What to Expect From Counseling

How do I get started?

Students can either call the appointment desk at 715-425-3884 or stop in to make an appointment in person in 211 Hagestad Hall (directly above the Athletic Office, in the same building as Textbooks). Before the first appointment, students are asked to come in 10-20 minutes early to complete the initial paperwork.

The First Visit:

Students coming in for their first visit will be seen for a brief (20-30 minute) intake appointment with a counselor who will:

  • Provide information about what to expect from the counseling process
  • Discuss the student's presenting issues and concerns
  • Develop a plan to best meet the student's needs, which may include:
    • Referral to a counselor on our staff for individual counseling
    • Referral to group counseling
    • Referral to a mental health counselor or service off campus
    • Information about and referral to other campus services

What are some common presenting concerns?

Students seek out counseling services for any number of concerns. If you are unsure if your concern is appropriate for counseling, please do not hesitate to schedule a brief intake appointment to explore options. Some common concerns that students present with include: Stress, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, family concerns, self-esteem, body image, academic difficulties, grief, alcohol/drug use, sexual assault, choices about major or career plan, etc. 

How Much Does Counseling Cost?
UWRF Counseling Services are free for currently enrolled students. If you wish to see a mental health provider off campus, counselors can help facilitate with that process. You will need to check with you insurance for coverage.

Will My Information Be Kept Confidential?
All counseling records are kept confidential, and are not part of university records. With only rare exceptions, no information is released to anyone outside Counseling Services, including other University offices, faculty, staff, or parents without your written consent. Exceptions to confidentiality include life-threatening situations (i.e., when someone is deemed to be an imminent danger to themselves or others; or in cases of child abuse) or appropriate court order. In these cases counselors may disclose information to protect you or others from harm, or to comply with legal mandates. Counseling Services staff members may share information with each other for the purposes of consultation.

How Long Does Counseling Last?
Individual counseling sessions are typically 45 minutes and group counseling sessions are typically 90 minutes. Counseling Services employs a brief counseling model, and counseling sessions are often goal oriented in order to meet your needs in an efficient and effective manner. On average, students meet with an individual counselor 3-4 times. In some situations, referrals to outside agencies may be considered if longer-term counseling is necessary or specialized services are recommended.

What Can I Expect From My Counselor?
The Counseling Services staff consists of certified and trained mental health professionals with backgrounds in psychology, counseling, and social work. Each counselor has a different counseling style and varies in their technique; however, you may expect that your counselor will:

  • Listen, and take your concerns seriously
  • Help you remove barriers to achieve your personal goals
  • Maintain the highest ethical and legal standards of counseling practice
  • Answer your questions directly and honestly

How Can I Maximize My Counseling Experience?

  • Attend your sessions regularly and take an active part in them
  • Be as open and honest as you can
  • Be open to trying new or different approaches to dealing with your concerns.
  • Apply what you have learned in your sessions to your daily life
  • Talk openly with your counselor about your progress (or lack of progress) in counseling

Can I get Medication if I need it?
Counseling Services contracts with the River Falls Medical Clinic and students may meet with a general practitioner or psychiatrist to discuss options for medication when appropriate. You can call the clinic directly (715-425-6701) to schedule an appointment for a Mental Health Medication Evaluation; you can also get support from your counselor or the intake counselor to set this up with RFMC.

Alcohol-Drug Abuse Services:
Alcohol and other drug assessments are available (free unless court-ordered or mandated by Residence Life and then a fee will be charged) for currently enrolled students through Counseling Services.