Will the services at the Counseling Center cost me anything?

All the services are free of charge.

Who is eligible for services at the Vanguard University Counseling Center?

All enrolled Vanguard University students (undergraduate, graduate and SPS students) are eligible for counseling services.

Do you have general questions about counseling?

If you have a general question about counseling that you have not been able to find on our site, or you think it would be good to have your question referenced on this page, email your question to counselingcenter@vanguard.edu.

What does research show about the effectiveness of counseling?

According to a research summary from the Stanford University School of Medicine, counseling effectively decreased peoples’ depression and anxiety related symptoms—such as pain, fatigue, and nausea.

Counseling has also been found to increase survival time after heart surgery, for people with cancer, and it can have positive effects on the body’s immune system. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are closely linked and that counseling can improve a person’s overall health status.

There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of counseling are better off than untreated individuals who are having emotional difficulties.

If I begin counseling, how can I gain the most from it?

There are many approaches to counseling and various formats in which it may occur—including individual, group, and couples. Despite the variations, all counseling is a two-way process that works especially well when you and your counselor communicate openly. Research shows that the outcome of counseling is improved when the counselor and the client agree early about what the major problems are and how counseling can help.

You and your counselor both have responsibilities in establishing and maintaining a good working relationship. Be clear with your counselor about your concerns that may arise. Counseling works best when you attend all scheduled sessions and give some forethought as to what you want to discuss during each session.

Counseling isn’t easy. But individuals willing to work in close partnership with their counselor or psychologist often find relief from their emotional distress and begin to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

If I go to the Counseling Center for help, does that mean that there is something wrong with me?

No. Students who use the Counseling Center are interested in their personal growth and adjustment in the world around them. Students face normal developmental concerns and academic pressures while at Vanguard and, at times, may feel anxious, angry, lonely, or depressed.

The Counseling Center staff members are trained professionals who help students explore alternative coping strategies and ways of dealing with themselves and the world.

Why do people consider seeking counseling?

Counseling is a partnership between an individual and a professional who is trained to help people understand their feelings and assist them with changing their behavior.

People often consider counseling under the following circumstances:
• They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness in their futures.
• Their emotional difficulties make it hard for them to function day to day. For example, they are unable to concentrate on assignments and their class performance suffers as a result.
• Their actions are harmful to themselves or others.
• They are troubled by emotional difficulties facing family members or close friends.
• They just need someone with whom to talk.

How can I evaluate if whether counseling is working for me?

As you begin counseling, you should establish clear goals with your counselor. Perhaps you want to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with feelings of depression. Or maybe you would like to control fear that disrupts your daily life. Keep in mind that certain tasks require more time to accomplish than others. You may need to adjust your goals depending on how long you plan to be in counseling.

After a few sessions, it is a good sign if you feel the experience truly is a joint effort and that you and your counselor enjoy a comfortable relationship. On the other hand, you should be open with your counselor if you find yourself feeling “stuck” or lacking direction once you have been in counseling awhile.

You may feel a wide range of emotions during counseling. Some qualms about counseling that you may have might result from the difficulty of discussing painful and troubling experiences. When this happens, it can actually be a positive sign that you are starting to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

You should spend time with your counselor or psychologist periodically reviewing your progress. Although there are other considerations affecting the duration of counseling, success in reaching your primary goals should be a major factor in deciding when you should end counseling.

Find Out More:

Why Might I Seek Counseling
While You Wait
Information for Parents
Self-Help Resources
Counseling Request Form