What You Should Know About Making a Referral to the Counseling Center
When you have decided that professional counseling is indicated, inform the student in a gentle yet direct, concerned, straight-forward manner. Because many students initially resist the idea of counseling, it is useful to be caring, but firm, in your judgment that counseling will be useful. Be clear and concrete regarding the reasons you are concerned. However, except in emergencies, it is important to allow the student to accept or refuse counseling.
Suggest that the student call or come in to make an appointment. Give the Counseling Center phone number (410-617-2273) and location (Humanities Center, one flight up in the turret). Remind the student that our services are FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
Sometimes it is useful or necessary to assist the student more directly in the appointment-setting process. In these instances, you can offer the use of your phone, or call the receptionist yourself, while the student is in your office. In an immediate emergency, you may decide to actually walk the student over to the Counseling Center. If possible, a call that you are bringing a student would be appreciated. Since a student can best be helped by counseling if he or she is self-motivated, reserve the more direct approaches of referral for instances that you believe to be emergencies.
Finally, if you are concerned about a student but unsure about the appropriateness of the referral, feel free to call the Counseling Center at 410-617-2273 for a consultation.
A FINAL NOTE ON CONFIDENTIALITY: We are required by law and by professional ethics to protect the confidentiality of all communication between psychologist and client (except in cases where harm to self or harm to others is indicated). Consequently, we cannot discuss with others the details of a student's situation or even indicate whether the student is, in fact, in counseling. In order for information about the student to be released to you or others, we must first get the written permission of the student. However, students are typically more trusting of the counseling relationship if they believe that their privacy and confidentiality are maintained by their counselors. Therefore, it is not our usual practice to request a release of information from a student when he or she is referred for counseling. You may, however, wish to follow up with the student about your referral.