1. What can I expect at the first appointment?
Typically, students fill out an intake form asking for basic information, such as address, phone number, e-mail address, and other basic demographic information, as well as a short symptom checklist. You will also be asked to read basic information concerning appointments and confidentiality and to sign your name indicating that you agree to these terms. You will most likely meet with a counselor for the next 45 to 50 minutes during which time you will have the opportunity to share more about yourself and your concerns. Your counselor will want to know basic information such as why you are seeking counseling, what concerns or problems you have been experiencing, and some information pertaining to your history and family. It is also important for you to share any information you feel would be helpful for the counselor to know, even if not specifically asked. At the end of the appointment, your counselor will share some preliminary input/reactions, and together you will make a decision as to future counseling sessions.
2. How do I know if I really need counseling?
Many students are not sure if their concerns are the type of concerns that can be helped by counseling. In general, we recommend an initial appointment at which time you and your counselor can together determine whether additional counseling might be useful.
3. What kind of things do students seek help for?
Students seek help for a variety of issues and concerns including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, eating disorders or concerns, family issues, substance abuse, and a host of others including issues related to academic stress or family concerns.
4. What exactly is counseling anyway? How does it work? What can I expect?
Counseling is essentially a “partnership.” It is a process through which you and a trained professional form a team and agree to have dialogue in a supportive and caring atmosphere. The goal is to enhance your understanding of your concerns, of yourself, and of others. Counseling can help identify solutions to problems which were not previously identified.
5. Is what I say confidential?
Yes. In only rare exceptions when a counselor feels the safety of a student or someone else is at risk can disclosure occur.
6. How do I schedule an appointment?
You may schedule an appointment by calling Robin at extension 4853; off campus, call 708-239-4853. Appointments may not be made by e-mail, but an e-mail confirmation will be sent to you prior to your first scheduled appointment..
7. Where are you located?
We are currently located on the main floor of Molenhouse Student Center.
8. Is there a waiting list?
We do not maintain a waiting list. Our goal is to provide a first appointment to any student who seeks one within five days of the time the appointment was requested. This is sometimes not possible because of schedule conflicts or special requests made by the student, but, in general, we have been able to meet this standard.
9. What does it cost?
All Cooper Center services are free for current students.
10. If I feel I need to speak to someone right away, is that possible?
If there is immediate urgency, we will do all we can to meet with you. It is recommended that you schedule appointments in advance whenever possible. If you are in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255); or dial 9911 from campus for Palos Heights emergency services.
11. My roommate is really struggling with depression, eating disorders, etc. Can I talk with someone in your office about how this affects me and what I can do to help?
12. Does the Cooper Center prescribe medication?
Medication can be a very helpful and necessary part of treatment for some students. However, the Cooper Center does not have any staff members who can prescribe medication. This can be facilitated in a number of ways. You can see your current physician or psychiatrist or find one in the area (a list of community psychiatrists is available below). In all cases, Cooper Center counselors and the prescribing professional, with your written consent, keep each other informed of your status in order to maintain good continuity of care.