Counseling and Health FAQ

Got questions about what we do here at the Counseling and Health Center?  You'll find some answers here, but feel free to reach out if you can't find what you're looking for.

Why do people go to counseling?

Students come to counseling to talk about many things, including: school concerns, depression, anxiety, stress management, relationship issues, parenting, alcohol or drug use, suicidal thoughts, or issues related to aspects of identity such as gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and spirituality.

Counseling is something that can be helpful whether you have been struggling with mental health issues for a while, want help problem-solving a specific issue, or just want to brush up on some new skills so you can feel as healthy as possible.

We know it is a brave choice to try out counseling, and we want to do our best to help you feel comfortable so that you can successfully achieve your counseling goals.

What should I expect at my appointment?

After scheduling an appointment through our front desk staff, you will be emailed a link for some brief and confidential forms to fill out, as well as the Zoom link for your appointment. 

At your appointment, your counselor will greet you, review the forms, and talk with you about whatever you wish.  Your counselor will ask you some basic questions to get to know you, and you and your counselor will work together to develop a plan to address your concerns.  This may include a recommendation for skills to try at home, some follow up individual or group sessions, and/or suggestions for further resources.  It is always up to you what you talk about and whether you want to continue counseling.

Do I have to pay for counseling and/or health services?

Counseling at Clark College is FREE to currently enrolled students.  Costs are covered through tuition/fees. We practice student care using a short-term treatment model.  You will work with your counselor to create an individual treatment plan, which includes connection to resources on and off campus.  On average, students find that their situations usually improve in about five sessions.

We offer low-cost health services to currently enrolled students.  Although we do not bill health insurance, we keep our costs as low as possible for students.  If you are unable to pay for what you need, please get in touch, as we may be able to work out a solution.  Money should never be a barrier to good health care!

Is counseling confidential?

Yes. All conversation and even the fact that you have seen a counselor is kept strictly confidential. Unless there is a life-threatening emergency, we do not communicate with your professors, family, or friends without your written consent. Your counselor will go over confidentiality in your first session and you can ask any questions you would like.

Counselors are NOT mandatory reporters for Title IX situations.

Counselors ARE mandatory reporters for child abuse/neglect.

Talking to someone about my feelings sounds super awkward!

We understand meeting with a counselor can feel awkward or intimidating.  We’ve all been through it too! Our counselors offer different options to help you feel more comfortable such as fidgets, aromatherapy, coloring sheets, mindfulness activities, and creative arts techniques.  You are also welcome to bring a support person with you.  For some students, groups are a good option instead of individual therapy.

What other services do you offer?

Please see our homepage for more information on our health and wellness offerings including:

-Medical appointments (including STD testing and contraception)



-Presentations and consultation for classes and student groups

What are some common myths about counseling?

Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

We believe it takes a great deal of emotional strength to seek help for problems that may be too overwhelming to manage alone.

A therapist will fix my problems right away.

The goal of counseling is not for someone else to “fix” your problems. We are here to help you to identify those concerns and to set goals for yourself. Solving those problems may involve working with your therapist to explore your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In doing so, you can explore your options and make a decision for how to best achieve your goals. YOU are the expert on your own life!

A therapist can’t understand what I am going through, because they’re not going through it themselves.

We agree that each individual is unique, and it can be difficult to truly understand someone else’s experience.  Our staff members have been trained to learn about, be sensitive to, and respectful of the unique experiences of each client. Those experiences may include concerns related to gender, age, cultural background, racial/ethnic differences, sexual orientation, gender identity, family-of-origin, or socioeconomic issues.

My counselor will force me to take medication.

Deciding to try counseling or medication is always your choice.  If medication is a tool you are interested in learning about, our staff can talk to you about your options, but you are always in control of what options you would like to try.

What qualifications do counselors have? Will they give me a diagnosis?

All of our staff members are trained healthcare professionals.  We all bring a different set of skills and specializations to our jobs.  Learn more about our staff (link). While we are qualified to diagnose, we do not currently do that at the CHC.

Can I switch to a different counselor?  What if there is no one on your staff that reflects my identity?

Yes. We want you to find the best match possible and sometimes this means trying a counselor different from the first person you see. We encourage you to share your concerns with the therapist you are working with, but please let us know if you would like to meet with another provider. If no one on our team meets your specific need, we will work with you to help you find a community provider who does.

How can I find a therapist outside of Clark College?

This recent article from NPR has some information about how to get started finding a therapist.

Psychology Today also has a search function that can help you find mental health resources that accept your insurance, specialize in particular areas, and fir other criteria you may be looking for.

Our counselors are always happy to help refer you to other providers in the community as well.  Get in touch to schedule an appointment!