College students seek counseling services for many reasons. Common concerns include:
- adjustment issues
- difficulty coping with emotions (e.g. depression, anxiety, anger)
- interpersonal and relationship difficulties
- health-related concerns (pregnancy, alcohol, STD’s, problems with eating or sleeping)
- concerns about academic issues (e.g. poor motivation, concentration problems, test anxiety)
- stressful/traumatic experiences (e.g. financial/legal problems, assault, harassment, death).
Depressed mood, stress, anxiety, and problems with academic performance are the most common concerns reported to the CAPS staff. In fact, over 90% of the students we see indicate that their personal problems have at least a moderate impact on their studies, even when academic concerns are not the main issue for which they sought help.
Counseling helps students learn new coping skills, set goals, solve problems, make decisions, and manage stress, but it also provides a safe and structured environment in which students can explore various aspects of their emerging adult lives – independence, values, personal goals, sexuality, intimacy and friendship.
In delivering services, CAPS staff members collaborate with other campus departments (e.g. Disability Services, Career Services, Residence Life, Health Center) when appropriate.
How does a student detemine whether s/he needs counseling?
There are no set criteria for seeking services. Students wondering about whether their concerns are appropriate to bring to CAPS, are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to consult with one of our staff.
As licensed mental health professionals, our staff is experienced in helping students who are depressed, anxious or have other psychological disorders. But although we help with these issues, we also work with many students who have other concerns. There is no problem or issue that is “too small” to discuss. If something is big enough to bother a student, it’s big enough to talk about with a counselor.
For example, we work with students who are lonely or homesick, who experience stress, who have concerns about their families, and who want help in better managing their time. We work with students about relationship issues, sexuality, assertion, eating and body image concerns, sexual assault, trauma and many other issues. And we work with students who just want to safe place to “vent”!