Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people come to counseling?

Many students experience personal concerns, high emotional distress or trouble functioning (e.g. difficulty concentrating, sleeping, loss of interest in activities) at some point in their college career. In such situations, it can be very helpful or necessary to speak with an objective, caring professional in order to get back on track and feel better. While students may seek counseling for any number of reasons, common reasons include: stress, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, adjustment, body image, grief, trauma, substance abuse, and identity.

What happens in counseling?

A lot of things can happen. Mostly you will be talking with someone about your feelings and concerns. You will usually set some goals (e.g. behavioral changes, skills that you want to learn) with your therapist. However, your therapist cannot “fix” your problems and probably won’t tell you what to do. Counseling is a collaborative process that requires work and motivation on your end. Your therapist may suggest that you read something to help you understand what is happening or provide feedback to you. They may teach your some skills (e.g. relaxation techniques) or might ask you to do "homework" between sessions (e.g. practice techniques learned in session).

What if my issues are not serious enough?

If you are distressed by issues in your life, then they are serious. Just because some people’s issues are more severe doesn’t mean that yours are insignificant. We are always glad to help in whatever way we can.

What if my issues are too severe?

We can handle most issues of an emotional/psychological nature that college students experience. However, if the presenting issues require more specialized or intense services, we can assist in referring you to the appropriate agency or provider.

How much does it cost?

All counseling services are free to enrolled Bellarmine University students.

How do I make an appointment?

To arrange an initial appointment, call our office at 502.272.8480. Let us know that you want to arrange a first-time appointment for personal counseling. We will speak with you briefly to assess your basic concerns and schedule you for an intake consultation appointment generally within 24- 48 hours. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your intake consultation appointment to complete intake paperwork. Then you will meet with an intake therapist for approximately 30 minutes to discuss your concern(s). The intake therapist will then make recommendations for treatment as relevant to your concern(s).

How long does a session last?

A typical session is around 50 minutes. If this seems too long or short for you and what is happening in your life, we can always make adjustments.

Do you offer group therapy?

Group therapy is a valuable tool for helping people with a variety of presenting concerns. Group therapy can offer a space to get support, feel understood, receive feedback, development new coping skills, and enhance social skills. We offer an Interpersonal Process Group, a Coping Skills Group, and a Resilience Group. Times vary by semester; please contact the Counseling Center for the most up to date details at 502.272.8480.

How many times will I be seen?

This all depends on you and your needs. You are under no obligation to continue, but people who benefit the most from counseling tend to come for at least 3 or 4 sessions. However, some people meet their goals in a single session, while other people may come for about 8-10 sessions.

What if I need medication?

At times, medication may be recommended as an additional treatment for a mental health condition. The Counseling Center provides referrals for psychiatric care to trusted providers in the community. 

Can I bring someone with me?

Sometimes it helps to have a friend or support person along with you when you go to a new place. Usually that friend does not come into a session but they can if you wish. If you are experiencing problems in a relationship and need to bring someone in to work on that with you, we can do that as well. This goes for an intimate relationship with your partner but it can also be useful for roommate conflicts or other friendship issues that have not been able to work themselves out elsewhere.

Will other people find out that I’m coming or what I tell you?

No. Counseling services are confidential. That means that we can’t disclose any information to parents, professors, friends or anyone else without your consent to release that information. There are some exceptions to this rule. We may need to disclose information in cases where we think you may be at imminent risk of harming yourself or others, suspected child or elder abuse, if records are court ordered or other situations mandated by state or federal law. All personal counseling services and medical records are strictly confidential. There are some limitations to confidentiality as mandated by law or professional ethics code. Your counselor can explain those limitations.

Do you provide couples/family therapy?

Yes, as long as one person involved in the therapy is a Bellarmine student.