How Counseling Works


Is counseling confidential?

York College Counseling Services are safe/confidential and in accordance with the American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics, HIPAA, and FERPA.

Information will be released ONLY with a student's written permission by completing a Consent Form (pdf) or‌ if a student's condition indicates clear and imminent danger to themselves or to others. All records are maintained according to state and federal laws of confidentiality. Information about the student's presence in counseling or details about what has been discussed does not become part of the student's college records. 


Why do students attend counseling?

Our data suggests that the top reasons students at York Collge access counseling is to address:

  • relationships
  • anxiety/worry
  • depression
  • stress management
  • self-esteem/confidence
  • loss/grief

There are a wide range of concerns for which students may choose to seek counseling. It is important to find resources for support, which can include speaking with a professional counselor to self reflect, problem solve, or gain a different perspective on the situation.


Do I see the same counselor every time?

The first meeting at Counseling Services occurs with the first available counselor. The student has the opportunity to express their concern(s) and work to identify the best way to address the situation. Students who choose to engage in the counseling process will be assigned to a specific clinical staff member for all subsequent visits.


How do I get started?

Making an Appointment- To schedule an appointment call or stop by our office during regular business hours. Click here for hours and phone number.

Forms- There are various forms required for different services. Upon scheduling your appointment it will be shared with you regarding the forms to be completed. 

Fees- Tuition covers counseling and mental health services at Counseling Services for all currently enrolled students. Your health insurance is not billed for appointments or other services provided by Counseling Services.


How many sessions will I attend?

The number and frequency of sessions depends on the particular situation for each student. Some students benefit from a small number of sessions while others may need more sessions. Our goal is to work with each individual person to develop an effective treatment approach that includes goals, strategies, and a time frame to adequately address the concerns. Recommendations for additional services could be required.  


How do I make the most of counseling?

Top 10 tips to get the most out of counseling sessions

  1. Attend all of your scheduled counseling sessions, or let the counselor know if you have to miss one.
  2. Arrive on time and try not to miss your scheduled appointments- this maximizes the time you have with your counselor.
  3. Be an active participant as you work with your counselor.
  4. Clarify your goals- write down your thoughts, be specific, and prioritize your concerns.
  5. Honestly and openly voice your thoughts and feelings in counseling. Ask questions and seek clarification.
  6. Let your counselor know if you are feeling worse or uncomfortable over the course of counseling.
  7. Be honest about safety concerns- your emotional and physical safety is our priority.
  8. Make time to think about the things you have discussed with your counselor in between sessions.
  9. Follow through on homework assignments from your counselor- pratice strategies and skills discussed in session. Consider keeping a journal to monitor progress.
  10. Capitalize on what's been discussed in session by trying out new approaches, ideas, etc. when on your own.


What happens if my mental health requires more intensive treatment?

During counseling, your counselor will work with you to determine the most appropriate level of care. In the event more intensive treatment is needed a referral may be necessary. This could include coordinating with off campus providers such as local counselors, group sessions, physicians, psychiatrists, and or the local hospitals. (York Hospital or Memorial Hospital)

Mental health hospitalizations can be necessary in emergency situations to help stabalize a student's emotional wellbeing. York College Counseling Services is dedicated to caring for and promoting coordination of mental health services for our students. Counseling Services will maintain confidentiality throughout the referral process and upon the student's return to our services. 


How do I complete a BASICS assessment?

Counseling Services offers a free BASICS assessment for students who want to investigate their behaviors related to alcohol and other substance use.  This is a confidential service we offer to all students enrolled in classes at York College.

If you are required to complete a BASICS assessment to meet a college sanction and would like to access Counseling Services for the assessment, you can contact us by stopping by our office located in the Wellness Center, Student Union Building, Lower Level Rm 120, or by calling 717-815-6437. Appointments fill up quickly so schedule an appointment as soon as possible.  Students are not required to complete this requirement through Counseling Services and may choose to complete it off campus. We can provide you with alternative resources (Note:  off-campus providers charge for the assessment). 

If there is a fine attached to your sanction it is not paid to Counseling Services.  Your letter from Judicial Affairs should indicate where to pay the fine.

A BASICS assessment in Counseling Services involves two sessions with a counselor. 

  1. The first session will take about 2 hours, so please allow that much time in your schedule. 
  2. The second session is scheduled directly after attending the first session.  It will be held two weeks later and will last approximately 45 minutes. 

If you sign a consent form, the counselor can notify Judicial Affairs once you have completed the assessment.  They will not share any other information with them.  You can talk more about that with the counselor at your first scheduled BASICS assessment appointment.