The Counseling Center is staffed by mental health professionals trained to help. We support students in their academic, personal, and social development. Appointments Counseling sessions are scheduled by appointment. To make an appointment, you may visit the Counseling Center in Wilson Hall 329, or call 256.824.6203. Appointments cannot be made or cancelled via email. Students are asked to arrive 30 minutes early for their first Intake appointment to complete online paperwork. During the first session, a counselor will listen to your concerns and determine which resources at the Counseling Center or elsewhere will best suit your needs. Release of Information If you want us to release information to a health or mental health professional or others outside the Counseling Center, you must fill out and sign an Authorization For The Release Of Information Form. All sections on the form must be filled out. If you have questions about what to put in specific items, please call the Counseling Center. Once you have completed the form, you may hand deliver, fax 256-824-6672, or mail it to our office. About Counseling Sessions Individual counseling sessions are typically scheduled on the hour, for a duration of approximately 50 minutes. Couples, family, and group sessions are also available. Counseling can be an opportunity to talk about concerns with an objective person who can help you develop skills and view situations in ways that may enable you to be more effective in managing life's challenges. Counseling Services Offered Counseling is available for various personal issues and topics including, but not limited to: adjustment to university life; stress management; interpersonal relationships with friends, family, or peers; anxiety; depression; LGBTQ understanding; cultural issues and diversity; disordered eating and body image issues. Our counselors offer staff and faculty consultation appointments regarding student and classroom issues. Individual Counseling In individual counseling you have the full attention of one of our counselors in a one-on-one atmosphere of understanding, warmth, and insight. Our counselors can help you in a variety of ways because they are excellent sounding-boards, compassionate listeners, and skillful experts in problems of living. They offer an array of therapeutic interventions such as self-expression activities and traditional therapies. Group Counseling Each semester, we offer a variety of group therapy experiences. A common theme for group participants is wanting to learn how to change thinking, feelings, and/or behaviors to feel better about themselves and cope more effectively with life. Other common group themes include helping participants to better understand themselves and how they relate to others, and developing skills for dealing with certain problems. We offer informal group activities throughout each semester. What to expect from group counseling: Group counseling can provide a supportive and challenging environment where members can discuss their concerns with peers and professionals. Over time, students begin to care about and trust one another in group. Under the facilitation of the group counselors, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the person in such a way that the group member gains 1.) a new understanding of the issues that brought them to counseling; and 2.) a new experience in relationship with other group members. This allows members to find the assurance and confidence it takes to try new things outside the group environment. What to expect in your pre-group meeting with counselors: It is important to meet with the group leaders prior to starting any counseling group. It is equally important that you are placed in a group that is suitable for you and your needs. In this meeting the leaders will discuss what to expect from group therapy in more detail and answer any questions that you might have. Couples Counseling Couples counseling is designed to assist couples with their relationship problems. It can be used to gain more insight into each other, to learn new and more effective ways of communication, and to learn how to solve problems. Off-Campus Referrals The Counseling Center has relationships with mental health treatment providers in the local community who provide high quality services to UAH students. We refer students to these community providers when a student needs or requests services that are beyond the scope of services we can provide. Eligibility for Services All students currently enrolled at UAH are eligible for services. Given the counseling center’s brief model of treatment, an intake appointment would determine which additional counseling services are needed and whether our staff or another resource on or off-campus is most appropriate. Occasionally a student may be referred to another agency for services. For example, if a student needs more sessions than we can provide while still serving the University community as a whole, we will work with the student to facilitate a referral to an outside agency. On occasion a student may have chronic or severe mental health problems, or other conditions that may require close monitoring. In such instances, our staff will facilitate obtaining treatment that will best serve the student and may offer referrals that will better meet the student’s needs. Our Commitment to Issues of Diversity The Counseling Center strives to provide services that are multiculturally competent and based in sensitivity and respect for human dignity and diversity. We view diversity inclusively and broadly, with attention to intersection of identities and considering ethnic/racial identity, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, socioeconomic status, age, body shape/size, ability, point of view, and other concerns. For many people, systems of power, privilege, and oppression have led to experiences of discrimination, prejudice, or stereotyping. Our goal is to make the Counseling Center a safe space, where any who enter will feel welcomed and affirmed. The Counseling Center has a commitment to embrace the richness of diversity in our community. This means that our staff actively engages in processes of personal and professional development around issues of diversity, challenging our own biases and inviting difficult dialogues when appropriate. This commitment to diversity is an ongoing journey for us. We believe that continually educating ourselves and others about the mental health issues of a diverse campus community is central to our work. We value a UAH community based on mutual respect and understanding. The Wellness Space at The UAH Counseling Center Many people struggle to maintain a healthy, balanced life in today's busy and demanding world. The UAH Counseling Center is committed to promoting wellness of students, faculty, and staff, in helping them to make the most of their daily experience. The UAH community is invited to schedule time in our Wellness Space to promote their own self-care, productivity, and health. Wellness Space services include a massage chair, biofeedback, self-guided meditation, aromatherapy, and other options. Some students, faculty, and staff may choose to reserve the space for a few quiet moments in their day, taking a restorative break from the demands of examinations, classrooms, and so on. Call the Counseling Center at 256.824.6203 to schedule. Appointments are scheduled on the hour, no more than one week in advance. Bring your I.D. if you expect to check out biofeedback or other equipment.