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About Personal Counseling

Personal counseling provides admitted College of DuPage students with a short-term confidential service at no additional cost. These frequently asked questions can help you learn more about how to get started with personal counseling at COD. 

Personal counseling aims to support the well-being and academic success of students. Personal counseling is not therapy. Refer to the following for a clearer description of what personal counseling is and is not.

Criteria Personal Counseling Therapy
Problem Situational stressors (for example, COVID-19 issues)  Chronic and ongoing stressors
  Present moment Past trauma
Goal Practical, immediate solutions Insight and depth-oriented (requires longer-term work)
Length Short-term Moderate to Long-term
Process Supportive for holistic wellness Psychotherapy for mental illness

COD counselors are a multicultural group of professionals who minimally hold a master’s degree in counseling, or a related field. Some of our counselors are clinically licensed. All counselors are experienced in working with a college-student population and are dedicated to helping students meet their personal, career, and academic goals. Counselors teach courses in college skills (COLLG) and provide academic, career, and personal counseling.

Students interested in receiving personal counseling services receive a 20-minute screening appointment. During the screening, you will work with the counselor to clarify your goals and determine appropriate next steps. If your needs are best met by our center, a personal counseling appointment may be scheduled during the screening appointment. If a referral to an off-campus resource is more appropriate, the counselor will assist in connecting you to additional resources.

All enrolled COD students are eligible to receive personal counseling services. The personal counseling services offered follow a short-term counseling model. Many students benefit from just one or a few counseling sessions. You and your counselor will discuss short-term and longer-term counseling needs and options. If you need longer term counseling or specialized services, we can help connect you with community resources. Typically, sessions last about 45 minutes. During busy times, counselors will do their best to accommodate student schedules, but if all appointments are full, counselors will provide options for referrals in the community.

Counselors adhere to professional ethics and uphold state and federal law regarding confidentiality of services. Counseling sessions and personal information will remain private and confidential within the Counseling, Advising, and Transfer Center except for the specific circumstances listed below under “Limits of Confidentiality.” Counselors will not disclose any private and confidential information to any faculty, staff, and other COD employee outside of the Counseling, Advising, and Transfer Center without your consent. In order for counselors to discuss any information about you with any individual or agency outside of our center, you must give signed consent. The specific limits to confidentiality are as follows:

Limits to confidentiality

  • If there is evidence of clear and imminent danger to yourself. In this case, the counselor would take action to assure your safety, releasing only the information needed to do this.
  • If there is evidence of clear and imminent danger to others. The counselor would have to take action to protect the other person, releasing only the information necessary to assure the person’s safety.
  • If there is reasonable suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect of anyone under the age of 18, elderly, or person with a disability, a counselor would be required to report that information to the appropriate agency.
  • If the Counseling, Advising, and Transfer Center is ordered to do so by a court of law.
  • If you have been referred to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), the counselor will disclose to the BIT that the student has received services and make recommendations as to how to best proceed with the case.
  • If you disclose an incident of sexual discrimination/harassment/misconduct, the counselor may be required to report the nature, date, time, and general location of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.

In order to provide students with the highest quality of care, a counselor may consult with other Counseling, Advising, and Transfer Center staff. All staff members are ethically and legally bound to treat that information confidentially. Your counseling records do not become part of your educational or financial records.

Due to the unsecure nature of email, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of such communication. We ask students to use discretion when sending information that is sensitive in nature. Also, note that email is not always the best means of communication if you are in need of a quick response. Counselors do not maintain 24-hour access to email

Counseling FAQ’s

People often consider counseling under the following circumstances:

  • Their current struggles are making it difficult to concentrate on academics or to focus at work.
  • They would like an objective person with whom to talk through current stressful situations.
  • They want to understand their feelings and/or change some behaviors.
  • They feel as though the way they currently deal or cope with problems is not working or is causing harm to themselves or others.
Every attempt will be made to schedule a screening within one week of calling. If your need is more urgent, consider utilizing community resources available

If your needs are best met by our center, a personal counseling appointment may be scheduled during the screening appointment. If a referral to an off-campus resource is more appropriate, the counselor will assist in connecting you to additional resources.

If possible, talk to your current counselor about your request and your specific concerns. Your current counselor can help you connect with another COD counselor or provide a community referral.

We do not prescribe medication. We can assist in connecting with community resources that offer psychiatric services.

No. People go to counseling for all kinds of reasons, including personal growth, adjusting to stressors in the world around them, or dealing with academic pressures. 

No. You are capable of handling most of your problems. There are some, however, that are difficult to handle alone. Recognizing when you need a hand, and then asking for that support, is a sign of good problem-solving ability.


Contact Information

Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 3200
Phone: (630) 942-2259
Ask a counselor or program advisor a quick question
  • Main Campus Summer Hours:
    Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Friday, closed
  • Advising walk-ins:
    Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 23
    Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2201

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