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 CAP Services (Cascades Hall 240A) and hours vary. In case of an emergency, students should call 911 or go to the St. Charles emergency room; a social worker is on call through the emergency room.

How do you make an appointment or get more information?
Our counselors are contracted through St. Charles Behavioral Health. Please call St. Charles Behavioral Health at 541-706-7730 to request an in-person appointment at CAP Services or a remote appointment. Please state that you are a COCC student while making the appointment. 

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?
Any cancellation or change to the appointment time should be made at least 24 hours before the appointment. Students who are 15 or more minutes late to an 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 CAP Services 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 the court
  • Students who have clinical needs not covered by the expertise of our counselors