Frequently Asked Questions
For the purposes of this document, mental health counselor = therapist, counseling = therapy.
Does it mean I’m crazy if I want to talk with a mental health counselor?
No. It means that you are seeking assistance to reach a more satisfactory place in your life – be it with academics, relationships, or a host of many different situations and feelings. Counseling can help with your general well-being, reducing anxiety and depression, and thereby, help you focus on doing your best in school. People talk to mental health counselors for all kinds of concerns (e.g.- self-esteem, identity, family difficulties, relationship issues, procrastination, loss, cultural differences, abuse of various types, stress, etc.).
Would the mental health counselor I see tell any of my friends, family, or teachers about me getting therapy?
Mental health counseling is strictly confidential – between you and your therapist. The front desk cannot even say that they know you or that you have an appointment or have been seen at Psychological Services.
There are a few specific situations where confidentiality does not hold. These are those situations:
1) A person is planning to commit suicide.
2) “ homicidal or has intent to harm someone or someone’s property
3) “ gravely disabled (unable to care for their own basic needs)
4) “ abusing a child or reports suspected abuse
5) “ abusing an elderly person or reports suspected abuse
6) If a court has issued a subpoena for information
In the above situations, the therapist is legally bound to contact the appropriate authorities and file a report. They are also legally obligated to warn any intended victims in the case where there is intent to harm others.
How are therapist assignments made?
Most often, assignments are made based on schedule availability. The secretary will do his/her best to match your availability to that of an available therapist. All therapists have a wide range of experience in dealing with a host of issues.
How long could I be seen at Psychological Services?
Students are guaranteed an Initial Assessment (which generally takes one session). Sessions are approximately 45 minutes long. After the Initial Assessment, the therapist will make a recommendation regarding treatment. The therapist will determine whether the student will benefit from short term work at Psychological Services or if the student’s situation warrants a referral to a community mental health clinic or some other resource. Most often, these clinics have the ability to work with a student for more than just a few sessions. They also operate on sliding fee scales based on a student’s ability to pay.
If a student does not have any health insurance, the therapist can refer the student to San Francisco’s low cost insurance plan, Healthy San Francisco. (Healthy San Francisco is available only to San Francisco residents.). If a student already has health insurance they may be encouraged to contact their insurance company to secure a therapist from that company’s provider network. If the therapist determines that the student will be seen for short term work at Student Health, the number of sessions will be discussed with the student.
What if I don’t feel comfortable with the therapist?
Often times, it takes a couple of sessions to get comfortable with a new person. However, if you feel strongly that you are not connecting with your therapist, you may request a change of therapist once. Don’t let one uncomfortable session prevent you from pursuing therapy.
Do you do couple’s and family therapy?
We rarely do family therapy. However, we can refer you to community resources as needed. We DO offer couple’s therapy. Only one partner of the couple needs to be a currently enrolled credit student at CCSF to access this service.
What are the qualifications of the therapists?
All of our staff are California licensed mental health professionals, including Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Psychologists. Some of our therapists are closely supervised post-Master’s and post-Doctoral interns. Our staff is sensitive to issues of diversity and difference.
Can I get a letter from Psychological Services to help me drop a class?
Does Psychological Services do evaluations for disabilities?
Can Psychological Services certify my pet as a Service Animal?
No. While pets may be comforting, they aren’t service animals. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that a service animal is a dog (not cat, bird, or any other animal) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
Besides individual and couple’s counseling, what other services does Psychological Services offer?
We offer several groups each semester on various mental health concerns. The group topics vary from one semester to the next, so we encourage people to call or drop by Psychological Services at the beginning of the semester to see what is being offered that semester. Also, look for posted flyers around campus at the start of the semester.
Below are a few groups that have previously been offered, just to give you an idea:
“Reduce Stress and Tame Your Inner Critic”
“Stop Your Panic Attacks Now”
“Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse”
“Overcome Anxiety and Self-Consciousness”
“Tools for Improving Your Mood”
“Test Anxiety Workshop”
“LGBTIQ Support Group”
“Free Yourself from Obsessing about Food & Weight”
As with individual and couple’s counseling, group participation is confidential. What is said in group is kept in group. We strive to make group a safe place for people to share and learn. Certain group guidelines are maintained, including confidentiality, timeliness, and no abuse policy. Most groups require regular weekly attendance for the duration of the group (often up to one semester long), as this fosters continuity and trust. Workshops (such as the Test Anxiety Workshop) are one-time events held on specific dates.
Besides individual, couple’s and group counseling, Psychological Services also offers classroom presentations on various mental health topics and consultations to faculty.
We look forward to working with you. Please call us at (415) 452-5386 for clinic hours, to schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions.