Frequently Asked Questions

The Counseling Center provides free mental health services for currently enrolled UW Bothell and Cascadia College students. This may include up to six individual counseling sessions per academic year.

The counseling process is confidential, which means that we cannot share any information about you without your permission, except under specific legal conditions. If you have concerns or questions about confidentiality, please discuss them with your intake counselor.

Students commonly seek help for (but not limited to):

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • low self-esteem
  • adjustment difficulties
  • concentration problem
  • sleeping difficulties
  • academic problems
  • body image concerns
  • grief and loss
  • relationship issues
  • domestic violence
  • sexual assault
  • family issues
  • or any other concern causing distress or interfering with academic progress.

College is a time of change. You may find it useful to seek the assistance of a caring professional. Our trained counselors help you discover ways to cope more effectively with problems in day-to-day living like resolving a personal problem or exploring p

You will be asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled initial appointment with the counselor to complete forms on a laptop computer. The forms include treatment consent, demographic information and questions that tell us how you are doing in various areas of your life. This information helps your counselor create a more tailored experience for you. After you complete the forms, you will have your intake appointment where you meet with a counselor who will go over your concerns in detail and ask other questions about your life and functioning. Once the intake appointment is complete, the counselor will recommend treatment for you based on their professional judgment.

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, check out this website.

Your counselor will work with you to identify your personal goals for counseling and then tailor counseling to you and your goals. You can expect that your counselor will listen closely to understand your experience and find ways to assist you in moving towards your goals. Therapy is a personalized experience, so how it helps differs from person to person. It will often involve things such as getting a different perspective on your experiences, exploring and discovering things about yourself, making changes in unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving, processing difficult experiences, and learning healthy coping tools.

There are three types of group therapy: skills, support, and process. Skills groups are experiential opportunities to develop mental health-related skills such as mindfulness and emotional regulation. Support groups bring together people with a shared experience (e.g., eating disorders, loss of a loved one) to normalize and validate those experiences to build self-acceptance. Process groups are unstructured and the focus is on the interactions of group members to increase self-awareness and learn how you relate to others. Share as much or as little as you want.

Groups typically have 8-10 people, meet weekly for a set amount of time, and are facilitated by a licensed mental health professional.

The Counseling Center offers brief therapy and most students resolve their concerns in four sessions or less. If you and your counselor decide that you need more sessions, your counselor will help you find appropriate longer term care off campus.

The Counseling Center only provides support letters and documentation for existing clients who have attended at least 3 sessions in ongoing counseling (intake does not count as “ongoing”) and the psychological condition meets criteria for DRS accommodation or former quarter drop based on the clinician’s assessment. This process takes several weeks and is not guaranteed to result in signed paperwork. Please visit the Academic Support resource on our Resource page for more information.

The Counseling Center only serves students enrolled in classes for the current quarter. If you are a student AND a faculty/staff member, your main identity becomes faculty/staff. The dual status can cause complications and create ethical dilemmas for our staff. Your Employee Assistance Program services is the appropriate resource in these cases.