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Frequently Asked Questions


Are you considering coming to the Counseling Center? On this page we have provided answers to some of the more frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact us at 215.895.1415 or email counsel@drexel.edu and we are happy to try to answer any additional questions you may have.

What kinds of concerns do students bring to the Counseling Center?

Students come to the Counseling Center with a wide range of presenting concerns. Students may want to talk about normal developmental issues, such as identity, academic stress, or relationship concerns. Other students might be dealing with more specific concerns, such as depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, body and eating concerns, trauma and post-traumatic stress symptoms, substance abuse, grief or suicidal thoughts. Other times, students are not sure what brings them into counseling, except that they have not been feeling like themselves, or might notice having difficulty keeping up academically or having trouble sleeping. A therapist can help identify the concern and provide ways of coping and increase self-awareness.

How should I make the most of my therapy experience?

Sometimes it might not be clear where to start or what to talk about. Before starting therapy, you might have certain ideas or expectations for how to be in therapy, such as not disagreeing with the therapist or not asking many questions. Below are a few things that might be helpful to get the most out of your therapy:

  • Don’t pretend to be okay. It’s okay to talk about things that feel embarrassing or scary
  • Regularly attend your sessions and take an active part in them
  • Be prepared for each session and be ready to focus on a problem or issue
  • Work collaboratively with your counselor and be willing to explore new behaviors both within and outside the sessions
  • Be open and honest with your counselor about how the sessions are going for you, particularly if you don’t think you’re being helped
  • Ask questions. If your therapist is talking about something you do not understand, or you feel uncertain about a particular suggestion, ask questions

Is what I say in counseling kept confidential?

The Counseling Center follows the professional, legal and ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the state of Pennsylvania. This means that information about your counseling sessions or what is discussed in the session is not shared with anyone without expressed written permission. Counseling records are not kept as part of your academic record. There are some exceptions to confidentiality. If there is the possibility of harm to the client or another person, or in cases of child or elder abuse, Counseling Center staff are mandated to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. Your therapist will review confidentiality with you at the outset of treatment and answer any questions you may have.

What can I expect from my first session?

The first session is called an Initial Consultation appointment. You will be asked to complete important paperwork online, prior to your first appointment. You can expect to meet with a therapist for 25-30 minutes, at which time the therapist will gather some additional information regarding the main concern for coming in. You will then discuss next steps, including a customizable care plan, which might look like scheduling a follow up to join a workshop, start group therapy, get connected to another department at Drexel (such as The Center for Learning and Academic Success Services or the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion) and/or goal-focused individual therapy. We may make recommendations for an off-campus treatment provider if that seems most appropriate. In that case, our Case Manager can help assist in finding appropriate services.

How long will I be in counseling?

Students have access to a range of services, including same day appointments which usually taking place the first and last weeks of the term but also are scheduled at various times during the quarter; crisis and urgent appointments; unlimited group therapy; wellness workshops; goal-focused individual therapy; 7 Cups of Tea (an online resource); and referral services. This means that the Center services are customizable; for example, a student might have a few individual appointments, then complete one of our wellness workshops and then enter unlimited group therapy, and other student might have a different experience that meets their needs.

The Center uses a goal-focused, brief treatment model and does not have an explicit session limit for individual therapy. Goal-focused, brief therapy means that the therapists here help students to address their immediate concerns using culturally responsive care. Session frequency varies depending on the Center’s demand and needs of the individual. Many students report feeling better after a handful of sessions, while other students might be seen longer. You and your therapist will discuss the course and length of treatment throughout your care.

Will I be referred off campus?

Most students who seek services at the Counseling Center are seen for brief, goal focused counseling. Some students will be referred to off campus practitioners when they want or have the need for more long-term, specialized, or intensive treatment than we can provide.

What do I do if I need help right away?

In the case that a student has an urgent need or is in an emergency situation, students may call the Center or come directly to the Counseling Center to meet with a therapist for brief counseling and stabilization. Please indicate the urgency of the situation and briefly describe what you are experiencing in order to receive the fastest attention possible. If you have a mental health-related emergency outside of Counseling Center’s regular business hours, please call the Drexel On-Call Counselor at 215.416.3337 or 9-1-1 immediately. Also, if on campus, you can contact the Drexel University Police Department at 215.895.2222.

Additionally, you may receive 24/7 Crisis Support as follows:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.SUICIDE (784.2433)
  • Veterans Crisis Hotline: 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
  • Trevor Project 24/7 Line: 1.866.488.7386 or TrevorText: text START to 678-678
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

What is considered an emergency/crisis situation?

An emergency/crisis experience is individually based, depending on what it feels like for you based on your “normal”. We encourage students to contact us or come in for an emergency/crisis session if they feel it is indeed one. We prefer to see you, and please know that you will be seen as soon as a therapist becomes available. Some examples of a need for an emergency/crisis counseling session, include:

  • Imminent suicidal thought and/or a plan
  • Imminent homicidal thoughts
  • Severely losing emotional control
  • Gross impairment in thinking ability
  • Exhibiting bizarre behavior
  • Experienced a recent trauma

What if I want to switch therapists?

Most of the time, students feel connected with their therapist. There are times, however, when it may just not feel like a good fit. Although it might feel hard, we believe it is best to speak directly with your therapist and let them know you would like to change therapists. We do not get angry or offended when students want to change therapists, though we do find it is helpful to talk about the reasons you want to change to figure out how to best suit your needs. If that feels too hard, let our administrative staff know (counsel@drexel.edu or 215.895.1415) to proceed.

Can the Counseling Center write me a note for missing class?

The Counseling Center cannot provide "notes" for absences from class, as you are expected to schedule counseling sessions around your academic schedule. If you are unable to attend class, please communicate with your professor to make up any missed work at your earliest convenience..

Can a parent make an appointment at the Counseling Center for their student?

The student must call to make the appointment. Appointments cannot be made on a student's behalf.