SAVE Project counters counseling myths

Ngoc Vo
Staff Writer

On campus counselors can help students deal with issues related to anxiety, relationship problems, making life adjustments, depression and other emotional hardships according to Counselor Fran Scheel.
She is a counselor at the Student Counseling Center, Sexual Assault and Violence Education Project (SAVE) where students can seek free counseling.
Scheel offers students insight into the highs and lows of counseling by addressing what says are the top eight myths about counseling through a Q&A interview.

Q Is counseling just for people who are mentally ill?

A No. While counseling is one type of treatment for people with a mental illness, many people can get a lot from counseling at some time in his or her life. Seeing a counselor may help you gain insight or a healthier perspective about a problem or keep an issue from getting worse.

Q If I seek counseling, will people think of me as weak?

A Actually, counseling is a sign of strength. It demonstrates that you are invested in taking care of your well-being and are not afraid to ask for help in doing so.
Q Will my professors, friends and school administrators find out that I went to counseling?

A No. Information shared in counseling sessions will remain private. However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality such as being in imminent danger of harming yourself or others.

Q Is it the counselor’s job to just tell me what to do?

A This is a common misconception. Counselors are not advice givers. A counselor will offer you support and help you explore options to reach a resolution to your problem.

Q I’m afraid that the counselor won’t understand me due to differences in ethnicity and experience. Is that a logical fear?

A Counselors may not share your same background and experience. However, counselors are trained to be culturally sensitive, non-judgmental and accepting regardless of your ethnicity and life experience.

Q I’ve heard that counseling doesn’t work. What can you tell me about that?

A Counseling does not work for everyone. There is work and consistency required on the client’s part in order to get the most benefit out of counseling and for it to be effective.

Q Some people say that I could become too dependent on the counselor. Is this a real worry?

A An ultimate goal of counseling is to become more self-reliant in your ability to cope and problem solve. Your counselor will work with you to set boundaries in order to avoid dependency.

Q Another common stigma of counseling is that it changes who you are forever. What can you say about that one?

A It depends on your situation. Attending counseling has the potential for life-long positive change.

Q What problems have you seen students encounter? Has counseling helped?

A Some of the common problems that students experience are issues related to adjusting to college life, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, family problems, relationship problems, etc. The majority of clients express that counseling was helpful.

Q How do counseling services work for at Troy University?

A To see a counselor you can call the Student Counseling Center at 334-670-3700 to schedule an appointment. Counseling services are free to students currently enrolled in at least 1 credit hour on-site at Troy University’s Troy campus.

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