The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions

Is counseling confidential? Is it part of my academic record?
The Counseling Center records are confidential and separate from your academic records. All information about you (even acknowledgement of your visits) is confidential and cannot be released to any other campus office or individual (even your parents) without your written permission. There are, however, some exceptions to confidentiality. Counselors are required to release certain information in situations which involve potential harm to yourself or others, in instances of child abuse, or as a result of a court order. These events are extremely rare. Typically, the only way others would become aware of your seeing a counselor would be if you told them.

Who is eligible for counseling services?
All currently enrolled full-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for individual counseling. Unlike individual counseling which is only available to full-time students, group counseling is available to both full-time and part-time students. While the spouses, partners and children of CUA students and employees are not eligible for services at the Counseling Center, referrals to other agencies and private therapists are available by calling the Counseling Center. We also provide consultation to CUA faculty and staff and families of CUA students during business hours. CUA faculty and staff are eligible for psychological services through CUA's Employee Assistance Program.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
A receptionist will review your schedule and assign you an appointment time that is convenient for you. The waiting time to receive an appointment is typically very short. Often your first appointment will occur within a few days after your request.

What types of services does the Counseling Center provide?
The Counseling Center provides both individual and group counseling and psychotherapy, with each student usually scheduled to meet with his or her counselor for one 50-minute appointment per week. A staff psychiatrist is available for medication consultation with students who are currently being seen for individual counseling at the Counseling Center.

Who are the counselors at the Counseling Center?
The professional staff includes clinical and counseling psychologists, clinical social workers, and a consulting psychiatrist. The staff also includes advanced psychology doctoral students and clinical social work students who are supervised by senior staff members in their discipline of study. For a list of staff, click here.

Is there a fee?
There is no charge for individual or group counseling services or medication consultations for full-time graduate and undergraduate students at CUA.

What types of groups does the Counseling Center offer?
The Counseling Center offers groups each year. These have included Healthy Eating and Lifestyles, a group for social anxiety, and groups focusing on interpersonal issues. For more information about a specific group, call 202-319-5765.

Is there a limit to the number of counseling sessions I can attend?
Full time undergraduate and graduate students may receive up to 45 sessions of once-per-week individual counseling sessions. Students in need of longer-term, more intensive, or specialized treatment will be referred to a psychologist, social worker, or agency in the community. There is no limit for group counseling.

Are counseling sessions recorded?
Sessions are video-recorded for supervision purposes and then erased. Recordings are done to improve counselor effectiveness and ultimately to improve the quality of the services we provide you. You may be assured that the tapes will only be used in professional supervision and that all tapes will then be erased after being viewed.

Does the Counseling Center provide medication services?
The Counseling Center employs a part-time psychiatrist to provide medication consultation to students who are currently being seen here for individual counseling should they choose to pursue it. Due to the high demand for medication consultation by students currently receiving counseling, we cannot make any exceptions to this policy. Students who are not currently receiving individual counseling at the Counseling Center can be referred to a psychiatrist in the community, or in some cases, to Student Health Services. The opportunity for a student in counseling to meet with the psychiatrist or engage in medical consultation is completely voluntary.

What kinds of problems do students discuss in counseling?
Most students who use the Counseling Center are experiencing developmental concerns and academic pressures that at times leave them feeling anxious, confused, angry, lonely, depressed or overwhelmed. Counseling is aimed at helping students understand and manage these stressors. Any personal issue can be discussed in counseling. Typical concerns include:

Adjustment to CUA Poor Grades
Academic Concerns Relationship w/ Family, Friends or Partner
Anxiety and Stress Management Self Improvement
Assertiveness Issues Sexual Abuse
Body Image Concerns Sexual Assault / Date Rape
Depression Sexual Identity Issues
Difficulty Choosing a Major / Career Study Skills
Discrimination

Suicidal Thoughts

Food Preoccupation / Problematic Eating Substance Related Concerns
Illness or Death of a Loved One Test Anxiety
Loneliness Trauma Related Symptoms
Low Self-Esteem  

I think a student I know needs help. What should I do?
Click Here.