an individual appointment for the first time in the academic year (45 minutes)
- a group intake appointment to sign up for a specific group (25 minutes)
- a follow-up individual appointment (regular: 45 minutes or brief: 25 minutes)
- an initial medication evaluation for the first time in the academic year (45 minutes)
- a follow-up medication appointment (15 minutes)
- a drug & alcohol evaluation (45 minutes)
- a student leader consult (25 minutes)
Q: Will anyone be told that I have come in for counseling? What if my parents want to talk to you?
A: Student confidentiality is strictly maintained. Each of the counseling services staff is bound by legal and ethical guidelines to protect your privacy. It is your decision whether or not to discuss using the service with family, friends, or college personnel. Should you decide to have your counselor talk with your parent (or former therapist, your dean, etc.) they will do so only after receiving your expressed consent. Should your parent (or anyone) call to speak with your counselor without your expressed consent, our staff will neither confirm nor deny that you are receiving services here.
However, if a student is an immediate danger to themselves or others, the counselor is obliged to seek a higher level of care to safeguard those involved. This may include contacting family members or others to support the student in remaining safe. If such a situation arises, the counselor will make every effort to fully discuss the process with the student before taking any action and will limit any disclosures to what is ethically and legally necessary.
Q: Is seeking counseling a sign of weakness?
A: Recognizing that you have a problem, and taking advantage of resources to resolve it, is a sign of health, not weakness. Counseling can be a powerful tool that helps you understand yourself and your situation better, so that you can become freer and more self-sufficient.