Counseling Services

Mission Statement:  

"The mission of Georgia College Counseling Services is to enhance student success and promote a safe and healthy academic environment by attending to the psychological, emotional, and developmental wellbeing of students. We encourage personal responsibility, respect human dignity, and value the differences among people."

Counseling Services is a supportive and accepting environment for students of all belief systems and identities.    


Counseling Services provides voluntary, confidential and free professional counseling to enrolled students for a wide range of issues, including:

Personal Issues: A whole array of individual concerns, such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment to college and health problems.

Academic Skills: Time management, study skills, test-taking, test anxiety

We also provide:

Psychiatric Services:  Short term medication management.

Alcohol and Other Drug Education: Learning more about alcohol and other drugs, screening and referral for treatment if needed

Referral:  Assistance in locating additional sources of help, both on and off campus, including times when issues are beyond our scope of practice

Consultation: We consult with students, faculty, staff and concerned family members about problems students might be having. While we cannot discuss any specific client's information, we are happy to suggest ways of addressing certain kinds of behavior or help facilitate a referral to our office or to some other service.

 

    Concerns about anyone on campus who may present a risk to self or others (docx)

If you are are at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400. 

*If you call Counseling Services about an emergency situation during office hours (M-F 8 AM-5 PM), tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment
*If you experience an emergency outside of normal office hours, go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.

Do not use email to communicate during an emergency. 


If you are experiencing a crisis, you may also call the

Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1 800 715-4225 (for assistance with mental health or substance abuse issues) or the

National Suicide Hotline 24 hours per day 1 800 273-TALK (8255)



When to Call Counseling Services

  • A student is depressed, extremely anxious or psychotic
  • A student has difficulty controlling emotions and/or behavior, and has not responded positively to your attempts to problem solve
  • A student’s weight and eating behavior is a concern
  • A student’s substance use is a concern
  • A student appears to be in an abusive relationship
  • A student is experiencing grief or loss
  • Whenever you are concerned about a student


The Georgia College CARE Team (Crisis Assessment, Response and Education) is a resource for anyone at Georgia College who is concerned that an individual on campus may pose a potential threat to him/herself or others (doc). The individual may be a student, staff or faculty member, or a visitor.  Call 445-7475 (445-RISK) to report concerns. A person is available to answer the phone 24 hours per day.

The CARE Team is not the appropriate place to direct concerns about a present or imminent emergency - those concerns should go directly to GC Public Safety at 445-4400.

If you are in distress and think that you may harm yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.

During office hours, you may come to Counseling Services or call us at 478-445-5331.  If you think that you may be in danger of harming yourself or someone else, tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment. 

Limits of Confidentiality: Under normal circumstances, information disclosed in counseling is strictly confidential. However in emergencies, it is sometimes necessary to disclose information for the protection of those involved.  While we try to honor the student's wishes whenever we can, we will disclose information regardless of the student's preference if we believe that doing so is necessary to prevent harm.

Students Are Not Suspended For Merely Expressing Suicidal Thoughts

What goes on in personal counseling?

The exact nature of the counseling experience will vary according to factors such as the nature of the issues a student brings in to counseling and the personality and training of the counselor. In general, counseling involves identifying and building upon an individual's strengths in order to work through a challenge or difficulty. Counseling often involves gaining new insights into oneself, but it may also involve learning new strategies and techniques for coping. Typically a student meets with his or her counselor once a week or perhaps once every 2 weeks for about 45 to 50 minutes. Often the work a person does between counseling sessions is a critical part of the success of counseling.

What kinds of issues might a student deal with in personal counseling?

A wide range of issues could be addressed in personal counseling. Many students find it helpful to seek counseling regarding homesickness, adjustment to college, roommate conflicts, or other relationship difficulties. Other examples of issues that a student might bring to personal counseling include coping with grief and loss, adjusting to life after divorce, and recovery after a trauma. Personal counseling also helps individuals work through or better manage depression or anxiety and to learn more effective stress management.

Is there a limit to the number of sessions of personal counseling a student may have?

Counseling Services offers short term counseling.  The majority of students are seen for five sessions or fewer, but students may receive up to 12 individual counseling appointments per academic year.  Group counseling and psychiatric appointments are not included in this 12 session limit.  At times, a student may be facing a difficulty that requires a much longer course of treatment. In such cases, Counseling Services will help secure referrals to clinicians in the community and will offer support until the connection between student and outside therapist is made. For example, we routinely refer students whose primary issues are Substance Abuse or severe Eating Disorders to off-campus providers, because treatment for these issues tends to be long term and highly specialized. While there are local treatment options for Substance Abuse, there are no residential Eating Disorder treatment facilities in the local area. 

Is counseling confidential?

Yes, with a few exceptions that are described below, counseling is confidential.  The confidential nature of counseling means that your counselor cannot share information about you with your parents, professors, roommates, or other college staff. If you would like for your counselor to communicate with anyone, we will do so with your written permission.  Exceptions to confidentiality include the following:  

  • If we believe that you pose a life-threatening risk to yourself or someone else, we may share information as necessary to prevent any harm from occurring.  In the event of imminent risk to self or others, voluntary or involuntary hospitalization may also be necessary.  
  • We are legally required to report information about the current abuse or neglect of a minor, an elderly person or a person with a disability.
  • In order to provide you with the best care, staff members may consult with or receive supervision from other professional colleagues within Counseling Services.
  • If you are involved in a legal action and a judge determines that clinical information will provide evidence bearing significantly on the case, the counselor may be mandated to release your records. A counselor may also be required to disclose confidential information as part of a defense against civil, criminal, or disciplinary action.
  • For purposes of evaluating our services, gathering valuable research information and designing future programs, the counseling services staff may utilize your clinical information. Your anonymity will be maintained by utilizing a client identification number unique to counseling services and by using aggregated data that prevents the exposure of personally identifiable information. 
  • If you are under the age of 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) must provide consent for us to provide services to you. If you are under 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) may request access to your records and may authorize their release to other parties.

