Individual Counseling

In individual counseling, students have the opportunity to discuss what’s on their mind with an objective person on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Goals of individual counseling may include resolving problems, adjusting to new or challenging life circumstances, improving academic skills, enhancing relationships and increasing life satisfaction. Overall, counseling services are intended to help students whose problems can be addressed over a short term period in a limited number of sessions.

While in individual counseling, counselors may also recommend that a student engage in additional Counseling and Testing Center services including group counseling or a brief consultation with the Mind-Body Clinic, the Substance Use Risk Reduction Program or the Performance Enhancement Center. For some students, more intensive counseling outside of the center would be most beneficial. In that case, students are offered assistance with setting up such services.

The Counseling and Testing Center offers short-term counseling services that can include up to 15 sessions within the academic year. In general, the number of counseling sessions offered depends upon clinical need, counselor availability and the professional judgment of the counseling staff.

Most students are first scheduled to meet with their counselor for five weekly or bi-weekly sessions. This is considered the initial assessment period. On the fourth visit, students will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire designed to help students and their counselor assess how the student is doing in relation to their treatment goals. Students and their counselor then collaboratively decide if there is a need to continue with or end counseling services. At this point, some students find that their problem has been resolved. Students that continue with individual counseling will be scheduled for five additional bi-weekly appointments.  If appropriate, further sessions are scheduled in the same manner, and students are asked to complete follow-up questionnaires at each phase of scheduling.

Please keep in mind that additional sessions may not be needed and are not guaranteed.

Many students seek services from the Counseling and Testing Center throughout the year. However, excessive client absences significantly increases the length of time students must wait before beginning services at the Counseling and Testing Center. Thus, the Counseling and Testing Center adheres to strict attendance policies. In order to give students who may be waiting for services the opportunity to participate in individual counseling, our attendance policy states: a student who no-shows for two sessions in a row, no-shows for three sessions total or are in non-attendance for five sessions total, will risk losing their appointment slot and may be asked to wait three months before returning to the center for services.

As a courtesy, students will receive an automated reminder the day before their appointment confirming the date and time via their Georgia State University email. However, this alert is not guaranteed, and students are ultimately responsible for making sure they are aware of their appointment date and time. Students should contact the front office at 404-413-1641 if they are unsure of an appointment time or if they are unable to make a scheduled appointment. It is preferable that the Counseling and Testing Center is notified more than 24 hours before the appointment. Failure to call and cancel an appointment at least one hour in advance will be considered a no-show.

Additionally, due to demand, individual counseling sessions can rarely be rescheduled. However, with enough lead time and based on availability, rescheduling appointments for another time within the week might be possible. Most often, students will simply be expected at their next regularly scheduled appointment time.