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Counseling Center FAQs

Who is eligible for services at the Counseling Center?

Both undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled as full- or part-time may receive services.

Where is the Counseling Center located?

We are located on the 2nd Floor of the Callahan building (University Police and the Bentley ID Card office are located below us). If you are at the main entrance, walk up and around to the left and you will see the counseling center entrance.

Do I have to use my health insurance or pay a fee per session to receive services?

No. Services at the counseling center are included in the cost of attendance. If you are referred to an off campus treatment provider, you may wish to use your insurance or pay out of pocket. Psychiatry appointments at the counseling center do not require insurance however you may use your insurance for your prescribed medications or pay out of pocket for those medications.

Who will know that I receive services at the Counseling Center?

All Bentley University Counseling Center services are confidential and any associated documents are not part of your academic record. However, there are some instances in which students sign a consent form for counselors to contact faculty members, staff members, past and future counselors, and/or family members. Counseling Center clinicians will NOT contact anyone about your treatment without your consent, except as required by law or professional ethics. 

How do I schedule an appointment?

Students are required to make their own appointments. You can schedule an appointment by calling the main number of the counseling center (781-891-2274) and speak to the front desk staff who will ask you for your name and Bentley student ID, and together you will schedule an initial appointment, also known as an “intake”, with one of our clinicians. We ask that you either print and complete the consent form and initial paperwork prior to your appointment or that you arrive about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled intake to do so. Appointments are typically 45-50 minutes long.

What happens at the first appointment?

During this appointment, you will meet with one of our clinicians. The clinician will collect some preliminary information about you and your concerns and review the paperwork you completed. You and the clinician will discuss a possible plan to address your stressors and build upon your strengths. This may involve individual or group counseling, a referral to our consulting psychiatrist, or a referral to a clinician in the community. Appointments are typically 45-50 minutes long.

How do I cancel or reschedule an appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your first or subsequent appointments, please contact the front desk staff (781-891-2274). We request 24 hour notice so that the time slot can be offered to another student in need.

Will I automatically be set up with weekly individual therapy if I go in for an intake appointment?

No. At the intake appointment, you will talk with the clinician about what may be the best plan for you. Some students come in just for the intake, while others set up an individual appointment a week or a few weeks later. Some students get set up with a group intake and begin group therapy. Others are given a list of referrals for providers off campus who will be able to see them for a longer period of time or focus on something specific. What happens after intake all depends on what the student needs and what makes the most sense regarding appropriate care.

I am taking psychiatric medication for mental health reasons. Can I start getting my medication through the psychiatrist at Bentley?

Unfortunately no. The psychiatrist at the Counseling Center only provides short term services for students not yet on medication. If you need assistance finding a psychiatrist in the area to prescribe your medication during your time at Bentley, we recommend contacting your current provider for a referral or reaching out to your insurance company for a list of providers. If you are unable to find a provider, contact the front desk staff at the Counseling Center and they can offer you a list of providers in the area.

I think I have ADHD. Can the counseling center diagnose me?

The Counseling Center cannot diagnose you with ADHD and does not do ADHD testing. If you are concerned that you may have ADHD, the Counseling Center can offer a list of providers in the area who can evaluate you and diagnose if appropriate.

I have ADHD. Can I get medication at the Counseling Center for this?

Whether you already have a prescription for ADHD medication or need a prescription for ADHD medication, the psychiatrist at the Counseling Center does not offer evaluation and appointments for ADHD or suspected ADHD. If you are in need of this, contact the front desk and they can supply you with a list of psychiatrists in the area.

What can I do if I'm concerned about a friend or classmate?

If you are concerned about a student and the situation is not an emergency, file a CARE Report. It will be sent to a small group of professionals who provide assistance, guidance or feedback to students who may be in crises or are engaging in other behaviors that are perceived as harmful. The Bentley CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students, families, faculty and staff when concerns for a student’s health and safety are identified. If it is an emergency, please contact campus police (617-891-3131) or go to your closest emergency room.

