Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center supports the mission of Union College by encouraging the intellectual, emotional, and social development of students by providing comprehensive mental health services focused on personal growth and decision making, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, relationship-building, and problem resolution. We are committed to supporting diversity, social justice, and treating all members of the Union community with respect, recognizing a special duty to those of underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. The counseling center is located on the second floor of the Wicker Wellness Center.

In keeping with New York State guidelines, sessions will be conducted exclusively via telehealth for the Fall 2020 term. To schedule a consultation appointment, please call (518) 388-6161 to speak with an administrative assistant or email counseling@union.edu. Consultation hours are currently Monday-Friday from 1-4 PM. Regular therapy sessions are available Monday-Friday between 9-5 PM. For students who currently reside outside of New York State, please note that some states have laws that impact teletherapy. If your state is one of them, we will work with you to get established with another provider. Please visit this page or call the counseling center for information on how to find a counselor in your area. Information will be routinely updated on this page.

  • Latest Updates from the Counseling Center Regarding COVID-19

    Latest Updates from the Counseling Center

    Union College is shifting to remote learning for the start of the Spring 2020 term due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The Counseling Center is responding to these changes by updating our services. We will be posting information for the Union College community on this page as we develop our responses and additional resources for students, staff, and faculty. Please check back to this page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to the situation.

    Updates for Students (as of April 8th, 2020)

    FOR STUDENTS STAYING ON CAMPUS

    Counseling Appointments (therapy and case management)

    • We are providing telephone consultations to any students who have received permission to remain on campus or who remain in New York State. Please contact us at (518) 388-6161 to schedule an appointment or email counseling@union.edu

    FOR STUDENTS LEAVING CAMPUS

    Counseling Services

    • The Counseling Center is developing the ability to provide tele-health services (video-based services) that are aligned with the regulations and ethical guidelines pertaining to psychological practice in New York State. More information on those services will be forthcoming.
    • Currently, we recommend you also investigate psychological services in your local community. Learn more about how to find a therapist in your area.

    IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

    As always, please call Campus Safety at (518) 388-6911 in an emergency if you are on campus, or call 911 if you are in the United States off-campus.

    Finding a Therapist in Your Home Community

    For more information on how to connect with a therapist in your home community, please visit this page. You may also contact the Counseling Center for support at (518) 388-6161.

    *Adapted from University of Massachusetts at Amherst with permission.

  • COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

    Dear Campus Community -

    We recognize that the recent changes in campus operations, along with media coverage of Covid-19, can be overwhelming. The Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center staff encourages you to remain calm, support one another, and reach out for support as needed. Below is a link from the American Psychological Association, highlighting ways to digest the extensive media coverage.

    https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics

    HELPFUL VIDEOS

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVlLbxLe1Eo51f-BqC3u48AyikKun3mcT

    https://youtu.be/_13Au6I4s40

    https://youtu.be/WR_WV-VYOQg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1q1hPLGq24&feature=youtu.be

    MEDITATION

    Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, and the Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that they have teamed up to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis facing the state and the nation. New Yorkers across the state can access a specially curated collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety. Available at www.headspace.com/ny.

    FREE ONLINE COURSE

    This free online course offered through Yale is called "The Science of Well-Being" and focuses on learning about and putting into practice the science of happiness, including meditation and gratitude.

    MANAGING CONCERNS AND EMOTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

    News reports about the coronavirus, together with concerns that the virus could become more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people worry. Learn more about taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty here.

    Take a look at the corona virus anxiety workbook for tips on how to build resilience during difficult times.

    Here are some additional tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your worry, and maintain a positive outlook.

    TIPS

    • Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
    • Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.
    • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
    • Re-create your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected with others. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. Attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal wake up and bedtime; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family
    • Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as the Wicker Wellness Health Services, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.
    • Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
    • Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center or the Dean of Students Office. Your campus community is here to help!
    • Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become less compassionate and more fear-based.

