Counseling: Frequently Asked Questions
If your emergency requires medical attention, University Police should be notified immediately at 673-3333. In the event of an after hours emergency, students can contact the Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline (1-800-724-0461) for mental health emergencies that require a response by mental health professionals.
Students living on campus may notify their Resident Advisor (RA) or Resident Director (RD) of the crisis, who may then decide to engage emergency services.
For more information see Crisis Services.
Professional counselors work individually or with groups to help students understand themselves better, resolve problems, come to terms with difficult issues, and/or address important decisions.
The purpose of counseling is not to tell students what to do, but to emphasize the ultimate responsibility each person has in conducting his or her own life.
All registered Fredonia students may use the Counseling Center without charge. In addition, counseling staff are happy to assist faculty and staff members with concerns regarding registered students through consultation.
The Counseling Center is a safe place for Fredonia students. When you come here, you have the right to privacy. Counseling is strictly confidential and, unless it is a matter of saving human life, or we have been ordered by a court, no information is released to anyone without the student's written consent.
Appointments can be made in person or by phoning 716-673-3424. For more information see Appointments and Referrals.
The reception area is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Counselors are available for appointments between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Counseling Center is located in LoGrasso Hall, just down the hallway from the Health Center. Our entrance faces Kasling and Grissom Residence Halls.
The Fredonia Counseling Center recognizes research based practices which promote dramatic improvements during the early stages of a therapy experience. We approach each session from a single-session mindset, organizing each session as if it might be the last, to optimize maximum effectiveness of each session. The goal of each session is for the client to leave with a sense of emotional relief, increased hope, and some sort of positive outcomes as defined by the client.
Within the context of the counseling relationship, both counselor and client work diligently to harness motivation to address a specific concern that promotes the client’s vision of their better self. Students are encouraged to implement the skills learned in therapy into their daily routines and to return to counseling for additional assistance if they have not made significant progress towards addressing their concerns of when they have new concerns that warrant additional assistance.
Walk-ins are most appropriate for:
- Students who are motivated to create some change and have an idea of what they would like to be different in their lives
- Students who have a specific relationship concern
- Students who are looking to make a major life decision in the next 2-3 days
- Students who feel that one session may be enough to address their concerns
- Students who require acute, short-term emotional support
Walk-in services are available M-F 1-4pm when classes are in session.
In order to access walk-in services, students are asked to present at the front desk at the Counseling Center starting at 12:30pm to request a walk-in appointment. Students will be scheduled first come, first serve into 1:00pm, 2:00pm, or 3:00pm appointment slots.
Students that have to wait for their walk-in appointment may choose to wait in the waiting room, or may leave and come back to the Center 10 minutes prior to their walk-in appointment to check back in at the front desk.
The number of walk-in appointments per day are limited and will vary depending on clinician availability. When the Center has reached its walk-in capacity for that day, students will be asked to try walk-ins again another day, or may choose to schedule an appointment with a provider on a different day.
Walk-in services differ from same day emergency services. If there is a mental health emergency, students are asked to identify that they have an urgent need to the front desk attendant upon arrival.
Examples of urgent needs:
- I have an immediate concern about my safety, I have a current suicide plan, or I have recently attempted suicide
- I have a strong desire to harm someone else
- I am currently being seriously hurt or abused or feel that I am in danger of being seriously hurt or abused
- I was recently physically or sexually assaulted
- I am having strange experiences such as hearing voices that others do not hear
- I’m upset and my eating, sleeping, and study habits have changed significantly for more than three days.
- I am strongly considering dropping out of school
For more information see Crisis Services.
There are several reasons why we may have been unable to answer your call. The most common reason is that our receptionist is using the phone to speak with another student who may be scheduling an appointment. Another possibility is that our receptionist may be on a scheduled break. There are regular 15-30 minute periods during each workday when the receptionist may not be available, although we try our best to have front desk coverage whenever possible.
If we are unable to answer your call, please leave a voicemail with your name, phone number, and a brief message. We will call you back as quickly as possible. If you call after hours, we will return your call the next business day.
If you would prefer not to wait in our waiting room, please let the receptionist know. We have a quiet wellness space with a table, chairs, and self-serve wellness items. We also have a private, quiet room that we can offer to students based on availability.
Wait times for an initial appointment and times between scheduled appointment fluctuate depending on the time of year. There are predictable times in the semester when there is a higher volume of students seeking services, and there are naturally longer wait times during these periods. We do our best to alleviate this by having same-day appointments available each day (M-F) on a first-come, first-served basis.
As a reminder, if you are in mental health crisis, please articulate this to our staff when attempting to schedule an appointment or meet with a counselor. Please see Crisis Services for information about how to get help.
The Fredonia Counseling Center utilizes a short-term, intermittent model of individual treatment, in order to maximize our resources in meeting student counseling needs. Since therapy issues vary from person to person, the length and frequency of treatment also varies and is based on goals set by the therapist and client and ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of treatment. We encourage you to bring this up to your counselor if you are concerned about the frequency of sessions.
Sessions are typically scheduled every 2-3 weeks, although this will vary throughout the semester based on demand for services and availability. The desire or need for long-term, weekly psychotherapy is usually best addressed through referral to an off-campus provider.
In recent years, the demand for mental health services on college and university campuses has risen dramatically. Data shows that from 2009-10 to 2014-15, counseling center utilization grew five times faster than institutional enrollment growth [Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 2015 Annual Report].
In light of the increased demand for campus mental health services, many institutions have invested additional resources in campus counseling centers, including hiring additional clinical and professional staff. Despite new investments in additional staff, student distress levels, wait times, and overall demand continue to rise. Increasingly, institutions recognize that hiring more staff is not the answer. There is a growing recognition that fundamental change is necessary to meet demand on campus.
The rising demand for services and increasing complexity of students’ mental health concerns has prompted difficult questions about the scope of campus care. Institutions increasingly recognize that they cannot provide all types of services to all students with finite resources. This realization is prompting difficult questions about the mission and goals of campus mental health services. As campus leaders and administrators determine what to prioritize, they are often weighing two values: accessibility and intensity. While these two approaches are not mutually exclusive, the reality is that most institutions do not have the resources to effectively provide both. Thus, some institutions are emphasizing accessibility by prioritizing quick access for all students. In this model, clinical resources are used to help the greatest number of students solve short-term challenges on campus. Students with ongoing or complex mental health needs that require more intensive resources are referred off-campus for support. Other institutions are emphasizing intensity by prioritizing ongoing treatment for high-need students, or students with ongoing or intensive mental health needs. Here, clinical resources are devoted to a small group of students on campus and there is little to no reliance on community resources to provide care. This approach can result in reduced access or longer wait times for new or non-critical student cases [2018 EAB Global- Establishing a Sustainable Scope of Practice].
The Fredonia Counseling Center currently prioritizes accessibility to ensure that the greatest number of students can receive assistance as timely as possible. In the Fall 2019 semester, 12.5% of the student population engaged in services. The average wait time for an initial appointment was 3.45 business days with half of first time visits being initiated via same-day walk-in services. We regularly review and adjusts our scope of practice and scheduling procedures to address the changing demands of our campus community. Our current staffing is consistent with comparable universities at a Staff to Student Ratio of 1:1,000 -1:1,500 [AUCCCD]. For Spring 2019, the Fredonia Counseling Center has a clinical capacity to provide 135 hours of direct-service clinical appointments (Individual Therapy, Crisis, Walk-In, Group Therapy) per week when the center is fully staffed (5.4 clinical providers).