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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counseling?

Although counselors may differ somewhat in their approaches, there are certain similarities that characterize the helping relationship. In the beginning stage of counseling, your counselor will ask you about your concerns to gain a deeper understanding of you and your issues. As counseling proceeds, trust between you and your counselor builds and a working partnership is developed. Using a variety of approaches, your counselor will help you to explore your feelings, make your own decisions, and resolve your concerns. As you gain an understanding of yourself and your feelings, your counselor will work with you to develop and improve your life skills. It should be noted that as you work to resolve your concerns, your stress level might increase temporarily and affect your schoolwork, work or relationships.

What's the difference between personal counseling and academic advising?

Personal counseling focuses on emotional concerns, problems in adjusting, career concerns and other factors that may affect your ability to achieve your academic goals. Although personal counseling may focus on factors that affect your academic performance, academic advising focuses on helping you to schedule courses and navigate various administrative processes in order for you to successfully complete your degree requirements and graduate.

How do I know if I need counseling?

Students who seek counseling do so because they are experiencing some form of discomfort or dissatisfaction in their personal lives. They may have problems in their relationships with others or concerns about their personal adequacy or competence. Many experience anxiety or depression without really knowing why. At times, students may also experience a lack of career direction. These and many other concerns are common reasons for seeking help at the UW Fox Valley Student  Counseling Services.

Isn't counseling for sick people?

There are many stigmas about who participates in counseling and what happens in counseling. For example, some believe that only those who are morally or emotionally weak go to a counselor while others believe that if you go to a counselor then you must really be struggling. Still others believe that counseling does not work and that it rests on superstition and myth. There is also a stereotype that those persons who are "mentally ill" can become violent. These stigmas and stereotypes often prevent people from seeking out the help that they need. Persons who participate in counseling are not morally weak. Because of the power of these stigmas, it often takes more courage to seek help from a counselor. Often, the sooner one can receive treatment the better her/his chances of preventing problems from worsening. Counseling is not just for people who are in crisis or having unusual experiences. People who are having mild difficulties in living or just wanting to explore their values and beliefs can also find counseling to be beneficial.

What can I expect from counseling?

Although counselors may differ somewhat in their approaches, there are certain similarities that characterize the helping relationship. In the beginning stage of counseling, your counselor will ask you about your concerns to gain a deeper understanding of you and your issues. As counseling proceeds, trust between you and your counselor builds and a working partnership is developed. Using a variety of approaches, your counselor will help you to explore your feelings, make your own decisions, and resolve your concerns. As you gain an understanding of yourself and your feelings, your counselor will work with you to develop and improve your life skills. It should be noted that as you work to resolve your concerns, your stress level might temporarily increase and affect your schoolwork, work or relationships. Counseling is provided in an open, honest and supportive atmosphere. Your counselor will respect you and your difficulties and is concerned that you receive the best possible treatment. We look forward to assisting you with your personal and career concerns.

Common Student Concerns About Counseling

Concern: Only crazy people go to counseling (and I’m not crazy).

Response: I don’t think you are crazy. People go to counseling for all kinds of problems. The UW Fox Valley Student Counseling Services sees many students every year for individual counseling. The world can seem pretty crazy at times.

Concern: Going for counseling is a sign of weakness. It shows I can't handle my own problems.

Response: You are capable of handling most of your problems. There are some, however, that are difficult to handle alone. Recognizing when you need assistance, and then getting it, is a sign of good problem-solving ability.

Concern: Counseling won’t work for me. It’s not effective.

Response: There is no guaranteed result that is true. There is a high probability, though, that counseling can be helpful. It has worked for a large number of students and it could work for you. Give it a try.

Concern: The counselor will tell other people about my problem.

Response: What you share with a counselor is considered confidential. Information is not released to anyone (parents, friends, instructors) without your permission