Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) What if a student has a crisis?
If a student is experiencing a psychological crisis that requires medical attention, or is experiencing a psychological crisis of a medical nature (i.e. self injury, overdose, medically unresponsive) then call EMS and/or RUPD immediately. If a student is experiencing a psychological crisis that does not require medical attention, contact the RCC at (713) 348-3311 (24/7). The RCC can provide after hours telephone consultation and help the caller get appropriate care depending on the situation.
2) How many sessions do I get?
While there are not a specific number of sessions for students using our services, the RCC offers services within a short-term model of counseling. First we talk with students about their needs and then determine the type of counseling that is recommended. After a triage appointment, you may be referred to brief individual therapy services at the RCC, group counseling, or longer term counseling off campus. Generally, a few sessions of brief therapy is enough to cope with common college student challenges such as adjusting to rice, relationship concerns, and academic stress. When we are not able to provide the recommended treatment, we will help you find a counselor or psychiatrist through the services of our Care Coordinator.
3) Will my parents know that I am getting counseling?
No, parents are not informed if you are 18 years of age or older. If you are under 18, there are exceptions to criteria for confidentiality regarding your parents. Please contact the RCC for further information.4) How do I know if I NEED counseling?
If you feel that you may not be functioning well either emotionally, socially or academically, we encourage you to make an appointment. One of our counselors will do an assessment and offer you their professional recommendation on what you need.5) What if I am concerned about a friend, not myself?
Do come in to consult with us. We may be able to help you talk to your friend or suggest ways to be supportive, and even determine strategies for your friend to make an appointment if needed.6) Will this become a part of my academic record?
No, your academic record is strictly a record of your academic history. Counseling Center files are confidential and kept separate from your academic record.7) How do I get started?
Call or stop by to make an appointment. Our number is (713) 348-3311. We are located the Gibbs Wellness Center. Click here
for more location information. For more information on how to make an appointment, click here. 8) I have been taking medication for depression before coming to Rice, is there someone at the RCC who can refill my prescriptions?
If you are solely seeking medication, we can help you by referring you off campus to one of the many local Houston psychiatrists. However, if you are utilizing our brief therapy treatment services, we have consulting psychiatrists who are available to manage your medication.
9) Can I come in during the summer?
Yes, if you have paid your health fee.10) Do you do ADHD testing?
No, however we maintain a database of professionals in the community to whom we could refer you.11) How do I talk to a friend if I think she/he needs to see a counselor?
Talking to a friend whom you’re concerned about can be difficult. Even though you can’t force him/her to seek professional help, you can strongly encourage them to. The Counseling Center can help you figure out how to approach the conversation and offer advice based on your specific situation. If your friend isn’t receptive to your suggestions, consider talking with a member of the college personnel team, such as a master or RA, for further advice. If the situation is urgent and you are concerned for their safety, don’t hesitate to call RUPD.12) Does my student health insurance cover counseling appointments? What about off-campus treatment?
Rice Counseling Center appointments are free for students because they’re already paid for through student health fees. The student health insurance plan may cover some portion of off campus care if a student requires off campus treatment.13) Can I get my medication/prescriptions from the Counseling Center?
Please note that the only types of medications issued through the Counseling Center are psychotropic medications, or those that address mental health disorders. For information and resources on medications for other health issues, contact Health Services.
In order to receive medications to address your mental health issues, you have to be undergoing therapy at the Counseling Center. If that is the case, a consulting psychiatrist, not a counselor, will evaluate your need for medication and write a prescription if indicated. If you are not currently undergoing therapy at the Counseling Center but still require a psychotropic medication to address your mental health issues, the Counseling Center can help you find a psychiatrist in the community that can address your needs.
14) What are the benefits of going to see a counselor?
There are countless benefits to seeing a counselor. They can provide you with the support to significantly boost your mental health, cope with stress and difficult life situations, and refer you to additional resources. The best part of all is that, during your time as a Rice student, the Rice Counseling Center services are FREE! Take advantage of this opportunity while you can.
Some of the benefits of going to see a counselor include:
15) Do I get to choose which counselor I see?
- Helping you get through a distressing situation faster and in a healthier way.
- Coping skills to heal through difficult life situations.
- Learning to manage stress, anxiety, etc.
- Confidentiality: you can talk about a struggle or difficulty you’re experiencing with a professional, third-party outsider, with the security and privacy of a strict confidentiality agreement. Click here for Confidentiality Statement
- Determine whether you’re experiencing a situational stressor or a mental health issue – get a diagnosis, treatment, resources, and recommendations either way.
- Prevent potential mental health issues from becoming a crisis.
- Support for confusion on gender identity and sexuality issues….and much more! We’re here to help.
In order to balance the demands for services, scheduling, and presenting concerns, students are unable to choose which counselor they prefer to see. Many of the counselors are generalists in treating college student concerns and mental health disorders, thus you may be assigned to work with any one of our professional staff. Because the counseling relationship can be very individualized and involves interpersonal dynamics, it is important that you communicate openly with your assigned counselor. (See
link for Tips for enhancing your counseling experience under Contact Us.)
16) What is a triage appointment?
A brief triage appointment may take 20-30 minutes during which the counselor will ask you a series of questions designed to determine the scope of your concerns, discuss the model of brief therapy services we provide, discuss the limits of confidentiality, obtain some background history and discuss your options for treatment.
17) What are confidentiality laws as they pertain to my child in counseling?
Due to state and federal laws, psychologists cannot share information with others (including family members) about their counseling with a student without written consent from the student. This is why we may not be able to provide specific informational about your student if you call us for consultation. The only situations where we may legally breach confidentiality is if the student is gravely ill and maybe in imminent harm to self or others. If you have questions regarding confidentiality, please contact our Office at (713) 348-3311.