Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do in Counseling Services?

We provide individual, couples, and group counseling for Fitchburg State University students. For most students, this means that we meet one-to-one to talk about what is troubling you. Students often seek counseling for help with family concerns, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, eating problems, grieving, or dealing with stressful situations.

We also provide outreach services to the Fitchburg State University community, usually in the form of talks or presentations to groups of students in classrooms or residence halls. Sometimes we offer a series of talks that are offered to anyone in the university community. Topics include stress management, bereavement, eating disorders, relationship violence issues, and alcohol abuse, however we are always open to new topics students are interested in learning about.

Who can come to Counseling Services?

Any currently-enrolled Fitchburg State University student can be seen in Counseling Services. Consultation services are available to students, faculty and staff.

Where are you located and when are you open?

Counseling Services is located on the third floor of the Hammond BLDG., in Room 317. Our hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Making an appointment is encouraged, however students can also see a counselor without an appointment during the daily "walk-in" time which is from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

How do I make an appointment to talk with a counselor?

Call 978-665-3152 or stop by our office in Hammond, room 317.

I need to speak with someone right away. Is that possible?

If it is urgent that you be seen right away, we will meet with you immediately. Students can also see a counselor without an appointment during the daily walk-in time which is from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. Walk-in visits are usually 15-20 minutes and can be used for evaluation, to discuss programming, to obtain a referral to a therapist off campus, or to talk something over with a counselor. Please also see our page for extremely urgent situations.

What does it cost?

There is no cost to students for using Counseling Services. However, if you are referred to an outside provider you will need to use your health insurance to cover the cost of those services.

Who works there?

The staff of Counseling Services is made up of the Director, Associate Director, a Assistant Director, Office Manager, and graduate level trainees. Professional specialties vary by staff member, but all clinicians have appropriate training and state licensure, and interns are supervised by full-time staff.

I want to talk with a counselor, but I don't want anyone to know. Is my business kept confidential?

All visits to Counseling Services and conversations with staff are considered confidential unless you have specifically given your consent for us to share information with a particular person. State law and professional ethics protect your privacy as a client, however there are exceptions to this. In general, all contacts are confidential unless we determine that you are at risk of hurting yourself or another, you inform us of child abuse or elder abuse, or under rare circumstance, if a court of law orders that we provide certain information. Please visit our Confidentiality page for more information on this topic.

I'm not "crazy" and I'm not suicidal. Isn't counseling only for people who are.

A - Certainly not. Counseling services are sometimes used by people troubled with a major mental illness, or people who are in crisis, but most of the students we meet with are struggling with the stressors of daily living and are having difficulties coping as effectively as possible. The approach we take is one of health promotion. That is, a student does not have to be in critical condition to request our services. When possible, we are happy to work with you to prevent a crisis from happening. Counseling can help you improve problem-solving abilities, and assist you in developing flexible coping strategies.

I think my roommate (or friend) has an eating disorder, or a drinking problem, etc. Can I talk with someone in Counseling Services about this?

Absolutely. We can assist you to identify if there is a problem, to decide what you should do, if anything, and provide you with support.

What kinds of things can I talk about with a counselor?

Basically anything that is important to you - no problem is seen as too big or too small. Some things students discuss with their counselors include feelings of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety (including test anxiety), suicidal thoughts, family problems, relationship problems, sexual orientation, disability issues, past sexual assaults, substance abuse, family or parental alcoholism, abusive relationships, eating disorders, learning disabilities, anger management, loneliness, grief and loss.