Parents are understandably concerned when their daughter or son is not doing well academically, emotionally or socially. While the Counseling Center cannot, of course, talk with parents about their son or daughter who may be in treatment in the Center, we can offer some general help about coping with the problems college students face. Many of the difficulties that we see include: general adjustment issues with anxiety and/or depression and homesickness. The Counseling Center also sees many students with social phobias, relationship problems, academic problems, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as more serious problems such as depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and many others.
We offer a strictly confidential service so that students will free to come to us with many different types of problems. We do not make any information available to anyone else, at the College or elsewhere, without a signed release from the student. Students and parents may be assured that even the fact that a student is being seen in the Center is not conveyed to deans, faculty members or others without consent. The following questions and answers may be helpful as you explore whether or not it may be helpful to contact us regarding your son or daughter.
While we can not discuss specific individuals without consent, the staff is available to answer your general questions and to talk about your concerns. Please feel free to call us at 860-297-2415.
Q: What services does the Counseling Center Offer?
A: The Counseling Center offers a full range of counseling and psychological services to all students coping with personal, emotional difficulties and social relationship issues. We can provide help with stress management, social adjustment issues, anxiety, eating disorders, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, identity issues, and grief and anger management.
Q: Is there a cost for the service?
A: The services of the Center, including psychiatric consultations, are free of charge to enrolled Trinity Students. If prescription medication is needed, it may be covered by the student health plan and/or coverage through a parents’ policy.
Q: Who would be providing services at the Counseling Center?
A: The center is staffed by three full-time psychologists, a part-time licensed clinical social worker, several doctoral level trainees who are carefully supervised by the staff, two consulting psychiatrists, and one treatment coordinator who schedules appointments.
Q: How are appointments made?
A: Appointments are flexible and readily available by calling the Center at 860-297-2415.
Q: How quickly are appointments scheduled?
A: Appointments are flexible and are scheduled with the next available therapist usually within 24 to 48 hours. Special arrangements are made for immediate service if a student is expressing urgency. Some appointments may take longer if the student has strict time constraints on when they can come in and if they have a specific preference for a specific therapist.
Q: What does confidentiality really mean?
A: The services of the Center are privileged and strictly confidential as provided by federal and state law. That means that we do not provide information to anyone other than the individual who is in treatment, unless he or she has signed an informed consent giving us permission to reveal information to another source. Our records are not a part of the student’s school or medical record. This means that if you want to know if your son or daughter is coming to the Center or if anyone else on campus wants to know, we will not be able to reveal this information without written permission from him or her. We reserve the right and duty to use clinical judgment in determining if someone is in imminent danger of causing harm to self or others, which means that we do not need written permission to act appropriately to protect in these circumstances.
Q: How will I know if my son or daughter is receiving necessary services?
A: We usually find that if you have expressed concern to your son or daughter and want to know if they are seeing someone you can easily ask your son or daughter this directly. The degree to which they are willing to share information about how they are doing with their therapy is entirely up to each individual. We want students to feel comfortable sharing information with us knowing that we will not disclose it without their written permission.
Q: What if as parents we have information that we believe would be helpful in your treatment of our son or daughter?
A: Your son or daughter’s therapist may listen to information, however, unless you allow us to share with your son or daughter that you have given this information, its usefulness may be quite limited. Sometimes it is helpful for you to talk about your concerns with another staff member who is not directly involved with your son or daughter to maintain a more neutral stance and to insure that the student feels that confidentiality has been fully protected.
Q: What if my son or daughter is taking medication for a learning disorder and we would like him/her to have medications continued by your staff at the Counseling Center?
A: The demand for our services is quite extensive. While we often consult with students requesting accommodations and work with them in whatever ways we can be of help, we do not offer a "medication only service." Students who can benefit from individual counseling or psychotherapy in conjunction with medication will be followed by one of our psychotherapists, although typically the prescription of stimulant medication would be deferred to the student's home provider. If a formal evaluation for a learning disability has been completed by a specialist, it will be helpful to have those records transferred to us if we are to continue providing individual therapy and medication monitoring. However, if your son or daughter has been in treatment for a period of time and is doing fine with the medication and no changes are required, then whomever is prescribing at home will often continue to provide the service, even though the student may now be away at college.
Q: What if my son or daughter is taking medication for a mental disorder that is not a learning disorder, and needs follow-up care?
A: The Counseling Center provides individual assessment and follow-up treatment for all mental health issues. Our psychiatric consultants are available for medication management for all cases that are being actively followed by one of our individual psychotherapists. Providing us with information from the treating doctor or therapist at home will help facilitate a smooth transition and avoid duplication of services. Again, we are not able to provide a medication-only service.
Q: What if my son or daughter needs other services that you can not provide or if they desire services off campus?
A: The staff is trained to help evaluate the appropriate treatment needs of those seeking our services and referrals for more extensive treatment are available off campus. Appropriate recommendations can be made for which students will need to use their private health insurance coverage.