How do I make an appointment?
There are two ways to make an appointment. Call the Counseling Center front desk at 508-286-3905, or stop in to our office at 42 Howard St to request an appointment in person. When you call or stop by, our Administrative Assistant Ellen will collect some basic information from you, such as your schedule and contact information as well as discuss options for scheduling your appointment with us.
All appointments in the Counseling Center are free of charge, and we do not bill your insurance.
In general, your first appointment will be approximately 15-30 minutes long, and will be a conversation between you and a clinician to determine your needs, appropriate providers and how best to support you. If you seek services at the Counseling Center following that initial conversation, your first appointment with your assigned clinician will be approximately 75 minutes long (we ask you arrive 15 minutes early for paperwork, and then about a 45-50 minute session). Subsequent sessions are typically 45-50 minutes long.
Please be on time for your appointments. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please provide us with at least 24 hours notice by calling us, or stopping by to cancel your appointment. Repeated cancellations or missed appointments may result in the termination of counseling. In the event you do not contact us to cancel an appointment, there is no guarantee that you can be seen sooner than what would be the next regularly occurring appointment. Requests to be seen sooner than the next regularly occurring appointment are at the discretion of the counselor and based upon severity of need and availability of appointment times.
Our Approach to Counseling
As a service in an institution of higher education, the Counseling Center’s primary role is to decrease emotional, psychological or behavioral barriers in order to support the intellectual growth and academic success of students. We strive to promote a safe and healthy environment for students by providing developmentally-appropriate, culturally sensitive assessment, diagnosis, recommendations and treatment to full-time students free of charge. Our services are short-term and focused on resolving a particular problem(s) presented. Group counseling sessions (when offered) have no specific session limits.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not to accept your counselor’s recommendations. Counselors value self-determination, personal choice and voluntary participation in addressing your concerns and problems. If you and your counselor cannot arrive upon a mutually acceptable approach, your counselor is also under no obligation to continue to meet with you.
Risks/Benefits of Counseling
There are benefits and risks associated with counseling. On the one hand, most individuals who receive counseling indicate feeling healthier, happier and better off after receiving supportive counseling than they did before beginning on this journey. However, risks to counseling might include experiencing uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, anxiety, frustration or having difficulties with other people during and/or after counseling. Some changes may lead to what seems to be worsening of circumstances (for example, counseling will not necessarily help to keep a relationship intact). Thus, no guarantees are made that counseling will absolutely help you. Your counselor is aware of these benefits/risks and is always prepared to discuss your experiences with you.
The Counseling Center staff consider issues of student privacy to be of utmost importance. All services are strictly confidential. We will not release information about a student–or even acknowledge whether a student is being seen–without that student’s written consent. Although there are specific exceptions to confidentiality under Massachusetts law (e.g., when individuals present a danger to themselves or others), these exceptions are rare.