The Austin College Counseling Service supports the academic mission of the College by providing crisis intervention and short-term counseling services to students encountering psychological problems that could interfere with their academic progress. Psychoeducational programs, addressing high frequency mental health issues in the college population, are presented throughout the year by staff and trained peer educators. All members of the Austin College community can contact counseling staff to obtain information, consultation, and referral options for treatment issues beyond the scope of those offered at the College.
Counseling services on a short-term basis are available to assist students in dealing with personal issues and emotional concerns. Individual counseling sessions, self-help resources, and workshops on various topics are offered on campus to assist students with their psychological well-being and individual development. Students may use this service by making a confidential appointment at Adams Center. There are no fees for these services.
The counselor also is available as a resource for referral information on area professionals for long-term counseling.
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The staff is on call after hours for emergencies. Consultations or referrals that can wait until the next business day probably should, but if you are unsure about whether or not an emergency exists, please consult someone. Staff can be paged through Campus Police at 903.813.2555.
The Counseling Center generally operates on an appointment basis. Students wanting an appointment should call Adams Center at 903.813.2247 or stop by to make an appointment. Appointments are usually available within 48 hours. After the first appointment, the student and counseling staff member will collaborate to determine the best course of action.
Students in crisis will always be given priority, with all service users informed that their appointment may be rescheduled should an emergency arise.
The counselor is available to consult with faculty members about concerns they may have in dealing with a particular student or with their approach to students in general. This may be done over the phone or by appointment.
900 North Grand, Suite 61629 | Sherman TX 75090
903.813.2247 | Fax: 903.813.3188
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of counseling services. We believe counseling is most effective when a student can be direct and honest with a counselor without concern that the personal information will be divulged. Confidentiality is also an ethical and legal requirement. We keep separate records from other administrative documents kept on campus and notations about counseling are not made on a student’s official College record. In most situations, we therefore do not release any information about a student without that student’s written permission.
There are, however, legal and ethical limits to confidentiality about which you should know. First, when, in the judgment of the counselor, any individual in their care presents an imminent danger to themselves or others, confidentiality may be broken.
Other limits to the maintenance of confidentiality include:
- In Texas, any person, including counselors, who knows or suspects that a child, elderly person or disabled person has been or will be neglected or physically, emotionally or sexually abused, is required by law to make a report to the appropriate protective services agency. Counselors are also required to report suspected sexual exploitation of clients by previous counselors.
- In Texas, the confidentiality of counseling information is not protected in criminal court proceedings. In other proceedings, a court may order a counselor to release information, for example, in any suit which affects the parent-child relationship or relies on a claim of a psychological condition or a claim of malpractice.
- Some employers and credentialing organizations (e.g., some federal government agencies and the Texas Bar Association) request or even require applicants to sign consent forms to release information about their counseling histories.