Counseling Services

Counseling Services is designed to help students increase self-awareness and address mental health concerns with the goal of empowering students to manage challenging areas in their lives. Services are available to currently enrolled students. A semesterly fee, which is included in your tuition and fees, covers the costs of all visits!

Common concerns addressed: depression, anxiety, mood swings, fearfulness, thoughts of suicide or homicide, poor concentration, recent loss of a loved one or significant other, troubled or abusive relationships, nervousness or tension, poor body image, difficulty adjusting to college life, low self-esteem, and substance abuse.

Professional standards of confidentiality are followed by the entire Counseling Services Staff. Personal health information provided to our office will be protected unless a student provides written permission to release that information. Exceptions to this policy exist when confidential information is needed to protect a student’s health or safety or is mandated by law.

Counseling Services provides brief, short-term therapy. If you need further psychological services over the course of therapy, we will make every effort to provide you with appropriate off-campus referrals. While, on-campus counseling sessions are included in your tuition and fees, outside providers charge for their services. It is your responsibility to arrange for any payment that is necessary for off-campus providers.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, all virtual services are provided via Telebehavioral Health (TBH) using a FERPA and HIPAA compliant platform (Zoom for Healthcare.). In-Person sessions are also available with Covid-19 precautions in place. 

Telebehavioral Health (TBH)Treatment via Zoom 

For students who are interested in virtual appointment, Counseling Services is continuing to provideTelebehavioral Health Services through Zoom for Healthcare, a HIPAA and FERPA compliant platform, in addition to in-person services. Full-time and part-time students residing in Illinois may be eligible to receive individual TBH therapy services. Please call during our regular business hours to schedule an appointment or fill the Request an Appointment Form.  

Tele-health Rooms 

For students who would like to meet virtually but do not feel they have a private space to do so, we have several Tele-Health rooms that can be requested. These are private spaces equipped with the technology for a virtual therapy session to take place. They are disinfected after each use. Please alert our administrator if you would like to request the use of a Tele-health Room.

Individual Therapy

The student and clinician collaborate to work through a wide variety of difficulties, ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship concerns and academic stressors. A supportive and non-judgmental environment is provided to assist students with the process of developing strategies for lasting positive change.

Process Groups

An open space in which students can talk about current life experiences and receive support from peers. These groups may consist of up to 10 students. Clinicians facilitate weekly groups, encourage active participation and provide support.

Personal Improvement Groups

Groups occur daily covering topics such as emotion management, social success, healthy relationships, cultivating happiness, sexuality, life skills, time-management and self-care. Groups are facilitated by a clinician and are 45 minutes in length. In addition to talking, group work may include writing, journaling and creative expression.

Community Linkage / Referral

Clinicians can assist students with connecting to community providers when the presenting need(s) cannot be affectively addressed through short-term therapy. For example, Counseling Services cannot prescribe medication, so if medication is an identified need, we will assist the student in identifying a provider who can do so.

Counseling Services is unable to provide court mandated treatment of any kind. The counseling provided at Counseling Services does not meet eligibility criteria for entitlements as our records do not contain a mental health diagnosis. Entitlements include but are not limited to, emotional support animals, marijuana for medicinal purposes, documentation required for Services for Students with Disabilities, or aid programs through Columbia College Chicago. Students in need of the above services will receive community referrals.

One-Time Triage Appointments 

Counseling Services is offers One-Time Triage appointment to Columbia students seeking mental health support toward the second half of the semester. The goal of these appointments is not to provide ongoing therapy services but to connect you with appropriate on and off campus resources. You can use this appointment in one of two ways – one, to receive assistance linking with community referrals, or two, to discuss current issues on a one-time basis and walk away with tangible coping skills and resources.

During this appointment, you will complete paperwork, meet with a clinician to discuss your concerns, and determine the most helpful course of action. We ask that you bring your insurance card to assist in finding community providers in your area if applicable.  

Your personal wellbeing is important as you manage the combined stresses of finishing your semester strong, as well as the day-to-day challenges and current events 

Information for Minors:

Except for situations such as those mentioned above, the clinician will not tell the parent or guardian specific things shared within session. The clinician may need to use their professional judgment if they feel that you are in danger. In those situations, the parent or guardian will be contacted. Students, under the age of 18, will be required to complete a separate Adolescent Consent Form.