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The counseling process

In order to be as transparent as possible, we want to outline what to expect when you contact the counseling center at Augustana College. We recommend calling our center at 309-794-7357, walking into our center at Founders 206, or emailing Cheri Mizaur to schedule an initial consultation.

Initial consultation

You will receive an initial consultation appointment upon scheduling with the counseling center. Please, arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment, as we require a confidential symptom survey prior to your consultation to help us understand your level of distress. During the initial consultation, we will gather preliminary information about your history and your concerns, reviewing current stressors and supports as well as any other relevant information. The point of the initial consultation is to screen for mental health service needs and to reduce any anxiety about the counseling process.

After the initial consultation, we will recommend the appropriate treatment option to suit your needs. Typical treatment options include group workshops, group counseling, or individual counseling. On occasion, we may refer you to an outside resource if the severity of your mental health needs outweighs our competencies. You are our priority, and we must be honest about our ability to help you. We also may refer you to another service at Augustana College (such as CORE or advising) if we believe their professional recommendations will suit you better. Consultations typically last 30-45 minutes. After the initial consultation session, you may be matched with a different counselor for your treatment.

• Initial consultation sessions are available by appointment.

Group workshops

Group workshops focus on building skills to help you cope with your distress. Currently, we offer three workshops that cover a variety of topics from self-compassion, stress reduction, to anxiety management. These workshops are not process-oriented groups, so you will not share personal experiences or work through your current life stressors (as in in group counseling); rather, these workshops teach you strategies to relieve your distress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Consistent attendance is strongly encouraged but is not a requirement for participation.

You may be recommended to attend a group workshop during your initial consultation, but an initial consultation is not a prerequisite to attend these workshops. Any student is welcome to attend a group workshop. Below is a schedule for the workshops in the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year. We will send out bi-weekly email blasts with the topics for the next two weeks of the group workshops.

• Workshop 1: Wednesday. 11:15-12:15, Founders 207 (Hellstedt Conference Room)

• Workshop 2:  Thursday, 2:45-3:45, Founders 207 (Hellstedt Conference Room)

• Workshop 3: Friday. 11:15-12:15, Founders 207 (Hellstedt Conference Room)

Group counseling

We strongly recommend group counseling as a treatment intervention, because we believe in the power of immediate peer feedback in a safe, therapeutic environment, moderated by trained therapists. While we understand Augustana students are busy, we encourage you to make time to attend group counseling for a minimum of six sessions in order to receive the most therapeutic benefit. We schedule groups weekly, and we work with the registrar’s office to determine the best times for group counseling sessions.

Sometimes, you may be referred to both group and individual counseling sessions to process your group experience privately or to work on sensitive topics outside of the group experience. The group process is a particularly rewarding therapeutic experience, as the process shows you are not alone and that you can give and receive meaningful support to others.

• Typical course of treatment: Six sessions ( a total of 12 sessions a semester)

• Monday 11:15-12:15, Founders 207 (Hellstedt Conference Room)

Short-term individual counseling

Short-term individual counseling provides solutions and brief interventions focused on helping you adjust to life’s stressors, maintain positive therapeutic gains, or encourage healthy coping strategies. Short-term individual counseling will help you adjust to stressful situations and work through new insights and skills to experience a stronger sense of well-being.

• Typical course of treatment: Three-six sessions

Long-term individual counseling

Long-term individual counseling is an appropriate treatment option if you have longstanding mental health needs or if you require extensive support to recover from significant stressors. Long-term individual counseling uses evidenced-based practices to help you work through emotional pain and negative beliefs about yourself in order to help you develop a healthier outlook of yourself and your future.

• Typical course of treatment: 10-12 sessions

Crisis counseling

We offer emergency counseling sessions to students who require immediate stabilization or support due to an active crisis that has overwhelmed all coping strategies. These sessions are 30-minutes and solution-focused in nature. After this initial meeting, we strongly recommend making an appointment for an initial consultation, so we can refer you to the appropriate treatment option outlined above.

Emergency sessions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis during the hours of 8:45-9:45 a.m., 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m.

Referral to outside treatment services

If you present with a mental health need that requires outside services, either as a supplement to campus counseling services or as a primary service, we will refer you to treatment in the Quad-Cities. We refer to provide you with the best possible care while you attend Augustana College. Augustana College also provides a variety of transportation options to medical and mental health appointments. We are happy to discuss those options with you at any time.

Termination of services

We are always aware of your workload and the stress of college living; therefore, we are ever watchful of the potential intrusiveness of counseling services. To adhere to best practices, we adhere to time-sensitive counseling interventions. We provide focused, goal-oriented interventions with the intention of relieving, recovering, or rehabilitating from your symptoms and your stressors.

When providing individual counseling sessions, we work collaboratively with you to create timely treatment plans; however, we encourage students to attend group sessions even after the completion of individual counseling.

Furthermore, Augustana College offers a variety of peer support and peer advocacy groups to help maintain your well-being. Please, make sure to discuss ongoing resources with your counselor towards the end of your treatment and connect with positive groups and clubs at Augustana College.

Academic accommodations

We often receive requests to provide evaluations for academic accommodations. While we understand the urgency of obtaining an evaluation, we are unable to provide such evaluations due to the nature of our practice and the resources available. We are happy to provide a list of community resources to facilitate the process, and we encourage students to collect documentation such as a diagnostic evaluation or a history of functional or academic impairment to streamline the process. Once you have the required documentation, we would be happy to talk through the next steps with you.

You also may contact Yen Dao, director of student success services, 309-794-8026, to determine what services are available to you.

Resources for psychological evaluations

The following referral sources have licensed psychologists who will provide you with clinical assessments and documentation, if appropriate, for academic accommodations here at Augustana College. To schedule an appointment, please call the number provided and explain that you want an assessment for academic accommodations.

Resources for psychological evaluations

The following referral sources have licensed psychologists who will provide you with clinical assessments and documentation, if appropriate, for academic accommodations at Augustana College. To schedule an appointment, please call the number provided and explain that you want an assessment for academic accommodations.

Ben Layer, M.S., S.S.P.; 309-798-0511
Purpose Coaching & Enrichment Center, 1800 7th Ave., Suite 301, Moline, Ill., 61265.

Dr. Jackie Jiang Counseling & Evaluation; 309-893-4269
1586 37th Ave., Moline, Ill., 61265

Genesis Psychology Associates; 563-355-2577
4455 East 56th St., Davenport, Iowa, 52807

Psychology Health Group; 563-359-4049
2102 East 38th St., Davenport, Iowa, 52807

Southpark Psychology; 309-797-2900
2100 52nd Ave., Moline, Ill., 61265

Family Counseling & Psychology; 563-355-1611
2485 Tech Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa, 52722