What is Counseling?
Counseling gives you the opportunity to maximize your potential by addressing personal, social, emotional, and/or academic concerns. For more serious concerns such as mood disorders, anxiety, disordered eating, substance abuse, etc., the counselor will work collaboratively with medical providers in The Wellness Center at Whisler Hall.
Counseling is an active process in which you implement new behaviors, skills, and insights. There are many reasons to seek counseling. You and your behavioral health provider will work together to define realistic goals and explore available options. Counseling may be short-term for concerns that can come to a quick resolution, or long-term for more complex problems. A referral may be made to outside community resources if The Wellness Center at Whisler Hall cannot provide the appropriate level of care.
Many concerns are best addressed in groups. We offer several groups and workshops on specific topics. You and your counselor may decide a group workshop is an effective course of action for you.
Why should I seek Counseling?
It can be hard to understand when to seek out counseling and information about mental health. These guidelines may be helpful.
- Normal stress and adjustment. It is normal to experience some difficulties, discouragement, and self-doubt as you navigate through college.
- Academic stress. The skills and strategies that helped you to do well in high school may not transfer seamlessly into the college setting. You may struggle with self-doubt and perfectionism as you continue to build and develop your new academic skills. You can find help at the Academic Resource Center.
- Crisis. There may be times when your current stressors exceed your ability to cope. You should access mental health services when you feel overwhelmed or unable to manage these issues alone.
- Prior mental health history. If you have accessed counseling prior to college, you may benefit from continuing this practice while you are here.
Our counseling team includes experienced licensed mental health professionals from the fields of social work, counseling, or psychology. Sometimes we employ graduate level trainees for an academic year, and they are supervised by a licensed professional with supervisory status.
While each clinician may have specific strengths and practice areas, all operate as generalists and work from evidence-based models. The ethical guidelines of our respective professions (social work, counseling, psychology) and the State of Ohio provide standards of practices for our work.
New & ongoing appointments: You can schedule individual counseling sessions by appointment by calling 740-587-6200 (Press #1 for scheduling). Sessions are usually 45-50 minutes, bi-weekly, Monday-Friday. Some evening hours are available.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Counseling Services is exclusively providing teletherapy for individual appointments. These meetings take place via Zoom and can be accessed through the appointments tab in the My Wellness Portal. We ask that students log in to the portal about ten minutes before their initial scheduled session to complete the necessary intake paperwork. You will be asked to read and sign an informed consent document, complete symptom screeners, and fill out a brief intake form on your personal history and presenting concerns. This intake paperwork is confidential and only needs to be completed once per academic year.
If students are in need of a confidential space to access their teletherapy appointment, on-campus room reservations are available.
Due to state licensure laws, teletherapy services are available for those students currently located in the state of Ohio. Learn more about support available to out-of-state students.
On-Call Crisis Intervention: Counseling Services offers same-day virtual appointment hours, Monday - Friday 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM. These appointments are available via teletherapy and can be accessed through the Appointments tab in the My Wellness Portal. After business hours, students can talk with a crisis response counselor by calling 740-587-6647. Students can access 24/7 crisis counseling whether on campus, at home, or studying abroad.
Psychiatric Services: The Wellness Center contracts with a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Students can be referred to the psychiatric nurse practitioner through either Health Services or Counseling Services staff.
Groups and Workshops: Group and workshop opportunities are available to students throughout the semester. Days/times for ongoing support groups vary by semester.
Consultation & Outreach: Counseling Services provide consultations and outreach programming for campus staff and faculty. Programming includes topics such as managing stress, how to help students in crisis, and suicide prevention. Staff or faculty with concerns about responding to student distress can call 740-587-6200 and ask to consult with one of our mental health clinicians. For non-urgent concerns, individuals can also file a CARE report through MyDenison.
External Referrals: We are committed to helping our students receive the best level of care necessary. If your recommended level of care falls outside of our scope of practice, we can help you connect with local providers for ongoing care.
We have partnered with ThrivingCampus, an online referral resource designed to help college counseling centers connect with local mental health providers. You can narrow the provider list based on distance, practice areas, accepted insurances, etc. The default location for the map is set at Denison University, though you can change the location to find providers across the country. Note: Maximum search radius is set at 20 miles. To find additional providers in the Columbus area, change the location setting under the distance feature.
Services are not available when we are CLOSED during Thanksgiving, winter, spring, and summer breaks.
Our mission is to promote the well-being of our students. Students’ mental and physical wellness impacts performance in the classroom, engagement in the community, and the ability to persist in college. We align with the strategic plan of Denison to be a benchmark campus by helping students develop habits of wellness that will be crucial to their long-term health well after graduation. We respect each student’s developmental needs and strive to promote student autonomy, accountability, and agency. We honor and embrace diversity and inclusion. We strive to reduce barriers to access mental health services for an increasingly diverse student body.
Please call 740-587-6200 and press #1 to schedule an appointment with a member of our medical or behavioral staff
*Given demand for student appointments, we ask that you cancel any appointment you are unable to attend.
Counseling Same-Day Virtual Appointments:
Monday through Friday
11:30 am - 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Call 740-587-6200 to get connected with a same-day appointment.
24/7 Crisis Counseling:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: