What is Counseling

Counseling is a collaborative process that involves the development of a confidential professional relationship that focuses on personal problems. At Downstate, it is an opportunity to talk to a licensed clinical psychologist who is a skilled listener trained in the science of human behavior. The objective of counseling is to help you clarify issues, gain insight into your feelings and thoughts and deal effectively with problems. Nearly all students experience occasional difficulties that can interfere with their success or sense of well-being. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Anxieties about academics
  • Conflicts with friends
  • Family or relationship/partner problems
  • Career indecision or re-evaluating professional goals
  • Habit control problems (e.g. over/under eating, alcoholism, drug abuse)
  • Low self-confidence
  • Excessive feelings of stress
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Grief
  • Loneliness
  • Sleep disturbance (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Procrastination (putting off important tasks)
  • Thoughts about death or suicide
  • Identity issues
  • Sexual/gender identity concerns

How is Counseling Helpful?

The counselor works with you to help you identify your strengths, gain insight into your ways of thinking, feeling and behaving and begin a process of change and growth. Sometimes students know WHAT they need to do but they just can’t get themselves to do it! Counseling can help you understand what is getting in the way of your making the changes you want in your life.

Counseling can also teach you ways of dealing with stressful life events and circumstances you can’t change. The counselor helps you analyze and respond to internal pressures and negative attitudes towards yourself or others. This may include developing a new set of coping strategies or helping you to refine those already in use.

Sometimes, the most helpful aspect of counseling is that the counselor is objective and is not involved in the situation you’re trying to resolve. The counselor has only your best interests to consider.

It can be difficult to begin counseling due to fears or even feelings of embarrassment. But most students find that once they come in, they feel some relief and hope because they begin facing their difficulties instead of avoiding them. If you’re uncertain whether counseling is right for you, we invite you rot come in and to discuss it. The counselor will talk with you and decide together if counseling might be useful.