Appointments and Referrals
University Counseling Services is staffed by qualified professional counselors, social
workers, APRNs and senior-level graduate interns. Any matriculated student registered
at Southern is eligible for these services. Once an appointment is set up, the student
will talk with a counselor about his/her issues and appropriate counseling options,
which may include individual counseling, group counseling, or a referral to a community
or private agency.
The center is committed to providing counseling services and preventive programs that promote personal, academic, and career development, as well as the psychological well-being of students.
During office hours: In the event of an emergency, there is a counselor on call in the office Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. This counselor is available on these days to speak with students and take inquiries and referrals from administrators, parents, staff, and students.
After office hours: In the event of a crisis or emergency situation after hours, contact University Police
at (203) 392-5375 or local emergency services at 911*
General appointment and Referral Information
How do I set up an appointment to see a counselor?
If you have an issue that you would like to talk with a counselor about, you can make an appointment by calling (203) 392-5475 and scheduling a day and time with the department secretary, or you can stop by the office located in EN B-219. Appointments are set up on an hourly basis. The first appointment begins at 9:00 a.m., and the last appointment begins at 3:00 p.m. Your sessions with a counselor usually last 45-50 minutes and are usually scheduled weekly or bi-weekly. As you set goals with your counselor, you will work out a schedule of appointments that works best with your schedule.
Who will know I made an appointment?
No one -- unless you give specific, written consent to a counselor. The counselors in the office and the department secretarial staff are bound by ethics and confidentiality laws that prohibit them from revealing any student information to anyone.*
What if I miss my appointment?
Cancellations: A personal commitment to the counseling process is critical to its success. We strongly encourage students to keep all appointments made. If you cannot keep an appointment due to illness or other extenuating circumstance, please call as soon as you know you won't be able to make your appointment.
No shows: A student who has not shown up for three appointments will have his or her file deactivated
until he or she calls to make arrangements with a counselor in the center.
How do I join a group?
You can inquire about group offerings each semester by contacting the department secretary or checking the home page for announcements. Both will provide information regarding group topics, dates, times, and facilitators. You can then schedule a screening appointment with the counselor running the group to see if it is appropriate for you. See the "Group Counseling" page for more details.
How can I refer someone I am concerned about?
Guidelines for faculty, staff, parents, and students who may need to refer a student. NOTE: All services provided by University Counseling Services are free, voluntary, and confidential (except where mandated by law).
In the event that you need to refer a student to our services, we have provided the following suggested guidelines for assisting students:
Talk to the student in private (this does not mean you have to close your door if you are not comfortable doing so).
Listen carefully while showing concern and interest.
Repeat back the essence of what the student has told you, checking to see if you clearly understand what he/she is saying.
Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
Suggest University Counseling Services as a resource.
Inform the student that these services are free and confidential.
Suggest that the student call (203-392-5475) or come into University Counseling Services (Engleman B-219) to make an appointment. If you wish to be certain that the student makes an appointment, calling while the student is in your office is often helpful.
Sometimes it is helpful for you to accompany the student to Counseling, and some students may find it comforting for you to wait while they meet with a counselor.
If you would like to continue to support the student after the appointment, you can ask the student a non-intrusive question, for example, "How are you doing?" Let the student decide if he/she would like to disclose any information to you. If you are concerned about a student, but are uncertain of the appropriateness of the referral, or the student resists a referral, feel free to contact University Counseling Services and ask to speak to the counselor on call.
Note: Due to client confidentiality laws, we cannot inform you as to whether the student makes or keeps and appointment without the student's written permission. If you consider the situation to be an emergency, please convey this information when contacting University Counseling Services.