Counseling Services

Making a ReferralWelcome Board

Some students may accept a referral for professional help better than others. It is usually best to be frank with students about the limits of your ability to assist them-limits of time, energy, training, objectivity. Most students find it reassuring that you respect their willingness to talk, and that you want to support them in getting the assistance they need. Confused students may be comforted to know that they don't necessarily have to know what's wrong before they can ask for help. Assure them that seeking help doesn't necessarily mean that they have serious problems. Feeling down or low on energy and motivation; experiencing difficulties in relationships with friends, parents, boy/girlfriends; feeling anxious or depressed; and having concerns about future goals or plans are all very good reasons for seeking professional assistance.

Remember, that except in dangerous emergencies, the decision whether to accept or reject the referral is ultimately the student's. If you want to know whether a student has accepted your referral, please ask them. It is unlawful for the CCS to provide any information about counseling to anyone without the student's written consent.

What Happens When a Student Goes to CCS for the First Time?

Whenever possible, students should make their own appointment. They can stop by or phone CCS. The receptionist will arrange for the student to meet with a staff member as soon as possible. In urgent situations, a counselor will assist the student immediately.

When a student first visits the CCS, there are information forms (which can be waived in emergencies) to fill out before the student sees a counselor. During the first appointment, an intake counselor will begin an assessment of the student's needs and the ways in which the CCS might be able to help. No information obtained in counseling shall be discussed in any way by the counselor without the client's written permission, unless disclosure is required by law. All services are free.

After the initial meeting, the intake counselor will review the students information with a professional team to determine the best service for your needs. If our model of services is not appropriate for your presenting concern we will assist in finding the services that will best meet your needs.

Should You Refer to a Specific Counselor?

When you refer a student, it is helpful to promote CCS in its entirety, rather than suggesting the student see a particular counselor. However, encouraging the student by sharing your knowledge and confidence in a counselor or counselors at the center is certainly appropriate. Encouraging the student to accept an appointment at the earliest available time slot will allow the student to be seen sooner and does not rule out the option of seeing a specified counselor at a later time.

Additional Consultation is Available to You

If you have chosen to refer a student, you may still have some questions about how best to handle the situation. Staff members at CCS would be pleased to help you.

For consultation from the CCS, call (317) 940-3985. Email is not a confidential mode of communication. Please do not send any information that has sensitive information, names, dates or scenarios if you would not want this known publicly. If you would like to consult regarding a sensitive issue, please phone the CCS.

This referral guide was developed by the Butler University Counseling Center Staff. Special thanks to the following counseling centers for providing helpful information: SUNY-Buffalo, Southwest Missouri State, University of Ottawa, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Alfred University, University of Pittsburgh, Grand Valley State University, and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.