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Why seek counseling?

It is not unusual for students to feel anxious about seeking counseling. You may worry that it is a sign of weakness, or indicate that there is something seriously wrong with you. However, you don't have to be in crisis or have a mental illness to benefit from counseling.

The college years are a time of great upheaval, change and growth, which at times can be overwhelming, painful and even frightening. These feelings are normal, if upsetting.

In recent years, college counseling centers across the country have reported significant increases both in the numbers of students seeking services and in the severity of symptoms these students present. This increase is reflected in the increased use of Augustana's Student Counseling Service.

We believe that knowing when to ask for help is an indicator of personal wisdom and courage. Survey data over the years indicate that most students who use our services conclude that it was a positive and productive experience. Many recommend us to their friends.

A variety of issues

Students bring many different concerns to our office. Among the issues they come to explore are:

  • Academic performance
  • Abuse experiences
  • Alcohol/drug use
  • Adjusting to campus life
  • Anxiety/worrying
  • Death of a loved one/grieving losses
  • Depression/mood swings
  • Eating problems
  • Family problems
  • Homesickness/loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Romantic relationship concerns
  • Pain/chronic illness
  • Stress/time management
  • Self-injury behaviors
  • Sexuality concerns
  • Sexual assault
  • Sleep problems
  • Temper control
  • Test anxiety

Can counseling really help?

Yes, very often it can! A sizable body of research spanning decades suggests that the average person who participates in psychotherapy is better off than 80 percent of those who do not.1

1Duncan, B., Miller, S., Wampold, B. & Hubble, M. (2010). The heart & soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (2nd edition). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

What is counseling?

Counseling provides a supportive environment in which to talk openly and confidentially about personal issues and to work toward change in one's thoughts, feelings, behavior, relationships and/or life situation.

Counseling is a collaborative process which involves the development of a unique helping relationship. In this relationship, the counselor acts as a skilled facilitator in helping the client identify and achieve desired changes. The client's own effort and initiative are critical to this process.