Counseling and Psychological Services

FAQs

Who may use Counseling Services?

Southern Utah University graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for our counseling services. Partners of students may also be seen but only as part of couple counseling. Faculty and staff may access any of our professional staff for consultation regarding student concerns. Faculty and staff who wish to seek counseling should contact the SUU Employee Assistance Program from Blomquist Hale at 800-926-9619.

Does counseling really help?

For many students counseling does enhance the university experience, both personally and academically. Meeting with a counselor is an opportunity to explore expectations and concerns and determine possible courses of action or resolution. In a confidential, objective, and safe setting, students can explore life’s challenges and success’ and establish ways of interacting with the world in healthy ways.

If I am in group, how much personal information do I have to share?

You control what, how much, and when you share with the group. No one will force you to reveal your deepest, most personal thoughts. Most people, however, find that as they feel safe enough to share what is troubling them, expressing it within the group can be helpful and affirming. You can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how what they are saying might apply to you.

Will I need to take medications?

Being seen for psychotherapy by a counselor does not necessarily mean you will need to take medications. Many psychological problems can be successfully treated without the use of medications. If you and your counselor decide that medications should be considered to support the counseling process, your counselor will discuss referral options with you. You will need to see a physician (such as a psychiatrist) to be prescribed any medications. It is important to let your counselor know about any medications you have already been prescribed.

Does it mean something is terribly wrong with me if I need counseling?

No. Sometimes students at a university find life difficult or overwhelming. A great many life stressors contribute to these feelings. Some examples are academic stress, scheduling and time management, illness or injury, and devastating life events such as abuse, death, or a relationship breakup. There can also be internal factors that impact a person’s well-being, issues such as self-esteem, body image, or feeling different or isolated from other people. Regardless of why, many people experience times in life when events become overwhelming, seeking support during those times does not mean something is wrong with you.

What services are available for international students?

International students are eligible for all student services. International students may experience unique stressors and, if so, may well benefit from counseling. In the case of International Student particular emphasis is on helping those students adjust to life at Southern Utah University and Cedar City.

Will counseling help to improve my grades?

For many students, counseling does help in identifying and removing obstacles to doing well academically. For some, it may help improve the overall quality of life and the success of interpersonal relationships, both of which often indirectly affect academics.

Do my parents have to know that I am in counseling?

Federal law prohibits us from acknowledging that you are a client or disclosing any file information with your parents (or any other party) without your specific written permission.

How is my privacy protected?

We strive to protect the privacy of the counseling relationship in a manner consistent with professional and ethical guidelines established for counselors and psychologists by the American Psychological Association and with local, state, and federal statutes. Confidentiality means that your contact with the CAPS office does not go on your academic record and that clinical materials will not be disclosed to any other office or individual unless you have signed a written release for this to occur. We strive to make CAPS a place where you feel safe to talk about personal concerns.

Who will be my counselor?

All of the clinical staff members at Counseling and Psychological Services are licensed or licensure-in-process professionals. They include three Psychologists, two Licensed Clinical Social Workers, one Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and two Doctoral Psychology Interns. Staff members in training receive intensive supervision from senior staff. You can be confident that your counselor has the necessary training and experience to effectively help.

What if I do not feel comfortable with my assigned counselor?

We want you to have a successful experience at Counseling and Psychological Services. As part of the intake process, we gather information to facilitate making a good match with the skills and training of various counseling staff. Occasionally however, not every such match is successful. If you are not comfortable with your assigned counselor, please let us know. Ideally, this would be a concern to discuss with your counselor, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, please communicate with the front desk staff. They will help you get to the right person to make a better arrangement for you.

How long will you keep my records on file?

Counseling and Psychological Services maintains records for seven years.

If I think my friend needs help, how do I get him or her to come in and see you?

It can be very difficult when someone you care about is in pain, but remember it is very hard to make a person seek help if they don’t want to or don’t feel they need it. Counseling with an unwilling client is usually not very effective. Here are some ideas that might help:

  • Let your friend know that you are concerned. Suggest that he or she make an appointment with a counselor to see if we can be of help. Try to phrase the communication using “I’ language, rather than “you” language. For example, “I care about you and I am sad to see you hurting” rather than “You are in trouble and need help.”
  • Offer to be with your friend while he/she makes an appointment.
  • Offer to accompany your friend to their first appointment. You may either wait in the waiting area or in the student center to be available when they finish.
  • Call or come into the counseling center yourself, and talk with a counselor about your worries about your friend. You will not need to tell the counselor your friend’s name, and you do not necessarily even need to let your friend know you came in. The counselor may be able to offer you suggestions about how to interact more effectively with this friend, as well as to manage your own feelings about the situation.
  • Check the self-help section of our website and see if there is any information you can share with your friend.