What is Counseling?
Counseling is the process during which you work with a professionally trained, licensed counselor in becoming a healthier human being in all aspects of life: Emotional, Intellectual, Physical, and Spiritual.
- A voluntary activity. Whether you decide to return for more sessions is up to you.
- A confidential discussion about a situation, problem, relationship, family issue, or habit that you want to change.
- A positive step you can take when you get stuck in life.
- An educational and growth oriented experience.
- An active collaboration with your counselor to find workable solutions to life barriers, not one in which a counselor "fixes" you.
Who Needs Counseling?
Anytime you are having a problem, are troubled or concerned about something, or just not feeling like yourself, you may want to see a counselor. People seek counseling for personal growth, relationship problems, emotional difficulty, family problems, feeling sad, scared, overwhelmed, frustrated, or nervous.
Periods of sadness, discouragement, depression, or difficulty adjusting to new situations occur at times in nearly everyone's life. Such feelings are not unusual, but are painful, especially if they are frequent or prolonged. Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness prevent some people from seeking help and it is difficult for family and friends to urge someone they care about to start counseling.
Talking with a professional about ways to cope with the situation can make a difference. In general, a person who is thinking about whether or not to get help should go ahead and get it. And remember, all talk of suicide is serious and should be shared with someone in a position to help.
Can I see a counselor if I already have a therapist/counselor/psychiatrist somewhere else?
If you are working with someone already, please discuss your interest in counseling at MassBay with that person before you come to see us.
If you have previously seen a therapist or counselor, or currently see a psychiatrist or other prescriber for medication management, you may be asked to fill out a release of information form so that we can contact him/her.
Confidentiality in Counseling
The main feature of the counseling process is the relationship that exists between the counselor and the student. What sets this relationship apart from all others is confidentiality.
Anyone who wants information must have a consent for release of information signed by you, including parents & other family, MassBay professors, other staff, and your friends.
There are very few instances where this confidentiality is broken. The counselor will discuss the details of confidentiality during your first meeting and you are encouraged to ask questions about this.
Students sometimes worry that information about them seeking counseling will go into their academic or registration records. Please note that no other office at MassBay has any access to our records, and Counseling Services does not share any information with any other office.