Students seek counseling for several reasons including high stress levels, loneliness, depressed or sad mood, lack of concentration, poor eating habits, difficulty adjusting to new surroundings, relationship problems, and worries about all of these and other things!
From the Director
Free Confidential Online Screening
College Response online screening for depression, alcohol, and eating disorders can help you decide whether a consultation with one of our counselors would be helpful.
Resource for Faculty and Staff
The Houghton College Counseling Center’s mission comprises four fundamental components.
Our first and foremost goal is to provide individual and group counseling for the students of Houghton College. Our counselors are approachable and will take an interest in your concerns. Each year, about 17 to 19% (about 205 students) of the student body is involved in some form of individual or group counseling.
In addition, we place an emphasis on continued training for our staff to assure that each student in counseling receives competent care.
Education is also an important function for us, which we provide in a number of ways. In fact, counseling itself is in part educational. This is especially true when working with young adults. Many of the concerns college students bring to counseling are developmental in nature and education helps them resolve many of these issues.
We are involved in the training of the residence life staff each year. The RA’s participate in workshops to enhance listening skills, confronting skills, and crisis intervention. We have also been an internship site for graduate students from Alfred and Saint Bonaventure Universities. We also provide in-class presentations on a variety of topics as requested by faculty.
The Center also has a resource library for student use. Come in and check out some of the titles on relationships, family issues, sexual harassment, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, stress, grief, etc. Books, videotapes and cassettes may be borrowed for personal use or classroom research.
You may not want or need a counseling experience, but you may have a question about how to handle a difficult roommate, a situation at home, or a sticky relationship. You can simply request to meet with a counselor for a “one-time consult.”
We also offer consultations for faculty and staff who may be concerned about a student they come in contact with frequently; perhaps in a class or the residence hall.
Our counseling staff is limited and we cannot offer long term counseling for faculty or staff, but we can assist with personal consultation and referrals.
At times throughout the year a student may find themselves in a crisis. Perhaps a family member has been taken seriously ill or has died, or a student feels suicidal and takes an overdose of medication. Whatever the situation, having someone to help manage this crisis is important.
Faculty is briefed on intervention and introductory counseling procedures to help manage the situation until a health professional arrives to assess the student. Our counselors are available at any hour to help students and staff with these situations.
You can reach us by calling 567-9622 from off campus or extension 6220 on campus for instructions to reach a counselor immediately.
Improve Your Mental Health
Change is hard and this unexpected change has be particularly challenging for all of us. The Counseling Center recognizes this struggle and has put together some resources that may be helpful to you….so take a look below for some useful pages, tips and suggestions.
1. Practice a Spiritual Discipline: Prayer of Examine
We are holistic beings and all parts of our wellness are interconnected. Engaging in one spiritual discipline, in the form of the prayer of examine, has a positive effect on all parts of our wellness. Like breathing exercises engaging in prayer calms our stress responses.
2. Design Your Days
Dis-order makes it very challenging for humans to function. Establishing routine helps you to know what to expect. This routine is beneficial for the brain, body, and your mental wellness. The Design your Days packet is tool to help you think though what is necessary, important, and rhythmic as you adjust to living, working, and being in a new space.
3. Check and Handle Cognitive Distortions
Cognitive distortions are patterns in thinking that cause people to come to inaccurate conclusions about themselves or the world around them. Below are a video and worksheet that show different cognitive distortions. Most people practice some of these thought patterns. However, there are tools to help us to not get stuck in these patterns. The video below offers a few tips to handle cognitive distortions. Examining your beliefs for evidence helps us to see when we are thinking in distortions.
What are Cognitive Distortions:
4. Move your body
When we encounter stress our body builds up extra energy to combat it. At times what our body needs is for us to get up and move to burn off that energy in order to feel less stress. This can be in the form of daily exercise but it also can mean taking breaks of walking around the block or even around your home.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a therapeutic practice that brings what is going on in and around you into awareness. Mindfulness is achieved by an individual focusing on the moment, while acknowledging and accepting thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness helps an individual to not let the external circumstances control your internal self. The work book below is a tool for learning more about mindfulness and exercises to practice.
“Select your time, level, focus, voice, and music, and Down Dog creates a unique, personalized yoga practice every time.”
“Includes a 10-day beginner’s course that guides you through the essentials of meditation and mindfulness. It’ll give you a solid foundation to build your practice on.”
“Enjoy this curation of meditations, sleep stories, music and more, all hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this time.”
“An expert weighs in on the psychological effects of an outbreak, and the steps we can take to prioritize our well-being.”
“Astronauts spend months alone combining work and home environments in space. Here’s what they suggest.”
“When the obnoxious voice in your head starts putting you down, try some of these sayings for instant positivity.”