How do I get started in counseling and what is the process? | Springfield College

How do I get started in counseling and what is the process?

The thought of coming to counseling may be overwhelming or even frightening. Counseling can be hard work at times, but getting here is easy, and our staff will welcome you and help you step-by-step. Here is how to connect to the center. 

1. Call (413) 748-3345 or walk in and set up an intake appointment. 

Contacting the Center takes only a minute of your time. Asking for help should not be seen as a weakness, but rather as a strength. Our offices are located at:

First Floor, Massasoit Hall

251 Hickory Street

Springfield, MA

2. Complete paperwork for your intake. 

You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes early for your intake meeting to provide information related to your psychological, medical, and personal history. This information will be reviewed by your counselor and kept confidential.

3. Attend an intake. 

Intakes are brief meetings, roughly 15 to 20 minutes, where you meet with a counselor to briefly discuss what is bringing you to counseling. The purpose is to provide important information about your counseling needs and make a referral to an appropriate group, individual therapist, or therapist in the community. You will be contacted within approximately one business day of your intake with information regarding your next individual or group therapy session.

4. Understand and agree to the time commitment, cancellation policy, and cost (none!). 

Counseling Center services are free of charge. We ask that you respect our counselors by prioritizing sessions, arriving on time, and giving as much notice as possible if you need to cancel a session. 

5. Attend a first counseling session or group session. 

First sessions are usually scheduled within a week of intake and each group runs once per week. Counseling sessions are 50 minutes long while groups run anywhere from one hour to one and a half hours. 

6. Collaboratively develop a treatment plan. 

At your first session, you and your counselor will determine your main counseling goals. 

7. Terminate counseling. 

When you and your counselor agree that you have reached your goals, it is time to celebrate your achievement and say goodbye--for now. This will be determined collaboratively between therapist and student for individual counseling, or by the natural ending of group therapy. Our door will remain open to you as long as you are a student at Springfield College, and many students return to counseling when new challenges arise.