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What is counseling?

Counseling provides an opportunity to understand and resolve the underlying issues that cause problematic behaviors. It will allow you to discuss your problems with a non-judgmental, objective listener who can assist in viewing your struggles differently and developing creative solutions. Although a counselor will not be able to solve your problems, they will be there to help and guide you through the process. During the first couple of sessions, your therapist will obtain information about the various areas of your life in order to determine the best course of treatment. Your counselor will be knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues and able to provide services to meet your needs.

Who can access counseling services?

All full-time matriculated day students, Continuing Studies students, and master’s and doctoral students are eligible to receive counseling services.

How do I know if counseling is for me?

You may wonder whether it would be appropriate to talk about your concerns with a counselor. Perhaps others who know you well have suggested the counseling center, or you have thought to yourself that talking, attending a workshop or using an online resource related to emotional health might be helpful. To get started, utilize the screening tool on our website and schedule a consult at the counseling center to discuss whether our services would be appropriate for you. Specific indicators that counseling services might be beneficial include: 

  • Emotional difficulties such as sadness, anxiety, anger, etc. 
  • Relationship problems 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Declining academic performance 
  • A recent traumatic event or loss 
  • Concerns about substance use 
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Difficulty functioning on a day-to-day basis 

Are counseling sessions confidential?

Yes! The counseling center takes confidentiality very seriously, and no information will be exchanged with individuals or agencies outside of our center unless you provide us with explicit consent to do so. Your counseling record is not a part of your academic record, and information shared within counseling is not reported to student conduct, your parents or anyone else without your written consent. We recognize that a safe and confidential environment is crucial in order for you to feel comfortable sharing personal information. 

In rare circumstances, the confidentiality policy requires unauthorized disclosure of information. Such circumstances would include when the counselor believes the student's life is in danger, when the safety of others is at risk, when there is suspicion of child or elder abuse, or when requested by subpoena or court order. If you have any questions or concerns about the confidentiality policy, please feel free to talk them over with your counselor. 

Do I need an appointment to see a counselor?

Yes. Occasionally, we will see a student on an emergency basis without an appointment as soon as a counselor is available; however, all other contact with counselors is handled by appointment only. The only exception to this policy is an informal meeting with a counselor during Let's Talk.

How do I make an appointment/see a counselor? 

From Fall to Spring Term, call 509.777.3259 and press 2, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday-Friday). The counseling center is closed during the summer. 

Are there counselors who specialize in specific areas?

We do not have specialty counselors, as the counseling center is a short-term, solution focused counseling format. However, we are able to refer a student to many counselors in varying specialties.

Is the counseling center LGBTQ friendly? 

Yes! All are welcome here. 

Does the counseling center provide medication management? 

The student health center (also located in Schumacher Hall) does provide limited medication management. Please contact the student health center at or 509.777.3259 (press 2) with specific questions. 

Can a parent make an appointment at the counseling center for his or her son/daughter? 

The student must call to make the appointment. Appointments cannot be made on a student's behalf. 

What types of issues do you usually work with?

We see students who struggle with a variety of issues. Some of these concerns include stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, grief, struggles with spiritual issues, struggles with academic issues, anger, suicidal thoughts, alcohol and other drug use/abuse, self-esteem, family issues, body-image concerns, preoccupations with food, disordered eating, addictions, trauma, violence, and identity issues. Please note, this list is not exhaustive and only includes some examples of the presenting issues students come to us with.

How much do your services cost?

Services are available only to currently enrolled Whitworth University students. Counseling Services offers a short-term therapy model. Students are able to access up to 10 sessions per academic year as part of tuition. In some cases, the counselor may refer students off campus earlier if longer-term counseling seems indicated.  

How long will I be in counseling?

The length of a session is typically fifty minutes. We operate on a short-term therapy model. In most cases students are provided up to 10 sessions per academic year. 

Can you help me with academic problems (i.e. registration, changing majors, dropping a class, withdrawing from school)?

We address academic and curricular issues on a general basis, but we refer students to those with academic expertise. Student success is available when you are confused and/or experiencing academic stress. Your academic advisor is also a great resource for academic concerns.