Counseling FAQs

Q: What is counseling?

Counseling is the development of a professional relationship between you and a therapist to help you with personal problems. Counseling relationships are unlike friendships or medical doctor-patient relationships. Counselors serve as skilled listeners who help you to clarify issues and uncover/explore your feelings, which can help you deal more effectively with your problems.

Q: What kind of counseling services does the Wicker Wellness Center provide?

To utilize the counseling services you must schedule an appointment.  Visit our Services page to see the full list of services we offer. 

Q: Who can receive counseling at the Wicker Wellness Center?

As stated in our Policies, only currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible for counseling services. We recommend faculty and staff visit Union College’s Employee Assistance Plan to learn about services offered by The Wellness Corporation.

Q: When should I use your services?

The college years are known to be extremely stressful for many students due to both academic and social pressures. At times students may find that the stress becomes unmanageable and interferes with learning. Students seek assistance from the Counseling Center for a variety of reasons, including: academic issues, anxiety, depression, grief, loneliness/isolation, relationship issues, stress, and substance use or abuse, among others.

If you have a problem you need help with, do not hesitate to contact us. There is no problem too big or too small for us. It is a sign of health to recognize when you need assistance, and to ask for help.

Q: Isn't it better for me to try to solve problems on my own?

You will still be solving your own problems. A counselor helps you clarify issues so you can more effectively resolve the issues yourself. The goal of counseling is to help you develop the skills needed for you to become more self-sufficient in the future.

Q: What if I am concerned about another person?

There may be instances when you are concerned about someone else’s well-being. For example, someone may express difficulty with alcohol, drugs, or stress, or they may exhibit unusual or disruptive behavior. We encourage you to contact the Wicker Wellness Center whenever you are concerned about another person and are unsure as to how to help.

**You should always contact us if another student mentions suicide, whether directly to you or in an indirect manner (Facebook, email, etc.).**

Q: Is counseling confidential?

Absolutely. Confidentiality is respected by all staff members at the Wicker Wellness Center. Both law and the ethics of professional practice require that information discussed during counseling sessions be kept strictly confidential. Confidential information about a student’s visit to the Wicker Wellness Center cannot be released without the student's written consent. Please read our Confidentiality Policy for more information.

Q: Will counseling show up on my transcript or any official record?

Absolutely not. Visits to the Counseling Center are confidential and will not be revealed to the Registrar or other Union College offices. Counseling Center staff may confer with one another as needed to provide the best possible services.

Q: Can someone request a particular counselor?

Aside from mandated visits referred by the Dean of Students, we are unable to accommodate requests for specific counselors.

Q: Can someone receive counseling by email, instant messaging, Facebook, etc.?

Due to limitations (lack of intonation, non-verbal communication, etc.), the Counseling Center does not offer counseling in this manner. Email is only used to schedule or reschedule appointments.

Q: How long will I have to wait to get an appointment?

The Wicker Wellness Center is committed to seeing students as quickly as possible. We do our best to schedule appointments within one to two weeks of the initial request.  (We thank you in advance for understanding that during our peak stress times it may take a little longer).

**Students experiencing a crisis must let the receptionist know this in order to be seen right away.**

Q:  How long are counseling appointments?

Counseling appointments usually range from 45 minutes to one hour. They’re often scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on the situation. (We thank you in advance for understanding that during our busier times, we may need to schedule on a bi-weekly basis).

Q: How long does counseling last?

Due to increased demand for counseling services over the past few years, and to be able to accommodate all students seeking services, starting Winter Term 2014, the Counseling Center will be implementing session limits. All undergraduate students of Union College will be entitled to a maximum of 15 sessions per academic year. Scheduling will depend on clinical need and availability with your individual clinician. Due to the need to implement this change mid-year, we are hopeful we will be able to provide a maximum of 12 sessions for the remainder of this academic year.

Most issues that arise during the college years are conducive to a short-term therapeutic model. At Union College, over 80 percent of individuals seeking services from the Counseling Center have been seen for less than 15 sessions per year. For those who may need services above and beyond this, we will happily work with you to arrange for appropriate care.

Q: What are the hours and location for counseling services?

Appointments can be made Monday-Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. The Counseling Center is located upstairs in the Wicker Wellness Center (next to the Alumni Gym).

Q: What if I need assistance after hours?

The Wicker Wellness Center provides 24/7 on-call coverage. If you are in crisis, please contact Campus Safety and ask to speak with the on-call counselor.

Q: Is there a fee?

Appointments are free of charge. Please visit our Policies page to learn about our No-Show fees.

Q: How can I get more information?

Call 388-6161 during regular office hours and we will be happy to answer your questions and/or schedule an appointment.