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Counseling Center
 

Services of the Counseling Center

 

A Brief Overview

The Counseling Center is staffed by a group of skilled, compassionate, and professional mental health clinicians who provide a range of short-term services to assist in resolving acute concerns and support the healthy development of our enrolled students. Over 40% of the student body will access the services of the Counseling Center for an individual appointment at some time in their college career. Our services are confidential and included in tuition. We are conveniently located on the first floor of Jonsson Tower, near Health Services. We are committed to our Core Principles, and strive to engage all members of the Skidmore community with empathy and respect.

The Counseling Center is able to offer up to 8 individual psychotherapy sessions per year to each fully enrolled student. We can also provide tailored referrals to local clinicians for students who are likely to benefit from more open-ended or specialized care. Referral consultations can occur in person or, if more convenient, requests can be made by contacting the office and asking to receive recommendations by email.

If you are a student coming to campus on psychiatric medications, we recommend either continuing care with your current prescriber or, if you’d like to see someone in Saratoga while you’re at school, we’re happy to suggest a few clinicians in the area. Local psychiatric provider options are limited, however, so we strongly recommend sorting out your medication management plan in advance of arriving at school, to prevent gaps in care or difficulty obtaining refills. 

In addition to individual therapy, the Counseling Center offers several short-term therapy and support groups each semester. These offerings change from semester to semester, depending on student interest and need. Please contact the office (518-580-5555) or consult the main page of our website to find out what’s being offered for the current semester.

We believe that our short-term, acute-focus treatment model is helpful for the majority of the students who seek our assistance. However, there are certain situations in which a referral to other resources is likely to be the most appropriate option. These include:

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Individual Therapy

Short-term individual therapy is available without a fee to all full-time Skidmore College students. To request an initial appointment, we ask that students come to the Counseling Center to complete a confidential form describing their concerns. They will then be scheduled to meet with a clinician. After an initial assessment, the student and the clinician discuss the most appropriate course of treatment for the student’s difficulties. Counseling Center staff are experienced in working with adjustment problems and developmental issues, as well as more serious mental health concerns.

Counseling Center staff are committed to helping students negotiate difficulties and develop the tools to handle their problems in a way that promotes their own growth and development. Through therapy, students can often find a way to formulate a sense of self and identity, forge meaningful relationships with others, accept responsibility for their own well-being, clarify their values, and achieve a sense of balance in their life. 

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Group Therapy & Support

The Counseling Center offers a number of psychotherapy and support groups each semester for students who wish to explore aspects of their personal growth or life experiences. Our therapy groups are formed early each semester and continue with the same membership throughout the semester. These groups are a powerful and unique way to work on issues of trust, self-confidence, and various difficulties that arise in relationship to others. Our therapy groups usually have between 5-7 participants and two therapist co-leaders. Our support groups operate on a drop-in (“open”) model, though we believe consistent attendance helps students get the most benefit from these groups. Students who are interested in participating in a group can start exploring that interest by making an individual appointment with a staff member or by contacting the office to find out what groups are being offered this semester.

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Emergency Services

For students who are experiencing imminent concerns about their own safety or the safety of others, or who are struggling with their perception of reality (i.e., hearing or seeing things that others are not), the Counseling Center offers same day emergency appointments. Immediate emergency assitance is also available as needed. We ask that students seeking emergency appointments come to the office in person and speak with our Office Coordinator.

After-hours and weekend emergency on-call services are available by telephone whenever classes are in session. Students and concerned third-parties can access these services by calling the Counseling Center main office number (518-580-5555) and listening to the prompts to select the appropriate service. During semester breaks, and for individuals who are away from campus, please contact 911 or your local emergency room for assistance.

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Consultation

Counseling Center staff act as a resource to the Skidmore community around concerns for the emotional well-being and safety of others. Skidmore students, faculty, staff, and family members are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center to discuss any such concerns and to plan a strategy for intervention. While third-party consultations are not confidential, they are handled with the maximum degree of discretion possible in each individual situation. Please do know that Counseling Center staff do not directly contact students on the basis of third-party concerns and will refer any such requests for intervention to the appropriate campus resource (most often, Campus Safety).

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Education and Training

Counseling Center staff are regularly involved in training of the College’s Residential Life staff, peer mentors, and peer health educators. We also assist with parent and new student orientations. Additionally, staff are available to participate in workshops, to help plan and design peer-to-peer presentations, and to facilitate discussions on a variety of topics pertaining to mental health. Programming ideas can be explored by contacting the office and requesting to meet with a staff member.

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Referrals

Counseling Center staff keep current on information about community resources that serve a variety of mental health needs. We can assist students and other members of the Skidmore community to make a connection with appropriate self-help groups, community agencies, and/or private practitioners in the area. To the greatest extent possible, we attempt to provide referrals that take into account the individual’s clinical needs, insurance coverage, and transportation availability. In some instances, a student’s needs may best be met by a provider at home, due to the limited nature of certain referral options in our area (e.g., psychiatric providers). Referral consultations can occur in person or, if more convenient, requests can be made by contacting the office and asking to receive recommendations by email.

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Victim Support Services

Skidmore College is committed to promoting a campus environment where sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and exploitation are not tolerated, and where every member of the community is expected to do their part to prevent and address violence. The College is also committed to providing survivors and all community members affected by sexual and relationship violence support and avenues of redress as appropriate. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are violations of Skidmore College policy and are crimes as defined by the state of New York.  You can learn more on the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct website. The Counseling Center, and Health Services, are both confidential resources offering support for students who have been affected by sexual or gender-based misconduct situations, and are able to provide guidance regarding other campus resources and reporting options.

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Eligibility for Services

Individual and group therapy services at the Counseling Center are available to fully-enrolled, matriculating Skidmore College students. Referral assistance and third-party consultations regarding students of concern are available to all members of the broader Skidmore community.

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