On this page
- Our Mission
- Services Offered
- Risks and Benefits of Counseling
- Confidentiality in the Counseling Center
- What is Case Management?
- Accessibility in the Counseling Center
Counseling and Health Services believes that a student’s ability to thrive in all areas of college life depends on having good mental and physical wellness. Therefore, we strive to provide high quality mental and physical health services, as well as outreach and education, in safe and welcoming environments. Our services are grounded in a holistic perspective of health that individualizes treatment. We value and help students foster empowerment, access education, build empathy, thrive in diversity and work towards collaborative, positive social action. We aid students in maintaining and regaining their optimal health through collaboration and with the highest degree of integrity and respect.
Counseling services are evidence based, best practice therapeutic interventions and structures for emerging adults within a Higher Education setting. We follow state and federal ethical, licensure and legal requirements for provision of services and focus on meeting students we work with, where they are at. Specifically, we offer:
- emergency same day evaluation, intervention and referral when necessary
- short-term, solution focused counseling
- case management (referrals to off campus providers, groups, psychiatry, etc.)
- alcohol/drug consultation and referral
- outreach and educational programs, workshops, consultation and trainings for departments, groups and individuals on campus
- referrals for medication evaluations
Ultimately, it is an individual student’s decision whether or not to accept the professional recommendations of clinical staff. Clinician’s value self-determination, personal choice and voluntary participation in addressing concerns and problems.
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.
Confidentiality in the Counseling Center
The Counseling Center staff consider issues of student privacy and confidentiality to be of utmost importance. State law mandates that services offered at the Counseling Center are confidential. This means that we will not release information about a student–or even acknowledge whether we know a student, or whether a student is being seen–without that student’s express written consent.
Communications between you and your therapist are not shared with others outside of the Counseling Center without your written permission, except under the following circumstances according to Massachusetts law where clinicians are legally required to take action to ensure safety:
When a clinician believes you present an imminent risk to yourself, another individual, or the community, we are required to take necessary steps to protect against that risk. This may include further assessment at an emergency room, notification of concern to family, individual identified at risk, or administration at Wheaton.
When an underage child, or disabled individual or elderly person is experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation, we are required by law to inform the appropriate state agency. This includes any minor siblings and disabled/elderly family members at home.
In the event of a court order or other mandatory legal process, we may be required to release records to the court.
Counseling Center records are kept completely separate from all other college records. The Counseling Center maintains all counseling records in a secure, confidential electronic medical record and the only individuals with access to these records are Counseling Center staff. The Counseling Center therapists consult with each other, as needed, in order to provide quality care. Consultation with other licensed mental health professionals is also permitted for the purpose of quality care, as long as no identifying information is provided. In addition, as a training site, trainees at the Counseling Center are provided intensive supervision from Counseling Center staff and qualified faculty supervisors at their respective graduate program.
What is Case Management?
There may be instances in which your emotional, psychological or behavioral needs exceed the capacity, expertise or scope of practice of the Counseling Center. In order to encourage your personal, emotional and spiritual growth, your counselor may recommend services outside of the Counseling Center.
These services may include:
- off-campus professionals who provide a particular area of expertise; more frequent and/or intensive level of care; or conditions requiring a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to your care
- psychiatric medication management
- distance/phone/Skype counseling with a current provider at home
- Twelve Step/Recovery groups (e.g. AA, AL Anon)
- intensive out-patient programs
- in-patient hospitalization
Case Management appointments entail discussing the following: your preferences and needs for a specific therapist or treatment recommendation, transportation, insurance and copay realities, and any other pertinent information that may arise to find the best fit for your care. The case manager and student will then research and identify providers that fit these specifications, and offer to help you connect with that clinician or service. Students have the choice whether to accept additional support of contacting the identified providers, as well as accept or deny a follow up appointment or phone call with the case manager to assure connection.
Accessibility in the Counseling Center
The Counseling Center building is not ADA accessible and thus students with mobility needs may not be able to access the building. Due to current COVID regulations, services are all being provided via teletherapy and thus students with mobility needs may access care by calling the front desk to schedule an appointment. When in-person services resume, students with accessibility needs may call, or stop by (there is a sign and door bell at the bottom of the stairs individuals can ring and we will come out to meet you) and discuss your needs with a clinician. A suitable alternate location on campus will then be identified on campus to meet and discuss next therapeutic steps.