The college years mark an important period of personal, academic, spiritual, and psychological growth that can become stressful for students at various times. Along with academic responsibilities, there are other life issues, concerns and decisions confronting students, such as developing greater independence, establishing a sense of identity, developing relationships, clarifying a personal value system, and planning a career.
Although facing these concerns can sometimes feel overwhelming, it can also provide important opportunities for growth. When dealing with these issues, many students benefit from counseling as a source of support; to learn new, more effective ways of coping; to help clarify their thoughts and feelings; and to make decisions in important areas of their lives.
In support of Niagara University's Catholic and Vincentian mission, Counseling Services is dedicated to providing confidential mental health counseling to help students work through and overcome those obstacles that may be hindering their ability to reach their full potential so that they may achieve greater personal, social, academic, and professional success.
Things to know before you attend an appointment:
- Counseling takes work.
We understand that most people are unfamiliar with the counseling process. The work that occurs in session is your work - not the counselor's agenda. You determine your goals, what you need to accomplish and the interventions that you believe will be most helpful to you. It is important that you talk with your counselor about what does or does not work for you in your session.
- Counselors do not give advice.
Participating in counseling involves taking a risk. Part of that risk is challenging yourself to being open to the process of exploring how best to achieve your goals. Counselors will never give you advice or tell you what to do...we help illuminate a path or option and help you explore your options as well as provide you with things to think about. We will assist you in reframing your thoughts and situations with you. We will support and encourage meaningful dialogue about your life experience. Giving advice means that we are taking on your concerns, however they are not our concerns to take on! It is up to you to be brave and decide what is right for you through the process of personal counseling.
- Be patient with yourself and the process.
No one said counseling was easy or comfortable. In fact, we expect that you will be very uncomfortable throughout the process, particularly as we assist you in challenging old habits, confronting your inner critic or sorting out your values and your place in the world. Be patient with being uncomfortable with your feelings as you adapt to the changes you are making within. Remember, we are here to support you throughout this process. We will not be the "boss" in the process - you dictate the pace at which change occurs through acceptance of your situation and commitment to the process of change.
We will always have the greatest compassion and empathy for you and your situation. You can expect that we will be professional and provide you with the most effective empirical interventions available for you. We will be fully present in your session and support your endeavors in the most ethical and effective ways possible.
Because it takes time to develop a positive rapport in the counseling process, we encourage you to utilize more than one appointment in order to fully realize your potential and clarify all of your options.