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Questions about Counseling

What is counseling?

Counseling is a confidential process where those struggling with some aspect of life enter into a therapeutic relationship in order to gain insight and make changes in their life. This may involve exploring thoughts, perceptions, reactions, behaviors and/or emotions in order to better understand oneself. Counseling aims to help people improve their wellbeing, alleviate distress, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live in ways consistent with their values. Your therapist may at times suggest exploring potential solutions such as relaxation training, journaling, role-playing, talking with relevant individuals, reading assignments, or even “homework.” How the therapeutic process will progress depends on your needs and goals.


How do I know if I need counseling?

In general, it is helpful to seek counseling if you are encountering a struggle that you have had difficulty resolving on your own that is negatively impacting your life or ability to function. It is a misconception that one has to be diagnosed with a mental illness to attend counseling; therapy has been shown to be helpful for most people, regardless of what brought them to therapy. People seek counseling for a wide variety of different types of struggles, such as anxiety, depression, relational conflict, self-esteem, emotional crisis, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, other safety concerns, disordered eating, family struggles, grief/loss, struggles with identity, etc.


How do I know it’s safe?

In accordance with our commitment to honoring diversity, counseling at Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling incorporates a focus on and affirmation of an individual’s intersecting identities and seeks to provide a non-judgmental environment in which diverse worldviews are honored. Additionally, services provided are confidential, meaning that your information is kept private and protected according to applicable ethical codes and legal standards.


Is everything I say in counseling confidential?

The staff members at the Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling follow the professional, legal and ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and the state of Oklahoma. This means that information about your counseling sessions is not shared with anyone without your expressed written permission. However, there are some exceptions. These exceptions include:

  • If there is the possibility of harm to the client or another person,
  • In the cases of any known or suspected abuse of a child, elderly person, or other vulnerable adult
  •  If records are subpoenaed by the court
  •  Other limited instances (e.g., an ethical complaint is filed against the counselor)

As a general rule, for clients over the age of 18, the counselor is unable to release any information to the client’s parents, professors, or anyone else outside of the Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling staff without written consent from the client. For clients under the age of 18, other guidelines may apply. Please ask your counselor for more information about confidentiality.


How long will I need to be in counseling?

Just as all people are unique, concerns that bring people to therapy are unique. Thus, there is no set number of sessions that will allow for the change and growth that you seek. Many concerns can be dealt with in a brief period of time, but this is not always the case. It is important to understand that your counselor will work with the pace that you are comfortable with. Some people heal quickly, while it takes others more time. You and your counselor will work together to set goals for your time in therapy and will check in regularly about your progress. Eventually, you and your counselor may decide that you have met your set goals; at this time, you will work together to decide how to best end your time together.


What if I need to talk to my counselor between sessions?

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, you are welcome to contact your counselor at the phone number or email address they have provided to you; please do not contact your counselor via text message. Alternatively, you can contact our main office at 918-594-8568 and leave a message for your counselor. If you have urgent needs or safety concerns and need to speak to a counselor immediately, please call COPES at 918-744-4800. Please be aware that email is used only for appointment scheduling and initial paperwork purposes; if you have a concern or thought about what you’d like to discuss with your counselor, we recommend you write it down in a safe place and bring it with you to your next counseling session.


Why do I have to wait to meet with a counselor?

The Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling is committed to providing the best services possible to both the OSU and larger Tulsa communities. Because of this commitment, our services are often in high demand, particularly toward the end of our academic semester. In most healthcare settings, waiting 2-3 weeks for an appointment is fairly common. Please know that we are working diligently to provide services in a timely manner and do our best to estimate wait time when we have our initial phone call with you. If, at that time, you feel you need more immediate services, we are happy to provide referrals to other community agencies.


What other things should I know?

  • Please remember to bring cash or a check with you to your appointment – there isn’t an ATM on campus. Don’t worry about bringing the exact amount, we can make change.
  • Anybody above the age of 18 has to make their own appointments, including making the initial phone call.
  • If you are a minor (under the age of 18), please have your guardian attend the initial appointment with you in order to sign paperwork and answer questions.
  • If you are coming to services for relationship or family counseling, everyone who is attending the session needs to complete the respective paperwork.
  • There is an all-gender bathroom across the hall from the counseling center
  • The more open and honest you are with your counselor, the more helpful counseling can be. However, you will not be forced to talk about anything you don’t feel ready to talk about. When you do choose to talk about something that is difficult for you, your counselor will listen in a non-judgmental and empathic manner.
  • As with all relationships, you may occasionally have a misunderstanding or miscommunication with your counselor. It’s important to tell your counselor about any negative or uncomfortable feelings you have about the counselor or the counseling process. These discussions can become an important part of the counseling process.
  • As physical conditions can contribute to or be the cause of psychological symptoms, your therapist may recommend a physical evaluation with a medical doctor.



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