Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Is counseling just for “crazy” or “sick” people?  

    A: Everyone experiences challenges with their mental health, just like with their physical health. Mental health issues can have many sources and are experienced by diverse people; men and women, children, teenagers, young adults and the elderly, people from big cities and small towns, and everyone in between. Seeking counseling to benefit your mental health shows you have the strength to admit you are facing challenges and the maturity and intelligence to seek out the support that will help you achieve the best experience possible at Alma College. 

  • Q: When do I know I need counseling? 

    A: Your mental health is a lot like your physical health, and you don’t wait until your teeth are falling out to go see a dentist! Seeking counseling can be a first step, and where you go from there is up to you! You and your counselor may decide to schedule another appointment, may refer you to another resource on or off campus, or you may find a single session was all you needed to start feeling better. 

  • Q: Can my parent/teacher/coach find out? 

    A: Everything that is discussed within a counseling session is covered by confidentiality, meaning that nobody but you and your counselor can access that information. To ensure safety for yourself and for others, there are exceptions to confidentiality. As per the Counseling and Wellness Center Privacy Policy, “Counseling records are kept separate from academic, disciplinary and medical records to ensure student’s privacy and confidentiality. No information is released without the knowledge and written consent of the student except for those rare instances where clinicians are required by law or by court order to reveal particular information. In an emergency situation where students demonstrate a high probability of harming themselves or others, the staff may be required to release information to ensure safety.” 

  • Q: How often do I need to schedule appointments? 

    A: Your counselor will work with you to determine what frequency of appointments will be the most beneficial to you.

  • Q: How do I schedule an appointment?

    A: Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We are closed over the lunch hour form Noon-1:00 p.m. We are located in the Wilcox Medical Building, with our entrance on the North side of the building (facing the football stadium stands). To make an appointment with one of our counselors, stop by our office or call the office at (989) 463-7225. 

  • Q: How much does counseling cost?

    A: The Counseling and Wellness Center’s counseling services are free to any Alma College student.

  • Q: How long is a session?

    A: A typical counseling session is about 50 minutes long.

  • Q: What kinds of problems do you deal with?

    A: Students come to the Counseling Center for a variety of reasons. These may include:

    • Homesickness
    • Roommate concerns
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Relationship problems
    • Substance abuse issues
    • Variety of other stressful situations

    Students often find that the Counseling Center is a comfortable place where they can come and talk to someone about anything—whether it is a life-changing event or they just want someone who is there to listen.

  • Q: How do I know if I should seek counseling?

    A: Counseling is an excellent way to get help and support if you’re dealing with a stressful situation. Sometimes it may feel uncomfortable to discuss issues like relationship or family problems, depression, or homesickness, with friends, family members, or your RA. This is what counselors are for. Our role is to listen impartially and work with you to resolve or better understand your situation.