Couple Counseling

When can couple counseling help?

Student Counseling Services (SCS) can provide couple counseling to any two people who feel the need to improve the quality of their communication, their level of intimacy, or their mutual understanding of the roles and boundaries that each will hold in their relationship. Many times couples in a romantic relationship (either same-sex or other sex) find therapy can assist them to deepen their commitment or even to make clear the differences in their values or goals which are getting in the way of true commitment. Other relationships such as roommates, business/academic partners or family relationships may also benefit from couples counseling. SCS therapists remain committed to helping the couple find strategies to assist the couple to make decisions that enhance the overall well-being of both individuals. Couples often find therapy is helpful when:

  • they feel themselves stuck in negative/hurtful communication patterns or emotions
  • they experience circumstances which stress the stability and emotional safety of their relationship
  • they are planning for a significant change such as moving in together, getting married, anticipating a long period of separation for work or school, or planning for a child
  • they are considering breaking up or have decided to do so but want help minimizing the negative impact on themselves or others

What are the eligibility requirements and expectations for couple counseling?

Both participants of couples counseling must be currently enrolled ISU students.

Couple counseling will not be provided by SCS if there is significant current risk of physical harm to either person in the couple. In such a case, each individual may be recommended for individual counseling (either in SCS or the community) to address their individual needs before couple counseling is recommended.

Each individual will be provided some time at intake before any assignment to counseling to express their needs and desires for treatment.

Couple counseling sessions will not be conducted without both individuals present unless the therapist specifically arranges for such time for a specific purpose and both individuals have been informed.

Sometimes an individual in counseling desires a friend, partner or family member to be included in their individual counseling for one or more sessions in order to provide support or to understand better what the client is working on. This is not defined relationship counseling but the presence of the other person in the session would be noted in the individual’s counseling record.

How to 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 90 minutes of free time.

Our current walk-in hours are Monday- Thursday 8:00-3:00pm.

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.