Concordia University Chicago's Counseling Center is a place meant to support the personal growth and development of its students. College life can be stressful and demanding, and although we all deal with stressful circumstances throughout our lives, there are times when reaching out for help can make a big difference. The Counseling Center is here to foster a strengths-based environment where students can empower themselves to achieve both academic and personal goals, not only during their tenure at CUC but also in their life beyond. Although the hope is to be able to provide preventative care, before the concern has become impactful negatively, we also provide corrective services, such as when there are student conduct concerns.
The Counseling Center policy on confidentiality abides by the ethics code set forth by the Illinois Board of Psychology and the American Counseling Association. Other than authorized Counseling Center staff, no one will have access to your mental health records without your signed consent. Furthermore, they will not be a part of your academic record. In rare circumstances, a counselor might be legally required to break confidence; these instances include if you are assessed to be a danger to yourself or others. In this situation, the Center is legally obligated to inform the appropriate authorities. Please feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have regarding this policy with your therapist or with Danielle Walejeski, LCPC, Director of Counseling Services.
Eligibility for Services
Counseling Center services are available to all actively enrolled students at Concordia University Chicago and are provided at no cost.
The Center provides services both in the Counseling Services department as well throughout campus including residence halls, classrooms and other communal areas.
Counseling allows an individual to explore his or her concerns with an objective, non-judgmental and trained professional, and to work toward a better understanding of self. Student concerns can consist of a wide range of issues related to relationships, identity, family, depression, victimization, anxiety/panic attacks, academics, grief and loss, socialization/isolation, food/body image and/or chemical use/abuse. For counseling to be effective, it is necessary for students to take an active role in the process. Students should be informed that participation involves listening, being honest, discussing concerns, completing outside assignments and providing feedback to their counselor.
While there is no set number of sessions each student is allowed at the Counseling Center, we do operate on a short-term therapy model. As such, the Counseling Center provides goal-oriented counseling that utilizes effective and efficient therapeutic strategies to meet the needs of our clients.
Your counselor will develop and discuss with you a plan that is tailored to your needs and will discuss the number of sessions most appropriate to serve you. For some it may be appropriate to be referred to a clinician in the community for more extended care.
The Counseling Center staff will offer educational programs on a variety of mental health topics relevant to University students, including both for students and for those working with students at CUC. In addition, Counseling Services sponsors or participates in programming throughout the academic year geared toward preventative mental health. The focus of these presentations may involve topics such as stress management, depression, adjustment issues, healthy relationships, anxiety, how to help a distressed friend/colleague/partner/student and mental health screenings.
Adhering to the ethical and legal obligations on confidentiality, wherein information about specific students—including confirmation that a student is a client at the Counseling Center—cannot be disclosed without a valid, signed Release of Information Authorization Form, counselors are available for consultations with students, faculty, administrative personnel, residence hall staff, and parents regarding questions or concerns.
Psychiatric and Other Services
The Counseling Center does not provide psychiatric services. Referrals to outside psychiatric resources (for needs including diagnosis, prescriptions and medication management) can be obtained by talking to your primary care physician, calling your insurance company or asking for the assistance of a counselor at the Counseling Center.
Students can at any time log onto ULifeline for an anonymous online screening tool, to gain more information about specific mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and PTSD.
Clients may request a referral to another provider or off-campus agency at any time and the staff will work to help provide appropriate resources to ensure accessibility of linkage to services. Likewise, if the Counseling Center staff deem the client will be better served by another resource, staff may terminate counseling and refer the client to an appropriate provider. Some services not available through the Counseling Center include psychological testing, assessments and diagnosis for learning disabilities and accommodations, group counseling, and court-mandated counseling. Any changes in treatment will be discussed with the student before they take place in order to attempt to be as financially and/or mobility conscientious as possible. Students are financially responsible and must arrange for any services received by an off-campus provider.