Our personal counselors are licensed mental health professionals. Counseling is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the counselor and the client, and the particular problems that you bring forward. Counseling is not like a medical doctor visit, instead it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for counseling to be most effective, you need to actively participate and work on things discussed in session and at home.
Counseling can have benefits and risks. Since it often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness. On the other hand, counseling has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. It often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But, there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
Your first session with your personal counselor will be about one hour long. During the first visit you will be asked about what’s going on in your life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Your counselor will be asking about some of your personal history – losses, relationships, stressors, and your strengths in dealing with problems in the past. You will have a chance to ask questions about treatment, your counselor’s theoretical orientation, and to get a sense of how you might both work together. The first appointment is just that – the first – try to remember that it will take a little time for your counselor to get a sense of how they can help; don’t expect any instant solutions to your problems the first day – although it has happened if the problem that brings you in is a very simple one and you just need another person’s point of view.
Counseling Services are available to registered students at no cost to the student. You are not eligible to receive on campus counseling if you are not a registered student, or your status as a student changes while already receiving counseling on campus.
Hours of Operation
Counseling Services is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Hours are limited during winter break, spring break and summer session. Appointments are recommended to ensure the availability of a counselor. Appointments can be made in person or over the phone. Clients with less urgent needs are encouraged to make an appointment to ensure that they are seen in a timely manner. For emergencies after hours and on weekends, students are instructed to contact Public Safety at +1 (607) 778-5083 or 911 if an imminent emergency. Public Safety will make contact with Counseling Services if needed.
If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, or need to change a scheduled appointment, please give the Counseling Staff 24 hours notice (via email or phone), if possible. If you do not show up for a scheduled appointment 2 times within a semester (no call, no show), you may lose the privilege of using Counseling Services for the remainder of that semester. If you commit to regular sessions on a particular time and day of the week, and do not show up for one of these appointments (no call, no show), your appointment time may be offered to other students in the future. If you are more than 15 minutes late for a scheduled appointment, the counselor reserves the right to use the remaining time of that hour for other duties, and or to see other students as needed. You will have to reschedule if this is the case.
Contacting your Counselor
Counselors are often not immediately available by telephone and/or email. Counseling Services is open between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, our secretary answers calls, and can take messages. You may also use the campus email, but note that electronic confidentiality cannot be assured. We make every effort to return your call or email on the same day, with the exception of weekend, holidays and after hours. If you are difficult to reach, please leave some times when you will be available. In an emergency, please contact your medical provider, Community Psychiatric Emergency Program at +1 (607) 762-2458, or 911. If your counselor will not be available for an extended period of time, you will be provided with the name and contact of a colleague that may help address your needs.
Excuses and Withdraws
Counseling services staff does not provide letters at the time of an initial consultation and cannot provide documentation regarding a students’ mental health without a history of services at SUNY Broome Counseling Services during the specified time period. If necessary, the students are encouraged to seek letters of support from professionals directly involved in their care such as past or present psychologist/psychiatrist or medical health provider.
SUNY Broome Community College Counseling Services does not accept court mandated counseling orders for our students. Information from a students’ counseling file is not intended for the purposes of employment or forensic evaluations. Counselors do not attest to the suitability of a client for a particular position or work environment or make judgments whether the client is a security risk. Counselors do not sign off for emotional support animals or service animals. Counseling Services does not prescribe or monitor psychotropic or any other medications.