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Counseling Services

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CCS Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is eligible for counseling?
2. What is the cost?
3. How do I make an appointment?
4. What about confidentiality?
5. How can I refer someone for counseling?
6. What can I expect at my first appointment?
7. What are my responsibilities as a client?
8. How will I be treated by the CCS staff?

Who is eligible for counseling?
Counseling services are available at no cost to all currently enrolled students or students actively pursuing the goal of re-entering JSU (Psychological and Interest Assessments are available to non-students for a nominal charge). Students include all part-time and full-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs.
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What is the cost?
All of our counseling services are offered free to those eligible to receive counseling. Again, certain assessments may require a fee for non-students.
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How do I make an appointment?
You may call (256) 782-5475 or come by to set up an initial appointment. We are locatedat 140 Daugette Hall. If you would like to make an appointment via the Internet, please click on the following link: Request Counseling
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What about confidentiality?
Counseling is confidential for all persons. No information regarding your visit(s) will be divulged to any person(s) or agencies, parents, faculty, prospective employers without your written permission specifying what may be disclosed; nor will any record of your visit(s) exist within your official academic transcripts or medical records. All of this being said, there are some exceptions to confidentiality
  • A client threatens to harm him/herself or harm others.
  • When there is reasonable suspicion of abuse of a child or elderly person.
  • When ordered to release records to a court of law having proper jurisdiction.

For a full copy of our confidentiality policy, please click on the following link: Confidentiality Policy
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How can I refer someone for counseling?
Often faculty, staff, friends or family will notice changes in an individual before he/she does. This may result in concern for the person and a desire to refer them for counseling. We suggest that you first speak to the individual, expressing your concern for them and encourage them to call or come by Counseling and Career Services to make an appointment. If necessary, you may make the call and let the student make an appointment. If possible, walk the student over to the center and provide support. You may also call and consult with a staff member to gather ideas on how to refer an individual who may be wary of seeking help.
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What can I expect at my first appointment?
All clients are scheduled for an initial (intake) interview with a Counseling Services staff member. The purpose of the intake interview is to gather information about the client, his/her concerns, background data, contributing factors to current problems, and goals for counseling. Further, the intake interview is used to identify those clients who can benefit from Counseling Center services and those who should be referred elsewhere.

There are no pre-established number of sessions, the Counselor, counseling staff and student will assess the student's need and schedule sessions accordingly.  If additional services are needed, Counseling Services will provide referral options that are available locally. A counseling session is typically 45-55 minutes in length with sessions commonly scheduled on a once a week basis. Clients who arrive late for their appointment will have a reduced amount of sessions time or may be rescheduled.
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What are my rights and responsibilities as a client?
Client Rights: (1) Review credentials of all Counseling Center staff members (on file in office): education, experience, professional counseling certification and license(s); (2) Request a particular counselor; male or female (to honor a specific request may require a longer wait); (3) Terminate counseling relationship at any time; (4) Have all that you say treated confidentially and be informed of any limitations on confidentiality in the counseling relationship; (5) Ask questions about the counseling techniques and strategies used by your counselor; and (6) Participate in setting goals and evaluating progress toward them.

Client Responsibilities: (1) Keep appointments; (2) Cancel at least 24 hours in advance, (if possible) when unable to attend so we may use the time to assist others; (3) Arrive on time for your sessions; and (4) Terminate your counseling relationship before entering into arrangements with another counselor.

Missed Appointments: Clients who reschedule but do not attend two (2) consecutive sessions will be terminated and another client immediately assigned to their place. The same procedure applies for the client who does not keep an appointment and fails to call to reschedule within two (2) weeks.
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How will I be treated by the CS staff?
Counselors are aware of and respectful of the different strengths, challenges, beliefs, and situations that individuals present us.

We respect your right to privacy and will adhere to the standards of confidentiality to the fullest extent allowed by law and our ethical guidelines.

We are committed to treating all students with the fullest respect and dignity. Discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.

We recognize the individual is the best expert on him/her self. The individual client has the choice to participate as much as he/she feels comfortable, and to continue or cease counseling, as they deem appropriate. (We do ask that individuals inform their counselor if they intend to cease counseling as that we may receive feedback and plan our schedules accordingly).

Professional standards and responsibilities call for an avoidance of "dual role" relationships. What this means is that your counselor should not be a current professor, employer or social friend.
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