    RECOGNIZING DISTRESS - A SELF-CHECK LIST

    • Increased worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
    • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
    • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
    • Sleep difficulties
    • Excessive crying
    • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
    • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
    • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
    • Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality

    SEEKING SUPPORT

    It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainty and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in your usual healthy coping strategies (e.g. moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation, or other mindfulness activities; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc.). Check out how to understand grief you may be experiencing during this time.

    If your distress continues or gets to the point that you are having difficulty managing your day-to-day activities, then seek professional help. The Counseling Center is continuing to offer therapy sessions to all students who remain in New York State and can assist in referrals for students out of state. To make an appointment, call (518) 388-6161. Additionally, NYS has a hotline for those in distress to connect with a mental health volunteer.

    INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

    Free Guide To Living With Worry And Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty

    https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/free-guide-to-living-with-worry-and-anxiety-amidst-global-uncertainty/

    International Association for Suicide Prevention

    https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

    National Database of Psychotherapists & Psychiatrists in China who can provide services both in person and on-line.

    https://www.jiandanxinli.com/

    Free psychological support provided by Beijing Normal University

    https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/zCwSKzT6JYcdjU_z3lwkGg

    *Adapted from University of Massachusetts at Amherst with permission.

  • Walk-In Therapy Services
    • Monday-Friday from 1-4 p.m - solution-focused telephone consultation appointments are available.
    • Please call (518) 388-6161 to speak with an administrative assistant or email counseling@union.edu.
    • If you are an established client, please note you will be seeing the on-call clinician who will likely not be your regular clinician.

    For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (518) 388-6161.

  • Counseling Services
    • Individual counseling
    • Group counseling
    • Couples counseling
    • Drug/alcohol and health education
    • Coping skills education
    • Consultation for students, staff and faculty on how to recognize and respond to students who may be at serious risk
    • Consultation/individual counseling for any undergraduate student who is participating in a conduct hearing on campus
  • Highlighted Services

    Therapy Dogs

    You can find Eve, Mally or Margo at the Wicker Wellness Center on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday is our dog-free day. They all love it when visitors come to play with them and give them attention! You can sign them out for a walk too! For more information, on our Therapy Dog Program, contact Anne Connors.

    Psychiatric Medication Management

    We collaborate with Health Services in order to provide medication management to students.

    • A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Wicker Health Services is available on Monday and Thursday afternoons to provide medication management.
    • Students being treated for ADHD who are requesting to have Health Services collaborate with their home prescriber are required to have a current letter of testimony from that provider. The form can be accessed here. This document must be completed and returned to the Wicker Wellness Center before we can assume prescribing responsibility. The standard of practice that we follow is to work collaboratively with the prescribing provider in order to bridge the prescribing responsibilities for students while they are at school.

    **A No-Show fee of $30 for an intake or follow-up visit will be billed to students' tuition for any appointment not canceled at least 24 hours in advance (due to high demand of services).**

    Relaxation Room

    Do you need a breather from the fast pace of everyday life? Perhaps you need a quiet spot for meditation, reflection, or just to relax. If so, call us to reserve our relaxation room.

  • Additional Wellness Resources
  • After Hours Crisis
    • During the academic year, when the residence halls are open, a staff member is available evenings and weekends as the counselor-on-call to provide crisis support.
    • Please call your R.A., R.D. or contact campus safety (518) 388-6911 to access these services.
  • Off Campus Medical Emergency Resources

    Ellis Hospital ER, Nott Street: (518) 243-4121

    Ellis Health Center ER, McClellan Street: (518) 382-2222

    Albany Med EmUrgentCare: (518) 264-9000

    Urgent Care, Community Care Physicians, Niskayuna, NY: (518) 713-5341

    Urgent Care, Surya Immediate Care, Latham, NY: (518) 867-8080

  • Services Not Provided

    Due to resources and scope of practice issues, the following are services not provided by the counseling center.