Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why come to counseling?

Students come to counseling for a variety of reason. They may want to simply share their thoughts and feelings in confidence with a trained counselor who is objective and a good listener. This is often helpful when there are tough decisions to make. Oftentimes they want to feel better about themselves or about their relationships. Counseling may also help students change their behavior in order to deal more effectively with a problem. They may become aware of strengths and resources they can use to their benefit. At other times, counseling may help by giving students certain types of information, or by teaching new skills that are beneficial to them. Counseling may also help others see themselves and others in a different light. This is not to say that counseling is easy. Successful counseling may mean students will become aware of feelings and behaviors that are not particularly comfortable or effective for them. With the help and support of a trained counselor, they can learn to confront such feelings and behaviors so that changes will be made that will lead to a more satisfying life.

2. Is counseling only for people who have emotional problems?

While counseling does deal with people who have emotional problems it can also help students with academic skills concerns, individuals who just want to understand themselves better, couples who are contemplating marriage or want a stronger relationship, students who have difficulty being assertive, others who may have problems with grades and tests, those having difficulty juggling school, work, and parenting, as well as new students trying to fit in and adjust to their new surroundings.

3. Some say that people in counseling are inherently weak. Is this true?

There is nothing weak about a person who enters counseling. Students who enter counseling are, in fact, taking the first step in resolving their difficulties. A lot of people would view this as courageous.

4. Who can use the Student Counseling Services?

Student Counseling Services offers a variety of services to PVAMU currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students who paid their student service fees.

5. Do I need an appointment to see a counselor?

Counseling sessions are scheduled by appointment. You can call 936-261-3564 or come by Student Counseling Services to set up a time. However, if there is an emergency or crisis, a counselor is available 24 hours a day through our on-call crisis system. See “Appointments & Emergency Services” for more information.

6. What happens after I make an appointment?

At the time of your first appointment, you will be asked to complete some preliminary documents. You will be asked to describe your concerns by the intake counselor and what you hope to gain from counseling. This intake session is an opportunity for you and the counselor to decide how best to address your concerns and to identify the most appropriate services for your needs.

7. Will the information I tell the counselor be held confidential?

All communications between you and your counselor will be held in confidence and will not be disclosed to any outside agency unless you give written authorization to release the information. However, there are exceptions to confidentiality. See “Confidentiality” for more information.

8. Can the psychological counselors prescribe medication for me such as anti-depressants for my problems?

Psychological counselors do not prescribe medications – a psychiatrist or a general physician prescribes medication. SCS does not dispense any medications. If you need a prescription drug, SCS will provide you with a list of referrals that may be able to assist you.