Frequently Asked Questions
Over the last few years, there has been a steady demand from students in requesting counseling and/or psychotherapy services at the College of Saint Rose. Upwards of 300 students use the counseling center, in some capacity, each year, which represents approximately 10 – 15% of the entire student body.
Research has shown that counseling services are effective in combating student attrition and directly contribute to student retention. Students who are considering dropping out of school, contemplating a transfer to another institution of higher education, or worrying about possible academic failure may find counseling to be a useful resource during their decision-making. Last year, 88% of our clients stated that counseling helped them to stay in school.
The information contained in these pages explains when counseling might be beneficial to a student and how to make a referral to the Counseling Center and/or The Campus Assessment Response and Intervention Team (CARIT) . The concept of professional confidentiality and information about other types of referral and consultation services are also discussed. The purpose of these resources is to assist faculty members in their efforts to enhance the educational and personal achievements of Saint Rose students, by providing some information about situations or circumstances in which The Counseling Center might lend assistance.
Students often experience significant changes in their lives during the course of their education. Such changes, at times, can become stressful enough to pose serious threats to the student’s academic progress. The stress of academic, social, family, work, and/or financial concerns are often inter-related and may result in a student turning to you for help. There is ample evidence that staff and faculty members are often in a position to identify students who are troubled. Timely expressions of interest and concern may be a critical factor in helping students solve problems that are interfering with academic survival and success.
The Counseling Center provides in-person or phone consultation services for students, staff, professionals, and faculty. These consultations might focus on concerns about a specific student; behavioral problems which occur in the classroom, or other issues that may have important psychological dimensions. Counseling Center staff will respond to requests for consultation as soon as daily schedules permit. When you contact the office (518-454-5200), please clarify if you think the situation is an emergency requiring immediate attention. Any of the professional staff members are available to assist you.
Aside from the signs or symptoms that may suggest the need for counseling, there are other guidelines which may help a staff or faculty member define the limits of their involvement with a particular student’s problem. A referral is usually indicated in the following situations:
- A student presents a problem or requests information which is outside your range of knowledge.
- You have offered supportive counseling to the student previously, but problems persist and appear to be beyond your scope of expertise.
- You feel personality differences that cannot be resolved between you and the student will interfere with your helping the student.
- The problem is personal, and you know the student on other than a professional basis (friend, neighbor, relative, etc.).
- A student is reluctant to discuss a problem with you for some reason.
- You do not believe your informal counseling with the student has been effective.
When you have determined that a student might benefit from counseling, it is usually best to speak directly to the student in a straight-forward fashion that will show your concern for their welfare. Make it clear that this recommendation represents your best judgment based on your observations of the student’s behavior. Be specific regarding the behaviors that have raised your concerns, and avoid making generalizations about the individual.
Except in emergencies, the option must be left open for the student to accept or refuse counseling. If the student is skeptical or reluctant for whatever reason, simply express your acceptance of those feelings so that your own relationship with the student is not jeopardized. Give the student an opportunity to consider other alternatives by suggesting that they might need some time to think it over. If the student emphatically says “no,” then respect that decision, and again leave the situation open for possible reconsideration at a later time.
If the student agrees to the referral, you and the student may call the Counseling Center to make an appointment. The student’s first meeting at the Center will typically be a brief screening in which the student and therapist make decisions about the type of help needed. Finally, you should follow up with the student at a later date to show your continued interest even if he or she did not accept your attempted referral.
In cases where the student refuses an attempted referral and you continue to be concerned about their welfare, feel free to call the Counseling Center for a consultation.
In emergency situations involving students who are unwilling or unable to seek help on their own, staff and faculty members may call Campus Security (518) 454-5187.
It is important for members of the college community to understand that the interviews conducted by therapists are confidential in nature. Information about those interviews, or the content of such interviews, cannot be released except:
- upon a student’s written request
- in circumstances which would result in clear danger to the individual or others
- or as may be required by law
The Counseling Center adheres very strictly to this policy.
If a staff or faculty member is interested in a student’s contact with the Counseling Center, information can best be obtained directly from the student. It should be noted that students are not bound by the same promises of confidentiality that therapists are obliged to keep.