Academic mastery, social relationships, and participation in the University community can provide fulfilling experiences that contribute to personal and professional growth and wellness. However, at times these positive experiences can be interspersed with feelings of distress and self-doubt when students are confronted with the many demanding pressures in your lives, both academic and personal.
If you believe that there is room for improvement in your personal effectiveness and resilience in some areas of your life, a psychological consultation may help you work toward such improvements. You may notice that you have certain patterns of thinking and behavior that interfere with your success with and the enjoyment of certain endeavors. If so, you should consider making an appointment. The counseling staff at the SHAC understand these challenges and are here to support your growth and development, help you restore balance, build strength, gain emotional resiliency and increase your personal well-being.
Unsure if you might need counseling?
Take this online Mental Health Screening and see if speaking with a counselor might be beneficial for you. Also see Counseling FAQs
The Scope of Our Services
Staff members at the SHAC utilize a short-term model of therapy for individual and couple sessions in order to use its resources most effectively and assist students in addressing issues common in a college setting. Short-term personal psychotherapy is available at no charge to currently enrolled students, up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
The SHAC invites students to schedule an initial intake appointment with a staff therapist. During this initial intake, the therapist will assist students in obtaining the appropriate services to address the concerns by recommending services on and off campus. Student concerns that can be addressed within a brief model of therapy are usually referred to the SHAC while more comprehensive concerns or medication issues requiring longer-term therapy are best addressed in the community.
Some of the issues that are commonly addressed in short-term counseling at the SHAC include:
- Personal Issues: Stress and anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, guilt, self-esteem, grief and loss
- Relationship Issues: Romantic relationship difficulties, sexual concerns, roommate conflicts, difficulties with co-workers, issues with family or friends
- Developmental Issues: Identity development, adjustment to college, life transitions, cultural concerns
- Academic Concerns: Performance anxiety, perfectionism, underachievement, motivation
- Other Issues: Spiritual concerns, body image/food preoccupation, healthy lifestyle choices, alcohol and drug use concerns, sexual assault
Scheduling an Appointment:
Students at the OAKLAND campus can make initial intake appointments by contacting the SHAC at (510) 879-9288.
Students at the SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA and SACRAMENTO campuses, as well as students in our ONLINE programs can access mental health services either on the Oakland campus or through the Sutter Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which will connect you with a provider in the community. Through EAP students will also receive up to 10 sessions per calendar year, free of charge. Please contact (800) 477-2258 to learn more about Sutter EAP.
Faculty and Staff
Counseling staff are available to provide faculty and staff with a variety of services including consultations about students you may be concerned about, classroom presentations and other mental health outreach needs. The counseling staff are not able to see Staff and Faculty members for personal counseling services. Staff and Faculty can obtain personal counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as part of their employee benefits or directly through their private health insurance benefits.
Students whose mental health needs cannot be accommodated within short-term counseling, or who require a particular type of expertise, need to meet with a clinician more than once a week, or are in need of a psychotropic medication, are referred to community resources. Students may be referred out to the community after the initial intake or during the course of treatment at the SHAC as factors become apparent during or after the intake assessment.
Some of the issues that are commonly and more appropriately addressed by services in the community include:
- Need to see a therapist more than once a week; for more than 10 counseling sessions in longer-term therapy, and/or require comprehensive services due to:
- History of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
- Chronic suicidality and/or self-injury behaviors; history of suicide attempts
- Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
- Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning, requiring intensive intervention
- Manifestations of psychotic symptoms without willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
- Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms.
- Students who need specialized services not available through the SHAC as indicated by:
- Significant drug and/or alcohol problems such as substance dependence, primary substance abuse, and/or past failed treatments
- Significant or long-standing eating disorder with no period of remission, no previous treatment, or that may pose a medical danger
- Request for psychological evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance or other nonacademic needs
- Services to fulfill students’ court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements.
Please note, SHAC clinical staff members are unable to provide documentation for emotional support animals.