The Counseling Center is committed to providing a range of services intended to help students develop improved coping skills in order to address emotional, interpersonal, and academic concerns. The Counseling Center provides individual, couples, and group counseling. All of these services are paid for through the health services fee. The Counseling Center offers primarily short-term counseling, but we do provide referrals to the community when students could benefit from longer term services.
Making the Initial Appointment
Initial Appointments are made on a same-day basis by calling the Counseling Center at (217) 333-3704 any time after 7:50 a.m. These appointments tend to fill up quickly. Students are encouraged to call early on the day that they would like to meet with a counselor.
Your first appointment will provide you with an opportunity to talk confidentially with a counselor about your immediate concerns. Your counselor will talk with you about some of the reasons you scheduled the appointment and will evaluate what services or resources will be most helpful for you. Some students find that talking with a counselor once is sufficient to resolve the immediate concern. If further services would be beneficial, these will be discussed and a recommendation will be made by the counselor. These additional services may include resources offered by the Counseling Center or referral to another campus or community resource.
The Counseling Center also provides emergency consultations to students with urgent mental health concerns between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call (217) 333-3704 if you have an immediate need to meet with a counselor. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, please contact the Crisis Line at (217) 359-4141 to speak with a counselor.
Individual and Couples Counseling
The Counseling Center has a diverse professional staff that works from a variety of theoretical perspectives. We provide individual, couples, and group counseling focused on a range of clinical issues. Students come to the Counseling Center for a wide variety of reasons – a list of the most common presenting concerns is at the Student Concerns page. Many of the students who come into the Center are experiencing academic difficulties, including time management issues, concentration problems, lack of motivation, or questions about study skills. Some students are having trouble adjusting to college life or are having conflict with a roommate or their parents. Many of our clients have a specific concern related to depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, eating concerns or a similar clinical issue.
Group counseling is often the most beneficial option for many student concerns. Group counseling is a form of psychotherapy that usually involves four to ten clients and one or two experienced group therapists. Most therapy groups meet every week at the same time for one or two hours. During that time, the members of the group discuss the issues that are concerning them and offer each other support and feedback. Interpersonal interaction is highly valued and encouraged. Group counseling may be particularly useful for students who are having difficulties in their relationships or who want to learn about themselves and their connections to other people. Group counseling is the only long-term treatment option offered at the Counseling Center. For more information, please see the groups page.
Referrals for Private Therapy
If concerns exceed the scope of the Center’s short term counseling focus, or if recommended resources are not available within the university, your counselor will refer you to private therapy or other appropriate community resources. The cost of such therapy is not included in your student fees. Student health insurance, or other comparable health insurance plans, may reimburse part of the cost of private therapy. Your counselor will discuss additional possible options to help defray costs if a referral for private therapy is made.