Frequently Asked Questions

Is counseling confidential?  Is it part of my academic record?

Johnson State College Counseling Center records are confidential and separate from your academic records.  All information about you, even acknowledgement of your visits, is confidential and cannot be released to any other office or individual (even your parents) without your written permission. 

There are, however, some exceptions to confidentiality.  Counselors are required to release certain information in situations which involve potential harm to yourself or others, in instances of child abuse, or as a result of a court order.  These events are extremely rare.  Typically, the only way others would become aware of your seeing a counselor would be if you told them.

Is there a charge?

There are no charges for the services provided by Johnson State College Counseling Center.

How do I prepare for my initial visit?

When you call the Counseling Center, the administrative assistant will offer you the first available appointment that matches your schedule.  This appointment will usually be within a few days of your call.  Students needing immediate appointments will be seen ASAP.  Please show up on time.

While some of the paperwork must be completed at the Counseling Center, you have the option of expediting the process by completing some of our forms prior to your sessions.  You can download these forms from this site by clicking here (pdf).

Please bring all of the forms with you to your initial session. Copies of the forms can also be found at the Counseling Center if you prefer to wait until your meeting.  Please plan on arriving five minutes prior to your scheduled appointment in order to properly complete the forms.

What can I expect from my first visit?

We refer to a first counseling appointment as an “intake.”  In this session, the counselor will ask questions to help understand the nature of the problem that brings the student to seek counseling.

When you arrive for your appointment, give your completed forms to the administrative assistant.  If you haven’t completed any paperwork, all forms will be given to you at this time.

After you have completed the paperwork, you will be introduced to the counselor with whom you will have your meeting.  This intake session usually lasts about an hour.

If you and your counselor decide on individual counseling at the Counseling Center, you will be given a follow-up appointment at the end of the intake session.  If you and your counselor feel you would benefit from working with a different counselor, with specific areas of expertise, your counselor will facilitate that referral.


What is it like getting started with counseling?

Typically, you will meet with your counselor for a 50-minute session each week.  Your appointment will generally begin “on the hour,” between  9 a.m. and  5 p.m. and end at 10 minutes before the next hour.  Early on, you will work with the counselor to identify areas that cause you concern that you would like to work on.  The length of your stay in counseling is up to you.  Students can come for a one-time “check-in” to meeting throughout the school year.  If you have any questions or concerns about the counseling process itself (e.g., feeling “stuck” or lacking direction), your counselor will be pleased to discuss them with you.  You are also welcome to see a different counselor if your current one is not benefiting you.

At first, you may feel a little nervous about counseling, but this usually fades as your counselor helps you talk about your concerns.  There is likely to be some balance between talking about your present-day experiences and adjustments, and past history which may be relevant to current problems.  Your counselor will help create a safe place for you to explore alternative points of view and to understand connections between different aspects of your experiences.  The exact focus and balance of your counseling experience will depend on the issues you bring into therapy, your counselor’s perspective, and the goals you set for your work together.

What can I do if I am worried about a friend?

We encourage students to consult with Counseling Center staff if they are worried about a friend or roommate.  Students can speak confidentially with a counselor about a friend and receive advice about how to deal with a troubling situation.  Consultations can be obtained by making an appointment with us at 802-635-1265. You can also submit this form to get help for a friend.