What is Counseling?

Counseling sessionCounseling provides an opportunity for individuals to learn to make better decisions, improve personal skills, develop increased confidence, overcome blocks to personal effectiveness, and acquire a keener awareness and appreciation of their needs and the needs of others. In a personal interaction with a counselor, a client is helped to explore and express feelings, examine beliefs and ways of thinking about the world, reflect on patterns of behavior, and work toward making healthy changes.

For many students, issues of relationship and personal development are central to their desire for counseling. Others may be experiencing specific psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, use of alcohol and other drugs, or difficulties in adjustment. Through counseling, persons with these complaints can have their problems assessed and treated. Treatment may include referral for medical evaluation or to other community resources.

At CAPS individual, group, and relationship counseling and psychiatric evaluations are offered. After an initial assessment, one or more of the following may be recommended.

Individual counseling provides an opportunity to learn to make better decisions, improve one's relationships, and generally increase personal effectiveness. With the help of a counselor, a person can explore feelings and express them better, examine beliefs, and work toward making healthy changes. Individual counseling off-campus is sometimes recommended if a students' counseling goals cannot be met within the limitations of our resources.

Group counseling offers an individual a chance to understand feelings and change problem behaviors with the support of peers with similar concerns. Each semester CAPS offers general therapy groups as well as groups addressing particular issues. Recent groups have focused on such topics as managing stress, exploring sexuality, bolstering academic effectiveness, nurturing interpersonal growth, dealing with dysfunctional families, and surviving trauma. Near the beginning of each semester, groups are announced on the CAPS web page for groups and publicized elsewhere on campus. If you are interested, call to make an appointment with the group leader before sessions begin. Membership in some groups is limited, so inquire early in the semester. We are often able to provide information on groups offered off-campus as well.

Relationship counseling is available to partners who want to improve an intimate relationship. To be eligible for couples counseling, both members of the couple must be currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte. Both members usually attend the first session with a counselor.