College can be exciting, challenging, and at times, stressful and overwhelming. It is common for college students to encounter situations or problems that may interfere with their academic progress and success. Personal Counseling at Morningside College provides students an opportunity to explore their thoughts and feelings with an objective person in a safe, confidential setting built on trust and mutual respect. Counseling can help you gain insight, knowledge, and new skills so you are more able to manage your current struggles, as well as be more prepared to take on life's challenges as they arise in the future. The focus of Personal Counseling is on acknowledging individual worth and personal growth and development.
All students currently enrolled in 9 or more credit hours at Morningside College are eligible to receive services from Personal Counseling Services. Part-time students currently enrolled in fewer than 9 credits are eligible to receive a one-time consultation appointment and referrals. The presence of individuals (e.g., spouses, parents, friends, etc.) other than the identified client in counseling sessions will be permitted only for the exclusive purpose of providing necessary therapeutic support to or information about the client. Students who are under 18 may be requested to obtain the written permission of a parent or guardian to receive counseling. Such students may be seen for an initial consultation appointment without written parental release.
There is no fee to see the Personal Counselor. That's right—it's free. Services are voluntary, confidential, and available when classes are in session during the academic year (August through May).
The Personal Counseling Service's policy regarding the confidentiality of its services is based on applicable laws and ethical standards. Personal Counselors are governed by the legal and ethical codes pursuant to their licensure standards. These standards emphasize the critical nature of the principle of confidentiality to effective counseling services. We are dedicated to maintain scrupulous observance of the confidentiality of our clientele. Our primary obligation and responsibility is to our clients, and the interests of other students, faculty, staff, family, outside agencies, and other parties are considered secondary. Thus, the general policy is that no information, verbal or written, including whether or not a particular student is a client of Personal Counseling Services, will be released without the specific and written permission of the client.
However, there are exceptions. If there is concern that an individual may pose a serious threat of harm to himself/herself or others, confidentiality may not be preserved pursuant to applicable state laws in an effort to protect that student or members of the community. In addition, if a counselor becomes aware of any abuse committed against a minor or elder person, the counselor is mandated by law to report that abuse to appropriate authorities. Finally, in rare occasions, if Personal Counseling records are asked for release by court ordered subpoena, confidentiality may be broken. It should be noted that the situations listed above happen very rarely.
Morningside students may utilize the services of the Personal Counselor for varied personal reasons. Some examples include (but are not limited to):
- Relationship discord with roommates, friends, or family
- Difficulty within a romantic relationship or a relationship break-up
- Stress and time management
- Loss and grief
- Lack of motivation or difficulty relaxing, concentrating or studying
- Feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation, and/or anxiety
- Sexual identity concerns
- Body image and eating issues
- Substance use/abuse problems
- Uncertainties about personal values and beliefs
The focus of Personal Counseling at Morningside is on helping students with personal issues. If your concerns are academic rather than personal, you may wish to contact Student Services at x5104 or your academic advisor.
Stop by Mrs. Meister's office in Student Services, located on the second floor of Lewis Hall, Room 219. You may also contact Mrs. Meister to schedule an appointment by calling x5606 or by emailing your appointment request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be advised that email is not a completely secure or confidential means of communication and greater privacy can be provided when you speak directly with Mrs. Meister via the telephone or in person. During busy times of the year, there may be a wait of several days before an initial appointment can be made. However, if something is urgent, please contact Mrs. Meister immediately and she will arrange to see you or assist in getting you connected with appropriate community resources that can help you manage the crisis or emergency.