All career-related concerns should initially be addressed at the Career Center. You can make an appointment by phone at 478-445-5384, in person at 110 Lanier Hall, email at career.center@gcsu.edu, or online in UNIFY. The Career Center can help you collect and assess career information, assist you in taking the Focus2 career assessment to learn more about your interests, values, and personality, explore possible areas of study or career paths, and decide on majors/careers. They can also help you develop a plan of action as it relates to gaining experience so that you are competitive for internships, graduate/professional schools, or jobs.

Career Center advisors may also refer you to Counseling Services if they feel you could use additional assistance or more in-depth assessment. Counseling Services provides in-depth confidential counseling and career assessments to complement the Career Center. This can be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, severe indecision, a disability, identity concerns, excessive family pressure, rejection, or difficulty with parents, family, or other relationships.  

Students often find it difficult to adjust to the rigors of the college curriculum.  Many report that they did not find it necessary to apply themselves in high school to perform adequately.  Additionally they recognize that parents and teachers often played a large role in helping them stay organized and managing their time.  Consequently, they may have never developed effective study habits and their academic performance is college suffers.  Students without effective strategies for studying and time management often feel overwhelmed  and anxious about tests and other demands.

For students who want or need assistance developing academic skills, we offer guidance in

  • Time Management
  • Controlling Test Anxiety
  • Efficient Study Techniques


Academic Skills Resources

Click on the links below for text or audio versions of resources offered to enhance study skills.  In addition to these titles, we have several other pamphlets and books available in the Counseling Services office. 

Text Versions

Preparing for Examinations (doc)      

Objective Examinations (doc)                       

Essay Examinations (doc)                                         

Reading for Comprehension (doc)

Learning Math (doc)

Successful Note Taking (doc)

Test Anxiety Quiz (doc)

Coping With Finals (doc)

Calculating GPA (doc)

Weekly Schedule (doc)

Audio Files

Preparing for Exams (mp3)

Objective Examinations (mp3)

Essay Exams  (mp3) 

Reading for comprehension (mp3)

Learning Math (mp3)

Successful Notetaking (wav) 

Tutoring

Tutoring for specific subjects is offered through the Learning Center.  

Learning Disabilities

Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are addressed through Disability Services

Fall 2018 Group Offerings

College Adjustment Support Group: College is a stressful time and adjusting to it can feel overwhelming. It can also be a time of rapid change and growth that often come with making mistakes and hopefully learning from those. This group will help normalize adjustment related issues, build community among students who identify as struggling with that adjustment and provide support for managing adjustment related issues. Some of those issues will include stress management/self care, relationships (local and long distance), making friends, family, distractions/time management, academics (the reason you're here) and organization, social life, etc. Ideas from students involved in the group will be incorporated in the topics if appropriate. All students, not just first year students, dealing with adjustment issues related to college are invited to attend. Students interested in participating should first meet with an individual counselor to be referred to the group.  The group begins September 5th and will meet Wednesdays at 4 pm in Counseling Services.  

Mindfulness Group: Mindfulness is a forward-thinking approach to stress management and the treatment of depression and anxiety. Over the course of an 8-week structured program, group members will learn awareness exercises and cognitive interventions designed to help them deal with symptoms of depression and anxiety and increase their feeling of control and direction in their daily lives. Students interested in this mindfulness group should call Counseling Services at 478-445-5331 or email the facilitator, Dr. Dixie Turner, at dixie.turner@gcsu.edu for additional information.  Prior to beginning group all members are required to complete the intake paperwork and a 30 minute pre-group meeting with the facilitator to make sure the group will be the best fit for the student’s concerns. The facilitator may also recommend additional individual counseling if group alone may not adequately address a student’s needs.  Date and time for group will be determined by the interested students’ and facilitator’s schedules. 

Freedom from Smoking:  Georgia College offers Freedom from Smoking classes free to GC students. This seven-week smoking cessation program developed by the American Lung Association, is based on current addiction and behavior change models. The program follows a systematic approach to developing a plan of action and support for remaining smoke-free. Programs for students will be led by Counseling Services, while smoking cessation programs for staff will be offered through the Wellness Center. Registration is required. For more information call Counseling Services at 478-455-5331.

Additional groups may be offered at the request of students and/or organizations provided there is sufficient interest among the student body.  Past group offerings have included a GLBT Support Group, Relationships Group, Perfectionism Group, Working Mother's Support Group, Working Father's Support Group, Art Therapy, ADHD Group, Social Anxiety Group and a Women of Color Support Group. 

For more information about any of our services or to let us know that you're interested in participating in a future group, contact the Counseling Services staff by calling 478-445-5331.

Additional groups may be offered at the request of students and/or organizations provided there is sufficient interest among the student body.  Past group offerings have included a GLBT Support Group, Relationships Group, Perfectionism Group, Working Mother's Support Group, Working Father's Support Group, Art Therapy, ADHD Group, Social Anxiety Group and a Women of Color Support Group. 

For more information about any of our services or to let us know that you're interested in participating in a future group, contact the Counseling Services staff by calling 478-445-5331.

 

Counseling Services sees students by appointment  Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

To make an appointment: call, email or drop in

 

Contact Us

Counseling Services
Suite 210 Wellness and Recreation Center
134 West Campus Drive
Campus Box 61
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone 478-445-5331
Fax 478-445-2962
evelyn.palm@gcsu.edu

Note:  To protect your privacy, please refrain from including sensitive information in emails.