Counseling Services

About the Center and Services

The Wellness Center is dedicated to providing individual and group assistance to students with personal problems. Before detailing our specific services, we would like to describe our office and how it operates.

Location: The Wellness Center is located on the corner of Park and Terrace Streets on 19 Park Street.

Hours: Our center is open from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm daily, throughout the academic calendar year. We are closed for lunch from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm.

The college years are known to be extraordinarily stressful for many. Most students cope adequately with stresses, at least without becoming overwhelmed. But in the contemporary climate of competition and pressure, increasing numbers of students find that stress becomes unmanageable and interferes with learning. In some cases the resulting behaviors of these students may even become disruptive to the learning of others.

Most of the students who use our services come in because of personal problems. The most common complaints are anxiety and depression, poor self-image, relationship problems, and family difficulties. Most students are either self-referred or referred by a friend, and need only five or six appointments to address their problems. Thus, our counseling service is largely a short-term treatment facility because that is what most students need.
Group Counseling is a process that assumes people benefit from shared experiences. Our group work at AU involves groups that are tailored toward the specific needs of students at our university. These needs may include exploring relationships, self-esteem, anxiety and depression and/or creative expression involving one’s art. While a therapist usually facilitates and leads the group, student participation is essential in the growth and development of all members of the particular group, many of whom are navigating similar issues and challenges here at AU.

A counseling group consists of between five and eight students. Depending on the group, meetings take place weekly or bi-weekly for 80 minutes, and offer students the chance to learn more about themselves and how they relate to others. Group Counseling can be an invaluable tool to self-learning and experimenting with different ways of engaging the world around you. You may work on speaking more with others or becoming more of a listener to better understand how you feel on various situations and topics. You may find yourself disagreeing with others in the group which is a part of the process in order to better define your own perspective and emotional range. As you listen to other people’s experiences, observe other’s behaviors, and connect with others by involving yourself into the group, you will have a chance to compare and contrast the world around you with your own. It is an opportunity to challenge yourself to better understand yourself and the possibilities in your life.

In regard to group therapy, attendance is mandatory and necessary for proper group processing. Students are allowed 2 absences/no shows from group therapy before being let go of a particular group.

National Certified Counselors work with students experiencing a wide range of crises, developmental concerns, personal problems, and relationship conflicts. Such difficulties are characterized by stress, depression, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and problems relating to others. These services are completely confidential in accordance with the standards set by the American Counseling Association.

Due to the demand of counseling services here at Alfred University, students will be limited to 6 sessions per calendar year (unless otherwise specified by the assigned counselor involving a student's treatment plan). A usual course of counseling includes one 6 session module that takes place weekly or bi-weekly. These module plans are intended to address concerns, to create space to explore one's emotional challenges, to implement interventions, and to afford a student awareness, skill development and empowerment. Students are encouraged to discuss their session limits with their assigned therapist.

The session limit does not include emergency appointments, consultation appointments, couples therapy or group therapy appointments. After reaching one's session limit, a student will be offered appropriate referrals for care in the community. Students are welcome to use emergency and crisis services as needed. Session limits allow the Wellness Center to remain accessible to all students in a timely manner. We strive, as a center, to deliver access and strong support of our students here at AU.

The Counseling and Wellness Center is a "Safe Place" for Alfred University students. When you come here, you have a right to privacy that means confidentiality.

Unless it is a matter of saving a human life, or you specifically give us your permission, or we have been ordered by a court, or we are required by law (as with child abuse):

Whatever you share with us stays with us.
Outside of the rare circumstances listed above, we will tell no one why you came here or what you shared with us not your friends, not your parents, not your professors, not your RA or Resident Director, not other University offices, not even the President.

We promise that the fact that you came here stays with us. Other than in the conditions noted above or when you have been required to come here by some authority such as a dean or an official university committee, no one is ever told you have been here: no friend, family member, instructor or university official.

The Counseling and Wellness Center will make every attempt to provide prompt service. Initial appointments with a counselor are made as soon as possible, usually within a week. Emergencies, of course, are seen immediately.

The staff of the Counseling and Wellness Center are expected to treat all clients with respect regardless of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. Counselors convey this respect by keeping appointments or contacting you if a change in time is necessary, by giving you complete attention during sessions, by avoiding interruptions during sessions, and by providing effective counseling.

These promises are not just from your counselor, but from each staff member at the Counseling and Wellness Center. We are all personally, professionally and legally committed to your right to privacy.

We do, of course, record general and statistical information such as why people come to us, and combine this into reports on our service. These reports are available for review. But individuals who come here in privacy are never identified nor are they identifiable. This we promise.

We promise that no matter if you have come to us with relationship issues, for alcohol or drug information, or with personal questions, we will do our best to provide you with warm, friendly and competent csdc.

Your active participation in the counseling process is necessary for progress to be made. Therefore, along with your rights as a client, you have certain responsibilities. Very important among these are promptness and attendance.

Keeping to appointment times will allow you to take full advantage of your counseling sessions, which are generally 50 minutes long. Arriving promptly will allow you to make the most of your time.

Once you have been assigned to a regular weekly appointment, it is your responsibility to keep the appointment.

Counseling services are available to all Alfred University students during the academic year. This service is covered through your tuition. If counseling services are desired during the summer a referral can be made.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above information, please discuss them with your counselor. We want you to know as much about the counseling process, your rights, and your responsibilities as possible. We encourage you to be informed and to help us maintain a high standard of care through your active participation and knowledge.

These are our promises to you. We are dedicated to serving you.

If a student is found in violation of the Alcohol & Drug policies at AU, it is possible that they will be sanctioned to come to the Wellness Center and complete one of the following courses, depending on their sanction.

Alcohol Education Course – the student is required to complete and pass an on-line alcohol education course.  There is a $100 charge to cover the cost of the course materials and licensing fees.

Choices for Alcohol
– the second alcohol education program – the student is required to complete an individualized alcohol education program along with 10 hours of community service. There is a $100 charge to cover the cost of the course materials and licensing fees.

Drug Education Course – the first drug education program -- the student is required to complete and pass an on-line drug education course. There is a $100 charge to cover the cost of the course materials and licensing fees.

Choices for Drugs – the second drug education program– the student is required to complete an individualized drug education program along with 10 hours of community service.  There is a $100 charge to cover the cost of the course materials. The student is responsible for ensuring that documentation for the completion of the sanctions is received and approved by the dean of students.

Amnesty-If a student receives Amnesty, they have to meet with the Health and Wellness Coordinator a minimum of two times and will complete a Choices workbook. There is no charge associated with Amnesty.

Due to the Health & Wellness Coordinators busy schedule, if a student is 15 minutes late to their AOD appointment they will have to reschedule their appointment for another time.

Educational programs and workshops for residence halls, classes, clubs and organizations on a variety of topics are requested each year. Programs on stress management, healthy eating, and managing conflict are examples of programs that have recently been offered. Requests for programming should be made by contacting Amanda Khodorkovskaya, Health & Wellness Coordinator at 607-871-2300 or via email. We ask that you please submit programming requests two weeks prior to when the program will take place. Please see below for a list of programs that the Wellness Center offers.

Wellness Center Programs

In addition, we are available to consult with faculty, staff, parents, or students who may be concerned about a student. Assistance in crisis management and guidelines for referral are available. Persons who are concerned about a student are urged to contact the Counseling and Wellness Center for consultation.

Call 607-871-2300 or walk in during office hours (Mon.-Fri., 8:30 am-4:30 pm). All assistance is free of charge to currently enrolled students.

