CampusLife

Counseling Center

Questions?

  • Counseling Center
    202-885-3500
    Fax: 202-885-1397
    Mary Graydon, Room 214

    Mon - Thurs, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Fri, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


    Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Mailing Address

Support for Faculty, Advisors and Staff

 

The Counseling Center provides a range of resources for faculty, academic advisors, and staff to support their work with students. Feel free to consult with a Counseling Center clinician about your particular situation by calling x3500.


CONSULTATIONS
The Counseling Center provides consultations to individuals or groups regarding how to help a student in distress, how to make referrals to the Center, how to manage conflicts, and other concerns that come up in the course of working with students. For a consultation, call the Counseling Center at x3500 and ask to speak with a clinician. Please be aware that the Counseling Center is prevented by law from sharing confidential information about a student's contact with the Center without the student's permission. A Counseling Center clinician will be happy to consult with you about the nature and limits of clinician/student confidentiality.

Please be aware that clinicians are first responsible to their clients and cannot agree ahead of time to keep third party consultations confidential. Clinicians may decide that it is important and in the best interest of the student (e.g., when a concerned third party provides information about a student’s ability to keep themselves safe) that the consultation be shared with the student if he/she is in fact a client of the Center.

CARE NETWORK: EARLY INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS OF CONCERN
The Office of the Dean of Students is generally the best point of contact when you’re concerned about a student who could benefit from having someone reach out to him or her and provide assistance in connecting to campus resources (e.g., Counseling Center, Academic Support Center, Disability Support Services, Student Health Center, etc.).

The Office of the Dean of Students provides an easy to use reporting tool for faculty and staff to share concerns about student behaviors. If you recognize signs of distress or observe disruptive behavior in your classroom, submit an online report through the Care Network or call the Office of the Dean of Students at 202-885-3300 to talk through your concerns. The Care Network is accessible to faculty and staff through the Life@AU tab on the myAU.american.edu portal.

What about confidentiality?
Members of the Care Team, as administrative agents in an educational institution, adhere to the laws and standards governing the disclosure of information to third parties both within and external to the University. Such information is only disclosed on a need to know basis and only according to the relevant statutes that govern such disclosure. Counseling Center staff serves in a consulting role to the Care Team and do not share confidential information about clients to the Team.

For Additional Information, Contact:
American University
Office of the Dean of Students
408 Butler Pavilion
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016-8148
202-885-3300 voice
202-885-1560 fax
dos@american.edu
www.american.edu/ocl/dos

FAQs ABOUT ON-CAMPUS COUNSELING
The answers to some questions about on-campus counseling most frequently asked by faculty/staff/advisors can be found at:
Frequently Asked Questions About On-Campus Counseling

One frequently asked question is who counsels students at the center. A student's first appointment will be with a clinician at an advanced level of clinical training -- either a member of the core staff (a licensed clinician holding a doctorate or clinical social work degree), a clinical intern (an advanced doctoral student completing clinical licensure requirements), or a clinical extern (an advanced doctoral student). If a student continues in ongoing counseling at the Center beyond a first appointment or short-term intervention, the student may be assigned either to a member of the core staff or to a graduate-student trainee. The core staff makes careful matches between students and clinicians and all trainees are closely supervised so as to ensure that each student receives appropriate and sufficient care. Students who require more immediate, extensive, intensive, or specialized care than is available at the Counseling Center are provided with assistance in connecting to appropriate services off campus.


HELPING A STUDENT IN DISTRESS
The following handouts offer guidelines for advisors, faculty, or staff with regard to helping students in distress. They are also available in hard copy from the Counseling Center.
How to Help a Student in Distress
Helping a Student Get Help
You may also look at our Web page: Worried About Someone?


"SUPPORT SERVICES" BLURB FOR YOUR HANDOUT OR SYLLABUS

If you would like to let your students know about the support services available to them, you can include this blurb in your course syllabus or program handout:

The Counseling Center (x3500, MGC 214) offers counseling and consultations regarding personal concerns, self-help information, and connections to off-campus mental health resources.

This blurb, and other helpful information, is also available from the AU Center for Teaching Excellence.


WORKSHOPS AND PRESENTATIONS

Counseling Center staff members are available to supplement your course or program by providing a presentation or workshop for your students (depending on availability and schedule). A variety of topics relevant to student development and mental health are available.

If you or your students would like to know more about our services, videos are also available on our website. These videos provide an Introduction of Counseling Center Services and overview of What to Expect at an Intake Appointment.


HANDOUTS AND WEB INFORMATION ON TOPICS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Handouts and pamphlets about mental health and human development can be found in our Self-Help Library, located in the Counseling Center reception area. Additional information is available on our on-line Self-Help site. Topics include depression, anxiety, procrastination and perfectionism, relationships, eating disorders, trauma, and other issues of interest to you and your students.


REQUESTS FOR RELIEF FROM ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

Faculty, other university personnel, or students may request that the Counseling Center provide information about a student's contact with the Counseling Center related to a student's request for relief from academic requirements (e.g., a request for a deadline extension, make-up exam, etc.). Please keep in mind the following guidelines when requesting such documentation.

--Counseling Center clinicians generally suggest that a student begin by speaking directly with the relevant faculty/advisor/staff to convey the nature of their academic difficulties and work together towards arranging whatever support or relief might be appropriate.

--The Counseling Center does not document or arrange accommodations for psychological disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This function is served by the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) office. The university is committed to ensuring accessibility for all qualified students with disabilities to university programs and activities. Students with a psychological disability may contact ASAC to arrange for documentation of a disability and for appropriate accommodations.

--DC confidentiality laws require a student's written permission in order for the Counseling Center to share administrative or treatment information with anyone, including university personnel, regarding a student's contacts with the Counseling Center. This includes both verbal and written communications. Authorization forms are available at the Counseling Center.

--Counseling Center clinicians do not adjudicate academic matters, such as whether a student should or should not be granted academic relief -- that decision is made by the relevant faculty/advisor/staff in accordance with university policies. The clinician can only provide, with the student's permission, to whomever the student designates, administrative and treatment information related to the student's contacts with the Center.

--Clinicians typically require several days to a week in order to produce a letter, but will certainly try to accommodate last-minute requests.