Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I am experiencing a crisis?
If you are experiencing a true mental health emergency, dial Campus Safety at 410-337-6111 if you are on campus, or 911 if you are off campus. To speak with a mental health counselor for an urgent crisis, call 855-236-4278.
How do I schedule an appointment with a counselor?
To schedule an appointment, please complete the appointment request form and a clinician will contact you within the next 24 business hours.
Can I access counseling services if I am located outside of Maryland?
We encourage all students interested in counseling services to complete the appointment request form. A clinician will then follow up with a phone call to confirm your clinical needs and verify your current location. States license mental health clinicians must have a license in the same state where the client resides. Many states issued emergency orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily permitting licensed health and mental health care providers to practice in states where they do not hold a permanent license. Our staff has access to this information to determine if we are legally able to provide care and if this care plan would be most effective for the client. If we are not legally able to provide services, we will work with you to determine a care plan and research providers in your area.
What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy refers to providing psychotherapy services remotely using telecommunications technologies, such as video conferencing. One of the benefits of teletherapy is that the client and clinician can engage in services without being in the same physical location. This can be helpful when unable to meet in person, for instance, during the college’s online-only instructions period. Teletherapy, however, requires technical competence on both our parts to be helpful.
Teletherapy can only be utilized through dual/synchronos video which will occur exclusively through Zoom video conference platform that that is both compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and is HIPAA secure.
How can I find privacy for therapy while at home?
Here are some tips (pdf) on how to create a private space for therapy.
Can teletherapy be over the phone?
No. Please see "What is Teletherapy?"
What kinds of issues do you treat?
The Student Counseling Center treats a variety of mental health concerns including: adjustment to college, stress management, interpersonal relationships, identity development, anxiety, depression, building self-esteem, assertiveness training, alcohol- and drug-related issues, issues of oppression, identity development, and issues related to any kind of abuse, including sexual assault. For more information about the specific specialties of our practitioners, please visit the Counseling Center Staff page.
The goal of brief psychotherapy is to increase self-awareness, support clients, resolve problems, and learn adaptive coping skills that may be used in the future.
Are there fees associated with counseling services?
Counseling sessions are free of charge for students. However, if students “no-show” for an appointment, their account will be charged $10. Students can avoid this fee by calling or emailing their counselor to let them know that they will miss the appointment, preferably at least 24 hours before the appointment.
Are counseling sessions confidential? Can parents know what is discussed in session?
In accordance with legal and ethical standards for psychologists and counselors, all counseling sessions with students over 18 years of age are confidential. Counselors cannot disclose whether a student is in counseling without the student’s written consent. For more information on confidentiality, please see the first page of our "Counseling Pre-intake Packet" (found on our Forms page).
In certain instances, with the student’s permission, it may be clinically appropriate for a counselor to speak to a student’s former or future provider(s), a staff member, or another person specified by the student, regarding treatment. In these instances, students can sign a "Release of Information Form" (located on our Forms page).
Do I need a specific insurance for counseling appointments at Goucher?
No. Short-term counseling services are available to students (who are appropriate for on-campus treatment) no matter their insurance coverage. If students are seeking long-term counseling services or have chronic mental health concerns, they should check with their insurance providers to find a suitable psychiatrist, psychologist, and/or counselor in the Towson/Baltimore community. Please see the "Community Mental Health Resources" handout on our Forms page for more information.
How often can I be seen by a counselor and how long is each session?
On-campus counseling is intended for short-term purposes only. The number of sessions vary based on the needs of the client and the campus. Counselors meet with students once a week at most, and sessions are typically 45-50 minutes in length.
For students who would like more frequent sessions, long-term support, and/or who have chronic mental health concerns and have been seeing a counselor regularly before coming to college, we highly recommend seeking an off-campus community provider. For more information about how to find one, please see the "Community Mental Health Resources" handout on our Forms page for more information.
Do you need to be in crisis to go to the Student counseling center?
No! It can be just as helpful, if not more so, to seek counseling treatment just when you are starting to feel that you could use some assistance. You don’t need to wait until there is a big problem to talk to a counselor.
What if I’ve been in ongoing prior treatment- should I wait to come to campus and “see how it goes” before finding a provider? No. If you will be joining the Goucher community as a new student, anticipate what your needs may be as you make this transition. While often exciting, this transition may also be stressful. If you have had the ongoing support of a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist in the past, please note that you will likely benefit from continued treatment at least during the first semester. In these instances, it is recommended you establish a relationship with a provider in the community.
We encourage you to identify a provider before you arrive to ensure you have access to support in your first weeks of classes. An online resource that may be useful is http://www.transitionyear.org/.
For help finding a provider, please see the “Community Mental Health Resources” handout on our Forms page for more information.
If you are unsure and would like your current provider to discuss treatment with a Goucher counselor, please sign a "Release of Information Form" (located on our Forms page) so your current provider can speak with us and determine if on-campus treatment will fulfill your needs.
Do you provide transportation to off-campus counselors and physicians?
The college does not provide transportation to off-campus providers. Some of the providers listed on our “Community Mental Health Resources” handout (located on our Forms page) are within walking distance or available by using the Towson Loop shuttle, Zipcar, Uber, Lyft, or taxi.
Who is likely to struggle with the transition to college?
- Students who have struggled in the past with transitions
- Students with poor self-confidence or inadequate coping skills
- Students who have difficulty making friends easily
- Students with a hometown romantic partner
- Students with poor study, self-management, and organizational skills
- Students with ambivalent feelings about being at Goucher College
When should parents be concerned about their student’s mental health?
Parents should be concerned if their student exhibits:
- Social withdrawal
- Marked changes in appearance/hygiene
- Excessive self-criticism
- Tearful phone calls outnumber others
- Talk of hopelessness
- Excessive fatigue or lethargic mood
- Extreme increases in energy and/or rapid speech
- Inability to think and concentrate
- Dramatic changes in grades
- Reference to suicide or self-harm, vague or not
How can parents help when they are so far away?
- Stay in touch
- Encourage independence and using local assistance
- Be realistic
- Be prepared for change
- Encourage assertiveness
- Be aware of roommate conflicts
- Don’t panic!
- Don’t let students wait long to ask for help
Who should a parent call if they are concerned about a student?
If you are immediately concerned about the safety of a student, please call the Office of Campus Safety at 410-337-6111. If you have a general concern about the student's wellbeing, you should call the Office of Residential Life at 410-337-6424 and/or the Office of the Dean of Students at 410-337-6150. Due to the limits of confidentiality, it is not helpful to call the Student Counseling Center to discuss concern for a student as counselors will not be able to speak about a student without a release form. The numbers listed above are the best way to communicate with the college about your student's well-being.