Frequently asked questions about the Counseling & Testing Center

What services does the Counseling & Testing Center (CTC) provide? expanding section

We provide client-centered mental health and academic skills services to our UWL campus community.  Our skilled staff members provide services to students that include individual and group counseling, crisis counseling, consultations, workshops, various assessments, and academic skills counseling. Services to the faculty and staff include consultation, service through joint committee membership, and outreach. Both the campus and larger regional community benefit from a wide variety of testing services (i.e., national, graduate, employment).

What is a triage appointment? expanding section

A triage appointment is typically the first session that a student has when seeking services at the CTC. This session will last around 20 minutes. The clinician will talk with you about what is bringing you into our Center, and make a recommendation on what services would be most beneficial. This may include group counseling, academic skills assistance, individual counseling, or other campus resources. Please know that if individual counseling is recommended the clinician with whom you meet for triage may or may not be the one you would continue to work with. We'll match you with the person whose skills and expertise best fit your needs. Learn more about getting started.

What is Urgent Care? expanding section

The Counseling & Testing Center has daily Urgent Care hours for students experiencing a mental health crisis. Examples of a crisis include: suicidal thoughts, thoughts or urges to harm another person, or a recent traumatic event.  A clinician is on-call for crisis appointments Monday through Friday from 2-4 p.m. These appointments are available to students on a first-come basis, and you can access them by coming into our Center located at 2106 Centennial Hall. If our clinicians determine that your current situation is not emergent we may ask you to schedule in our first available triage appointment, which is typically within 1-3 days.

Learn more about crisis counseling here (hyperlink to video).

What if I am in crisis when the CTC is not open? expanding section

If you are in need of help when our office is not open, there are a number of other resources available to you, 24 hours a day. These include:

We hope that you consider reaching out to these resources as well as any supports that you have in your life, such as family members, friends, residence life staff, or a faith community. Remember that there is hope and that you started looking for help by coming here!

I just got out of a hospital or other inpatient facility (for instance, for an addiction or an eating disorder), and they say I need ongoing outpatient treatment. Can I come to the CTC for that? expanding section

Congratulations on completing that phase of your treatment. We would be happy to meet with you to see if our services or a referral to a provider in the community would be most helpful. The clinicians at the CTC may not be able to provide all your treatment needs, as ongoing outpatient treatment for issues such as an addiction or eating disorder goes beyond the level of services the CTC can provide.  CTC clinicians will work with students to help bridge services and seek an appropriate level of care.

I've heard there's a limit of 10 counseling visits for students at the CTC. Why can't students come to as many sessions as they want? expanding section

We want to make sure our services are available to as many students as possible, and we want students to have a realistic expectation of the types of services we can and cannot provide for them. Students are eligible for (not guaranteed) up to 10 counseling sessions within an academic year (September through August). Triage visits, Intake (initial) visits, and Group counseling sessions do not apply to this total.  

The majority of clients are seen for 5-6 sessions, which is typical of a college counseling center. Therapy at the CTC is a short-term and more focused approach due to the types of issues students commonly face.  Students often feel better within a few weeks or months.

I think I should talk to a counselor at some point, but I don't want to use up all my sessions in case I need them even more later. Should I wait to come in? expanding section

If you think talking with a counselor would help you, please come see us rather than waiting to see if you feel worse. In fact, sometimes the very act of seeking help can help people start feeling better.  Also, the earlier you seek help the less likely you are to have your difficulties interfere with your ability to enjoy your life, engage with others, or meet your responsibilities.

Our clinicians will help generate a treatment plan to best meet your needs and will always assist in bridging services if you are eventually referred to another resource.

How do I get my records from the CTC? expanding section

We are happy to release mental health records to other clinical mental health providers. If you plan to transfer your care to another provider, please establish that therapeutic relationship first and then contact us to send records to the new provider. If a client wishes to have medical records (e.g., information about prescription medication) sent to another provider, they should contact the Student Health Center at 608.785.8558.  If students want information about their mental health treatment at CTC for their own records, we will be happy to meet with you to review the record together and/or provide a written summary.

I don't want my parents to know I'm seeing a counselor. Can I trust you not to tell them? expanding section

Our counseling services are confidential. If you are 18 or over, the privacy of your mental health records is protected by law, and we will not contact your parents without your permission. However, there are circumstances when our clinicians may suggest that it could be helpful for you to discuss something with your parents, or we may encourage you to let us discuss something with them, but this can only occur with your permission. On rare occasions, if there is reason to believe that you are a significant danger to yourself, a clinician may determine that contacting a family member would help keep you safe.

How much will counseling services at the CTC cost? expanding section

There is no charge for enrolled UWL students for mental health or academic skills counseling. The only charges we would ever initiate are for "no-shows" (failure to provide a 24-hour/prior-day cancellation notice or not attend a scheduled appointment) and ADHD assessments. 

I think I have ADHD - can you help me? expanding section

Our ADHD assessment process is currently on hold, and we are not sure when or if we will be offering formal assessments again. Please consider these other options in the meantime:

  1. Disrupted attention can have many interrelated causes.  Some students experience concentration problems related to (or worsened by) mental health concerns like anxiety or depression.  Some find that changes to their health and wellness habits help their symptoms.  You could explore counseling with one of our mental health providers at CTC to discuss symptoms you are having, and perhaps ways of managing or treating those through behavioral means.  Our initial visit is called a Triage, and is a short visit with a counselor to explore your presenting problems and make recommendations for further care.   Please contact our front desk (in person in 2106 Centennial, or by phone 608 785 8073) to request this appointment. 
  2. If you are interested in exploring what is available in the community in terms of assessment (either here in La Crosse, or perhaps what is covered by insurance in your hometown-if not La Crosse), you could meet with our Case Manager, Tara Farmer.  She is skilled in helping students navigate their insurance options.  You can schedule one of these visits by stopping by or calling to request a Referral Visit with Tara.  Please bring your insurance card, or front/back photos of a card, to that visit.
  3. Please contact us if you have any further questions.