1. What is counseling?
Counseling is a process that enables a person to grow in a way that s/he chooses. Students may want to change their behavior, thoughts, or lifestyle or increase self-awareness. The counselor’s job is to help the student work towards achieving those goals for personal growth and development. Some students come in with the goal of figuring out how to make a big decision in their life, others want an outside perspective from a qualified, licensed professional, while others are ready to make significant changes in their life.
2. Is it free?
Yes, all services provided by the TSC Counseling Office are free and confidential for currently enrolled students. Faculty and staff who are interested in counseling may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Human Resources, or receive referrals to community agencies that provide mental health services.
3. How long will counseling take? When does it “end”?
The time-frame for counseling is dependent on a number of factors, such as the presenting issues, client readiness, and individualized plans for meeting counseling goals. For this reason, it is difficult to assign an exact time-frame for counseling. On average, students attend 45-minute sessions, once per week or every other week. Participation is voluntary, and the student may terminate counseling whenever s/he/they are ready or when both the counselor and student agree that the student’s goals have been met.
4. What should I expect when I go to TSC Counseling Center?
In most cases, the student is seen within 15 minutes of arrival at the center. Upon requesting services, the student completes a student information form. The first appointment will include a description of program services, a discussion of the presenting issue(s), and a brief personal history of the student.
5. What happens during the counseling session?
During the initial sessions, the therapist and student work at identifying the issues that are affecting the student. Together they work at establishing goals for therapy. The therapist will develop different strategies that may include assigned reading and/or tasks. The sessions allow for the student to process what s/he/they are experiencing and monitor his/her/their progress. Initially, sessions are typically 45-minutes in duration, once per week. As progress is made, the sessions can be changed to bimonthly, monthly, or on an as-needed basis. Participation remains voluntary, and the student may terminate therapy services whenever she/he/they are ready.
6. Will counseling work for me?
There are many factors involved in what would make counseling successful for a client – client readiness, the right “fit” between client and counselor (maybe there’s a personality clash or the client isn’t responsive to counselor style/approach), and perhaps the goals of the client being appropriate for him/her/them. No therapist can guarantee that counseling is going to be successful for anyone. However, it can be helpful to talk with a counselor about issues that are of concern to you and work with that person on ways you believe you might be able to feel better and see some signs of improvement.
7. What about privacy?
Counseling sessions are confidential. Information is not released without the written permission of the student. Exceptions are made without student approval during a life-threatening emergency, cases involving child/elder/persons with disability abuse or neglect, by subpoena or order of a judge, or as otherwise required or allowed by law.
8. How do I make an appointment?
To schedule an intake appointment with a counselor, call (956)295-3417 or come by the Lightner Center. We offer counseling over the phone, online, as well as face-to-face.
Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except during designated holidays.
9. What other services does the TSC Counseling Office offer?
The Counseling Office offers individual, couples, and family counseling as long as one of the individuals involved in counseling is a currently enrolled student at TSC. The Counseling Office also offers workshops, weekly meditation classes, and art therapy sessions.
10. I’m still not sure counseling is for me. Where can I get more information?
Many students are initially apprehensive about receiving mental health services. Our counselor will be more than happy to answer any questions students may have about the counseling process.