** Please see the Telemental Health for Psychological Services page for current virtual services provided. **
College students, of all ages, like others in the general population, struggle with various issues related to home, work, school and relationships. These issues can range in intensity from mild to severe and can involve family, friends, teachers and employers, for example. At Student Health Services, the psychological services staff is available to talk confidentially with any student (with current ID) about the challenges with which they are faced. We do our work with the utmost respect for those who come to see us, without judgement. We will try to offer options and solutions that you may not have considered. We will listen carefully to your problems and try to help you find approaches to the everyday dilemmas that you confront. We are aware that it can take a lot of courage to walk through the door of our facility to discuss personal issues.
Psychological Counseling FAQ
1) What psychological services does the Student Health Center offer?
Student Health Services offers the following psychological services for currently enrolled ECC students who have paid their health fee for the current term and are currently attending a for-credit class.
- Short-term, Individual Therapy – Counseling for a concern you would like help with.
- Consultation – Counseling if you are helping someone else who has a concern and would like support and/or guidance as you do so.
- Referrals – Assistance with referrals when you have a concern that requires a specialist or would benefit from longer term counseling.
- Crisis Assessment – Immediate assistance if you are an an acute crisis such as considering harming yourself or others or experiencing hallucinations
- Workshops/Presentations –Workshops about every day psychological topics (e.g. stress management, healthy relationships) in a more casual, discussion-based setting.
2) What is therapy all about?
Therapy is a confidential relationship with a professional who works with you to understand your current situation and who joins with you to establish and reach your goals. This therapeutic counseling entails sharing your thoughts and feelings with a non-judgmental, objective listener who works with you to clarify and organize your thoughts, consider new angles, discuss the pros and cons of different options, and create a plan for your progress. It is NOT a person telling you what to do, but instead, it is a joint endeavor of discussion, exploration, and striving for your best self.
3) What kinds of problems are appropriate for counseling?
Students are encouraged to discuss any problems or issues which are causing them emotional distress or interfering with their lives in some way. Frequent topics include school difficulties, relationships with a partner or family, and feelings of anxiety or depression. Problems can involve feelings or events in the present and/or feelings or events from the past.
4) How long is counseling?
Student Health Services offers short-term counseling limited to six sessions each academic year (e.g. August 2020 – August 2021). Some students may use one, a few, or all six sessions depending on their current concern. If students wish to engage in longer-term counseling immediately or if students need help accessing ongoing counseling after the six sessions, the psychologist will provide referrals in the community or guidance in accessing services through their insurance.
5) Will anyone find out about my counseling appointment?
The short answer is “no”. The staff Student Health Services does not disclose that you have come to see a psychologist unless you provide a written/verbal request and authorization for us to do so.
However, there are exceptions to this confidentiality that pertain to life threatening emergencies and abuse as required by law. For example, if you tell the psychologist that you intend to seriously harm yourself or someone else, or that you or someone you know is abusing a child, a disabled person or an elderly individual, the psychologist must act to protect your safety and the safety of others. In addition, in very rare cases, if you are involved in a legal case and a judge subpoenas your records, the Health Center may be required to release them to the court.
6) How do I make an appointment? What happens in the first meeting?
Please make an appointment on the Patient Portal on our homepage. You will fill out some basic information and be given options for counseling appointments.
During the first meeting with the psychologist, you will have the opportunity to share the concerns that prompted you to schedule the appointment. There is usually, although not always, an event that occurs that contributes to the decision to see someone professionally. However, there may not always be a triggering event but an accumulation of issues that you have finally decided to talk about and try to figure out how to manage. The psychologist will ask about the issues that have piled, some history, questions about safety, and sometimes about family, friends, and classes. It is important to keep in mind that you do not have to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. You can also ask the psychologist questions in the first session or during future sessions. Goals for treatment and a summary of your concerns will be discussed.
7) Who will my psychologist be?
Your psychologist will be one of the seven licensed psychologists on staff at Student Health Services. Each is seasoned in the field of clinical psychology and has vast experience in working with culturally diverse adolescents and adults.
8) Will I be put on medication?
Students receiving mental health services are not prescribed psychotropic or any type of medication by our staff. However, if there is a need, the psychologist may consult with medical staff and/or assist in linking the student to a psychiatrist in the student's community or from a referral list of providers.
9) Isn’t counseling a sign of weakness?
It is common to feel apprehensive or nervous about seeking counseling. Sometimes students feel vulnerable or fear being judged. Students often believe that their problems are too serious, too trivial, or too embarrassing to talk about with a stranger. Actually, seeking counseling is a sign of strength. Counseling helps students better understand their thoughts and feelings as well as clarify their choices.
10) How much does counseling cost?
All services at Student Health Services are included in the student health fee that students pay at the beginning of each semester. The short-term counseling we provide (6 sessions each academic year: e.g. August 2020 – August 2021) is available at no further cost to currently enrolled students who are taking a for-credit class and have paid the health fee.
11) What should I do in a crisis (e.g. feeling suicidal, violent, having hallucinations)
- Access information on our Crisis Resource Page
- Utilize the following hotlines
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-8255
- Community Helpline: 1-877-541-2525 (crisis and referral hotline)
- Warmline: 1-855-952-9276 (emotional support and resources hotline)
- Domestic Sexual Assault and Crisis Resource: 1-310-392-8381
- Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room
- Call the Access Center: 1-800-273-8255
- Call or visit El Camino's Campus Police 1-310-660-3100
12) Can I request a particular psychologist?
Yes, you may request an intake with a particular psychologist. However, please be aware that availability may be limited so you may be given the option to wait for an opening or see another psychologist sooner.
In the event of an emergency, please dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
DISCLAIMER: The links provided are for informational purposes only. We do not authorize, endorse or sponsor these websites, their products, or providers.