Counseling FAQs

Why do students come to counseling?
Students bring a variety of personal and school-related issues to personal counseling. Some of the more common concerns include: depression, test anxiety, relationship difficulties, eating problems, abuse issues, sexuality/sexual identity questions, concerns about drug or alcohol use, interpersonal conflicts (with students or roommates), stress and time management.

What about confidentiality?
Everything discussed with a counselor is legally confidential (except for child abuse and threat of harm to self or others). No information will be released without a student's written consent. Even the fact that a student has attended counseling is confidential information. Counseling records are kept separate from other student information, and cannot be accessed by COCC faculty or other students.

When is the counseling office open and what about emergencies?
The counseling office is located in the CAP Center which is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5pm. The counseling office is closed for appointments on school holidays, between terms, and on Fridays in the summer. In case of an emergency, students should call 911 or go to the St. Charles emergecy room; a social worker is on call through the emergency room. 

How do you make an appointment or get more information?
Appointments can be made by either coming to the CAP Center (located in the lower level of the Library) during regular business hours or by calling 383-7200. You may also email your interest in making an appointment to capcenter@cocc.edu and we will get back to you by the following business day.

Are students reluctant or nervous about seeing a counselor?
Some students report that they feel hesitant about seeking counseling services, especially if this is their first experience with counseling. They worry that coming to counseling may mean that there is something "wrong" with them. However, most students who come for services later report that counseling has been a very positive and productive experience. Students who have used our services will often recommend it to their friends. At times, short term counseling is not sufficient; we can arrange for an outside referral for those individuals who wish to continue in on going counseling.

What if I miss my appointment?
Appointments are made through the CAP Center and students are asked to provide a telephone number so the CAP Center can make areminder phone call the day before the appointment. Any cancelation or change to the appointment time should be made at least 24 hours before the appointment. Students who are 15 or more minutes late toan appointment are considered a "no-show"; the counselor may require that the student reschedule the appointment and they may choose to see another client in the remaining appointment time. No-show appointments are counted towards the total number of appointments available to students. Students who "no-show" to their scheduled appointment three times must receive permission from either a counselor or the director of the CAP Center before they can make another counseling appointment.

Are there any limits to the subjects or issues that COCC counselors can address?
Yes, the COCC counseling services are limited and have a defined scope of practice. Some mental health issues fall outside of our capacity to provide service. Students needing assistance with the following can meet with a counselor for assessment and referral to appropriate outside agencies or counselors:

  • Students seeking treatment for violent behavior
  • Students needing acute substance abuse treatment (detox)
  • Students with severe persistent mental illness or psychotic disorders
  • Students mandated to counseling or evaluation by thecourt
  • Students who have clinical needs not covered by the expertise of our counselors

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