I’m a parent and want to know if my student needs help.

As a family member, you might be the first to know when your student is in distress. It is important to listen and watch for thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors that are unusual for your student. Below are some additional signs that might indicate that your student might benefit from a meeting at the Counseling Center:

  • Unexplained drop in academic performance
  • Difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed nearly every day
  • Feeling sad or appearing tearful nearly every day
  • Socially isolating and/or suddenly losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Expressions of hopelessness, e.g., "What's the point of trying?"
  • Direct or indirect statements about death or suicide, e.g., "What's the point of living?" or "I wish I were dead"

Often family members are in the best position to notice any significant changes in their students and are seen as trusted and safe sources of support. As such, if you notice any signs of distress or behavior that is out of character for your student, it is best to start with a conversation. Through talking with your student, you can get a sense of what is going on and whether additional support is necessary.

After speaking with your student, if you both decide that an appointment with the Counseling Center could be beneficial, encourage your student to call or stop in during business hours (we require students make their own appointments). 

If you continue to have concerns about your student, want someone to check-in with your student, and/or are having difficulty getting your student to seek help, you may consider communicating your concerns to the Bentley CARE Team. This team is a small group of university professionals who provide assistance, guidance, or feedback to students in distress. 

Are other resources available?

Yes, please visit our resource page.

How do I know a student or friend should be referred to the counseling center?

If you are worried about a particular student, Counseling Center staff members are available for consultation. Call us at (781) 891-2274 and ask to speak with a clinician about a student in distress.

If a referral to the Counseling Center is warranted, we can help you identify ways to make a referral for the student. You may also come to our center during business hours.

If the emergency is life-threatening, please contact University Police at (781) 891-3131. Our staff may also direct you to fill out a CARE Report on the student in distress. 

If you ever question whether a student should be evaluated by a professional, call the Counseling Center.

How do I refer someone to the counseling center?

It is not unusual to feel uncomfortable referring a student to counseling. You may be concerned that the student will be offended or embarrassed. However, students usually respond well to a solid and thoughtful suggestion for counseling, especially if you are approaching the student from a place of caring, concern and non-judgement. The manner in which you present the topic can do a great deal to comfort the student. As such, it is important that you prepare adequately for the discussion and approach it positively with the confidence that it is the best option for the student.

See these tips for referring a student to counseling (PDF).

    What if a student in my class is in crisis and needs immediate counseling support?
    • If the student needs to speak with someone in the Counseling Center right away, offer to walk the student down. Be sure to give us a heads up so we know you are coming. 
    • If a student requires immediate attention, is unmanageable (aggressive, hostile, requiring medical attention, or refusing care); or if you feel directly threatened or that others are at risk; call University Police. Officers are trained to assess emergencies and it is always advisable to get a second opinion.
    • Try to have as much information available as possible when contacting University Police, the Counseling Center, or any other campus resource. This includes your name, the student’s name, student ID, exact location, details about the incident, and a rough timeline of events.
    • While waiting for a response from the University Police there are strategies you can employ to manage the crisis:
      • Keep the student in a quiet and secure place where they will feel safe and calm.
      • Get help. The first rule of any crisis is not to manage it alone. Find a colleague who can help both you and the student.
      • Listen. Allowing a student to talk about why he or she is upset is a crucial and valuable tool. Do not try to solve their problem.
    • If the situation is serious but not a crisis, call Health, Counseling or Wellness to consult. If you are unsure if the student will go alone, it is best to walk with the student to our center.
    Do you offer workshops and presentations?

    Counseling Center staff can facilitate workshops for students, faculty and staff on a variety of topics related to student mental health, wellness and development. Staff are also available to speak to students about college mental health and the services on campus.

    24-Hr Emergency Information

    Call (781) 891-3131 if you’re experiencing a medical or emotional emergency.