What is counseling?
Counseling may include academic advising or career development issues, but its focus is primarily on identifying and resolving personal problems that jeopardize your college success. Your success may not depend on counseling, but discussing your concerns with a counselor can be very effective in finding solutions to difficult problems. There is little risk in counseling except that it may facilitate changes in your life. Although such changes may be positive, they might also feel unsettling.
Who can receive counseling and what is required?
Any North Idaho College student enrolled in credit courses may receive free counseling as part of the services paid for in student fees. However, this does not include the family or friends of students, people planning to enroll in the future, or students who have withdrawn or completed their NIC enrollment. Successful counseling will require only your honest participation and your willingness to work with your counselor to resolve the problems presented or discovered. Keeping scheduled appointments or contacting your counselor in advance of necessary cancellations will be part of your commitment to counseling.
Who provides the counseling and what will they do?
The N.I.C. counseling staff is made up of qualified counselors with masters degrees in counseling or they are supervised interns who are in their final stages of earning their counseling degree. They are all friendly, open, caring, and eager to help you. Your counselor will meet with you regularly (usually fifty minute sessions), listen carefully to what you have to say, help you clarify your concerns, and offer strategies to address those concerns. Counseling objectives include stabilizing crisis situations, teaching crisis prevention skills, offering short term support for any issue or concern, and arranging referrals for any needed medical psychotherapeutic treatment or long term support.
Is counseling confidential?
All information you share within the counseling relationship is confidential except in the following situations.
- If you sign a "release of information" form requesting or agreeing to the release of information to other specified people.
- If you become a danger to yourself or to others, requiring the counselor to take any necessary action to prevent harm.
- If consultation with counseling supervision, other NIC counselors, or an NIC treatment team of counselors and medical professionals is needed to assure your quality care.
- If a court orders the release of information to serve the cause of justice.
- If there is knowledge or suspicion of child or elder abuse (state law requires reporting).