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A Referral for Counseling

Except in the case of emergencies, students are seen by appointment. Please contact the Counseling Center prior to sending a student to assure someone is available to talk with the student.

Circumstances that may necessitate a referral include …

  • The problem is more serious than you feel comfortable handling or have time to handle adequately.
  • You think your personal feelings about the student will interfere with your objectivity.
  • The student admits that there is a problem, but won’t talk to you about it.

Let the student know your reasons for referring them to counseling (e.g., lack of time, conflict of interest, limited expertise, etc.) and emphasize your concern for them to get help from an appropriate source. It may help the student to know that you support his/her desire to seek help.

Making a Student Referral:

University faculty and staff, peers, and parents may refer a student to the Counseling Center at any time. Your first step in expressing concern is to set aside a time and place to talk with the student where you know you will have privacy and will not be disturbed. Share your personal concern for them and try to describe specifically the behaviors or issues that have raised your concern on their behalf. Tell the student about the services available at the Counseling Center and how to contact the center to schedule an appointment. Encourage the student to make the appointment right away, and follow up with the student about the date and time of their appointment. When you are referring students for professional counseling, you should be prepared for resistance from some people. They often feel they should be able to ‘work things out on their own’, and they may react as though you are implying they are “crazy” or unable to handle their personal issues if you suggest professional counseling. Your approach should be of genuine concern for them, and share with them that counseling is a free service provided to help students with all types of needs (stress, time management, relationship issues, etc.) in order for students to be healthy, happy, and successful at Anderson University. Once you have made a referral for counseling, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.

For information or suggestions on dealing with distressed students and/or a student who is reluctant to seek professional help, or to speak with the counselor regarding your concerns about a student, contact the Counseling Center at 864-622-6078.

Once a student has met with the counselor, the Counseling Center cannot discuss a student’s personal issues with others without the student’s written permission and with whom because of counselor-client confidentiality.