Frequently Asked Questions:

The Counseling and Personal Development Center is a place where students can go to receive services designed to help handle day-to-day challenges while encouraging their personal growth and development. Services provided by the center include personal, career, and academic counseling as well as crisis intervention. Services are confidential and offered by professionally trained counselors. Most services are free of charge, however, there is a minimal charge for testing. Please call if you have any questions, or come by to see us.

The Counseling and Personal Development Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

New clients can come to the center during “intake hours” from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. You will need to complete the intake paperwork prior to your meeting, which takes 15-30 minutes. Your initial appointment with the counselor will take approximately 30 minutes. Make sure to allot about one hour for your initial intake appointment.

Individuals coming for an intake session are seen on a first-come, first-served basis but the waiting is usually no longer than about 30 minutes.

 If you are in crisis after hours (evenings and weekends), you can reach the on-call counselor by calling 423-425-4438. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

Intake Session – first meeting with the counselor at the center, lasting about 30 minutes.

  • Discuss presenting concern, what brought you to counseling?
  • Information on your background and history
  • Discussing your goals for counseling
  • Referral for individual counseling, group counseling, or community counseling

Counseling Sessions – meeting with a counselor for 50 minute sessions.

  • Exploring and processing psychological and emotional distress
  • Working on objectives to reach goals
  • Identifying areas for personal growth and wellness

Referrals for other services on or off campus, when necessary

  • If we determine that your needs cannot be met by this counseling center, we will help you to obtain resources in the community
  • After completing 6 sessions, you may be referred to the community for continued counseling

If you are struggling to decide whether you should come to the center, see reasons why students seek counseling at the Counseling and Personal Development Center below:

 

  • Help choosing a major
  • Adjustment to college life
  • Relationship Stress
  • Family Issues
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Unmotivated or Depressed
  • Coping with the Loss and Grief
  • Concerns about Body Image
  • Eating Disorders
  • Stress Management
  • Test Anxiety
  • Study Skills
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Substance Abuse Issues
  • Breaking Destructive Habits
  • Time Management
  • Medication management for mental health concerns


Other questions?

Contact 423-425-4438 during our office hours, and we will be happy to answer any questions related to counseling services.

Statistics about Mental Illness on College Campuses:

Data collected from College Counseling Centers across the country in 2015-2016 indicate:

  • Students who utilized counseling services averaged 5.84 appointments at the center
  • 61% of students reported experiencing anxiety
  • 49% of students reported experiencing depression
  • 45% of students reported experiencing stress
  • 8% of students reported experiencing family issues
  • 7% of students reported experiences issues related to academic performance
  • 2% of clients identified as female, 35.3% of clients identified as male, 0.5% identified as transgender, and 1.1% of clients self-identified
  • Based on academic status, 20.8% of clients were freshman/first-year, 20.3% sophomore, 22.6% juniors, 21.4% seniors, and 15% were graduate students/other
  • 50% of clients reported never attending counseling prior to their college counseling experience
  • 9% of clients reported taking prescribed medication for mental health concerns prior to college, 12.9% reported medication use after starting college, and 11.3% reported both prior to and after college
  • 5% of clients reported thoughts of suicide one or more times in their lifetime
  • 6% of clients reported to receiving treatment for alcohol or drug use one or more times

Data collected from UTC’s Counseling Center indicates:

  • About 8% (901 students) of the UTC student population utilized counseling services last year (2016-2017)
  • 78% of students who came to the UTC Counseling center reported anxiety
  • 75% of UTC students reported experiencing stress
  • 69% of UTC students reported academic issues
  • 66% of UTC students reported family issues
  • 65% of UTC students reported experiencing depression

Stigma surrounding Mental Health

At the Counseling and Personal Development Center we advocate for mental health. We often hear from students concerns like the following:

“Does coming to counseling mean I am crazy?”

  • Coming to counseling does not mean that you are crazy, mental illness is real. Counseling offers students the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their difficulties and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal and situational causes of those difficulties.

“I’m not crazy enough for counseling.”

  • People pursue counseling for a variety of reasons. Some may enter counseling to address major life changes, such as coming to college, and others may seek help in managing mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety.

 “I will be judged for seeking counseling.”

  • The Counseling and Personal Development strives to offer “unconditional positive regard” – a kind of non-judgmental attitude. Counseling is also confidential and your visits to the Counseling Center are private. Confidentiality will not be broken unless you express harm to yourself or to others.

“Counseling is only for people with serious emotional problems.”

  • Counseling is like seeing a doctor – you don’t go to a doctor only if you have a heart attack. It can be helpful to see a doctor if you have a cold. Students often seek and benefit from counseling for issues such as academic difficulty, relationships problems, adjustment concerns, managing stress, or choosing a major.

“Counseling is a sign of weakness.”

  • This is absolutely false. It takes courage to address problem areas and examine painful feelings. Entering counseling is taking the first step in resolving difficulties.

For further information, contact the Counseling and Personal Development Center, 338 University Center or call 423-425-4438. New client intake hours are from 9-3:30 weekdays.