No Show or Late Cancellation Appointments
A charge of $10 will be assessed if you schedule an appointment in the Counseling Center with any of the providers and then do not show up for the appointment. To avoid this charge, please call to cancel your appointment (giving 24 hours' notice) if you find that your needs have changed or that you cannot make your scheduled time.
Personal Counseling consists of a one-to-one counseling experience where the focus is upon:
It may also help some people to avoid decisions which restrict their personal growth and undermine their well-being.
Note: The Counseling Center ascribes to a brief therapy form of treatment. Once you have had a triage appointment and been assigned to a counselor, you will work in conjunction with that individual to determine your level of need. Having well-defined goals in therapy often leads to better treatment outcomes.
Each semester a number of Counseling Center counselors and doctoral-level trainees lead (or co-lead) groups. The groups vary depending on the needs of the students and the special interests of the group leaders. In the past, groups have been offered with a particular focus on stress and anxiety, relationship issues, problem-solving groups, and loss and grief issues. View our current list of group counseling services offered for more information.
Benefits of Group Counseling
Please read the Group Counseling FAQs or call the Counseling Center at 610-436-2301 for more information.
Counseling Center Counselors provide mental health crisis services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when classes are in session.
During the Work Day
Students who are in urgent need of mental health assistance may walk into the Counseling Center and indicate that it is a potentially life-threatening emergency.
The mental health crisis service may be accessed by contacting Campus Police via the Public Safety Office (610-436-3311); the responding officer will then contact the counselor on call.
When Classes are Not in Session
If a mental health emergency arises, calls should be directed to:
The Counseling Center has two part-time consulting psychiatrists available to assist in evaluations and follow up where medication may be necessary as an adjunct to counseling. This service is available to students who are in an on-going counseling relationship with a department counselor, intern, or practicum student and may not be accessed independently.
Students Stable on Medication Prescribed by a Physician at Home
Students who are stable on medication prescribed by a physician at home are advised to remain with that treating physician. In the past, parents and students have expressed concern that they can't get home frequently enough, so they prefer to see a psychiatrist on campus. Our experience has been that students have done extremely well in working with physicians at home and are usually relieved to find that there are several breaks each semester. With proper planning, students can continue to work with the doctor at home who knows their history and has been following their treatment.
Students Engaging in Therapy with the Counseling Center
For students who are engaging in therapy with a Counseling Center counselor or trainee and who find they need a psychiatric assessment, there is a twenty dollar ($20.00) charge for an Initial Assessment with the psychiatrist. Subsequent appointments with the psychiatrist will carry a ten dollar ($10.00) charge. As with all appointments at the Counseling Center, if you schedule an appointment and fail to show for it or cancel with less than 24 hours' notice, you will be assessed a No Show/Late Cancellation charge of ten dollars ($10.00). To avoid having this "Health Center Hold" on your account, you may pay with your RAM Card or with a check at the Counseling Center Front Desk. We are unable to accept cash or credit cards.
Students who have completed their short-term therapy at the Counseling Center but are still in need of medication must transfer that to a private provider (outside psychiatrist or PCP). The student may work with our Case Manager to find a provider but medication management is up to the student after the therapy terminates at the Counseling Center.
Counseling Center counselors are available to consult with faculty, staff, and students via phone. On occasion, university community members call out of concern for another student's mental health. counselors in the Counseling Center will listen to your concerns and assist you in finding ways to deal with the presenting situation.
Finding a Mental Health Provider
At times, individuals call for assistance with finding a mental health provider in the area. The Counseling Center maintains a Referral Guide that is updated on a fairly regular basis, so referrals to other mental health professionals can be provided. It should be noted that students who have insurance would do best to contact the Membership Benefits and Services number on the back of their insurance card and locate providers who are in their network.
Counseling Center counselors and counselor trainees often present workshops or educational programs on campus. In the past, topics have included:
WCU Outreach Mission Statement
Outreach services are an integral part of the activities conducted in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services. Our outreach services aim to serve the campus community as a whole by extending our clinical and educational services beyond the walls of the Counseling Center. We offer a variety of outreach services to the university community with the goal of creating and maintaining a healthy, psychologically-minded student population. Our outreach services allow the provision of deliberate, systematic, and creative psycho-educational programming with a multicultural and developmental perspective on prevention, wellness, and student self-help. Such efforts allow us to work collaboratively with students, staff, and faculty across campus to ensure student engagement and success.
Our programming is geared towards providing:
Outreach requests are available to students, faculty, and staff with sufficient notice (at least two weeks). While we do our best to accommodate as many requests as possible, there are times when the volume and timing of requests is simply more than we can meet, given other clinical demands.
There is a full-time Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor on campus in the Counseling Center, Ms. Katie Bradley. Students who are motivated to reduce their alcohol or drug consumption are allowed one-on-one sessions with this counselor. As with all counseling services, interested students should come to the Counseling Center during one of the posted triage times for a brief assessment.
The Student Health and Wellness Center's Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Information page describes programs and information sources concerning consequences of alcohol use as well as strategies for avoiding dangerous situations. It also provides information on Alcoholics Anonymous groups and "E-chug" (a web-based alcohol check-up) that gives personalized information about alcohol use.
Signs of Distress
At times, faculty members may take note of changes in a student's behavior or in one's appearance. Some of the signs that a student may be experiencing distress include the following:
Depression to Suicide
Almost everyone reports having days when they just feel "down" - nothing in particular but just an overall feeling of blah-ness. But when students experience long-standing periods of depression, without proper treatment, this can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair and result in suicidal thought or intent. Some of the signs of depression may include changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, increased physical complaints, trouble concentrating, changes in mood, as well as a decreased interest in activities that once gave the student pleasure. With prompt and proper treatment (therapy and, in some cases, medication) depression can easily be treated. However, when left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and result in suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Some of the risk factors for suicide include:
Frequently, an individual's risk for suicide may be heightened when one is coming out of a depressed state. This is the time when professionals are most concerned that the individual who once was suicidal and had seriously contemplated suicide now feels they have the energy necessary to do so. Monitoring a student who has been severely depressed is an ongoing process, until one senses that the individual can guarantee safety and is showing marked signs of progress and improvement in one's emotional state.
Violent Behavior- Warning Signs
Typically, students who act out violently have problems controlling their feelings and behaviors and are more likely to be impulsive. Some of the warning signs of violence include the following: