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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

If I go to counseling does it mean that there is something wrong with me?

Of course not. For the most part, people who use our services are interested in their personal growth and adjustment to the world around them. Many students face normal developmental concerns and academic pressures, and at times, they may feel acute anxiety, sadness or depression.

What can I expect at my first session?

It is very common for students to be nervous when starting counseling, especially if it is the first time. After you arrive for your first appointment, you will check in with our Administrative Assistant. You will be asked to fill out a brief background information sheet and will be given information about confidentiality. In the first session, your counselor will ask questions about your concerns, issues and goals you would like to focus on and together, you will set up a plan for beginning to work on these goals.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for counseling and consultation to registered students as these costs are covered by student fees. However, if you are not taking summer session classes, but are registered for fall semester, you may qualify to pay the summer bridge fee that will vary from year to year.  For more information on this, visit us at STC 128 or call at (956) 326-2230.

How long are the sessions?

Typical sessions last 45-60 minutes. Your first session may take a little longer depending on the time needed for paperwork and initial visit with the counselor.

Will my visit be confidential?

All tests and records at our office are strictly confidential as protected by law and professional ethics. They are set apart from all other records at the University and are not released to any other person or agency within or outside the University without the client's written consent, except as described by law. In the rare event you or others are in real danger, police or medical staff may be contacted to keep you, your friends, and your family safe.

All staff members subscribe to the ethical guidelines established by the Texas Board of Examiner's of Psychologists and Texas State Board of Examiner's of Professional Counselor's. As a client, you will be informed of the legal limits of confidentiality.

Interaction with a Distressed Student Suggested Guidelines

 

What should I say to a distressed student?

Listening to the student is essential. Invite the student to express their thoughts and feelings.  You can do this by asking questions.

Show concern by saying, “I’ve noticed you have been missing class often. How have you been?” This shows your interest and will start a dialogue to refer the student to the appropriate services. Encouraging help-seeking is the goal of your conversation. Help them schedule an appointment with the appropriate resource or , if they consent, walk them over to the appropriate office. Use the following flow chart as a guide to refer appropriately (Flow Chart) .

 

If the student shares or exhibits behaviors which suggest he or she might harm him or herself, or anyone else, or you feel threatened, immediately call 956-326-2911 or 911. Asking a student if he or she is having thoughts about suicide will not “put the idea” in the person’s head.

 

I send students to the Counseling Center regularly. How do I find out whether they actually went, who they saw, and what happened?

State laws protect the confidentiality of students who seek services with the Counseling Center. Therefore, information cannot be released about the student, to anyone (including parents, faculty, staff, or friends), unless we have a completed authorization form from the student.

 

Who qualifies for services?

The Counseling Center offers short-term individual counseling, couples counseling, group sessions, consultations, and referrals to currently registered students. Services have no charge for TAMIU students.

TAO Connect is a self-guided tool, consisting of educational and interactive modules, practice tools, journals, and progress measures. It allows you to move through the courses at your own pace. It also includes a mindfulness library. This is a free resources for TAMIU students. Please use your TAMIU email and password to sign up. Find more information here

 

If I just give you the name of a student I am worried about, can the Counseling Center call the student in for an appointment?

The Counseling Center does not make uninvited calls or invitations to students whom they are not actively serving. Our services are voluntary, meaning the student has to seek the service him or herself. In non-emergency situations, Counseling Center staff can consult with you about what you can do to encourage a student to use our services. Please consult the chart shared here.

 

As a staff member or employee, do I qualify for services?

If you are a faculty or staff member at TAMIU, you can seek support services through the Employee Assistance Program. Find more information here .

 

TAO Connect is a self-guided tool, consisting of educational and interactive modules, practice tools, journals and progress measures. It allows you to move through the courses at your own pace. It also includes a mindfulness library. This is a free resource for TAMIU employees. Please use your TAMIU email and password to sign up and provide the following enrollment key: Wellness19-20 (case sensitive/no spaces). Find more information here .

 

What happens if I walk-over a student I am concerned about?

Only walk-over a student who has consented to you walking them over to our office. If you feel the student might harm him or herself, or someone else, immediately call 956-326-2911.

 

If the student is consenting for you to walk them to our office, the student will be greeted by our staff assistant who will then guide the student on the next steps to schedule an appointment. It is recommended you walk the student in and then leave so they can provide the necessary information without feeling pressured.


CONTACT US

Office of Student Counseling Services
Student Center 128
Phone: (956) 326-2230
Fax: (956) 326-2231
Email: counseling@tamiu.edu