College counseling and mental health practice have evolved to the point they are considered de rigueur in higher education. Confidentiality is a professional ethical mandate that the counselor conducts counseling while keeping the client’s identity and content of the sessions private. The Tarasoff decision and a number of subsequent cases held that liability applies when the counselor reasonably believed, or should have believed, that the client posed a serious danger to an identifiable potential victim. A dilemma since the mid-1980s has been whether counselors should warn partners of HIV-positive AIDS clients. The risks of encountering violence in the workplace vary considerably depending on the nature of counseling work and setting. In the post-Tarasoff era, college counselors, like all mental health professionals, have a legal and ethical obligation to prevent clear and imminent danger to the client and others.
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This chapter provides an overview of the historical, developmental, medical, and contemporary considerations regarding college student development as they apply to college counseling centers. It describes documented significant transition from who provided counseling, to the focus of counseling what remains constant is the need to remain current with regard to continuing changes in higher education. The expansion of vocational services paved the way for college counselors to begin addressing social and personal concerns in a counseling context and provided momentum for universities to expand the role of college and university counseling centers. The chapter addresses historical foundations of college counseling, originating with faculty providing services to that of a specialized, highly trained staff of mental health professionals composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and others. Information from research and national surveys has been included to underscore the important changes in college mental health.
This chapter provides basic career counseling and advising information for college counselors, advisors, and student affairs professionals. Career counseling services include career counseling, testing, career planning and development interventions, cooperative education and experiential career education, and job placement and employment services. Career interest inventories may be inappropriate for students with severe mental or emotional disturbances. The chapter discusses several most popular inventories used for career and academic planning. The self-directed search (SDS) classifies an individual into six different personality-work typologies. A number of computer-based programs have been developed to assist clients and students in career exploration. Career planning resources have become very popular and can play a helpful role in providing additional information regarding career choice. The career functioning assessment (CFA) provides a conceptual framework to assess a client’s current occupational functioning and serves as a starting point for assessing future career success.
The typical age of onset for many severe psychotic disorders is late adolescence through early adulthood, an age range coinciding with the college population. Clearly, college counseling centers can play an important role in retention of students with severe mental disorders. This chapter presents a case example of how to make a referral. Due to the high-profile tragedies at Virginia Tech and other campuses, college counselors are under pressure to share concerns regarding students and to provide mandated counseling and assessment. The treatment of eating disorders continues to be very challenging for college counseling centers. College counselors have reported an increase in students presenting with self-injurious behaviors (SIBs) for some length of time. It has only been recently that college officials began to acknowledge students with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Psychoeducational groups have become popular on virtually all college campuses.
Crisis and trauma are terms that have become alarmingly common in the United States. This chapter talks about crisis and trauma interventions which involve those of both an individual nature, students who do harm to themselves and of a mass nature, and students who do harm to multiple students or perpetuate events that threaten the safety of many students. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Risk factors for suicide include traumatic or stressful life events, prior attempts, isolation and lack of emotional support, and access to a suicide method. Safety usually involves a battery of activities: notifying parents or guardians, possible hospitalization, post hospitalization plan, medication, ongoing counseling, spiritual support for many, continued assessment, possible group counseling, support group, and so forth. The crisis management team (CMT) must communicate with campus administration, faculty, students, and legal authorities during crisis times.
College counseling has entered an era that promises to be radically different than any time in its previous 100-year history. College students in this 21st century are more technologically advanced than previous generations and more likely to take virtual classes than previous generations of college students. Traditional services provided by the college counseling center are: individual and group counseling, psychoeducational groups, evaluation and assessment, career counseling, consultation to faculty and staff, medication management and resident advisor (RA) training. Nontraditional services are defined as virtual counseling, advising, and related services offered via distance technology. College counseling centers have long offered types of self-instructional services. They will need to address social media in ways that are both ethically sound and also able to effectively engage college students in seeking counseling services. The counselor can administer the Dimensions of a Healthy Lifestyle Scale (DHLS) to the client and then discuss the findings.