Counseling Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What is counseling?
What should I expect from counseling?
How do I make an appointment?
How much will it cost?
How long do I have to wait to get an appointment?
What are my responsibilities in counseling?
What are some difficulties I may experience in counseling?
I am a professor concerned about a student. How do I make a referral to you?
Can my parents, teachers, administrators, and friends get information about whether I'm in counseling, and what's happening in my sessions?
Do I have to be "crazy" to seek counseling?
I have a friend who I think would benefit from counseling. How can I suggest this in the least offensive way?

What is counseling?

Counseling is an interpersonal relationship in which the counselor helps a client to explore the way he/she thinks, how he/she feels, and what he/she does, in order to better understand and solve some problem. The staff at the FLC Counseling Center have extensive training in mental health, psychology, and human behavior. They have a broad range of experience in developing "helping relationships" and working with many different situations. Check out the Meet the Counselors section to learn more about the specialties of each counselor.

What should I expect from counseling?

You can expect to meet with a counselor who is interested in listening to your concerns, and who wants to help you develop a better understanding of these concerns so that you can deal with them more effectively. Counseling provides an opportunity for individuals to learn to make better decisions, improve personal skills, develop increased confidence, overcome blocks to personal effectiveness, and acquire a keener awareness and appreciation of their needs and the needs of others. The counseling process involves the counselor and client exploring together places or situations where the client feels stuck, dissatisfied, or is experiencing pain. Counselors are not able to solve problems directly for clients, but will work with you to seek out new processes which can improve the client’s situation.

You will be asked to come in 15 minutes before your first appointment begins to fill out the appropriate paperwork. At your first appointment, you will be given an Initial Consultation Form, a Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS) Form, and a Mandatory Disclosure Form and to complete before you see a counselor. Your first meeting with a counselor is usually an intake session.

An intake session is an hour long meeting with a counselor to ascertain the needs of the client and find out what type of services they want and need. It is not counted as one of the individual therapy sessions. During the intake session the client will get information on the process, fee billing, limits of confidentiality, cancellation policies, and the possibility of referral into the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about the possible effects of counseling or any services you are receiving, you are encouraged to discuss them with a Counseling Center staff member.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by phone (970-247-7212) or in person during regular Counseling Center hours (8 a.m. - 12 noon and 1 -5 p.m.). Students are responsible for making their own appointments. Faculty, staff or parents may call or come in with a student if they need support.

How much will it cost?

All registered (8 credits or more) FLC students are entitled to an intake session and 4 free counseling sessions per academic year. If additional sessions are necessary, they are charged at the rate of $35 per 50 minute session, or $18 for a 30 minute session.

The number of counseling sessions students taking less than 8 credit hours are entitled to is prorated. For instance, a student taking 6 hours would be figured on 6/8 of the 4 sessions, which would be 3 counseling sessions.

For more information, please review the Fees and Billing section of the Staff Credentials and Services Offered sheet, which is given to clients at their first appointment.

How long do I have to wait to get an appointment?

If you are experiencing a crisis or mental health emergency, the first available therapist will see you. Otherwise, please make an appointment, and you will most likely be seen within a week.

What are my responsibilities in counseling?

In order to make the best out of counseling, your active participation in the counseling process is essential. Fulfilling the following responsibilities is important in helping us to assist the students who seek our services.

  • Be here, be on time. Arriving promptly for your sessions will allow you to make the most of the available time. If you know that you will be late for an appointment, please notify us. Also, it is your responsibility to keep scheduled appointments. If you need to cancel an appointment, please call the Counseling Center as soon as possible. If you decide to discontinue counseling, please inform your counselor or call the office and notify the receptionist of your decision. See our No-Show Policy for more information.
  • Participate & communicate. We encourage you to be very open and honest with your counselor regarding your perceptions, opinions, and your sense of what is helpful and what is not helpful in counseling.
  • Do your “homework.” If you agree to attempt an intervention or homework assignment between sessions, please follow through with it. If you are unsure or uneasy about an assignment, communicate this to your counselor so that the two of you may make an adjustment or try something that feels more appropriate at that time.
  • Be open to new things. Most counseling will require you to try something new or will appear as a "different approach." Your counselor will expect you to be willing to experiment and try things out without jumping to conclusions.

What are some difficulties I may experience in counseling?

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of counseling is your decision to see a counselor for the first time. Deciding to go to counseling is the first step in change, and once this decision has been made, the process of changing the way you think, feel, and/or behave begins. The process of change usually entails trying new ways of doing things, which can sometimes make people anxious or uncomfortable. You may also come to realize that things you once thought of only in a positive or negative way make look a bit differently to you through the course of counseling. Also, remember that as you make personal changes, changes may also occur in your relationships with others. You may experience uncomfortable feelings or frustration around the changes you may make, but with commitment and practice, you will find that you can stretch your limits and find new and exciting aspects of yourself.

I am a professor concerned about a student. How do I make a referral to you?

Listen carefully to the student as they share their concerns and show interest, but avoid offering advice. Express your concerns and specific observations of behaviors that yield concern, and relay that you understand the student might be going through a hard time, and that you would like to help. Mention that the student may benefit from talking with a counselor, and assure the student that seeking counseling is a sign of strength and maturity. Share your knowledge about the Counseling Center, perhaps citing cases of other students who have benefited from counseling. If you do not have concerns of suicide for the student, provide him/her with the name, location, and phone number for the Counseling Center. Offer to call and make the appointment if the student would like. Respect the student’s right to reject the referral suggestion, or to think about it UNLESS there is talk of suicide. If there is talk of suicide, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY by calling the Counseling Center (7212), or campus police (9-911) and letting them knowing it is a crisis situation.

For more information, please review the What Can We Do? Shared Responsibility: Recognizing and Helping Students in Distress: A Guide for Faculty, Staff, and Students

Can my parents, teachers, administrators, and friends get information about whether I'm in counseling, and what's happening in my sessions?

The only way that others can find out that you are receiving counseling at the Counseling Center or what is happening in your sessions is with your written permission. Specifically, this means that all personal issues that are discussed in a counseling session are confidential, except in those unusual circumstances in which not to do so would result in clear danger to the person or to others. A counselor may discuss a difficult case with other Counseling Center counselors, the consulting psychiatrist or the Health Center director if they need feedback on how to help a client (this permission to consult is included in the Mandatory Disclosure form). However, no information, including whether the student has made or kept an appointment, is routinely released to anyone without the student's permission. If a referral is received from a faculty or staff member, the counselor may discuss with the client whether the referring person should know of the visit. Information requested from the Counseling Center regarding any student will be provided with the written permission of the student. In cases where a student is unable to provide written permission (for example, student is in hospital) verbal permission to contact a professor, parent, or RD may be taken on the phone. If a student requests that a counselor contact his/her parents, faculty or self by e-mail, he/she needs to be informed verbally or in writing that e-mail is not a totally secure and confidential means of communication

Do I have to be "crazy" to seek counseling?

No. You do not need to be “crazy” or in significant distress to seek counseling.

Students seek counseling for support on everyday issues and concerns such as stress, roommate difficulties, relationship problems, as well as for significant challenges such as serious depression and the loss of loved ones. Everybody needs someone to talk to once in a while and, if you believe that meeting with someone who is not involved in your daily life may be beneficial to you, then counseling may be right for you.

Sometimes our beliefs or expectations of ourselves or of counseling result in a delay in seeking help until situations become serious, or we are already in crisis. While no issue is too big or small, many people tell us that they wish they had come to counseling sooner. Save yourself some avoidable distress and seek counseling earlier rather than later!

I have a friend who I think would benefit from counseling. How can I suggest this in the least offensive way?

Telling friends they need counseling should be carefully planned out. It’s not a good idea to shout it at a friend who is frustrating you with their problems or behaviors. Instead, pay close attention to how you phrase this advice. Begin by telling your friend how much you care for them, and that you are concerned for their well-being. Explain to your friend that you don’t mind lending your support and listening to their troubles, but that you are not a professional and you believe you may not be advising them well enough, or that your assistance is limited. Offer to be with your friend while they make an appointment, or to walk them to the appointment. Stress that you have suggested they seek counseling because you would like to see them feeling more happy and content than is currently the case.

For more information, see the article “How Do You Tell a Friend to Seek Counseling?

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