What is “counseling,” and who needs it anyway?
Counseling is a place where you can talk safely with someone who is eager to listen to your concerns. It’s a time to learn new skills and new ways of looking at situations. At OBU, we’re eager to come alongside you, listen carefully, and help you decide how to handle the difficulty you’re facing. Some students benefit from one or two sessions of problem-solving, while some concerns may require more time. It is our sincere intent to provide good counsel based upon sound psychological understanding, Biblical principles and Christian values.
While we’re eager and ready to help students who have a history of mental health challenges, we’re prepared to help students with a wide range of issues in other areas as well. It takes quite a bit of courage to face life’s difficulties honestly, come to counseling, and work through difficult feelings, experiences, and life challenges. You don’t go to the doctor only when you’re certain you have heart disease, seeing the physician is smart when you’ve simply been feeling bad for a while and want to get things checked out. To seek out wise counsel amidst difficulty is just plain smart. A counselor can guide or coach you through a difficult season of your life, relationship, or time of decision.
In the beginning stage of counseling, your counselor will ask questions to develop a better understanding of the issue you’re facing, and to get to know you personally. As counseling proceeds, the trust between us can build so that a working partnership is developed. The goal is to help you explore your key thoughts and feelings, and help you make wise decisions about how to handle and respond to your feelings, relationships, concerns, or life situation. Frequently, incorrect thinking also has to be recognized, examined and changed.
Initial sessions are customarily 50-55 min. in length, to allow for 1) the collection of the client’s personal, family, social and health history, 2) a review of any pertinent information or specific concerns the client wishes to share, and 3) a review of the client’s completed intake forms. All follow-up or subsequent sessions are typically for 25-30 minutes, unless the client’s circumstance or condition warrants an exception.
Counseling Center services are free to currently enrolled OBU students.
NO! Your conversations with the counselor will be considered privileged communication and will not be part of your academic record. You can expect us to treat you with courtesy, respect, and with the highest level of ethical and professional courtesy and devotion to confidentiality. Counseling files are kept locked and protected. Exceptions occur only when we have good reason to suspect that your personal/bodily safety, or that of another person (especially a child or elderly person), is at risk.
If you want to find out if the symptoms you are feeling are consistent with a mood or anxiety disorder, PTSD, alcohol problem, or an eating disorder, take our brief, anonymous online screening.
Appointments are 50 minutes long and begin on the hour. If you have to cancel an appointment, please provide 24 hours’ advance notice. The counseling office is open on weekdays only, but is always available for emergencies (in this situation he can be reached by calling campus security at 870-245-4000).
“Take the Self Directed Search! The SDS is one of the most popular and easy to use Career Assessment tools available – designed to help you identify the best college major and career direction for you. (The cost is about $10, paid online) If you’re interested, click here: http://www.self-directed-search.com/browser.html
For a more in-depth career aptitude assessment, which takes into account your many interests, values, educational preferences, personality, academic strengths and weaknesses, and skills, we encourage you to contact the Career and Calling Office on the 1st floor of the Cone Bottoms Administrative Building, and consider another assessment called FOCUS, she’ll be eager to help you with using this tool or direct you to a few other helpful online professional development resources.