Student Counseling Center - FAQ

When do I know that I need to see a counselor?

If you are thinking about seeing a counselor, you probably need to see one, whether you need help with academics and/or personal matters. Hampton University offers a broad range of services from Clinicians and academic counselors. In addition, support and peer mediation are available from Peer Counselors. We are always willing to listen and help you accomplish your goals.

I am basically being forced to come here. That's the ONLY reason I'm here, because I AM NOT CRAZY!!!!

This may not sound like a question, but frequently there is a hidden fear that if things are 'so bad' that someone is receiving counseling – 'going to a shrink' – s/he must be crazy. This is true especially if that is what you've been told. NOT TRUE! Most students come to the Counseling Center because of a crisis which they may or may not have caused themselves; conflicts with others that are not resolving simply; conflicts with persons whose values and behavior are radically new, incomprehensible, and problematic to the student; heartbreak; anxiety; depression – unshakable blues that are affecting many areas of functioning; homesickness and being less ready than they thought to be on their own; loss and grief; and basic phase of life/developmental challenges because of moving from adolescence to young adulthood. These things, plus all the academic work, sleep deprivation, and other stressors can definitely distort reality.

What can a student expect during a typical session?

Students who are seen by the Counselors at the SCC can expect to be treated with respect regardless of the reason they are being seen. The counselors assist students to express, understand, and find appropriate solutions for their concerns.

How many times can I see the Counselor?

Students can be seen for up to 8 sessions. The services provided at the SCC are for crisis and short-term counseling concerns. Students who require ongoing services will be provided with a referral to a local provider.

Will I have to pay for the services I receive at the SCC?

Students who have a validated Hampton University Identification card will not be asked to provide payment for the services rendered by the staff of the SCC. Students who are referred to outside agencies or private practitioners may be required by the respective provider to pay and or provide proof of insurance coverage.

Can I receive a referral if I do not want to be seen by the staff of Hampton University?

Yes. A referral will be provided for those students who wish to receive services outside of Hampton University.

Are you going to tell my parents what I say?

No, however, if the student and Counselor are in agreement that it would be best to disclose something to parents, we (counselor and student together) do everything we can to facilitate the process, including inviting them into sessions. Counselors cannot disclose anything to parents without students' written consent. The exceptions are situations of the likelihood of harm to self or others, loss of ability to care for self, disclosure of child or elder abuse, or the student is under the age of 18.

Can my boyfriend, girlfriend, roommate, etc. come to my session?

Yes, after thorough discussion. We discuss the student's reasons, hopes, fears, etc. for wanting individuals to come to sessions. If it would be beneficial, we clarify objectives – what we hope to accomplish – and a plan.

I've always heard that if your faith is real and strong, you don't need to have counseling. Is that true?

The SCC Counselors respond to questions of faith with great care and respect. We believe that one's faith is central to identity, and that counseling and religious faith can be compatible. What is important to us is to help students understand and incorporate their faith in the development of self-concept that occurs in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood.

What shall I do? Please, just tell me what to do!

Counselors' most important role is to help students access their own strength, creativity and personal resources. We do not tell you what you should do. We do help weigh options. We listen carefully and reflectively. Based on what students disclose and explore, we can sometimes say, "Based on what you've been saying, it seems that X, Y, and Z are possible options. What do you think?" Then we can propose strategies and resources to help with the options the student chooses.

Have you ever been through this? What did you do, or would you do if you were me?

Individual counselors vary in the degree to which they are "transparent" – willing to talk about their own lives. That has to do with personality and training. The core issue is that the counseling relationship is structured for the attention and good of the student who, except for basic respect and non-violence toward the counselor, is free of the typical give-and-take responsibilities of friendship. Counselors' ethical codes of conduct prohibit them from forming true friendships with students, and from having relationships with them in addition to counseling. We are not allowed to hang out, be your professors, relatives, recipients of services such as baby sitting, hair, nails, etc., or gifts. It is odd, but it is quite freeing once you get used to it.

If I used to take medicine for a psychological reason, like ADHD or depression, haven't I outgrown it now?

Not necessarily. There are many adults with ADD or ADHD. It is very important to disclose this part of your medical history. Most people think of college as a brand new start. It is that. It is also more challenging than many or most students expect it to be. The Counseling and Health Centers can work together to assist you to maintain your medication regimen and provide support for this great transitional period, so that it turns out to be manageable at least, and blossoming at best.