Counseling FAQs

Talk to twenty different counselors, and you will get just as many explanations as to what counseling is or is not. So, rather than give you yet another long (and typically boring) professional explanation, counseling, in our opinion, can best be likened to attempting to put together a jig-saw puzzle and getting stuck while trying.

Almost everyone, at some point, has spent an hour or two (or more) trying to put together a jig-saw puzzle. At first it can be both exciting and a little daunting to stare at that small mountain of pieces, each one fitting together and you not necessarily knowing how- not yet anyway. As you begin to sift through the pieces and arrange them, the picture becomes somewhat clearer, and you, more confident that you will make short work out of the rest of the puzzle. At some point though, you, as with everyone else, gets stuck; no matter how hard you look at, arrange, or even yell at the pieces they just no longer seem to make sense in how they fit together. Now, as you are starring at your semi-finished puzzle frustrated, usually, someone walks up behind you, looks over your shoulder, and moves one or two of those pieces. Suddenly, the rest of the picture comes into focus; you can see how the remaining pieces fit together, and you do, in fact, make short work out the rest of puzzle.

It is important to remember that the person who looked over your shoulder and moved those pieces is not necessarily any smarter or more capable than you are. What they offered, for a very brief moment in time, was a different perspective, and it was that difference that made the difference for you in being able to again make sense out of all those pieces. This, in essence, is how counseling/psychotherapy works. What a counselor offers you in your session is a different perspective based on YOUR sense of the situation at hand. Our goal is not to tell you how you are supposed to be; our goal is to help you figure out how you want or need things in your life to be different, and more importantly, how to go about creating that difference.

CUSOM BH Clinical Services are free to medical, graduate, and health professional students.

We can discuss any number of issues that are important to you; however, most times people who seek counseling do so for some of the following reasons:

  • Academic Difficulty & Performance
  • Burnout
  • Study Strategies
  • Anxiety: testing, phobias, etc.
  • Depression
  • Relationship/family difficulties
  • Adjustment to illness and/or lifestyle changes
  • Anger Management
  • Stress Management
  • Grief

Counseling sessions are usually 45-minute appointments every 1-2 weeks.  Most concerns can be addressed in 4-6 sessions.  Depending on the service you receive, demand for services by other students, and your specific needs, sessions may vary in duration and frequency.

Everything you share with CUSOM Behavioral Health staff is private information. Written records are kept in an electronic health record accessible only to CUSOM BH staff, and are not connected to your student academic file or Campbell University Health Center records.  CUSOM BH staff keep all information, including your attendance to sessions, confidential. CUSOM BH staff may consult with each other as part of delivering high-quality, team-based care. If you would like information from your CUSOM BH services shared with anyone else, you may sign a Release of Information form. Under the following circumstances, CUSOM BH staff may be required to release information for legal, safety, or continuity of care reasons: 1) Information about abuse or neglect of children, elderly, or disabled adults. 2) Your Intent to harm yourself or others. 3) In compliance with a court order. 4) In case you require emergency care.

A simple definition of mindfulness is: paying attention on purpose. You can also think of mindfulness as “focused awareness.” Mindful practitioners learn to pay attention to the patterns and processes—mental, relational, and physical—of the ordinary tasks they engage with every day. As it relates to medicine, Ronald Epstein, MD, states that this “self-reflection enables physicians to listen attentively to patients’ distress, recognize their own errors, refine their technical skills, make evidence-based decisions, and clarify their values so that they can act with compassion, technical competence, presence, and insight” (1999, p. 833).

Mindfulness training is offered in two formats: individual and group work. Individual training sessions take place during scheduled office hours. Our mindfulness group combines education and experiential practice to help participants develop their skills and abilities to “pay attention on purpose” and focus their awareness. The curriculum includes six recorded lectures (covering topics such as “What is Mindfulness?”, “The Science of Mindfulness,” and others), as well as six 50-minute live practice sessions. Participants will be required to watch one recorded lecture prior to each of the six practice sessions. Practice sessions will be every other week, allowing participants a two-week period to watch each lecture. The total program will be completed in twelve weeks.

The clinicians of the behavioral health department do not prescribe medications. If you are in need of consultation around the possibility of medications to assist with managing symptoms please make an appointment with the Campbell University Health Center

If you are already working with a CUSOM Behavioral Health clinician he or she can also refer you to a psychiatrist. Please contact your clinician for additional information. 

No, CUSOM Behavioral Health does not administer educational of psychological testing. If you are in need of a referral for educational of psychological testing and are a CUSOM or CPHS graduate student please contact StudentLinc at 1-888-893-LINC (5462).