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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling

What is counseling?
How do I know if I should seek counseling?
How many times would I meet with a counselor?
What should I talk about in counseling?
What should I expect from my counselor?
What if I tried counseling before and I didn't have a positive experience?
Why do some students receive counseling at CWS while others are referred to services in the community?
Will my professors or family members find out that I am seeing a counselor?
How do I make an appointment?
Do you offer opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the field of mental health?

To learn about your specific area of concern or interest, please click here.


What is counseling?

Counseling is the process of speaking with a mental health professional about your problems or concerns. The mental health professional listens with an objective ear and helps you learn more about yourself, and new ways of looking at situations. This process can help you feel more capable of identifying and solving problems on your own. The primary goal is to help you develop the skills and abilities to solve problems as they arise, in order to make the most of your academic experience.

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How do I know if I should seek counseling?

Many students decide to pursue counseling. It doesn’t mean you aren’t “normal”. It is not a sign of weakness but of strength – if you initiate counseling, it is evidence that you are taking charge of your own well being. Your proactivity will pay off. There is no rule for when someone “should” seek counseling. You can ask yourself, simply “Is something bothering me?” There is no such thing as “not a good enough reason” or “not a big enough problem” to start counseling. If there is something that causes worry or concern, then it is important and, therefore, worth discussing with a counselor.

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How many times would I meet with a counselor?

You may benefit from two or three sessions to address a specific area of concern, or you may find it helpful to use more sessions to address concerns that warrant more attention. Our service offers short-term counseling but referrals are often made for students who wish to consider longer-term counseling or psychotherapy.

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What should I talk about in counseling?

Students seek counseling for all sorts of reasons. Some of the most common issues that bring students to Counseling Services include: low self-confidence, academic performance, depression or anxiety, confusing, distressing thoughts or feelings, difficulties adjusting to college, anger or irritability, stress, traumatic experiences, relationship problems, health-related concerns, alcohol or drug misuse, problems with eating or body image, difficulty making friends and difficulties with concentration or motivation.

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What should I expect from my Counselor?

Your counselor is a licensed mental health professional (clinical social worker, psychologist) who is trained to help you identify and begin to resolve the issues and problems that are of concern to you. It is perfectly common and understandable to have some anxiety about seeing a counselor - your counselor will establish a safe and structured environment in which you can feel comfortable discussing your thoughts and feelings. The approach is non-judgmental and collaborative. Counselors help clarify options, provide support and understanding, assist with setting goals, explore feelings and correct misconceptions.

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What if I tried counseling before and I didn't have a positive experience?

Sometimes your initial experience with counseling doesn’t go as you thought or hoped it would, which can be disappointing or discouraging.  There are multiple reasons this might be the case: talking about painful thoughts and feelings can be difficult; counseling may not offer the immediate relief you expected; and sometimes it takes more time to better understand and work on your difficulties. Counseling & Wellness Services is happy to talk to you about your experience and welcomes your feedback, so if you feel that a previous experience with counseling/therapy was dissatisfactory, we encourage you to let us know and give counseling another try.

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Why do some students receive counseling at CWS while others are referred to services in the community?

Students are referred to community providers for a variety of reasons. Counselors work with students to establish counseling goals and identify what services would best meet their needs. Some students would benefit from a less time limited counseling model (CWS offers short-term counseling) while others would be best served by more specialized - or more comprehensive - services not offered in CWS. Your counselor, in making the recommendation for community-based referral, will work to help you understand the rationale and assist you in connecting with a provider.

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Will my professors or family members find out that I am seeing a Counselor?

Absolutely not.
Counseling records are not part of your academic record. The counseling process is confidential and your counselor will strictly maintain that confidentially. Some exceptions to confidentiality do apply. Your counselor may need to share information in the event of a psychological emergency requiring hospitalization or in circumstances involving your safety or the safety of others. When these exceptions occur, you will be informed.

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How do I make an appointment? 

You can call to make an appointment at 212.772.4931 or you can come to the Counseling Services office at 1123 East Building to schedule an appointment with the Intake Coordinator.

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Do you offer any opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the field of mental health? 

Counseling Services offers a clinical training program for graduate students in Psychology, Social Work and Mental Health Counseling. Another great opportunity to participate in mental health promotion on campus is through the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) on Campus student club.  CWS collaborates closely with NAMI on Campus, and club membership may include opportunities to take part in CWS outreach events.  The NAMI officers can be contacted at: NAMIOnCampusHunter@gmail.com. There may be a new opportunity offered in the spring by CWS and the Psychology Department.  Check back within the next couple of months for further information.

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Contact Us


COUNSELING SERVICES

personalcounseling@hunter.cuny.edu
t: 212.772.4931
Room 1123, Hunter East

WELLNESS SERVICES:
Office of Health Services

healthandwellness@hunter.cuny.edu
t: 212.772.4800 | f: 212.650.3254| f: 212.396.6703
Room 307, Hunter North

WELLNESS SERVICES:
Health Promotion & Education

healthed@hunter.cuny.edu
t: 212.772.4909
Room 307, Hunter North


For assistance after 5:00 pm, or in the case of an on-campus emergency, please call
Public Safety at 212.772.4444
. In the case of an off-campus emergency, call 911.

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