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Counseling and Psychotherapy

Your time at Illinois State University will likely parallel a significant period of transition in your life. Although transitions can be desired and exciting, they also require change and adjustment, which sometimes can be difficult. Occasionally, problems that arise while attending the University may be too great to be met successfully without assistance. The staff of Student Counseling Services can assist you in effectively managing and overcoming those difficulties.

If you are struggling with a personal concern, consider scheduling an appointment and talking to a member of our professional staff. These services are free and such contact with our staff is held strictly confidential.

If this seems too large a first step to take, consider talking things over with a good friend or trusted family member who has been there for you before.

Overcoming Barriers

Clearly, this is the option of choice for many of us throughout our lives, particularly as we get older. Even though you may uneasy at first, more often than not, it is worth the effort. Most solid and enduring relationships are enhanced through the sharing of "hard times" one or the other goes through. 

If you find yourself blocking this as an option, consider what the true risks of talking are. Make sure to weigh those real risks against the risks associated with not talking. Keep in mind that so often, when the people we're close to do learn of the problems we had, their very first question is, "Why didn't you talk to me sooner?"

Hopefully, you'll find a way to bring the subject up. 

Here's a suggestion on how to do this. Frequently, the success of these sorts of discussions flows from decisions like: 

  • Choosing a good time to bring it up;
  • Making sure that the place you choose to talk is a good one;
  • Beginning such discussions with some statement which acknowledges the person's importance to you;
  • Being respectful when you ask the person what you would like from them.

So, for example, you might suggest spending some time with a trusted relative. Perhaps you might go to another town for lunch and shopping. Then, after you're both comfortable and relaxed, possibly over lunch or on the way home, you can bring up the problem.

Support Options

Consider talking to volunteer at the PATH crisis hot line - 309-827-4005

PATH volunteers are available 24/7 to talk with those in need of help and perhaps considering talking with a professional therapist.  While they do not provide on-going help, they are usually able to help with the immediate situation, provide alternatives to help you resolve the problem and provide you with local connections to receive on-going assistance.

Consider self-help and support groups

Community-based, self-help groups are typically available in larger communities. These can range from the ones that have been around for many years such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, ALANON, etc., to newer support groups for a wide variety of issues (e.g., depression, grief and loss, eating disorders, sexual abuse, etc.).

You can find telephone listings for many of these groups in the front section of the telephone directory or in the classified section, usually under the heading "Social Service Organizations." PATH volunteers (309-827-4005) can also provide referral information.

Consider talking to a member of the clergy.

Many churches and synagogues offer special help with problems to their members. Many clergy have received specialized training in the so-called "helping skills." This training and the varied experiences such people have, make them a particularly good resource in troubled moments. Give some thought to trying this option, even if it only is taken as far as giving the selected person a call. Once again, while the person you first reach may not be the one you ultimately obtain assistance from, she or he will likely serve as a bridge to getting the kind of help you need.

Coping With College Articles (PDF)

Links to Other Resources

2017-01-27T09:36:02.388-06:00 2017