Whether counseling is a new experience for you or something you've done before, it is common to have questions about how counseling can help you and what to expect. Below are some commonly asked questions about counseling and our service model.
How can counseling help me?
Counseling is an interactive process of talking with a trained professional. Sometimes the task is to help you see and feel more clearly those things which are preventing you from reaching your potential. Then together you can identify and practice new strategies to reduce the barriers to your progress. Other times, it simply helps to express yourself about painful or hurtful situations that have been "eating at you" from the inside. Your counselor is a neutral and experienced person who will not judge or pressure you but will work with you to move toward the goals that are important to you.
What types of counseling do you offer and how to decide which one is best for me?
We offer a variety of counseling services rooted in our short-term therapy model. The majority of the therapy offered at SCS is brief individual or group therapy. However, we also provide crisis interventions, career counseling, and couples counseling. We provide specialized services to ISU Veterinary Medicine students due to their unique schedules. We also provide performance enhancement and mental health services to ISU student-athletes through our Sport Psychology program. The initial walk-in is the time first time we assess and make recommendations of services. The recommendation for type of service is made by a clinician based on your needs, history, and SCS Scope of Services. From time to time, an initial plan is created in the walk-in session but over the course of a few weeks or months, it is clear that plan is not adequate or best suited for that individual and thus we develop a new plan in a collaborative fashion.
How do I get started?
We are open from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday. We are closed on all university holidays but are typically open during breaks. To get started with counseling or other SCS services, please walk in during our walk-in hours when you have about 1.5-2 hours of free time. Our current walk-in hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:00am-3:00pm.
We will ask you to provide us some information prior to seeing a counselor; this typically takes 20-30 minutes. After you have finished the paperwork, one of the on-call counselors will review it prior to meeting with you. You will then meet with a counselor for 20-30 minutes. During that time you will be asked questions about what has brought you to SCS and clarify information from your paperwork. By the end of your initial walk-in, your counselor will make a recommendation to meet your unique needs. We offer a variety of services at SCS as well as assist with connecting you to campus and community resources that will best meet your needs.
How many sessions will it take?
Most students who seek counseling at the Student Counseling Service feel they have met their goals in 6 sessions or less. Some students stay in counseling longer than that and some find that after a few months they want to come back to work on a different concern or to enhance the work they did before. Some clients find that group counseling is the best mode for them to get a great deal of benefit from their counseling. Clients at SCS tend to stay in group counseling longer than in individual counseling.
How can I learn more about the services you offer?
Please explore our website to find more about us and the range of services we offer. Some students have found that utilizing Let's Talk helps them get a good sense of what counseling might be like as well as a time to ask a counselor questions about our services. In addition to our clinical services, we offer Mind-Body Services such as Biofeedback and the Mindfulness Meditation Class that are open to all ISU students. Further, provide Outreach, Consultation, and Presentations to the ISU community. If you have further questions, call our office at 515-294-5056 and we'll be happy to assist you.