The mission of Colby Counseling Services is to foster the well-being of all students within a respectful and confidential environment through a range of psychological counseling, consultation, and outreach services. While every student can experience some level of distress while at Colby, concern arises when that level of distress begins to impact their academics, interpersonal relationships, physical health and safety, and day-to-day functioning. While not exhaustive, here is a list of some of the more common warning signs of problematic levels of distress:
- Withdrawing from activities, including social
- Skipping classes and not turning in assignments
- Significant changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Substance abuse
- Depressed mood
- Chronically elevated anxiety/stress
- Hopeless and/or negative comments
- Irritability and/or angry outbursts
- Impulsive or dangerous behaviors
- Engaging in self-injury
- Comments about suicide or suicide gestures or attempts
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FAQ About Counseling Services
Colby students seek counseling for a wide variety of emotional health concerns, from transition and relationship concerns to concerns about depression, anxiety/stress, and eating and body image, to name only a few. We encourage students to seek counseling when emotional health concerns are negatively impacting their academics, personal relationships, physical health and safety, or any other aspects of their day-to-day lives. If you believe counseling could be helpful to you in any way, we encourage you to connect with our office. Know that if you decide to seek counseling, you are not alone. More than 40 percent of Colby students seek individual counseling through our office over their four years on campus.
Our services are free for all Colby students.
Confidentiality is a critical component in the formation of a trusting therapeutic relationship. Information regarding a student’s counseling, including whether or not they have been seen in our office, cannot be released to anyone outside the Counseling Services office without prior consent of the student. Confidentiality in the counseling relationship is regulated both by law and professional ethics. The exceptions to confidentiality include: when a person is in imminent danger of harming themselves or another person; when there is suspected child or elder abuse; or when there is a court order requiring disclosure of counseling records.
Your first appointment is called an intake and we will ask you to fill out a few electronic forms on an iPad upon your arrival. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Following the completion of your paperwork, you will sit down with your counselor to discuss the concerns that brought you in, as well as other current and background information that will help your counselor better understand you and your presenting concerns. You and your counselor will then work together to identify a plan for moving forward. This will take approximately 50 minutes. Ongoing counseling appointments are typically scheduled weekly, or every other week, and include you working together with your counselor to address the concerns that brought you in and/or other concerns that may surface along the way. While we don’t adhere to strict session limits, our counseling work with students is designed to be shorter term and solution focused in nature.
We do not provide distance counseling for students who are studying abroad or who are away from campus during extended breaks. There are a number of ethical, legal, and clinical reasons for this, including our strong belief that a student is best served through in-person meetings with a professional counselor. While we are not able to provide ongoing distance counseling, our office is available for consultation around how to proceed with addressing your concerns, including help with identifying off-campus providers. With your permission, we can also communicate with your off-campus provider to facilitate your transfer of care. For students studying abroad, or thinking about studying abroad, visit Colby’s Off-Campus Study website for additional information about mental health support abroad.