Details for Changes to be made to Counseling Website

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Overview

College can be a fun and exciting time for making new friends, exploring new academic heights, and learning how to make it on your own. College is also about change and facing new challenges. It is not uncommon to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or confused about how to handle such situations. This is where counseling can be helpful.

The WAU Counseling Program offers counseling services for students, faculty and staff to address a variety of needs.

Counseling Services Offered:

Mental Wellness Services

What is “Wellness?” Wellness is a way of living that encourages holistic health that is supportive of academic and personal success and fulfillment.

Behavior Change/Lifestyle Management Programs are action oriented programs designed to modify a lifestyle factor and/or facilitate behavior change (i.e., stress management, weight management, nutrition management, etc.).

Mental Wellness Workshops will be provided on an on-going basis for students throughout the school year. 

Consultation Services

Consultations for staff, advisors, administrators, or faculty can address such issues as the services that are available on- and off-campus, how to refer a student to the counselor, how to resolve a particular situation, how to recognize students in trouble, etc. Counselors are also available to consult with concerned roommates, friends, or family members of students in distress.
Concerned others should be aware that
 confidential information about a particular student's contact with the counselor will not be divulged to any concerned party without the student's written permission (in keeping with the law and ethical standards).  Nevertheless, consultation is often very helpful to those who are worried about a student - it can help clarify what the student may be experiencing, ways to be helpful to the student, what sort of resources might be available to the student, etc.

Outreach Services

The Counselor offers programs and services to the entire Washington Adventist University community through a variety of formats, including: workshops, seminars, Internet-based information and interventions, and informational brochures. The content of the outreach programs and consultation services varies depending upon the needs of the University community.

The Counselor welcomes the opportunity to present in your class or organized group. Below you will find a list of possible topics that can be presented in a workshop fashion.

Possible Workshop Topics:
Adjustment to College Life

Anger management

Depression and Suicide

Diversity awareness

Relaxation & Stress Management 

Workshops tailored to your classroom or group can be arranged. If any of these topics are of interest, or if you are interested in a topic not listed above, please contact Jahmela Williams, LCPC Campus Counselor (301) 891-4089 or jrwillia@wau.edu.

 *The Counseling program also participates in many awareness events on campus to provide prevention information to the larger community.  

Training Programs

Training sessions are available to student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators regarding, for example, orientations to Counseling services, training in crisis-intervention, presentations on specific topics/issues in mental health or college life, etc. 

 

Crisis Intervention Services

Students can arrange to see a counselor on an emergency basis during weekday business hours.  (Emergency appointments are available the same day, while non-emergency appointments are generally available within a few days to a week.) 

 When a crisis occurs that affects the community or a group of community members, the counselor will facilitate a crisis-response meeting and consult with students, families, faculty, and staff. 

After-hours personal crisis support is also available from several 24-7 Hotlines in the DC/MD area.  In the event of an emergency crisis please call 911 or visit your nearest hospital.   

 

What Is Counseling?

Counseling is the process of discussing difficulties and exploring possible solutions with someone who is a trained mental health professional. Counseling can help you clarify your concerns, gain insight into yourself and others, and learn new ways to most effectively cope and/or resolve problems.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is provided to help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options and resources that might be of help to you. If the support you need is not available on campus, the counselor can help you locate and connect with appropriate, affordable, accessible resources off campus. 

Students seek counseling for a wide variety of concerns which include but not limited to: 

Relationships issues with family, friends, roommates, or other important people in your life

Sexual identity or sexual orientation

Feelings of anxiety or panic

Life decisions or direction

Feelings of depression, hopelessness

Self-esteem

Coping with a psychological or physical illness or disability

Coping with traumatic events or memories

*Counseling is confidential, protected by law and by ethical standards.

Small Group Counseling

Groups provide a caring context in which you can talk confidentially with other students who share your concerns or experiences. A group can be a wonderful source of feedback, support, good humor, and creative ideas for how to cope with personal or interpersonal challenges.

Possible Group Topics:

Depression/Anxiety

LGBT Support Group

Relational Issues

Drug/Alcohol

 

What to Expect in Counseling

During your first session, the counselor will want to get to know you, find out what brought you to seek help, and assess how Counseling Services can best serve you.  In the following sessions, you and the counselor together will set goals for what you would like to accomplish. As counseling progresses, your goals are likely to evolve and change.

Often, people look for immediate solutions, but this does not usually happen in counseling. Instead, the counselor will work with you to help you discover your own unique solutions.

Are there any risks? Any benefits?

Many people believe it is risky to share personal feelings and thoughts with a stranger. All sessions are confidential, and your session is a safe place where you are free to explore whatever is troubling you without fear of reprimand or judgment.

Another kind of risk might be the recall of memories that may awaken strong feelings; this can be a painful, sad, or frightening experience. The counselor is trained to provide support and help you cope with whatever comes up. You then benefit by learning to appropriately and healthily deal with these feelings, as well as cope better with friends, family, relationships, and school.

  Do I have to pay?

Counseling is free for all students (community, dormitory, and SGPS).  Your WAU health insurance (First Student or Adventist Risk Management) may cover referrals, prescriptions and diagnostic testing outside of our on-campus services, depending on which plan you have.  Please check your policy for additional information.

Counseling Services also offers completely anonymous in-person screenings for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Confidential Screenings

Some of the questions included in the screening are:

Have you lost pleasure in things you used to enjoy?

Do you have trouble sleeping or eating?

Do you deliberately avoid social situations?

Does your mood fluctuate between overly “high” and utterly hopeless?

Do you suffer from unexplained aches and pains?

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