This form has been prepared to provide you with information regarding services rendered by the Campus Counselor at Central Penn College. You are encouraged to read and understand this material. The counselor will answer any questions you may have on this or any related material.
In order to make progress in treatment, your active participation in counseling services is crucial. This details your rights and responsibilities.
Prompt service – Counseling services makes all attempts to schedule a student within two weeks of initial contact with the office. Walk-in hours may be made available as more immediate needs may arise. At some points in the term, there may be a waiting list due to the limitations of the services.
Counseling process – The counseling process contains three main phases – intake, treatment, and preparation for discharge. At the first session, the counselor will review your history, policies, and procedures for counseling services and decide with you the direction of care. The next session(s) will focus on interventions based on goals established for treatment. These interventions are to be evidenced-based and researched by the counselor. Then the counselor will prepare you for discharge with self-help tools and/or community referrals.
Limitations of counseling services – If it is determined that your needs are beyond the scope of services provided or the competence of the counseling staff, you will be connected with other sources of assistance on or off campus.
Effects of Counseling – Most clients can expect to benefit from counseling services, making some type of positive change in thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors. However, some may not find counseling beneficial and a few may find counseling a negative experience. It is known that counseling and therapy may be uncomfortable at times due to emotionally difficult issues, efforts to make changes, and potential relationship changes.
Counseling Staff Responsibilities
Ethical practice – The counseling staff is held to federal and state regulations and a professional code of ethics. Services are to be rendered in compliance with regulations and ethically.
Respect - The counseling staff believes in respecting the dignity of each person. This respect is demonstrated through keeping appointments, informing you of any change in time necessary, minimizing session interruptions, and giving full attention during sessions. Counseling staff is not often readily available for contact due to sessions. In respect to you, efforts will be made to contact you back within 72 hours. Counseling services’ office hours will be posted each term and are subject to change.
The counselor will participate in the therapeutic relationship with respect towards you and encourage you to educate the counselor on your experience. In group settings, the counselor will monitor the conversation for any intentional and unintentional discrimination towards a person due to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, age, religious orientation, sexual orientation, or disability. Disrespect is never tolerated.
Emergencies - If you are experiencing emotional distress and/or considering harm to self or others, immediately contact Central Penn Security at 717-728-2364. The responding officer will contact counseling staff for mental health concerns after hours and a plan will be formulated to best help you. If it is life-threatening, contact 9-1-1 immediately.
Session Attendance – Counseling services are typically 60 minutes long. Please arrive promptly to allow benefit of session. If you are going to be late or will be unable to make it, it is your responsibility to contact counseling staff via e-mail or phone. At least 24 hours’ notice is desired. If you are more than 15 minutes late, your appointment will be rescheduled. Excessive cancellations or no-shows will result in discharge from treatment.
Cessation of treatment – During the course of voluntary counseling, you may decide to cease counseling. Should you decide to do so, please inform the counselor. The counselor will provide you with a resource list in case you should decide to pursue future help.
Excuses from class – Counseling services will not issue students notes or excuses from class. This policy is established because doing so creates an undesirable climate for the counseling staff and disempowers students. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure counseling sessions are scheduled outside of class times. Additionally, the student bears the responsibility to complete assignments and directly communicate with faculty if experiencing an academic issue. In cases of urgency, the counselor will attain permission from the student to verify emotional distress or support of counseling services.
Mandated counseling – For those receiving involuntary/mandated counseling due to disciplinary issues or other means, you must complete allotted sessions. During the course of mandated counseling, the counselor will review reasons for the mandated counseling and follow the recommendation. Your confidentiality and privacy are respected as stated in the confidentiality policy. College officials will be updated only as to the completion of your requirement. Information about actual sessions will not be released.
ADA Statement – For students with a disability, the Dean of Students is the contact for verification of disability and establishment of accommodations. Psychological testing is outside the realm of counseling services at Central Penn. The counseling staff may provide external referrals to qualified individuals for psychological testing.
E-counseling – Telehealth services is a fairly new undertaking for the counseling profession and guidelines are still being developed. Currently, in Pennsylvania, there are no state regulations prohibiting the provision of counseling services via phone, video chat, or e-mail. However, it is acknowledged that the latter two means cannot be rendered to the security level set by federal regulations (HIPAA). Central Penn has safeguards in place for the e-mail system and access to the counselor’s e-mail is strictly limited to the counseling staff. However, the student’s means of communicating via e-mail is not secure. It is the student’s responsibility to safeguard information and allow for sensitive information to be communicated in the privacy of the counseling space only. Additionally, should a student elect for e-counseling, it is with the understanding that e-counseling, while beneficial, is not a substitution for intense psychotherapy nor does it provide diagnostic services (Moore, J., 2008, para. 2). Nor is e-counseling intended for crisis services. The counseling staff may render counseling services for students in the state of Pennsylvania only due to scope of licensure. For online students in other states interested in counseling services, the counseling services staff will refer to a local mental health or counseling agency.