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Counseling Center FAQs

Where is the Counseling Center located, and what are the hours of operation?
The Counseling Center is located in Jenks 201 & 202. These offices are accessible from the entrance along the campus road near Barrington, or from within Jenks on the second floor after the restroom/break area. The main waiting room is in Jenks 201.

Our hours of operation are:
Monday–Thursday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

If you are in crisis, please contact your RD or Gordon Police at x3333.

For other matters you may contact the Counseling Center at or leave a message at x4301. Please be aware that counselors are in session throughout the day and are unable to be reached for immediate assistance. Your RD can help facilitate a same-day appointment when appropriate.

How do I make an appointment?
There are two ways to schedule an appointment. You may either click on the “Schedule an Appointment” button below to fill out the online intake form, or you may stop by the Counseling Center during business hours to fill out an intake form in the waiting room.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

How quickly will I be scheduled for an appointment at the Counseling Center?
Our intake coordinator will respond to your request for an appointment within 12 business hours to let you know we have received your intake. Appointments are typically scheduled within 7 business days. If you are requesting a specific counselor or have limited availability, this time may be longer. We know that it takes courage to take the first step to begin counseling and we will do our best to get you in as soon as possible. In the meantime, click here for recommendations of how to care for yourself while you wait for your appointment. If you are in crisis, please go to your Resident Director, or contact Public Safety at x3333.

Is counseling confidential?
Yes. All communication you share with the Counseling Center is confidential and protected by the law if you are over the age of 18. Information about your attendance at the Counseling Center and any information you reveal in sessions cannot be discussed with others (including all Gordon faculty, staff, students or parents) unless you have given written consent. Counselors cannot even confirm that a student is coming to the Counseling Center without written consent.

By law, there are exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include the following:

  • If you present a clear and present danger to yourself or someone else.
  • If you are being perpetrated against in a physical, sexual or violent manner, or if you are perpetrating against another person.
  • As consistent with standard professional practice, your counselor will consult with the Counseling Center staff regarding your treatment. In such circumstances, your privacy will be safeguarded by not disclosing identifying information.
  • Counselors sometimes function in other roles at the College, including the classroom. To protect your confidentiality, we will not acknowledge any relationship with you should we see you or interact with you outside of the Counseling Center offices.
  • To protect confidentiality, Counselors are not able to engage in social media relationships (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) with students.

We do not provide:
Long-term, intensive psychotherapy
Long-term treatment for eating disorders, chronic mental illness, trauma or addiction

As general practitioners, each of our counselors utilizes and is experienced in multiple therapeutic modalities. The most common types of therapy we use at the Counseling Center are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Insight-oriented Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In almost all cases we share psychoeducation throughout counseling to educate our students during their own process of self-exploration, healing and growth.

As part of our therapeutic approach, we place special emphasis on considering the whole person. We encourage students first and foremost to create and maintain healthy self-care practices in order to ensure they are taking responsibility for their own well-being. College is a time of transition for students as they acclimate to living life away from family and structures they have known their whole lives. It is vital for students to begin creating healthy routines and practices in regard to sleep, diet, exercise, stress-reduction, time-management and self-assertiveness. We approach all of our work with students through a developmental perspective. During these college years there is a particularly unique and powerful convergence of changes that occur in a college student’s emotional, social, spiritual and vocational identity. This convergence can make therapy during these four years of development a particularly powerful, rich and productive process.

How many sessions can I have at the Counseling Center?
In order to provide support for all those who request counseling services, we limit counseling to a maximum of 8-sessions per semester. However, please note that our desire to care for and support each student in the most appropriate way possible is our highest priority. Students are welcome to utilize the Counseling Center services at any time while they are a student at Gordon. Many students return at different times during their college career to seek counseling support.
How long will I be in counseling for?
Typically, students who come to the Counseling Center attend between one and five sessions per semester. Many return for subsequent sessions at different times during their time at Gordon. Counseling sessions are 45-minutes in length.

What is the fee for counseling?
Counseling services are provided at no cost to current undergraduate students of Gordon College.

Can I use my health insurance for additional sessions if I run out?
Counseling services are free of charge at all times and are designed to address issues that are short-term in nature. If the student feels they would benefit from weekly counseling, or would like to see a specialist off-campus, we work with the student to help facilitate a smooth transfer to a local professional. Please refer to the Off-Campus Professionals page for a listing of local resources.

