As your son or daughter moves through their college years, you will inevitably witness physical, emotional, intellectual, social and even spiritual changes. Though sometimes difficult to understand or appreciate, these developmental changes are an essential part of the transition into adulthood. In many instances a young person requires assistance in understanding or working through these life changes. That is where our counselors can be of help.
Students can schedule an appointment with a counselor in one of two ways.
At the first scheduled appointment, the student and the counselor discuss the presenting concerns or issues and determine a plan of action. If the student's presenting concerns meet the parameters of a short-term counseling model, they establish a relationship with a counselor in our office. If it is determined that the student would be best served by an outside expert or particular resource, the student is assisted by the counselor in locating a professional in the local community.
Counselors work with students on a short term basis. Students will discuss their needs with the counselor and, together, they will discuss the length of counseling. Ensuring the safety and well-being of a student is at the core of how and how long we work with students.
Knowing how or when to intervene when your son or daughter is experiencing distress is a difficult decision. Parents are welcome to call the Counseling and Student Development Center (570.577.1604) for guidance on ways to assist your son or daughter. Depending on the situation, office assistants will connect you with a counselor immediately or will have a counselor return your call as soon as possible. It is important to remember that professional counselors are ethically and legally bound by confidentiality laws and cannot reveal information to you [parents] without appropriate releases signed by the student.
While we welcome questions from parents, we cannot share confidential information unless appropriate releases have been signed. We appreciate the fact that parents often worry about children who are away at college and want to know how counseling is progressing. However, in order for counseling to be effective, student must believe that — unless they themselves choose otherwise — what they talk about in session will be held in confidence. Moreover, Pennsylvania state law and professional ethical standards require that students' discussions with counselors be held in confidence. The exceptions to this rule are those situations in which the counselor believes the student is a danger to him or herself or to others or there is evidence of current child abuse. If you believe that it is important to talk with your student's counselor, please ask your son or daughter if they would be willing to sign a release permitting the counselor to consult with you. You may also ask to talk with another member of our counseling staff in order to convey information to your student's counselor - but we will need to inform the student that you have been in contact with our office.
When the University is in session, the Counseling and Student Development Center is available after hours in the case of a mental health emergency 570.577.1604. During regular office hours (year round), you will be connected with our office staff. When the office is closed, you will be connected with our answering service that will take the necessary information and contact the counselor from our office who is on call.
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