HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE A COUNSELOR?
To see a counselor, call 973-408-3398, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to our office in Holloway Annex (it’s adjacent to the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons). You will connect with our Office Manager and complete a few short forms and then be scheduled to meet with a counselor.
WHERE IS THE CENTER LOCATED ON CAMPUS?
We are located on the South end of Drew University’s campus in Holloway Annex 21 in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN COUNSELING/THERAPY?
- When you first reach out to the counseling center, you will be set up for either a brief screening appointment (15 or 20 minutes) or a full intake (45 or 50-minute appointment) depending on scheduling and availability. During that meeting, you and the intake therapist will discuss treatment options.
- If all you needed was a single appointment with a clinician to problem-solve or get a referral, you will be done.
- If you need more than one visit, the intake therapist will present your case to the clinical team to develop and recommend a treatment plan.
- We will try to develop a plan that will be most helpful for you. This could be:
- Group therapy at the Drew Counseling Center
- Time-limited individual therapy at the Drew Counseling Center
- Referral out for specialized or long-term individual therapy in the community
- Referral out for psychiatric medication
- Referral out for more intensive outpatient or residential treatment
Be advised: ANY student (typically Grad or Theo) attending classes exclusively on-line, residing outside of NJ or the US will not be eligible for campus counseling services. We can consult and assist in connecting you with an appropriate off campus provider.
If you are in crisis: you are worried about harming yourself or someone else, experiencing severe psychological symptoms, unable to sleep or eat, hallucinating or feeling out of control, had a recent trauma, or exacerbation of symptoms, call 973-408-3398 between 9 AM and noon or 1 PM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. After hours call Campus Security (973-408-3379) to connect with the Res Life Professional Staff on call or 911 for immediate assistance.. If you are off-campus, call 911.
Individual counseling at the counseling center is usually based on a brief treatment model
- Staff members will meet a student at least once to assess their current situation and needs.
- Short-term Individual counseling is typically 4-8 sessions of 45-50 minutes.
Group Therapy is often the ideal treatment for students
- Groups provide support, a sounding board, camaraderie, promote social skills and problem solving as well as insight and self-awareness. Group participation can promote more change and connection than individual therapy.
- Students are required to protect the privacy of the other attending members.
- Members of an ongoing group are expected to consistently attend as the development and maintenance of safety and trust within the group will partly depend on whether members can rely on each other to be physically present.
Counseling usually involves meeting on a consistent basis
- For many students, it is a relief to know that they have a set hour to talk and to work with a professional about what is bothering them.
- We understand if you have to attend to an unexpected emergency (i.e. illness or personal/family emergency), but we may not be able to reschedule your appointment for the same week.
Students are expected to notify their therapists of future cancellations
- The counseling center often has a waiting list, and thus, if we know of a cancellation in advance, we are able to use that time to help other students.
- If you are aware of a future appointment you can’t attend, please provide us at least a week in advance notice.
- If you are sick, then please prioritize your health over your appointment (unless it is a crisis).
- Since the counseling center sets consistent, weekly meetings, we expect you to anticipate and manage your workload so that you can attend your regularly scheduled individual and/or group appointment.
- Students who miss repeated appointments will likely be referred elsewhere for treatment.
If a student has an issue with the therapist/therapy, they are encouraged to talk about it in session
- Having a problem/issue with your therapist/therapy is actually a fairly common experience. Speaking to them about it is often a useful part of the work. In fact, there are times that this can be the most helpful part of therapy.
- Whatever the issue, we encourage you to talk with your therapist so that both of you can reach an understanding and work out an appropriate solution. There are no restrictions on what you can say to your therapist, they will not take it personally, (and you can always come back the next week and talk some more).
Other Important Points
- We always try to protect your privacy. If you see any counseling staff outside of our office (in a workshop, class, the Student Center, on a path) they won’t greet you or say “Hello” to you unless you do so first.
- We can’t tell your professors, coach, friends, parents, or anyone else that you even attend therapy without consent from you – almost always in writing – except in life or death emergencies.
- Therapists cannot accept gifts from clients. Instead, we encourage students to verbally share the message that they wanted to convey through the gifts
IS THERE A FEE FOR COUNSELING?
No. Our services are free to all Drew students, including the CLA, Grad, and Theo.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT MY PARENTS TO KNOW THAT I'M SEEING A COUNSELOR?
If you are 16 or older, you are considered to be an adult when seeking psychological treatment. That means that you have the right to clinical confidentiality. This means that your counselor is under a legal and ethical obligation to keep private all discussions with you within the counseling relationship. This would include your decision to see (or not see) a psychiatrist or whether or not you’re in counseling. We won’t even share whether or not you attend counseling.
We also won’t share any information with University faculty, staff, or administration.
SO, YOU CAN NEVER REVEAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE?
There are a few times when we are under legal and ethical obligation to reveal information. For example, if you are in serious danger of hurting yourself or someone else, or when you talk about a child that is currently being abused, we must inform the appropriate people who are most likely to be able to help you or the child.
Clinical staff at Drew Counseling and Psychological Services consult with each other about cases. These are only other therapists in the center.
If you are seeing another mental health clinician or are being treated in a mental health program we will ask you to sign a written release so we can communicate with them to coordinate treatment.
WHAT IF MY PARENTS CALL AND ASK FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ME?
We can’t and don’t reveal any information regarding our clients, without having our client’s written permission. Sometimes parents call us because they have a concern about their students. We will not let parents know if the student is or is not in counseling, nor will we discuss the student. However, we will listen to your parent and we will try to help them with THEIR problem. Often, we recommend that the parents go for counseling; that the family attend counseling; or, that the parent refer their student to counseling. We also tell them that we will not let them know if the student has actually come for counseling (unless we have the student’s written permission), but that they should follow up with their student.
IF I AM IN COUNSELING, CAN MY PROFESSORS OR ADVISORS CALL TO FIND OUT?
If you think someone needs to know or should know that you are in counseling, and WHAT they should know is up to you. You can let whoever know on your own or sign a written consent for us to reveal information to whomever, including faculty, staff, administration, parents, or other services on campus (Health Services, Campus Ministry, Dean of Educational and Student Affairs, RD’s, etc..) We will notify no one without your written permission.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I NEED TO SPEAK WITH A COUNSELOR BUT THE CENTER IS CLOSED?
If you are in crisis and the Counseling Center is closed, please contact Campus Security, 973-408-3379.
Other crisis numbers include 988 (National Suicide Lifeline) or Morristown Medical Center Crisis Intervention (973-540-0100). If you have Drew insurance you can call CareConnect and talk to a licensed mental health clinician any time, day or night, at 1-888-857-5462.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED A PSYCHIATRIST FOR MEDICATION?
Drew University has recently entered into a partnership with Mantra Health, a telehealth platform that provides psychiatric nurse practitioners who work in conjunction with the existing counseling staff. This is a session limited service. All referrals to Mantra come through Drew CAPS.. In addition, we can provide referral list information including psychiatrists and advanced practice nurses in the area who are accessible by public transportation, ridesharing or driving.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS DO YOU HANDLE IN COUNSELING?
We have seen students for all kinds of reasons, ranging from academic issues to psychosis. Some of the most common reasons are stress, anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflicts, loneliness and homesickness, inability to start papers or late assignments, deterioration of the quality of work, feeling discouraged, lack of motivation, trauma, suicidal crisis and other crises, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug issues.
For Faculty, Administrators, and Staff
WHEN DO I REFER A STUDENT TO COUNSELING?
If you notice that a student has poor study habits or procrastinates, sleeps in class, has poor personal hygiene, appears very sad and unmotivated, fears speaking in front of others, is disruptive in class, exhibits hostility toward you or peers, is talking about suicide, or has any other behavior that causes you concern or alarm, refer the student to counseling.
HOW DO I REFER?
Except in cases of threat to the life of self or others, counseling is voluntary. But, if you think a student could benefit from counseling, here are some basic ground rules:
Speak to the student in a private place (perhaps your office) in a straight-forward manner and be specific regarding your observations causing your concern. Avoid anything negative about the student and make clear that your recommendation is based on your observations of the student’s behavior
If the student is amenable, you can immediately contact us at x3398 with the student present. The student can then come to our office and will probably be seen the same day. Make sure the student knows where we are located and give the student our number.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to walk the student to our office.
Follow-up with the student to show that you continue to have an interest in him/her.
WILL YOU PROVIDE ME WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE STUDENT THAT I REFERRED?
No. We strictly adhere to the student’s right to privacy and confidentiality. We will not inform you as to whether or not the student saw us unless the student signs a release to do so. Some students do not come to counseling after agreeing to do so and we cannot let you know that they changed their minds. Some students will sign a release allowing us to inform you that they came to counseling, but nothing more. Some will not allow even that. The best way to gain information regarding a student of concern is to follow up with the student.
WHAT BEHAVIORS WILL A STUDENT EXHIBIT IF THEY ARE IN NEED OF EMERGENCY ATTENTION?
Behaviors displayed by students who are in crisis and in need of emergency attention might include:
Highly disruptive behaviors, hostility, aggressiveness, violence, etc.
Inability to communicate clearly (garbled speech, slurred speech, unconnected or disjointed thoughts).
Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, or beliefs and behaviors that are greatly at odds with probability)
Suicidal thoughts that are immediate, including plans or methods.
In an emergency situation, stay calm. Do not leave the student alone. Find someone to stay with the student while calls are made to helping resources (Campus Security, 973-408-3379; Counseling and Psychological Services, 972-408-3398 or 911). If a student directly threatens himself or someone else or otherwise behaves bizarrely, immediate attention is needed. Stay with the student or have someone stay with him/her until help arrives.
WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK A STUDENT MIGHT BE SUICIDAL?
If a student says anything to you that suggests that the student might be thinking of harming or killing him/herself, ask the student directly. Some comments suggesting suicidal thoughts may be subtle, others may be more obvious. You might hear, for example, “I just think life is not worth living.” “Things have been so bad lately, I just want to give up and disappear.” “Everything in my life has gone wrong, I’m not sure that I want to go on.”
If you think the student is so depressed that suicide might be an option consider the following interventions:
Walk the student over to the Counseling Center for immediate assistance. Please call our Office Manager at 973-408-3398 to alert us that you are on your way.
With the student in your office, call the Counseling Center to consult with a counselor 973-408-3398. If you believe that the student might be in imminent danger, do not hesitate to contact Campus Security 973-408-3379 or 911 immediately.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM THINKING THAT A STUDENT NEEDS COUNSELING, BUT I AM JUST NOT SURE?
Call us. We often consult with faculty when a situation is unclear, distressing, and/or difficult. We will work with you through a process or course of action.