What do students come to the Counseling Center for?
Below is a list which includes many, but not all of the reasons students come to counseling:

  • Academic Concerns (struggling academically in a class, missing classes, fear of public speaking)
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Addiction (substances, video games, pornography)
  • Adjustment to College (homesickness, difficulty being in an extroverted environment as an introvert, et al.)
  • Adjustment Returning from an Off-campus Program
  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
  • Boundaries
  • Cutting/Self-Injury
  • Dating/Loss of a Relationship
  • Depression/Mood Swings
  • Difficulty with Living Situations
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Eating Concerns/Body-Image Concerns
  • Family Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • History of Abuse
  • OCD
  • Identity Questions
  • Perfectionism (pervasive sense of not feeling good enough, need to ensure others see you in a positive light, tendency to over-commit even when feeling overwhelmed)
  • PTSD
  • Relational Conflict
  • Self-Image
  • Sexual Assault/Rape
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Stress (feeling overwhelmed, can’t keep up)
  • Sexuality
  • Stress related to role as an RA, athlete or other campus leader
  • Uncontrollable Thoughts or Feelings

Can I come to the Counseling Center even if I don’t think my problems are serious in nature?
Yes! If there is any area of your life that you find is disrupting your healthy functioning (eating, sleeping, studying, concentration, relationships, mood), then it is important. Students come to counseling for many, many reasons and often find great relief and peace from having a safe, objective, and confidential place to process what is occurring away from their lives on campus. It is incredibly stressful to be a college student and we want to support you in any way we can. Problems or disruption in one area of your life can quickly begin to spill over into other areas of functioning, so it is important to address your problems as they arise. Don’t wait until all areas of your life are suffering.

What will happen when I come for the first session?
Come to the Counseling Center waiting room, have a seat, and help yourself to a drink in the main waiting room in Jenks 201. Your counselor will greet you when he/she is ready. The initial session is an opportunity for you and your counselor to get to know each other and to begin exploring the reasons you decided to seek counseling support. The counselor will also have you sign the Informed Consent Agreement form, review confidentiality and begin to help you think about what you desire to change as a result of coming to counseling. This is an important time for you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. If you do not know where to start, or feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to convey all that you are experiencing in your life right now, take heart. Our counselors are experienced, professional clinicians who are ready to sit with you and guide you, whatever stage you are at.

If your counselor does not feel qualified to deal with the concern you present, or determines that an off-campus referral would be more appropriate, your counselor will share this with you and begin to explore what the most appropriate supports are for you.

What if I do not like my counselor or would like to try another counselor?
Some students have had difficult or challenging counseling experiences in the past which can make returning to counseling daunting. At the Counseling Center we believe a “good fit” with your counselor is vitally important to the therapeutic process, and to your healing and growth.

If you feel like it is not a good fit with your counselor after the first session, we would encourage you to consider meeting with them again for a second session. The first session is filled with anxiety for most individuals beginning counseling, and it can be helpful to meet again, when the anxiety of the first session has lessened.

If you are able, voice your concerns to your counselor. We love to have honest and direct conversations and more than anything, want your counseling experience to be helpful, it is after all, your counseling. If you would like to try a different counselor, please feel free to do so. You can either let your counselor know and they will help facilitate a transfer to another clinician, or contact the intake coordinator at and indicate that you would like to transfer to another counselor.

Can I stop counseling at any time?
Yes! We are here to help you and if at any time counseling is not feeling helpful, or it is feeling like a difficult time to deal with challenging issues then be sure to express this to your counselor. Sharing your concerns with your counselor might help pave the way for a positive return to counseling when you are ready.

What if I need to take medication?
Completing a medication evaluation with a prescriber can be an important part of a successful treatment process when the counselor and student have determined that it is time. Our counselors refer students to one of three places to complete a medication evaluation in order to assess the appropriateness of treating symptoms with medication. Students are never forced or coerced into completing a medication evaluation. It is your counseling. Your counselor will share openly with you about their diagnostic formulations and treatment recommendations, but you will determine the course of action.

Counselors refer students to:

  • The Gordon College Health Center
  • Off-Campus Prescribers (Psychiatrists, Certified Nurse Specialists, MDs)
  • A partner prescriber that works out of the Counseling Center every other week.

The referral choice is based on a number of variables which the counselor and student will evaluate together:

  • Severity and acuteness of symptoms
  • Complexity of the presenting issues and diagnosis
  • Chronicity of symptoms
  • Barriers to care related to health insurance or transportation
  • Prior history of use of psychotropic medication

Can I continue coming to the Counseling Center during May-term, over the summer, or over breaks?
Generally, no. The Counseling Center is closed for appointments when classes are not in session. Each counselor works with their students to create an appropriate care-plan during these breaks. Some students choose to take a hiatus from counseling, while others choose to continuecounseling with a therapist in the area or at home.

However, this summer 2015, we are piloting a program offering Counseling Center services on a limited basis to students living on campus. The Counseling Center will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12pm-5pm from May 19th through July 29th. Please click the "Schedule an Appointment" button to request to meet with a counselor.  

How many students use the Counseling Center?
Each year the Counseling Center sees between 20-25% of the student body. The percentage of students from each class is fairly evenly distributed from year to year.

Do you offer services for anyone other than students?
At this time, the Counseling Center provides services for current undergraduate students of Gordon College only. We do offer one-time consultations to Gordon alumni in order to help them assess their level of need and connect with a local off-campus referral. We also offer consultations to current staff, faculty and coaches to offer support and psychoeducation.