Information About Counseling and What to Expect


Eligibility for Services

To receive services at the SCS, students must be currently enrolled at Texas A&M University and have paid the University Advancement Fee.  Students who completed the spring semester and are enrolled for the fall semester are eligible for SCS services.

Types of Counseling Appointments

Individual Counseling:

Individual counseling consists of meeting one-on-one with a counselor for 45 to 50 minutes. Most individual appointments fall within the normal Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. business hours. Limited evening appointments are available during the fall and spring semesters. Academic, career, and personal concerns can all be addressed in individual counseling.

Individual counseling is short-term in nature, meaning that the goal is to help you in the shortest time possible. If longer term counseling is needed, the counselor will help you find an appropriate professional or agency.

Group Counseling:

Group counseling involves about 5 to 10 people meeting weekly, with one or two counselors serving as group leaders. Group leaders work to provide a safe, confidential environment in which group members are free to discuss their problems and concerns. Through the group process, members identify with others who are experiencing similar issues and increase self-awareness by obtaining genuine and honest feedback.

How much you talk about yourself in group depends on your comfort level. You can benefit from group even when you say little because you learn from others who talk about their concerns.

Group is the best choice for many concerns. The SCS provides groups that deal with academic, career, and personal topics such as Academics Anonymous, Thesis/Dissertation Support Group, Career Exploration Group, Anxiety Group, Eating Concerns & Body Image Issues, and Grief and Loss to name a few. Group offerings vary each semester, so see the Events List or contact the SCS to find out about current groups.

If you would like to learn more about group counseling at the SCS, "How to Get the Most Out of Group Counseling" will provide useful information. This brochure is available online.

Couple Counseling:

When concerns involve a relationship, particularly a committed relationship, sometimes the best approach is for two people to receive counseling together. This can provide an effective opportunity for couples to better understand each other and to learn more effective ways of communicating and nurturing the relationship.

Workshops:

The SCS offers a variety of workshops each week that address academic and career topics. See the Events List for specific topics and times. Topics include: Time Management and Procrastination, Stress Management and Test Anxiety, Determining Your Learning Style, Career Safari, and Do What You Are.

In addition, a weekly biofeedback workshop is provided to teach self-regulation skills that allow you to control and better manage physical and mental processes. Biofeedback is a method of using electronic sensors to measure different physiological processes or states, such as temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, electrical activity to the skin and muscles, and brain wave patterns. This information is then "fed back" to you. The feedback may be visual or auditory, and actually allows you to see or hear what is happening within your body.

More information about biofeedback-->


How to Make an Appointment

Go to http://scs.tamu.edu/ and click on "Register for Services." After you complete the information requested, you will have the option of scheduling your initial appointment online. You will receive email confirmation of your appointment within one business day. If you have trouble logging in, call 845-4427 to request help. When registering, please complete all relevant information and at the end, click on submit.

Appointments are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. Limited evening services are sometimes available in the fall and spring semesters.


What happens at the first appointment?

Before meeting with you, your counselor will have reviewed the information you provided through online registration. You will have the opportunity to tell the counselor in more detail precisely what your needs and concerns are, and what you hope to accomplish in counseling. You will be able to ask any questions about the benefits of both individual and group counseling, about the limits of confidentiality, and about the many other services available. If your needs would best be met by another department within the University, or by an agency or professional in the community, your counselor will help you connect with the appropriate resource. The initial appointment will last about 45 to 50 minutes.


Getting the most benefit from counseling

Personal commitment to your own growth and change is crucial to success in counseling. You can enhance your development by taking risks, such as disclosing information that is difficult to talk about, being open, honest, and actively participating. You can continue the counseling process between sessions by thinking about what you have talked about and experienced during sessions, focusing on the changes you want to make, and working on specific assignments made by your counselor.

See also How To Get the Most Out of Group Counseling


Canceling or missing appointments

Keeping appointments and being on time is part of the personal commitment to counseling you must make. If, due to an illness or a rare emergency, you will be unable to keep your appointment, you must contact us and cancel the appointment as far in advance as possible. If you miss an appointment and do not reschedule within one business day, it will be assumed that you are not interested in continuing in counseling, and additional appointments with your previous counselor cannot be guaranteed. Because usually it is not beneficial to engage in shortened sessions, you may need to reschedule your appointment if you are late. Learning disabilities screenings in particular require the entire appointment time and must be rescheduled if you are late.

PLEASE NOTE

Beginning January 14, 2013, a no-show/late cancellation fee of $25 will be charged to your student account if you fail to notify us 24 hours in advance that you will not be attending your scheduled appointment. You may notify us through email (scs@tamu.edu), telephone (979-845-4427), or in person (Student Services @ White Creek).


Ending counseling

Just as you and your counselor work together to identify your needs and plan your counseling sessions, the ending of counseling should also be planned together whenever possible. When you think you are ready to end counseling, discuss this with your counselor.


Confidentiality

Confidentiality is respected to the limits allowed by law. The SCS makes no record of your visits on academic transcripts or placement files.


Fees

The SCS is funded primarily by the Student Service Fee. No user fees are charged except for certain testing services.

PLEASE NOTE

Beginning January 14, 2013, a no-show/late cancellation fee of $25 will be charged to your student account if you fail to notify us 24 hours in advance that you will not be attending your scheduled appointment. You may notify us through email (scs@tamu.edu), telephone (979-845-4427), or in person (Student Services @ White Creek).