What services does OCS provide?
The Office of Counseling Services (OCS) offers a variety of services including individual counseling, group therapy, consultation to students, staff, and faculty, developmental programming/outreach, as well as crisis intervention and referral services.

Who is eligible for services at OCS?
Currently enrolled, full-time students are eligible for services at OCS.

How do I make an appointment?
When you call OCS at (757) 594-7047, our reception staff will help to schedule an intake appointment with one of our clinicians. Or if you prefer please visit the office to schedule an intake appointment.

What can I expect from my first appointment?
During your first appointment, or intake, you will be asked to come in 10 - 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to fill out our paperwork. You will then meet in-person with one of our clinicians for a brief initial meeting (approximately 15 - 20 minutes) to discuss your concerns. Additionally, the clinician will gather some information in order to gain a better understanding of your concerns and determine which services will best meet your needs. This may involve individual counseling, group therapy, seeing a psychiatrist, or a referral to a community provider who can better meet your needs. The clinician will discuss this with you thoroughly. If individual counseling is deemed appropriate, you will be scheduled with your individual counselor, and provided with their name, and the date of your next appointment.

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How long do I have to wait to get an appointment?
When you initially call in, you will usually be able to schedule an initial appointment or intake within a couple of days. We make every effort to see students as quickly as possible based upon the needs of the student.

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What if I am in crisis and need to talk with someone right away?
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call CNU Campus Police at (757) 594-7777 and ask to speak with the crisis counselor. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency that is not life- threatening, OCS will work to meet with you as quickly as possible. We are available in the office on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

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Does OCS have a limit on the number of sessions a student can be seen?
There is no specific session limit. Counseling at OCS is based on a short-term model in order to help all students.

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How much does it cost to see a professional at OCS?
Students are not charged when they receive services at our office.

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What is OCS’s policy on Confidentiality?
OCS adheres to professional ethical standards and all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. All information is confidential unless you sign a written release of information. There are some exceptions by law, (e.g., harm to yourself or someone else and ongoing child or elder abuse). In these cases, the pertinent laws, professional ethics and the best clinical practices will dictate our response to the information presented to our counselors.

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Will my parents, faculty, and/or others be informed that I am going to OCS?
No. Unless you have signed a written release of information, we cannot speak to anyone about treatment received at OCS.

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Will the fact that I am seen at OCS be on my academic record?
No. OCS records are kept separately from academic records.

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Can OCS help me find a therapist off-campus?
Yes. One of the services OCS provides is assisting students in connecting with services in the community, when requested.

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What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
Both a psychiatrist and psychologist work in the mental health field. A psychiatrist possesses a medical degree (MD) and can prescribe medication, whereas a psychologist earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology and provides talk therapy. Here at OCS psychologists, counselors, and off-campus psychiatrists work collaboratively to provide mental health treatment for CNU students as part of a treatment team.

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Does OCS prescribe psychiatric medication?
No. However, psychiatrists in the community work in conjunction with our therapists to provide medication for clients in ongoing therapy at OCS. If you’re just looking for medication management, check with your insurance company or give us a call and we can assist you with locating a psychiatrist in the community.

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I think my friend should talk to someone at OCS. What can I do?
It might be helpful for you to schedule a consultation with one of our clinicians. While you cannot counsel your friend or force them to go to counseling, there may be ways to talk with them about your concerns and share with them the resources you know about (i.e. counseling services or other community services). We can walk you through this conversation depending on the situation as well as assist you with some of your own feelings.

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How do I know whether I should utilize OCS services?
If you have questions about if counseling is right for you, you are welcome to schedule a consultation to speak with one of our clinicians. Consultation with our professional staff may help you answer the question of whether you should consider counseling.

If the specific question that you have is not listed above, please feel free to contact the Office of Counseling Services at (757) 594-7047.

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