It’s not unusual for a student to feel they “can’t cope” with something, or to wish that they had someone to talk to. Many students experience times when they are puzzled or concerned about themselves or about situations in which they find themselves. Center for Counseling and Psychological Services staff members are here to help students with these and other personal concerns.

You may encounter disturbing situations in which you feel you have little or no control. These might include a death, a major loss or a drastic change in life direction. At times like these, talking with a crisis counselor may help to restore some balance and to keep the matter from seriously affecting other parts of your life.

Students who come for counseling often:​

  • Wonder whether they can handle what they are doing
  • Have trouble getting along with people in their family
  • Have strong feelings, such as depression or anxiety, that keep them from doing what they need to do
  • Feel isolated or alienated, wanting to belong
  • Need to learn how to do their work more effectively
  • Have trouble finding or getting along with a partner
  • Struggle with the loss of someone or something
  • Wonder where they are heading in life
  • Worry about how they eat
  • Question or need to explore their sexual or cultural identity
  • Feel stuck or split about making a decision

Individual Counseling

In individual counseling, students may work privately with a counselor for a limited number of meetings. They discuss such issues as personal feelings or relationships with others and develop new ways to understand and deal with those issues. If problems center on how couples are (or are not) getting along, couples counseling may help develop new ways of relating to each other.

Group Counseling

Group counseling may also be appropriate. Group counseling fosters active learning by working on problems rather than just talking about them. Group work provides a safe and challenging place to work on personal and interpersonal concerns.

Counseling at Washington University

We offer short-term, time-limited counseling services to facilitate adjustment, improve functioning, achieve resolution of problems, and address acute symptoms impairing personal functioning as soon as possible.

Counseling services provided through MHS are not an appropriate substitute for open-ended, intensive psychological services. Some common examples of issues that may be more appropriate for off-campus treatment are:​

  • Student issues that require regular weekly appointments throughout the semester
  • Student concerns which require a specific type of therapy not practiced by the staff
  • Student difficulties which required open-ended, ongoing psychotherapy before coming to Washington University
  • Student issues that tend to worsen in short-term counseling

For assistance with accessing off-campus treatment, visit our Guide to Community Mental Health Services​.