To make an appointment at the Counseling Center, simply telephone or walk-in and speak to the receptionist to schedule a specific time for an initial appointment. We do our best to meet with you as soon as possible and accommodate your schedule, availability for the first appointment varies across the year. Most people are offered a first appointment within several days of your request. The receptionist will speak with you about the reasons you are seeking assistance, and will schedule you with an appropriate counselor. If it is an emergency please be sure to let us know.
The first thing you will be asked to do when you arrive is to complete preliminary information forms using a computer in out reception area. (If you are not able to use the computer, alternate means to complete these forms can be provided.) These forms ask about demographic and contact information as well as a questionnaire that gives us an idea of your most pressing concerns. You will also be asked to read and sign forms that explain our confidentiality policy and your rights and responsibilities in counseling. In order to ensure there is enough time to complete this process we ask that you arrive approximately 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. After you have completed all forms this information goes to the receptionist, who will make them available to your scheduled counselor to review before your session.
After reviewing your completed paperwork, a counselor will meet you in the waiting room and walk with you to his/her office to speak in private. The purpose of the first session at the Counseling Center is to assess your concerns and to develop a plan of how to address those concerns. The session can also be used to begin to address any urgent issues. During your meeting with the counselor, you will have a chance to describe why you are seeking assistance and why you have chosen this particular time to do so. The counselor will explain and answer your questions about the counseling process. He or she will ask for information about your present situation, your family background, general health and self care, and important relationships in your life. You may be asked to discuss past experiences with this or similar problems and how you have tried to solve them.
Some students find that talking with a counselor once is sufficient to resolve the immediate concern. If further services would be beneficial, these will be discussed and a recommendation will be made by the counselor. These additional services may include resources offered by the Counseling Center or referral to another campus or community resource. In many instances, the counselor that you meet with initially could be the same person that you see for continued services. In some instances it may be more appropriate to be referred to another counselor at the center. Please note that, due to limited availability of our psychiatrist, we cannot offer medication management as a stand-alone service. Only clients who will be pursuing some form of psychotherapy at the center are eligible for medication evaluation and/or medication management. After the initial appointment there could be a brief wait for an opening for the desired service depending on the general demand at that time for that service. Your counselor will assess the urgency of your situation and this will be considered when making the recommendation of where, when and with whom you would best pursue further treatment.
Student Services Building
1200 West Harrison
Tel: (312) 996-3490
Copyright © 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois