Counseling is a means of facilitating personality growth and development. It also attempts to help individuals cope more effectively with the problems of life, with inner conflict, and with painful emotions. Counseling can provide encouragement and comfort to those who are suffering from loss and guidance to those whose behaviors are self-defeating and causing unhappiness and discouragement.
Gary Collins has described a Christian counselor as: "an individual who is a deeply committed, Spirit-guided servant of Jesus Christ, who applies his or her God-given abilities, skills, training, knowledge and insight to the task of helping others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity."
At the heart of Christian counseling is the good news of Jesus Christ, a message of hope that all may be reconciled to God. It is Jesus Christ that makes change, redemption, and new life possible no matter how terrible the circumstance. With help from God and other believers, we can, not only survive life's problems, but we can grow in our faith. With help, we are able to move through brokenness and pain to become wiser, humbler, stronger, and more understanding and caring toward others.
Why do students use the Counseling Center?
Students use the counseling center for a variety of reasons. Some examples include: depression, stress, anxiety, family problems, sexual abuse, poor self esteem, relationship problems, negative body image and eating disorders, alcohol or drug use, spiritual struggles, and concerns about a friend or family member.
The Counseling Center also does a significant amount of pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling. Additionally, counselors are sought out as a resource for various classroom projects. It is the goal of the Counseling Center to be a resource for Taylor University students no matter how large or small the issue might appear.
What will happen when I come for counseling the first time?
The first time you come for counseling, the secretary will ask you to fill out the Counseling Center "intake" form. It typically takes about 5-10 minutes to complete this form, which asks for basic demographic information, a brief description of why you are seeking counseling, and for your signature indicating that you are willingly consenting to come for counseling.
After completing the form you will be taken to meet your counselor. The first session is an opportunity for you to get acquainted with your counselor and to begin to "tell your story." Counseling sessions are typically 50 minutes in length. The first session is also a chance to determine if you feel comfortable with your counselor. If after the first session, or at any time in the counseling process, you feel as though you might benefit from seeing a different counselor please make your desire known to the Counseling Center. Counseling is about the relationship between the student and the counselor and for it to be effective you need to feel as though you can "connect" with your counselor.
Is counseling confidential?
The Counseling Center maintains strict standards of confidentiality. We will not release any records of your counseling or discuss your case with anyone, outside the counseling center, without your written permission. No record of your counseling goes into your university records and there will be no disciplinary response to anything shared in counseling. Even if you have been required to attend counseling as part of a disciplinary process, information will not be released to any school officials without your written consent. Family members will not be notified that you are in counseling unless you request us to and we will not speak to them about your counseling without your permission.
The only exceptions to the confidentiality policy is when the Counseling Center believes that a student's life is in danger, or when the safety of others is at risk. At that point it is up to the discretion of the counselor to determine whether a crisis meeting with other school personnel is necessary.
If you have questions or concerns about the confidentiality policy please feel free to discuss them with your counselor.