Frequently Asked Questions
What services are available through Counseling and Psychological Services ?
The Counseling and Psychological Services provides many services. Each is described in a section of our homepage.
- Psychological Services
- Learning Services
- Multicultural Services
- Self-help Resource Library
What can I expect when I come to see a counselor?
In meeting with a counselor, you can expect the counselor to listen to your concerns, to help you expand your understanding of your concerns, and to assist you in identifying steps you can take to address these concerns. You can expect the counselor to take your concern seriously and to be willing to discuss anything you want to discuss. While counselors may have different styles and approaches, each will want to work cooperatively with you to address the concerns you present.
Is counseling confidential? Is it part of my academic record?
Counseling records are confidential and separate from academic records. In the rare instance where an individual may present a threat to harm him/herself or others counseling information may be divulged without the individualís permission and then only to the extent necessary to protect the individual or other persons being threatened.
What kinds of concerns do students discuss with a counselor?
Any personal issue can be discussed with a counselor. Typical concerns include:
- Academic adjustment issues, grades
- Relationships with family or friends
- Stress issues
- Anxiety, depression, grief and anger
- Sexual identity issues
- Difficulty with alcohol, other substances or food
- Sexual, physical and emotional abuse
- Traumatic experiences
- Personal crises
Does the Counseling Center provide psychiatric services?
We retain the services of a psychiatrist, who provides limited assessment and consultation services.
What are the qualifications of Counseling and Psychologicl Services staff?
Staff have education and training as professional counselors and psychologists, and are licensed or license-eligible in Virginia.
Are services available in other languages?
Counselors who are proficient in Hindi are available for individual counseling. Please make this request when scheduling an initial appointment.
What can Psychological Services provide for me?
- Individual and group counseling for personal and academic concerns
- Personal development workshops and programs
- Consultation to students, faculty and staff
- Self-Help Resource Materials
What is the cost of the services?
There is no additional fee charged for enrolled GMU students.
Who is eligible to use Counseling and Psychological Services?
Anyone enrolled as a Mason student at the Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William campuses. Students who have been suspended may seek assistance in finding community resources.
How do I make an appointment to talk to a counselor?
Call 703-993-2380 or stop by our office in SUB I Suite 3129 to schedule an appointment. Hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday and until 7:00 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings when classes are in session. The Center also provides same day intakes on a first-come basis. Please call at 8:30am for these hours. If you are enrolled in courses at either the Prince William or Arlington campuses and cannot come to the Fairfax campus, please call the office to discuss scheduling alternatives with our staff.
How will counseling help me to do better in my courses?
Students report that counseling improves their ability to concentrate on their academic work.
How will counseling help me personally?
Students report being more able to think clearly, to use new problem-solving skills, to see new alternatives and perspectives, and to handle personal concerns more effectively.
Will I be able to get any type of counseling at the CAPS?
CAPS provides short-term counseling and therefore is not able to offer services requiring more extensive assistance. Most students need only five or six sessions to resolve their problems or concerns. Referrals to community resources are made for those students requiring services not available through CAPS.
Do you have information on personal/psychological topics that I might use for myself or for class projects?
CAPS maintains a Self-help Resource library of audio, video and computer-based information on a range of topics such as stress management, time management, exam strategies, handling anger, building self-esteem, anxiety management, developing healthy relationships, and many other subjects. The library is located in SUB I, Room 3129.