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Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling

What is a mental health emergency?

Any situation that involves harm or imminent risk to a student or another person should be considered an emergency, such as:

  • Suicide attempts, suicidal threats, or suicidal thoughts
  • Homicide, homicidal threats, or homicidal thoughts
  • Forms of violent and intimidating behavior
  • Extreme emotional distress
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there
What do I do in a mental health emergency?

If CPS is open and the student can get to the office safely:

  • Walk into the office
  • Tell the front desk staff that it is an emergency and you need to meet with someone

If CPS is not open OR the student is not able to safely get to the office,

  • Call University Police at 732-571-4444 (if calling from campus, call x4444).
  • Tell them it’s an emergency
  • Tell them who and where you are, and they will assist
What do I do if I am the victim/survivor of a sexual assault?

If you are a victim of sexual assault, there are multiple options for support available. CPS’s first concern is your physical safety. If you need assistance getting to a safe location, call University Police open 24 hours at 732-571-4444. If you in a physically dangerous or emergency situation, contact 911. If you are having a mental health emergency, contact 988.

Monmouth Medical Center is available 24 hours a day and can provide an emergency medical response. In addition, you can meet with a SANE nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) and an advocate from 180-Turning Lives Around, a confidential off-campus resource, who will assist.

You may contact University Health Services at 732-571-3464 and speak with one of the University health providers.

You may contact 180 Turning Lives Around directly at 732-264-4111 if you prefer to speak with an off-campus professional.

You may contact Monmouth University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator at 732-571-7577 to review the legal and University options available to you.

What is counseling?

Counseling is a process that helps people at various stages of personal development who are seeking help to cope with and understand the unique issues in their lives that are causing them concern and affecting their quality of life.

The goal of counseling may be to:

  • Facilitate the process of growth and adaptation to life’s challenges.
  • Prevent further stress and reduce current symptoms.
  • Help examine behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that may be causing difficulty in life and learn practical ways to deal with them.
How do I know if I need counseling?

Certain feelings or behaviors may indicate that speaking with a counselor could benefit you. Some situations that are likely to cause emotional distress include:

  • Difficulties with sleeping, eating, academic performance, concentration, and/or relationships with others
  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to perform day-to-day activities
  • Constant worrying
  • Feelings of prolonged sadness and loss of interest in your usual activities
  • Feelings of depression, extreme fatigue, and lethargy
  • Thoughts of suicide or wanting to hurt yourself in some way
  • Mood swings, increased irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Violent or highly disruptive behavior, such as threats to other people, feelings of hostility and anger, or homicidal thoughts
  • Engaging in arguments or assaults
  • Family issues
  • Substance abuse and/or other addictions
  • Sexual abuse, assault, or domestic violence
  • Difficulties related to illness or disability
  • Adjustment issues
  • Grief and loss about someone or something
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • The need to talk to someone
Is everything I discuss in counseling confidential?

As a counseling client, your confidentiality is guaranteed within the boundaries of the client/counselor relationship. CPS has a legal obligation to protect student privacy. Terms of confidentiality are outlined and reviewed in Informed Consent for Counseling Services

Limitations to confidentiality occur when:

  • There is clear and imminent danger to you or others.
  • There is reason to believe that someone under the age of 18 is being abused.
  • Legal requirements demand that confidential information be disclosed. If this should occur, every attempt will be made to inform you before any confidential information is released.
I’ve never had counseling before, and I feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about talking to a stranger about such personal things. Is that normal?

Yes. Many students experience the kind of nervousness and apprehension you’re talking about when they start counseling. It’s understandable to feel a little uncomfortable in this unfamiliar situation. Remember a few things that might help:

  • You’ve taken the first important step toward feeling better by making an appointment.
  • The counselor is there to support and guide you through the process, but you are an active participant and make choices about what you discuss.
  • Be honest and express your concerns. Ask questions since learning more about counseling can help you feel more comfortable. Gradually, you’ll establish a “counseling relationship” and learn to trust your counselor, yourself, and the process.
  • Be patient and give it some time, but if you continue to feel uncomfortable, talk about it again with your counselor. Sometimes, it may be wise to discuss meeting with another counselor to see if you still feel uncomfortable.
What will happen during my first appointment?

When you come in for your first appointment, you will be asked to:

  • Complete a form requesting basic information about you and your experiences.
  • Review and sign the Informed Consent for Counseling Services form.
  • Complete an “intake session” with your assigned counselor, during which the counselor will ask you questions about your medical, social, family, and emotional history and why you are seeking counseling.
  • Discuss appropriate treatment options with your counselor. On-campus counseling is intended to be short-term. In the event that you need more intensive, long-term treatment, or if we are unable to treat you on campus, your counselor will give you referral information about possibilities in the community.
What if I miss my appointment?

Keeping your appointment is very important. Call us as soon as you can at 732-571-7517 if an emergency arises.

How can I best benefit from my counseling sessions?

Accepting responsibilities will make the counseling process more beneficial to you.

  • Think about your specific concerns and why you are seeking counseling.
  • Negotiate and agree to a treatment plan with your counselor.
  • Work towards establishing specific goals.
  • Attend your sessions as scheduled and arrive on time.
  • Consider what you would like to discuss before the session.
  • Be willing to explore behavioral changes outside of your sessions.
  • Complete your homework tasks if assigned.
  • Discuss and monitor your progress with your counselor.
  • If you feel that the process is not helpful to you, discuss it with your counselor.
I don’t want to take medication. Do I have to?

The counselors do not prescribe medication. However, some people suffering from certain conditions may benefit from psychotropic medication. Discuss your concerns with your counselor, and if necessary, a referral to a psychiatrist or other medical doctor may be made. Your counselor may also suggest a physical exam to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.