Frequently Asked Questions
To see a counselor, call extension 3398 or come to our office in Holloway Annex (it’s adjacent to the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons). In either case, you will usually speak with our Administrative Assistant. She will give you a few short forms to read and complete and schedule with a counselor.
We are located on the South end of Drew University’s campus in Holloway Annex 21 in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons.
No. Our services are free to all Drew students, including the CLA, Grad, and Theo.
If you are 16 or older, you are considered to be an adult when seeking psychological treatment. That means that you have the right to clinical confidentiality. This means that your counselor is under a legal and ethical obligation to keep private all discussions with you within the counseling relationship. This would include your decision to see (or not see) a psychiatrist or whether or not you’re in counseling. We won’t even share whether or not you attend counseling.
We also won’t share any information with University faculty, staff, or administration.
There are a few times when we are under legal and ethical obligation to reveal information. For example, if you are in serious danger of hurting yourself or someone else, or when you talk about a child that is currently being abused, we must inform the appropriate people who are most likely to be able to help you or the child.
Clinical staff at Drew Counseling and Psychological Services consult with each other about cases. These are only other therapists in the center.
If you are seeing another mental health clinician or are being treated in a mental health program we will ask you to sign a written release so we can communicate with them to coordinate treatment.
We can’t and don’t reveal any information regarding our clients, without having our client’s written permission. Sometimes parents call us because they have a concern about their students. We will not let parents know if the student is or is not in counseling, nor will we discuss the student. However, we will listen to your parent and we will try to help them with THEIR problem. Often, we recommend that the parents go for counseling; that the family attend counseling; or, that the parent refer their student to counseling. We also tell them that we will not let them know if the student has actually come for counseling (unless we have the student’s written permission), but that they should follow up with their student.
If you think someone needs to know or should know that you are in counseling, and WHAT they should know is up to you. You can let whoever know on your own or sign a written consent for us to reveal information to whomever, including faculty, staff, administration, parents, or other services on campus (Health Services, Campus Ministry, Dean of Educational and Student Affairs, RD’s, etc..) We will notify no one without your written permission.
If you are in crisis and the Counseling Center is closed, please contact Public Safety, 973-408-4444 (emergency number, available 24/7). Other crisis numbers include 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Morristown Medical Center Crisis Intervention (973-540-0100). If you have Drew insurance you can call CareConnect and talk to a licensed mental health clinician any time, day or night, at 1-888-857-5462.
We do not have a psychiatrist on staff. You can check your insurance plan to find a psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse who can prescribe psychotropic medications. Health Services may have a psychiatric advanced practice nurse that can provide psychiatric medication. In addition, we have a referral list of psychiatrists and advanced practice nurses in the area who are accessible by public transportation, ridesharing or driving.
Our staff comprises two full-time psychologists who are Ph.D’s, two full-time clinical social workers who have M.S.W degrees, and one full=time licensed professional counselor who is also a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. In addition, we do have doctoral-level interns and practicum students. To find out more about our staff, you should go to our department staff page.
We have seen students for all kinds of reasons, ranging from academic issues to psychosis. Some of the most common reasons are stress, anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflicts, loneliness and homesickness, inability to start papers or late assignments, deterioration of the quality of work, feeling discouraged, lack of motivation, trauma, suicidal crisis and other crises, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug issues.
If you notice that a student has poor study habits or procrastinates, sleeps in class, has poor personal hygiene, appears very sad and unmotivated, fears speaking in front of others, is disruptive in class, exhibits hostility toward you or peers, is talking about suicide, or has any other behavior that causes you concern or alarm, refer the student to counseling.
Except in cases of threat to the life of self or others, counseling is voluntary. But, if you think a student could benefit from counseling, here are some basic ground rules:
Speak to the student in a private place (perhaps your office) in a straight-forward manner and be specific regarding your observations causing your concern. Avoid anything negative about the student and make clear that your recommendation is based on your observations of the student’s behavior
If the student is amenable, you can immediately contact us at x3398 with the student present. The student can then come to our office and will probably be seen the same day. Make sure the student knows where we are located and give the student our number.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to walk the student to our office.
Follow-up with the student to show that you continue to have an interest in him/her.
No. We strictly adhere to the student’s right to privacy and confidentiality. We will not inform you as to whether or not the student saw us unless the student signs a release to do so. Some students do not come to counseling after agreeing to do so and we cannot let you know that they changed their minds. Some students will sign a release allowing us to inform you that they came to counseling, but nothing more. Some will not allow even that. The best way to gain information regarding a student of concern is to follow up with the student.
Behaviors displayed by students who are in crisis and in need of emergency attention might include:
In an emergency situation, stay calm. Try not to leave the student alone. Find someone to stay with the student while calls are made to helping resources (Public Safety, x4444; Counseling and Psychological Services, x3398). If a student directly threatens himself or someone else or otherwise behaves bizarrely, immediate attention is needed. Stay with the student or have someone stay with him/her until help arrives.
If a student says anything to you that suggests that the student might be thinking of harming or killing him/herself, ask the student directly. Some comments suggesting suicidal thoughts may be subtle, others may be more obvious. You might hear, for example, “I just think life is not worth living.” “Things have been so bad lately, I just want to give up and disappear.” “Everything in my life has gone wrong, I’m not sure that I want to go on.”
In addition, you might notice a depressed mood or withdrawing behavior. A good student might be suddenly doing poorly or not completing assignments. The student’s hygiene might decline.
If you think the student is so depressed that suicide might be an option, CALL US and refer the student to us.
If you believe that the student might be in imminent danger, do not hesitate to contact us immediately. You can call us with the student present and walk the student to us.
If a student says or writes anything to indicate s/he might be homicidal, speak to the student about your concern (if you feel safe meeting with the student) and refer the student to us. (Try not to over-react in that students will write on sensational topics, violence, and narratives in which people hurt themselves in order to appear “creative.”) But, if a student’s mood or behavior matches what they are saying or writing, there may be cause for worry.
If you think you might be at risk, do not meet with the student alone. That is, if you are going to talk to the student in your office, make sure Public Safety or others are in your vicinity. Do not completely close your office door. If the student becomes violent, call out for help. (If a student is behaving in a very hostile, violent manner, do not call Counseling, call Public Safety x4444. We will be notified and the student will be transported to the hospital.)
Call us. We often consult with faculty when a situation is unclear, distressing, and/or difficult. We will work with you through a process or course of action.