Talking to the Student about a Referral (for routine or urgent referrals)
- Talk to the student promptly and in private when neither of you is rushed. Avoid interruptions.
- State the reasons for your concern gently and honestly while avoiding assumptions.
- Listen carefully and be nonjudgmental. Imagine how you would feel to be in the student’s shoes.
- Instill hopefulness and positive attitudes in resolving the problem. Assure the student of availability of resources and of people who want to help. Restate your concern and suggest the Counseling Center; explain that you don’t have the expertise to help with all of their problems.
- Maintain clear interpersonal boundaries as appropriate to your professional relationship with the student.
- Reassure the student that it is normal to use counseling and that no problems are too big or too small for a visit to the counseling service.
- Encourage them to come for a one or two session consultation to discuss the situation.
- Let them know that counseling is free of charge and confidential.
- (except in emergencies). Even if the student refuses a referral, they may decide to follow up on it at a later time. Do not let this decision have a negative effect on his/her relationship with you.
- In some cases you may want to inform the Dean of Students of your concerns. This can be done via the Students of Concern Referral Form.
Remember that counseling is a personal choice.