Counseling offers resources for faculty and staff of the University of Denver.
The Employee Assistance Program allows staff and faculty to meet with counselors for personal needs.
Resources are also available for faculty looking to help student exhibiting irregular behavior or decreasing academic performance.
Employee Assistance Program
- All University of Denver employees are eligible for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- University employees can attend up to six counseling visits each fiscal year at the HCC: the initial consultation + 5 sessions.
- All individual EAP visits are a covered benefit for University employees and are available at no additional fee.
- University employees are eligible to join counseling groups at a cost of $15 per session. Please see our group page for information about what groups are currently being offered.
- University employees may also elect to use their counseling benefit to conduct couples counseling.
- The EAP benefit will cover couples counseling (subject to the 6 session limit) even if the spouse or partner is not a DU employee. The spouse or partner is not eligible to receive individual counseling.
- Please call the Health and Counseling Center at 303-871-2205.
People choose to seek counseling for a variety of issues, including:
- stress or anxiety
- academic motivation
- career choice confusion
- eating disorders
- substance abuse
- family relationship conflicts
- financial stress
- grief/loss issues
- intimacy, commitment, or relationship issues
- identity concerns (e.g., ethnic/racial identity, sexual orientation, spiritual identity)
- thoughts and feelings about suicide or self-harm
- anger or thoughts of violence
What can I expect from counseling?
- Counseling is dependent on your unique needs and strengths. Because of this, each counseling experience is unique.
- If you want to pursue counseling, you must first complete an initial consultation with a counselor.
An initial consultation:
- Is the first appointment with a counselor
- Takes approximately 45-50 minutes
- Is used to clarify your reasons for seeking help and to obtain background information
- Ends with an agreement between you and your counselor about the best course of action to address your concerns. This may include:
- Brief individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Referrals to other services on campus
- Referrals to professionals off campus and in the community
Counseling often includes:
- Learning new problem-solving or coping skills o Increasing self-understanding
- Exploring life patterns
- Gaining a better sense of how you are influenced by your surroundings
- Sessions are typically 45-50 minutes
- Counseling is provided by licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and unlicensed trainees in these two disciplines under close supervision of our licensed staff.
How can I get the most out of counseling?
Attempt to clarify your goals, and what you hope to get out of the experience
- Consider how you feel about the counseling relationship
- Be an active participant
- Focus on what is most important to you
- Recognize and express feelings
- Be patient with yourself
- Ask questions
What is Group Counseling?
Group counseling is a highly effective means of addressing personal concerns - in fact it has been proven to be equally as effective as individual therapy, and in some cases more effective. Some groups that are often offered are focused on a particular subject or skill while others are more general in nature. The more general groups (named "understanding self and others") in nature are particularly beneficial if you:
- Are concerned about how you relate to other people
- Feel isolated, depressed or anxious
- Experience discomfort in social situations
- Lack intimacy in relationships
- Have family of origin difficulties
- Are dissatisfied with your friendships or romantic relationships
- Struggle with low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence
Watch this brief video to learn more about group, how it can help, group myths demystified and more:
WHY DOES GROUP COUNSELING WORK?
Group members and counselors can:
- Help you obtain support
- Help you receive immediate, genuine feedback allowing an increase in your awareness of yourself and identification of aspects of your life you want to change.
- Help you see that you are not alone in your problems
- Help you resolve your difficulties, learn alternative ways of responding, and develop new ways of relating to others
What does a typical group session look like?
- A group typically consists of 5 to 8 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 group counselors to discuss their concerns.
- Group sessions are confidential: what is discussed in group may not be disclosed or discussed outside the group.
- Many groups last 8-10 weeks while others continue from one quarter to the next.
- You can participate in as many groups as you would like, there are no limits to group counseling.
Groups vary in session format.
- Understanding Self and Others
- No specific topic for each group session
- As a group member, you bring any issues to the group you feel are important
- The primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among you and other group members
- This is done through disclosure (sharing about oneself) and feedback (giving/getting information about oneself) in order to learn about how we relate to one another and how to feel more connected
- Support/Theme groups
- Mix of structured/unstructured activities
- Providing and receiving support from others around a specific shared issue/common experience
- Structured skills workshops
- Focused on a particular topic
- Sessions may consist of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities
Do I have to reveal all my deepest secrets and feelings to the group?
- No. You alone decide how much you want to share.
- Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe in the group.
- Members often report getting more out of group when they decide to share more about themselves.
What role do the group leaders play?
- Help create and maintain safety in the group
- Guide and facilitate self-exploration
- Give feedback and support
- Provide comments on interpersonal issues in the group
- Encourage group cohesion
Some leaders take an active role throughout the duration of the group while others tend to give group members more responsibility for self-exploration.
In structured groups, group leaders take a more active role than in the "understanding self and others" group by providing instruction on specific topics related to the group theme.
What is couples counseling?
- Designed to assist couples with their relationship problems.
- Can be used to gain insight into each other, to learn new and effective ways of communicating, and how to solve problems.
Am I eligible for couples counseling?
- One of the members must be a University of Denver student.
- Married, single, LGBTQI, roommates and housemates are eligible.
- Couples counseling services are available to couples composed of two individuals, one of whom is a DU student. Non-student spouses or partners are eligible to attend with a DU student.
Who would be our counselor?
- Your first appointment would be a structured initial consultation with a counselor.
- You may continue couples counseling with your initial counselor or you may be assigned to a counselor who has a special interest or training in couples therapy. Counseling is provided by licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and unlicensed trainees in these two disciplines under close supervision of our licensed staff.
How much does it cost?
- Fees are assessed to the University of Denver student in the couple.
- If both of you are University students, you will work with your counselor to decide whose account will be charged.
