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 and career 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 appointment 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 appointment 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?

Student Counseling Services is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Services Building.

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 call 515-294-5056 during SCS business hours to schedule an initial appointment. Prior to the initial appointment you will complete paperwork. During the initial appointment you will met briefly with a counselor to get connected to the services that best meet your needs.

What to Expect During Your Initial Appointment

During your initial appointment you will meet with a counselor for 20-25 minutes. We will ask you questions about your current situation and safety. Please understand that the initial appointment is a brief meeting and is not a therapy session. The purpose is for us to understand your needs, so that we can refer you to appropriate resources such as groups and/or workshops, brief therapy here, or referral to an outside counseling agency. Because of the brief nature of the meeting, the counselor will focus on your most urgent concerns.

Student Counseling Services (SCS) is committed to offering students the best possible service and will discuss those options that we believe will best meet your needs. Thank you!

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. In addition to our clinical services, we offer Mind-Body Services, such as Biofeedback, that are open to all ISU students. Further, provide Outreach, Consultations 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.