CampusLife

Counseling Center

Questions?

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

    Mon and Thurs: 9am-6pm
    Tues, Wed, and Fri: 9am-5pm

    Summer hours: M-F 9am-5pm

    Closed Saturday and Sunday

Mailing Address

Support For Students...

The goal of the Counseling Center is to help you make the most of your university experience, both personally and academically. Student life involves significant educational, social, and emotional challenges. While these challenges can be stressful, they can also be wonderful opportunities for learning and development. 

Concerns that might bring you to the Counseling Center include, for example, relationships with family, roommates, friends, or significant others; eating, weight, and body image; drug or alcohol use by yourself or others; questions and decisions about life direction; adjusting to college; experiences of grief or loss; adjusting to a different culture or language; feelings of depression or hopelessness; feelings of anxiety or panic; performance or creative blocks; self-esteem issues; sexuality, sexual identity, or sexual orientation; motivation or achievement; coping with traumatic events or memories; or coping with a mental or physical illness or disability. Whatever your concerns, we invite you to call or stop by the Counseling Center to make an appointment with a clinician, attend a workshop, use the Self-Help Library, join a counseling group, or get help locating other resources in the DC area. We are here to help you gain the tools and insights you need to thrive emotionally, socially, and intellectually.

In addition to individual counseling, the Counseling Center offers groups and workshops every semester which cover a variety of topics. If the support you need is not available on campus, a clinician can help you locate and connect with appropriate, affordable, accessible resources off campus.

Counseling is confidential, protected by law and by ethical standards. For more information about confidentiality and its limits, feel free to call and speak with a clinician on the phone. There is no charge for counseling or consultation at the Counseling Center.


 

Support for....

-Transfer Students
-Multicultural Students
-Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Students
-Students with Disabilities
-International Students
-Non-Traditional Students


Transfer Students

Students transferring to the university from other schools often face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at AU. Challenges may include, for example, adjusting to a new academic and social environment; coping with surprises or disappointments in comparing AU to your previous school; establishing a sense of school spirit or identity; feeling out-of-sync with your classmates either academically or socially; "tranfer regret;" or other difficulties in fully engaging in university life. These and other concerns related to being a transfer student are appropriate to bring to the Counseling Center for a confidential conversation with a clinician. And, of course, you may have other life concerns not directly related to being a transfer student that you want to talk about with a respectful and supportive listener. A clinician can help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options, and resources that might be of help to you.


Multicultural Students

Multicultural students sometimes face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at AU. Challenges may include, for example: adjusting to a new academic and social environment; dealing with issues of belonging or exclusion; encountering prejudice; weathering changes in one's identity or aspirations; or other difficulties in fully engaging in university life. These concerns related to being a multicultural student are appropriate to bring to the Counseling Center for a confidential conversation with a clinician. 
 

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Students

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students may face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at school. These challenges can include, for example, sorting out one's own feelings of identity and sexuality, interacting with others (family, friends, room-mates, co-workers, etc.) regarding one's gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, dealing with relationship issues, coping with prejudice, and other concerns. And of course, you may have other life concerns not directly related to sexual orientation or gender identity that you want to talk about with a respectful and supportive listener. Similarly, the friends, family, roommates, etc., of a GLBT student may also have special concerns for which they need support or consultation. A clinician can help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options, and resources that might be of help to you. In addition to individual counseling, the Counseling Center offers groups and workshops every semester which cover topics of concern to GLBT students. If the support you need is not available on campus, a clinician can help you locate and connect with appropriate, affordable, accessible resources off campus. 

 

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at school. These challenges may include, for example, coping with added stresses associated with a disability, sorting out one's feelings of identity and independence, interacting with others regarding one's disability, and seeking out and accessing the support necessary to fully engage in university life. Students who are the friend or family member of someone with a disability may also have related worries or difficulties. These and other concerns about disabilities are appropriate to bring to the Counseling Center for a confidential conversation with a clinician. And of course, you may have other life concerns not directly related to a disability that you want to talk about with a respectful and supportive listener. A clinician can help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options, and resources that might be of help to you.

Accessibility of the Counseling Center...

The Counseling Center, on the second floor of Mary Graydon Center, is fully accessible by ramp and elevator. Signers or other accommodations can be arranged in advance of a Counseling Center appointment by contacting Academic Support and Access Center.

Support services available on campus...

In addition to the support offered at the Counseling Center, the Academic Support and Access Center provides services specifically for students with disabilities:

The Academic Support and Access Center provides services to students with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, physical and psychological disabilities. Services include assistance with accommodations, such as note taker and scribe services, academic skill development, writing assistance, peer tutor referrals, interpreters, reader services, access to adaptive equipment, testing accommodations, consultation, and referral to community agencies.

To document a disability and arrange for accommodations...

Reasonable modifications to academic requirements or other accommodations may be necessary on an individualized and flexible basis for students who identify themselves as having a disability. 

Students with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, medical, physical, or psychological disabilities can contact the Academic Support and Access Center, Mary Graydon Center 243, x3360.

These offices have the specific responsibility for reviewing professionally-prepared documentation of a disability, determining effective and reasonable modifications to academic requirements, verifying a disability for faculty and other persons, and recommending classroom and testing accommodations on behalf of the university.

 

International Students

Students coming to the university from other countries and cultures often face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at AU. Challenges may include, for example: adjusting to a new academic and social environment; culture-shock or language-barriers; finding companions of one's own religion, language, or culture; homesickness; encounters with prejudice; or other difficulties in fully engaging in university life.

These and other concerns related to being an international student are appropriate to bring to the Counseling Center for a confidential conversation with a clinician. And of course, you may have other life concerns not directly related to being an international student that you want to talk about with a respectful and supportive listener. A clinician can help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options, and resources that might be of help to you. In addition to individual counseling, the Counseling Center offers groups and workshops every semester which cover a variety of topics, including a discussion/support group for international students focused on building communication skills in a new culture. If the support you need is not available on campus, a clinician can help you locate and connect with appropriate, affordable, accessible resources off campus.

Students coming to AU from other cultures often have assumptions or fears about what it means to seek out counseling. In some cultures, for example, counseling is seen as shameful, an indication of personal failure, or a sign that the person is "crazy." Such assumptions can make it especially difficult for students to seek out the support they need to do well at school. The Counseling Center recognizes and respects the wide range of cultural assumptions that students may hold about counseling, and encourages students from other cultures to learn more about how counseling tends to be used and viewed in mainstream American culture. Here at AU, counseling services are provided by the University to help all students cope with the demands of university life and achieve their potential as scholars and young adults. The following links provide additional information about the nature of counseling and psychotherapy:

American Psychological Association Help Center
American Psychiatric Association: Psychotherapy

 Additional information about culture shock and adjustment is available on our "International Travel" Resource Page.

 

Non-Traditional Students

Non-traditional students include students considerably older or younger than most students in their cohort, students returning to school after a long absence or as part of a career change, and students who are caring for dependent children or parents. Non-traditional students often face special challenges in their efforts to thrive at AU, including, for example, adjusting to a new academic and social environment; coping with surprises or disappointments about being a university student; feeling out-of-sync with your classmates either academically or socially; feeling stressed by the demands of home, work, and school; or other difficulties in fully engaging in university life. These and other concerns related to being a non-traditional student are appropriate to bring to the Counseling Center for a confidential conversation with a clinician. And, of course, you may have other life concerns not directly related to being a non-traditional student that you want to talk about with a respectful and supportive listener. A clinician can help you sort out your situation, your feelings, your options, and resources that might be of help to you.