- Fees are dependent on your health insurance and payment of the quarterly health and counseling fee.
What other services for couples counseling are available?
- We often offer couples counseling or psycho-educational groups. Check the group page for information.
Let's Talk and Drop-In
When and where is Let's Talk?
2016 FALL QUARTER
Let's Talk will be hosted during the 2016 fall quarter in Anderson Academic Commons, on the second level in Room 331. Consultation services will begin Monday, September 12th, 2016.
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
WHAT is/ISN'T Let's TAlK?
- It is easy access to confidential and even anonymous consultations with HCC counselors at different sites on campus (not housed in HCC).
- It can help provide direction toward solutions and resources to help navigate difficult situations that can pop up.
- It is free and staffed weekly at specific sites on campus, with regular walk-in hours
- It is NOT a substitute for counseling, but counselors can help you get connected with appropriate resources to help - counseling is typically provided as 45-50 minute ongoing sessions. Let's Talk is an informal drop-in service.
Who should visit Let's Talk?
No one will be turned away from Let's Talk but it is best utilized by:
- those who are not sure about formal counseling and wonder what it might be like to talk with a counselor
- those who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor
- those who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through
- students who have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do.
If I go to Let's Talk, won't everyone find out?
- No. Let's Talk meetings are confidential.
- Let's Talk meeting can even be anonymous.
- If safety is an issue (yours or someone else's), there may be a need to inform other professionals.
What if someone feels suicidal or wants to hurt him/herself? Should he or she go to Let's Talk?
- If you are feeling unsafe, find a good friend or a family member you trust.
- Call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 and ask to speak to the counselor on call.
- Call 911.
- Go directly to the Health and Counseling Center (3rd Floor North Ritchie Center) during our normal hours, where you can get immediate help.
- Go to a Let's Talk location, and the counselor can help you decide what will be best for you.
What if someone expresses a desire to hurt other individuals? Is Let's Talk appropriate for them?
- Call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000.
- Call 911 in the case of imminent danger.
- A Let's Talk counselor can help you assess these situations.
- The Health and Counseling Center can also be used as a resource in these instances.
What is the time limit on Let's Talk meetings?
The length of the meeting is determined by a couple of things:
- If anyone else is waiting
- The amount of time you need
If you need a lot of time or have many things to talk about, it may be helpful for you to consider scheduling a meeting with a counselor at the Health and Counseling Center.
Can faculty and staff or parents of DU students utilize Let's Talk services?
- Let's Talk services are primarily for University students
- We will not turn anyone away from a Let's Talk meeting.
- If a faculty or staff member or a parent had concerns about a student, Let's Talk would be a great starting place to find some help and resources.
What if appointments at HCC are booked for weeks out? Can I use Let's Talk instead?
- Let's Talk is not meant to take the place of counseling.
- If you need immediate assistance with a problem or feel you are in crisis, you can always call the Health and Counseling Center at 303-871-2205.
I am concerned about my friend. Can I bring my friend to Let's Talk?
- A Let's Talk counselor will be able to talk to you with your friend, or talk to your friend alone.
For questions, please contact the Health & Counseling Center at 303-871-2205.
Crisis and Urgent
IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a mental health emergency
- During business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), phone our office at 303-871-2205, and speak directly with a counselor or arrange to come in for a crisis session.
- When the office is closed, call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 and ask to speak to the Counselor on Call. A counselor on call is available free of charge 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
- Call 911.
Daytime/Walk-In Crisis Services
- Walk-in crisis services are available to University students.
- If you are not in immediate crisis, you may stop in, call 303-871-2205, or schedule online using MyHealth an initial consultation appointment.
- If you are in crisis and need to be seen the same day, we have a reserved crisis hour from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
- If you need to, you can walk in anytime during our office hours (8:00 – 5:00 Monday through Friday) and be seen by an on-call crisis counselor.
- If possible, please call ahead, 303-871-2205, and let us know you are coming.
After-Hours Telephone Urgent Crisis Services
- After-hours, urgent crisis services are available after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.
- Call DU Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 and provide them your full name and telephone number.
- A member of our counseling staff will contact you to assess your needs.
- This service is for URGENT CRISES ONLY, such as:
- You are unable to stop crying
- You have thoughts of hurting yourself
- You have thoughts of hurting other people
- You have not eaten or slept in a few days (not due to illness)
- You are unable to go to classes (not due to illness)
- You are a recent victim of sexual assault
- You have significant concerns about the welfare of another DU student
Please note that HCC crisis services are not available when the university is closed during the Christmas break. If you are experiencing a crisis at that time, please call Denver Metro Crisis Services at 888-885-1222.
Rape & Sexual Assault
The HCC provides counseling for victims of rape and sexual assault.
Students can also receive support and education from the Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE).
Coping with Loss
If you have lost someone to suicide, the feelings can be overwhelming and can seem unmanageable. For survivors of suicide loss, there is no one way to best handle the tragedy of suicide, but there are tools available that can help you cope with your grief. Check out our Coping with Loss section to learn helpful tips on taking care of yourself, things you’re likely to face in the first few days after a loss, and additional resources for loss survivors.
Suicide affects millions of people each year. While there is no single cause to suicide, it most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Fortunately, everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. If you are suffering an emotional or suicidal crisis, know that there is hope and help is available. Visit our Suicide Prevention section to learn what you can do to keep yourself safe and steps you can take right now to get yourself back on track and living mentally well.
If you are concerned about a friend who may be in emotional crisis or thinking of suicide, learn how to talk with them, what to watch for, risk factors, warning signs, and what to do by visiting the When Someone is at Risk section. If a friend or family member has experienced the death of a loved one from suicide and you want to help but don’t know how to go about it, learn how you can help