About Counseling

About Counseling

Help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and more...

Counseling and therapy is available, free of charge, to currently registered Northeastern Illinois University students. We know that emotional distress, relationship difficulties and personal concerns can make it very difficult to perform well and achieve your academic goals. Counseling and therapy is provided to help you understand and deal with those issues, freeing you to make clearer and healthier decisions. Explore personal problems in your life including anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, relationship problems, anger, addictions, and many other difficulties that may cause stress and disrupt your life.

All current Northeastern students are eligible to receive up to 50 individual or couple counseling sessions, depending on your needs and the capacity of our staff. Group sessions are also provided, depending on availability. Faculty and staff are also eligible for some limited services. Services provided include individual counseling or therapy, group therapy, couple counseling, referrals and consultation. When additional services are needed, referrals can be made to outside providers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling

How can I tell if counseling is right for me?

You may benefit from psychological counseling for a variety of reasons... For instance, you may wish to find solutions to specific problems in your life, explore issues in your relationships, better understand your feelings, or develop greater self-esteem. In these cases, working with a trained psychologist or counselor may help. Nothing is off-limits to discuss; counselors have worked with people who have experienced a tremendous variety of difficulties. They are trained to listen, understand, and help you with the kinds of problems that you may not be able to resolve on your own.

Am I unusual in feeling I might need counseling?

No, you're not. Many students seek counseling at distressing times in their lives. In fact, Northeastern's Counseling Services provided over 3,000 counseling sessions last year to Northeastern students. Counseling is a "normal" and growthful process that aims to help you with problems you may not be able to resolve on your own.

What problems can I explore?

In a counseling relationship, you can explore a variety of issues, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • grief and loss
  • eating disorders
  • problems in current relationships
  • incest or sexual abuse
  • drinking, drug or other addictions
  • many other issues...

In cases where your needs extend beyond the range of our services, we will refer you to other qualified professionals in the community.

What happens when I first meet with a counselor?

When you first call for an appointment, we will schedule an "intake" session, which we try to arrange within a week or so of your call although sometimes it may take a bit longer. During this intake session, we will ask you about your needs and determine which services might be best for you--for instance we might recommend individual, group or couple counseling, or perhaps other services. Sometimes, you may continue to work with the counselor you met during this intake appointment, but in other cases you might be connected to a different counselor whose schedule or training better matched your needs.

What's group counseling?

Individual counseling involves meeting with a counselor one-on-one to discuss your problems; in group counseling, you meet with a counselor along with several other students, and together explore areas of common concern. Group sessions are usually scheduled once a week, and the combined experiences and support of other group members can make this a very powerful form of helping. Discuss with a counselor which approach is most appropriate to your needs. A Group Counseling FAQ is available here.

What about confidentiality?

Counseling requires a private and confidential relationship in which you can feel safe to talk about your concerns. Consequently, information you share with your counselor is treated as confidential, according to professional ethics, University regulations, and state and federal law. In general, we won't release information about you to others without your prior written consent, and information that you share in counseling does not become part of your academic record. We do not discuss information about you with your instructors or your supervisors, nor do we release information about you to your family members. However, there may be times when you want us to contact other counseling or medical providers; in that event, we require that you complete a written consent form authorizing us to do so. In this way, you are in control of information about your counseling. The only exceptions to this policy are those unusual circumstances when confidential information is needed to protect someone's health or safety, for instance, if we feel you present a clear and imminent risk of danger to yourself or someone else, or in cases of suspected child abuse, where disclosure is mandated by law.

Who is eligible?

Counseling services are available to currently registered NEIU students. We provide short-term treatment and the number of individual or couples therapy sessions are determined in collaboration with the therapist.  Group counseling services are available to Northeastern students without session limits. Discuss details of this policy with your counselor. 

Do you offer couples counseling?

To receive couples counseling, only one member of the couple need be a student.  Of course, availability of services is dependent on the capacity of our counseling staff and the suitability of our services to your needs.

Do services cost?

No. Counseling services are free to all current Northeastern students, in accord with the limits discussed above. When tests or inventories are used by our counselors to help you, they are also provided free of charge.

How do I refer someone else for counseling?

Referring a friend, student or colleague to counseling can be an important way of helping. Check out Making Referrals for tips on how to refer someone to Counseling Services.

Do you provide services for Faculty & Staff?

Northeastern's Counseling Services provides psychological consultation and referral services to members of the faculty and staff. While always available to help faculty or staff members understand the psychological aspects of their work with students, we also help connect employees with Northeastern's Employee Assitance Program, their health insurance resources or practitioners in the community. Check out Information for Faculty & Staff for details on securing counseling assistance for employees.

Getting Help

Consult Getting Help for information on how to see a counselor here at Northeastern or find help elsewhere off-campus.