Group counseling is available at both Wellness Center locations. For the groups available this fall, please visit Wellness Center groups.
Common Questions about Counseling at the Wellness Center
All students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs that have paid the student activity fee are eligible for counseling services through the Wellness Center.
Students seek therapy for a variety of reasons. Many students come for counseling when life events or academic stressors leave them feeling troubled or distressed. When these feelings last for more than a few days, you may find it helpful to speak with an unbiased, objective professional. Some common reasons for entering treatment include:
- homesickness/difficulty making the transition to college
- dating violence or stalking concerns
- sexual assault survivor issues
- drug and alcohol use issues
- eating and body image concerns
- relationship concerns
- family conflict
- identity issues
- sexuality concerns
- vocational goals clarification
To schedule an appointment for services students may call the Wellness Center directly at 773.508.8883
or schedule a web-based appointment.
The first step in beginning counseling at the Wellness Center is a brief telephone screening appointment with one of our licensed clinical social workers or psychologists. You may schedule this appointment either by calling Dial-A-Nurse (773-508-8883) or by scheduling a web-based appointment. During this initial phone appointment, you and a counselor will discuss your reason/s for seeking counseling, and your counselor will advise you if services provided at the Wellness Center will meet your needs, or if your needs would be better served through a referral to a community provider. If brief therapy is an appropriate option for you, you will be given an appointment with a Wellness Center therapist. During the first in-person session with your assigned counselor, a detailed assessment interview will be completed and brief therapy will begin.
Everything that you discuss in session with your counselor is confidential. This means nothing will go on your student education records. Also, your parents or loved ones do not have access to your mental health records without your consent. Your therapist will not consult with anyone outside of the Wellness Center, or outside of the university, without your written consent. There are some important exceptions to this, including information about child or elder abuse, serious risk to human life, and court orders.
The Wellness Center provides brief individual psychotherapy (typically 6-8 visits per student per academic year). Students who are seeking longer term therapy, or whose counselor determines would benefit from longer term therapy, will be provided with referrals to providers in the community. We will seek a good fit for you with someone who accepts your insurance. We do our utmost to ensure that cost is not a barrier to receiving needed care, and can provide referrals to providers and clinics who offer sliding scale fees. There is no session limit for the variety of group therapy offerings.
During the initial telephone assessment, our counselors gather a lot of information about what you’re dealing with now and what you’ve dealt with in the past. They evaluate whether brief therapy at the Wellness Center can address your treatment needs, or whether longer-term care in the community represents the best option for you. Our goal is to get you to the care you need as quickly and smoothly as possible. There are many factors that go into a mental health professional’s decision to recommend care in the community. As commonplace examples, active eating disorders, severe and/or chronic depression or anxiety, addiction and other conditions are often best treated in a setting not constrained by session limits. The session limit model at the Wellness Center in turn allows our counselors to meet the needs of as many students as possible given the high volume of demand. Even if you are referred to treatment in the community, your counselor may remind you that Wellness Center groups and workshops remain available to you without limitations on sessions.
The Wellness Center has a limited number of psychiatric appointments available, and nurse practitioners also manage some psychiatric medications, depending on your condition. Like brief therapy, long term psychiatric care is not offered at the Wellness Center. Students will be provided with referrals to the community for ongoing psychiatric care. Students in need of medications used to treat ADHD or ADD will be provided with referrals for a psychiatrist in the community because the Wellness Center does not prescribe medications for these disorders.
The Wellness Center does not currently offer learning disability or ADHD testing. However, you can schedule a telephone intake appointment with a counselor to receive referrals appropriate to your needs and circumstances.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, including having thoughts of harming yourself, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are seeking non-emergency assistance for a crisis after hours, you may call these 24-hour hotlines:
- (312) 926-8100 (Northwestern Memorial Hospital Crisis Line)
- (800) 273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)