Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my first appointment?

To schedule an appointment at the School of Engineering CWS please call 718-260-3456 or visit our office. We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A staff member will meet with you for a 45-minute intake appointment to discuss your concerns and gather background information.

If you think that you may require immediate attention on account of a crisis or emergency, please contact us.

Who is eligible for services?

All currently enrolled the School of Engineering students are eligible for FREE and confidential short-term psychological services at CWS.

Staff and faculty members interested in psychological services can obtain a referral from a CWS staff member to an outside agency or practitioner.

Is counseling confidential? Is it part of my academic record?

Because the School of Engineering CWS staff members are licensed psychologists, social workers and medical doctors in the State of New York (or working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or social worker) they are required by law and ethics to maintain confidentiality. This means that no information about your experience at the counseling center, even the fact that you attended an appointment, can be released without you signed permission.

No information gathered by the School of Engineering CWS will be included in your academic record. When you leave the School of Engineering, your participation in counseling remains private.

Please note that there are legal exceptions to confidentiality that require mental health care professionals to take responsible action. These generally involve situations involving child or adult abuse or neglect, court orders or subpoena of records, or danger to self or others.

Any communication you have with a therapist at the School of Engineering CWS outside of a therapy session may be recorded in your file at the School of Engineering CWS. Communication could be information shared face to face with your therapist, e-mail messages, phone calls, etc. Please be aware that if you use e-mail to communicate with your counselor, we cannot that your e-mail message will be secure in transit.

Effective counseling requires an atmosphere of trust. If you have any questions about confidentiality, you should raise them at the beginning of you first meeting.

How long will my appointment take?

Appointments usually begin at the start of the hour and run for 45 minutes.

What should I expect at my first appointment?

The first thing you will be asked to do is to complete an intake form. This form will have contact information, questions about your background, and your current concerns. This takes about 15-20 minutes so please arrive early for your first appointment, which is referred to as an “intake appointment.”

During your meeting you will have a chance to describe why you are seeking counseling and why you have chosen this particular time to do so. The counselor will explain and answer your questions about the therapeutic process. He or she will ask for information about your present situation, your family background, general health and self-care, and important relationships in your life. You may be asked to discuss past experiences with this or similar problems and how you have tried to solve them.

At the end of the intake session, you and the counselor will have identified some of the issues you want to work on and will consider a few options. You may decide to:

  • Make another appointment with the same therapist to talk further, set counseling goals, and plan how to work together;
  • Be referred to another therapist in the center or off campus who specializes in the issues that concern you;
  • Take a different action that might improve your situation, such as attending workshops or groups;
  • Be referred to another office on campus that might be useful to you;
  • Participate in a counseling or support group offered that semester.

Occasionally, students find that an initial consultation with a counselor meets their needs and they need no further services.

If I go to the School of Engineering CWS does it mean there is something wrong with me?

No. Students who use the School of Engineering CWS are interested in their personal growth and maximizing their experience at the School of Engineering. It is not uncommon for students to experience occasional difficulties that can interfere with their success or sense of well-being. These can include academic problems; conflicts with friends, family, or relationship partners; indecision about academic major or career plans; excessive feelings of stress or depression; grief; loneliness; or any concern that is distressing and distracting.

Therapy is an opportunity to talk to a trained professional who will help you survey the situation, assess where the problem lies, and develop helpful solutions. The counselor will listen without judging you, will help you to clarify your own thinking and feelings, and will provide information relevant to your problem.

How can I get the most out of my experience?

Psychotherapy is a 2-way process that works the best when you and your therapist communicate openly and have the same treatment goals. Therapy works the best and you will get the most out of it when you give some forethought as to what you want to discuss during each session. Being in therapy can be difficult at times but individuals willing to work in close partnership with their therapist often find relief from their emotional distress and begin to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

How do I know if therapy is working for me?

From the start of you experience at the School of Engineering CWS we ask that you think about what you would like to be different or change as a result of your experience in therapy. For some students this may be controlling their anxiety on a test and for others, controlling being overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and depression, or simply seeking support for a difficult period in his or her life. Focusing on what you would like out of your counseling experience helps us set goals with you so that we can monitor our progress. After a few sessions, it is good to reflect on what initially brought you to the CWS and how things have changed or what would be helpful to focus on during your sessions.