Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I come to Monsour?
Each year approximately 14% of all students at the Claremont Colleges come to the Counseling Center for help. The reasons they seek help vary, ranging from day-to-day concerns to depression, eating disorders, substance use/misuse, and anxiety. We strive to provide treatment options that will be beneficial for all students who are seeing help. Below is a list of more specific concerns that students often experience:
- Eating Disorders
- Test anxiety
- Relationship difficulty
- Substance abuse
- Previous psychiatric treatment
- Learning Disorders
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty sleeping
- Low energy
- Suicidal thoughts or feelings
- Difficult transition to college
- Feeling overwhelmed
What is an Intake Appointment?
Your first visit to the Center is an Intake Appointment. The purpose of this visit is to evaluate your needs and to decide together on the best treatment. You are an important part of this process, so any information or feedback you have is very important. Your therapist will discuss the most appropriate mode of treatment, which may include group therapy, individual brief therapy, or a referral to a therapist in the Claremont area. To ensure that your therapist has ample time to complete the intake process, please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete the necessary paperwork.
What is a regular appointment?
After the initial Intake Appointment, all other appointments are scheduled between the client and the therapist. These appointments are generally 50 minutes.
What is brief therapy?
Brief therapy is short-term and focused on helping a person to resolve or effectively manage a specific problem or challenge, or to make a desired change. The sessions are more geared towards here-and-now aspects of the problem than on exploration of historical material. Goal setting is the hallmark of this approach, and the therapist is more active in sessions than is typically the case in traditional psychotherapy.
What is confidentiality?
All client information is confidential. No information is released except at the clients request and only when the client has completed a release of information form. This form names to whom and what information can be released is signed and dated by the client and kept in the client’s file. In the interest of providing comprehensive wellness care, Student Health Services Primary Care Providers and Monsour therapists may consult with one another when needed. Limits to confidentiality with regard to state-mandated reporting issues (child abuse, elder abuse, imminent danger issues, etc.) are outlined on the consent form and reviewed at the initial Intake Appointment.
What if I want a certain therapist or a male or female therapist?
Our intake appointments are usually made on the first available basis. This insures you are able to see a therapist as soon as possible. We are happy to accommodate your requests. In some instances, though, a requested therapist may result in a longer waiting period before your first appointment.
What happens if I am not comfortable with a therapist?
Our desire is to provide our clients with the best individual counseling available. If a client would like to change therapists, we follow an established policy to make the change. All you have to do is contact the receptionist or your therapist of records to request a change. Multiple changes cannot be accommodated in a brief therapy model.
What happens if I can’t make my appointment?
With busy schedules, new commitments or illness, it is understandable that some students are unable to attend their appointment. You can call MCAPS and cancel your appointment at any time, even the day of the appointment. You can reschedule your appointment, leave a message for your therapist, or cancel all together. We greatly appreciate it if you can notify us if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, this allows us to free the hour for use by other students.
Are walk-in hours available?
Most appointments are made through the intake process. Intake Appointments can usually be scheduled within 1 week. We have an on-call therapist available for emergency consultations at all times. An emergency is a psychological matter that cannot wait until the next available Intake Appointment. The on-call therapist may perform a brief telephone consultation to determine the most appropriate course of action prior to meeting with a student. Weekdays from 8:30-5:00, the on-call therapist can be reached by dialing 909-621-8202. Weekends and nights emergencies are handled via telephone only; call campus safety at 909-621-8170 (on-campus extension x72000) and ask to speak with the on-call therapist.
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is intended to assist people who would like to gain support from others, increase their self-awareness, and learn new behaviors to cope with personal and interpersonal challenges. In group therapy, five to ten people meet face-to-face with one or more trained group therapists. All groups typically involve some combination of members sharing thoughts and feelings, giving and receiving feedback to one another, and trying out new behaviors in a safe, confidential environment. Some groups are designed as workshops or general process and support groups for students with a range of concerns, and some are targeted for more specific needs, such as Grief and Loss or Sexual Assault Survivors Support.
Shouldn’t I be in individual counseling instead of group?
This is the most frequently asked question. Some people believe they will receive more attention in individual counseling, however, in many ways the opposite is true. In group, you can benefit from the different perspectives and experiences of the other group members, in addition to the group leader(s).
In group you will receive feedback about how you are perceived, both from group leaders and from other members. Group members tend to view feedback from peers as one of the most beneficial aspects of group therapy, and something they can’t receive in individual counseling.
Another important benefit of group counseling is the opportunity to receive support and insight from others who might share similar experiences. You will also begin to recognize your own strengths and insights as you assist others in understanding themselves, thus enhancing your own self-esteem.
Who can benefit from Group Therapy?
Students who want to improve their relationships are excellent candidates for group. Group is also helpful for those who feel alone and isolated with their concerns, who don’t think anyone else is experiencing the same feelings. Meeting other people who share your feelings and concerns can reduce your isolation and give a sense of renewed hope that things can get better.
How much should I share in Group Therapy?
First and foremost, you control what, how much, and when you share information with the group. Most people are anxious about beginning to talk in group. This anxiety has the potential to stop members from talking, which in turn can prevent members from experiencing the benefits of group.
Within a few sessions people typically find that they are able to talk in the group and receive support from other members as they begin to share. As trust develops we become more comfortable with taking risks, we are better able to accept warmth and to present our self, and our needs, to others.
What should I do if myself or a friend experiences a sexual assault?
People who have experienced sexual assault have experienced a profound violation. Their sense of safety and predictability has been shattered. Survivors’ reactions may vary profoundly depending on their life circumstances
and amount of social support. Student Health and Counseling Services is available to provide support, resources and assistance to students who have experienced a sexual assault.
For more information, please see:
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