A family goes through a significant transition when a son or daughter goes off to college. It is an acknowledgement of the growing maturation of the student into adulthood with all the pleasures and challenges of inevitable change.
Students are excited and anxious to test their newfound independence. Parents are excited and anxious that their almost adult children have a rewarding college experience. Both students and parents are in the process of finding a new balance in their relationships between independence and dependence. There are inevitable pulls toward earlier ways of relating for both students and parents as they struggle to find that new balance.
Parents are in a tricky situation.They want to support their sons and daughters by giving them the autonomy that they need to grow academically and emotionally, but they also, understandably, have concerns about any difficulties that they may encounter along the way especially if they are at a distance.
Student Counseling Services is available to Connecticut College students who may be experiencing some emotional upset due to this period of emotional growth and maturation, or due to more chronic problems. We offer students brief individual, group and couples counseling and psychotherapy. In addition, we have a part-time consulting psychiatrist who is able to assess and prescribe psychotropic medications for those students who may require them. Students may avail themselves of the services without repercussions to their academic or social standings at the College.
How services are covered
There is no charge for the counseling or psychotherapy services. Students who consult with the psychiatrist will be billed for those services only. The student health insurance covers these charges up to approximately five visits, and then students will be billed on a fee-for-service basis thereafter. Some students opt to utilize their family health insurance plans for reimbursement of these charges.
Confidentiality is assured
Our services are strictly confidential. We will not disclose a student's presence in treatment or the nature of that treatment with other parts of the college without the student's written permission to do so. In general the only reason that one of the counselors would disclose that a student was utilizing the Student Counseling Services would be to prevent the occurrence of potential physical harm to the student or another person.
Where we are located on campus
Student Counseling Services is located in the Warnshuis Health Center building. A student may make an appointment to see a counselor by calling 860-439-4587 or stopping by the office of the administrative assistant during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We make every effort to see the student as soon as possible. If the student is deemed to be in acute distress, he or she will be seen that day.
Reaching us after hours or weekends
After hours or during weekends, one of the staff is available to the administrator on-call from the Office of Student Life, should it be necessary. Students experiencing distress are instructed to contact the administrator on-call, Campus Safety, their Housefellow or Peer Adviser. These staff are trained to handle urgent situations.
Answering parents' concerns
The staff of the Student Counseling Services welcomes phone calls from parents who fear that their student is undergoing some emotional upset. It is difficult being at a distance and knowing that a son or daughter is in distress. The staff would like to be supportive and will listen to a parent's concerns. A parent may offer information that could be invaluable to a student's treatment. At the same time state and federal law prohibits the staff from discussing with anyone whether the Student Counseling Services is treating a particular student or what the nature of the treatment might be unless the student has given the staff written permission to do so. If a son or daughter were to tell a parent that he or she is seeing a counselor and the parent would like to be able to talk to the counselor, the student must sign a release of information that will enable the staff to discuss the situation with the parent.
While the Student Counseling Services provides care to students who request our services, the student's academic dean or the office of the Dean of Students is able to reach out to students who may be in need.
Parents who would like someone to check up on their son or daughter should contact either of those two offices for assistance.
In rare instances a student may require more intensive treatment or more specialized treatment than the Service can provide. These students and those who wish to be seen by a clinician off campus are referred to local mental health providers. Counseling services also maintains contact with local hospitals as back up to our psychiatric services.