Consultations and Referrals

Consultation

Faculty and staff are often the first to recognize when students are having problems. The staff is available for consultation services. The issues may include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic skills
  • Anxiety
  • Crisis intervention
  • Depression
  • Disruptive students
  • Relationships
  • Stress management
  • Study skills
  • Substance abuse
  • Test anxiety

Referral

The following basic guidelines are essential for persons working in the helping professions and important as well for anyone concerned with helping others. Unfortunately, many times, help that might have been given to a student was never received because of a poorly made referral.

When To Refer 

  • A student presents a problem or a request for information which is beyond your level of competency.

  • You feel that personality differences (which cannot be resolved) between you and the student will interfere with his or her effective progress.

  • The problem is personal and you know the student on other than a professional basis (friend, neighbor).

  • The student is reluctant to discuss his/her problem with you.

  • You do not believe your communication with a student has been effective.

Don't wait until it is too late for someone to help!!

To Whom To Refer

Contrary to popular belief, people in the helping professions consider a referral as an indication of competency on the part of the person making the referral rather than an inadequacy. Anyone able to identify situations needing specialized counseling or advising deserves commendation. In addition, referring a student to the office appropriate to deal with the problem demonstrates to the student that you have his or her best interest in mind.

How To Refer

Suggest in a caring, concerned and forthright manner that the student talk with a trained counselor. Listed below is information that might calm students' fears about counseling:

  • If you consider the situation to be a serious one, advise the secretary that this is a "crisis" situation. Such crises are responded to immediately.

  • Encourage the student to come in and talk to a counselor.

  • Encourage the student to walk over with a trusted friend, faculty or staff member.

  • Give the student the telephone number (903-886-5145) and location (Student Services Building, #204) of the Counseling Center.

  • Encourage the student to make an appointment while in your presence.  This will allow you to know that the student has taken responsibility for the initial contact.

If you have information about the student that you feel is important to share with the counselor, don't transmit it in front of the student. You don't want the student to get the feeling that their particular problem is becoming known to everyone on campus. Always secure a student's permission to relate information about that student to the counselor.

Helpful Hints

  • Counseling services are free to all currently enrolled university students.

  • Confidentiality, to the limits provided by the law, is respected.

  • The Counseling Center is unable to assure a student that he or she will be able to see a specific counselor.

  • The person making the referral will not be provided with details of treatment, nor share the confidences given by the student to the counselor.

  • Don't expect an immediate resolution of particular symptoms or problems. Changing basic attitudes and feelings, learning to handle everyday problems, or improving academic performance may be a process that moves slowly.

The basic approach to all counseling and referral is one of fundamental respect for the individual and the belief that it is best for people to work out their problems in their own way. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Counseling Center.