What to Expect from Counseling
What to Expect at Your Initial Consultation
- When you arrive at the Kean Counseling Center for your initial consultation, you will be greeted by a receptionist. You will first be asked to read and sign a statement explaining our policy of confidentiality, including any limitations and exceptions. You will then be asked to fill out a few short computer forms providing information about yourself. The forms include questions about the concerns that brought you to counseling and about symptoms and experiences you may be having.
- Once you have completed these forms, a counselor will meet with you. Your counselor will ask you questions about the concerns that you are facing, as well as other information that will help us to understand who you are and how we can best assist you.
- The primary goal of the initial consultation is to obtain information to help determine whether your needs can best be met by working with a counseling center counselor or, in some cases, if your needs would require a higher level of care via an outside clinician or agency. The amount and type of services provided by the counseling center are tailored to each student’s needs and are generally short-term focused.
Getting Started in Counseling
- Early visits with your counselor often focus on establishing goals for counseling. This is meant to be a collaborative process in which you and your counselor work together to develop the best possible plan for meeting your needs.
- The focus of your counseling sessions will be on you, your feelings and your concerns. There will likely be a balance between talking about present-day experiences and discussing the past situations that may have contributed to the problems you currently face. The exact points of emphasis for your counseling experience will depend on the concerns you bring into counseling, your counselor’s perspective and your expressed preferences. Your counselor will expect you to let him or her know what you think is most important to talk about.
Other Things to Expect
- When first talking about your concerns, you may experience nervousness, self-consciousness and/or some unpleasant feelings. If this happens, talk these concerns over with your counselor.
- Generally, your counselor will not give you advice or tell you what to do. We help you to help yourself by helping you clarify what you think, feel and value, and helping you generate alternate ways of viewing yourself and dealing with your concerns.
- You will be encouraged to be an active and committed partner in the counseling process. The more you share your thoughts and feelings about yourself, your concerns and the counseling process, the more beneficial counseling will be to you.
- Successful counseling can be expected to have ups and downs. Sometimes you may feel you are making rapid progress. At other times you may feel stuck. You can enhance the likelihood of a successful counseling experience by giving forethought to what you want to discuss each session and by applying things you have spoken about in counseling to your life.
What to Expect from Your Counselor
- Your counselor will provide a supportive place for you to express your thoughts and feelings and to work toward resolving your concerns.
- Your meetings with your counselor and what you discuss in session will be kept strictly confidential. Information regarding limits to confidentiality will be provided to you at your initial consultation and will be discussed as needed during the course of treatment.
- Your counselor will abide by the ethical principles of his or her professional organizations and/or licensing boards and will deliver services in a professional, legal and ethical manner.
- Your counselor is trained to listen in an objective, nonjudgmental way and will attend to your strengths and resources in addition to your concerns and challenges.
- Your counselor will work from a holistic perspective, which means that we consider all aspects of a person: diversity, emotions, behavior, health, relationships, attitudes and values.