Frequency & Attendance
Amount of Counseling
You and your counselor will work together to determine how many counseling sessions would be appropriate for you based on your needs and the CWC’s resources. Typically, a plan is outlined at the start of your counseling and is reassessed and adjusted as therapy unfolds. We provide brief individual counseling but can also help you connect to longer-term counseling, either through our group counseling program or a referral to therapists in the community.
Counseling sessions last 45-50 minutes. Typically sessions are scheduled every 2-3 weeks, but may be scheduled on a weekly basis based on your needs and your counselor’s availability.
The Importance of Attendance
Research has shown that consistent attendance makes counseling sessions more effective. If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, please call our office as soon as possible to let us know. This advance notice allows us to use that time to help other students who are waiting to be seen.
Assessment & Goals
How We Use Assessment
Assessment simply means understanding how you are responding to counseling. We can assess this both by talking with you and by looking at a brief questionnaire you complete before each session.
Identifying Goals and Setting an Agenda
These are your goals for counseling—what you want to address or accomplish through counseling. Your counselor will collaborate with you to establish these goals and will talk honestly with you about what is realistic to tackle in short-term counseling. Identifying goals helps you be intentional about what’s most important to address. Topics may include significant events, personal challenges, changes in your feelings or behaviors, or progress you have made.
Working Toward Your Goals Between Sessions
Much of the growth that happens during counseling actually occurs between sessions. During this time you’ll have an opportunity to apply what you have been working on, practice new ways of coping, and try out new strategies you’ve discussed with your counselor. Your counselor may ask you to complete a specific task and bring the results to the next session, practice a new skill, or reflect on a topic between sessions.
Addressing Culture & Identity
To make sure your counseling sessions are effective, we need to understand your personal experience. Whether we are conscious of it or not, identities and cultures—both our own and others’—impact our lives. We encourage open discussion about how cultures and identities influence your experiences in and out of counseling sessions. We also understand that counselors and students may come from similar or different backgrounds, and we use this awareness to help address any impact that these backgrounds can have on the counseling process.
Providing Feedback to Your Counselor
We encourage you to regularly provide feedback to your counselor about what is and isn’t working for you in counseling. We recognize that it may be difficult to give feedback when something isn’t working. CWC counselors strive to be aware of interpersonal dynamics in counseling relationships, and we are very open to your feedback. This feedback serves as a valuable opportunity to learn alongside you and better support you in achieving your goals.
Progress toward your goals is an ongoing conversation and process. Part of this process is determining when to end or take a break from counseling. This does not necessarily mean that you have met all your goals, and growth and challenges continue when counseling ends. If you feel ready to stop or take a break from counseling, please let us know. Talking directly about ending counseling can be a valuable opportunity to discuss strategies for maintaining progress.
Your counselor may also suggest (based on assessment of progress towards your established goals), that you take a break from individual counseling, try a group or workshop, or see an off-campus counselor who might better fit your needs. Off-campus counselors can provide longer-term counseling and often have greater flexibility in scheduling.
For more about how to make the most out of short-term counseling, see these 12 tips.