Counseling FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions...

How do I make an appointment?

You may schedule an initial intake appointment by calling the Counseling Center at 425.352.3183 or stopping by UW1-080 and speaking to the receptionist. You will be asked to arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment with the counselor to complete forms on a computer tablet. The forms include demographic information and questions that tell us how you are functioning in various areas of your life. After you complete the forms, you will have your intake interview. You will meet with a counselor who will go over your concerns in detail and ask more general questions about your life and functioning. Once the intake interview is complete, the counselor will recommend treatment for you, based on his or her professional opinion.

The intake is usually scheduled within a week of your first contact with us.

Will services at the Counseling Center cost me anything?

The Counseling Center provides short-term counseling at no charge for currently enrolled University of Washington Bothell students.

When should I seek counseling?

College is a time of change, transition and growth.  At times, students find it useful to seek the assistance of a caring professional.  Our staff of licensed mental health counselors is trained to help you discover ways to cope more effectively with problems in day-to-day living. Students are welcome to call and make an appointment with a counselor when they feel they need help in resolving a personal problem, want to explore personal growth issues or need additional support.

What kinds of problems do students seek help with?

Students seek help for problems including but not limited to: stress, anxiety, depression, adjustment difficulties, concentration difficulties, grief and loss, relationship problems, domestic violence, sleeping difficulties, family of origin issues, veterans' issues, low self-esteem, sexual assault, academic problems, parenting concerns, substance abuse, or any other concern causing distress or interfering with academic progress.

Will everything be kept confidential?

The personal information that you discuss in counseling is confidential and no record is made on your academic transcript indicating that you have participated in counseling at UW Bothell.  Information regarding your counseling is not released without your written permission, unless otherwise mandated by Washington State Law. Exceptions to confidentiality mandated or permitted by law include:

  • We may break confidentially if there is risk of imminent harm to any person (you or another identified person).
  • When we have reason to suspect that a minor or an elderly person is in danger of being abused or neglected we are legally required to report this to the Department of Social Services.
  • If a court of law orders the release of certain information about a client, we are legally required to comply with this order (although we work to release the minimum information needed).
  • Professional standards recommend confidential consultation within the agency to ensure quality care.
  • If you file a lawsuit or other legal action against UW or its employees, agents or officers contesting your services at the Counseling Center, information contained in your records could be released to UW’s attorneys if relevant to your lawsuit.

If at all possible your counselor will discuss any of the above exceptions that would apply to you, and will obtain your assistance in resolving this matter.

Is counseling effective?

Yes, counseling has been shown to help people make positive changes in their lives. Approximately 75% of people who begin counseling felt some improvement. And, 80% of people who engage in counseling do better than those who do not receive counseling at all.

It can be difficult to open up to a counselor but your counselor will be more effective in helping you address your concerns if you are open and honest with them. At the same time, it’s important to take your time and share at a pace that feels safe to you. Counseling works best if you find a good balance between taking the time to build trust with your counselor and taking the risk of sharing what you’re experiencing.

For myths vs. realities of psychotherapy, please click here to go to the American Psychology Association’s website.

*Citation: Lambert, M. J., & Archer, A. (2006). Research findings on the effects of psychotherapy and their implications for practice. In Goodheart, C. D., Kazdin, A. E., & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.) Evidence-based psychotherapy: Where practice and research meet, (pp. 111-130). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

What if I need accommodations?

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations contact Disability Resources for Students at 425.352.5307, TDD 425.352.5303, FAX 425.352.5114, It would be best if requests are made 10 days prior to an event.