The purpose of Shenandoah University’s Counseling Center is to provide confidential counseling services in order to help students achieve academic and personal goals. Counseling programs and services are offered to help students live more effective, responsible, and satisfying lives. Respect for privacy and the diversity of each campus community member will be employed so SU community members can feel confident in making informed decisions which will enhance the quality of their lives. A wellness philosophy serves as the foundation for all services and programs. Wellness helps students be more responsible for their lives and understand the factors that affect their well-being. Students are at a greater risk when they meet demands and challenges without informed and reflective decision-making. In order to help our campus community maintain a healthy balance in life and a success in academic, vocational, and personal goals, best practices in counseling, support and referral services will be available.
The Counseling Center Provides:
- Free confidential counseling to matriculating students who are enrolled in at least 7 credit hours in a degree-seeking program.
- Individual and group sessions utilizing brief therapy with licensed therapists and supervised graduate interns.
- Cooley Corner stress reduction activities such as Massage Chair, Biofeedback, Light Therapy, Aromatherapy, Chair Yoga, Educational brochures and herbal teas.
- Consultation and referral to campus community members.
The Counseling Center Does Not Provide:
- Assessments/Evaluations to be used in court proceedings or other litigation (e.g., competency evaluations, custody evaluations.)
- Any services that are court-ordered or a requirement of adjudicated legal sanctions.
- Services that are mandated from other areas/persons of the university with the exception of the following: cases under the purview of the Early Alert Referral Program, and Wellness Assessments.
- Services in which the Counseling Center would need to be the primary coordinator for extensive inter-agency case management.
- Any services that require a DSM diagnosis for insurance or legal purposes.
- Longer-term trauma/chronic treatment services or specialized clinical services.
- Psychiatric or Prescriptive services that cannot be managed by the university Health Services. These cases are referred to community agencies.
The Wellness Assessment service has been designed specifically as a resource to other university personnel who may have general concerns for a student’s emotional well-being. The clinical objectives of a Wellness Assessment are to provide:
- A brief assessment of a student’s current psychological functioning
- A discussion of the services available in the Counseling Center including our Referral Network
- A discussion of the benefits of counseling services and how these services can contribute to student success in and outside the classroom
*Policy on Mandated Counseling Services
The Counseling Center does not provide mandated counseling services with the exception of several “assessment-based” services that have been designed specifically as a resource to the judicial process and to the assurance of safety. Some of the reasons for this policy include:
- Mandated counseling places the Counseling Center in an unproductive, punitive role (and potentially injures our reputation in the community),
- Mandated counseling is inconsistent with professional standards and ethics of emotional health professionals,
- Making counseling a condition of something has the potential to undermine any benefit that could have come from counseling otherwise,
- Mandated counseling has shown little efficacy (and therefore isn’t an effective use of time/resources for any involved parties.)