All contact is held in strict confidence.
Due to heavy demand for services here at Alfred University Counseling Services, we strongly request that you call 607-871-2300 to cancel your appointment 1 day (24 hours) in advance of your scheduled appointment. Appointments not canceled at least 4 hours in advance will be considered no shows/absences. If you no show 2 appointments in the same semester, we will unfortunately be unable to keep any scheduled appointments or schedule another appointment for the remainder of the semester. You may request referral information for services in the area and you will be eligible for counseling services again the following semester.

Students are allowed to be a maximum of 15 minutes late before there session is considered cancelled. In these instances, students are highly encouraged to reschedule as soon as possible.

A. When?

There are several instances in which you should make a referral to the Counseling and Wellness Center:

  1. Whenever a student expresses to you some adjustment concern or emotional problems.
  2. Whenever you believe that a student could benefit from professional help. Whenever you observe unusual or disruptive behavior.
  3. ALWAYS when a student mentions suicide, whether to you or to another student.

Making referrals for counseling is a skill which requires tact, sensitivity, and at times, firmness. You should be aware that students, even if they request help, are often ambivalent and embarrassed to ask for such assistance. Part of your job, then, is to allay as many of their fears and answer as many of their questions as you reasonably can. To facilitate a smooth referral, the student should be told:

  1. A meeting with a Counseling and Wellness Center staff member is not mandatory, but is in the student's best interests.
  2. That you would be willing to come to the Counseling and Wellness Center (if you feel that is the only way to guarantee that the student comes in) with the student for the first visit, but that sitting in on the session is entirely at the discretion of the student.
  3. That all information is kept strictly confidential.
  4. That help-seeking is healthy, and reflects open-mindedness and flexibility. Students will often argue that they can "deal with" their problems "alone." You should point out that no one is saying that they can't; only that their efforts might be enhanced by consulting with a professional. (Use the word "consult" when possible. It is less threatening.)
  5. If suicide is the concern, emphasize strongly the need for the student to meet with a staff member for at least one visit. Don't make threats, but point out that talk of suicide is serious business and that such talk cannot be dismissed with verbal reassurance by the student. You can remind the student that one visit does not obligate him/her to more visits, unless they and the Center staff member decide that more meetings would be helpful.

B. How?

  1. If you are a Resident Advisor, discuss the situation which has prompted the referral, with your hall director. He/she may have some useful suggestions, and in any case will want to be informed of potential crises.
  2. Contact a Counseling and Wellness Center staff member, either by phone or by coming in to the Center. You may use this time to discuss the situation with the staff member, who may be able to determine what the best intervention strategy might be. ALWAYS try to discuss the situation with the staff member before bringing the student in, unless it is an emergency. You should also tell the student that you will be talking to the Center, so that he/she doesn't feel betrayed or vulnerable. Discuss what you will say, emphasizing that you are trying to make the referral easier for the student. Don't forget that the student has strong points too, and it is a good idea to reassure the student that you will be discussing his/her assets as well.
  3. It is often helpful for the student to know whom he/she will be seeing for the first visit, and frequently you will be able to determine that ahead of time. However, before referring to a specific staff member for ongoing counseling, make sure that the staff member will be available to see the student. Because of scheduling demands it is not always possible to meet requests for a particular staff member. In making more routine referrals, when you do not have to contact the Counseling and Wellness Center on the student's behalf, always give the student more than one staff member's name and emphasize that being flexible about choice of counselor means that they'll be able to see someone sooner.
  4. Follow up with the staff member. While it is often helpful to us for you to keep the consultant or staff member informed of the student's adjustment, it is counterproductive if the student feels spied on. Remember, too, that due to client confidentiality which the Counseling and Wellness Center must respect, information sharing will be one-way; we cannot discuss with you our work with the student, except perhaps after the initial meeting, and even then only with the student's consent.

Another type of situation deserves mention. It is not unusual for you to become aware of something which you believe the student's counselor should know. In those situations, rather than contact the counselor directly, you should consult with another Counseling and Wellness Center staff member. Tell them what you know, and allow them to determine whether or not it should be passed on. This prevents awkward situations for all parties involved, and helps to insure the student's privacy.

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