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Professional Development & Counseling Services would like to welcome you to Northwest Missouri State University. College is a time of change-for both you and you son or daughter. For the student there is so much that is new: people, ideas, and experiences, and so much freedom to pursue them. This will be a time of increased intellectual and emotional growth and exploration; there may be great joy in this experience, and there may be times when the process is full of anxiety and uncertainty.
We are committed to seeing that your child makes a successful adjustment to life at Northwest. We provide free, confidential counseling to students. Sometimes a few sessions with a counselor is all that is needed to help a student feel "unstuck", to work through homesickness or the loss of a relationship; other students may need longer term counseling, especially if the difficulty is long standing. If your son or daughter is seeking counseling, please be assured that we are working very carefully with your child. Our staff have specialized training and experience in working with this age group, and we have chosen this area of psychology because we enjoy working with students. We continually work hard to understand the challenges that students face.
Most college students are above the age of 18. In Missouri, that means they are legal adults. Psychologists and counselors are bound by laws of confidentiality, and thus cannot divulge whether a student is seeking therapy, or discuss a student's status even with family members. We encourage parents who are concerned about the emotional well-being of their son or daughter to maintain close and caring contact with that student. Talk with your child about what is going on in his or her life. If you feel a need to communicate with the student's therapist, ask the student to authorize a release of information with the therapist.
We recognize that it is often distressful for parents to turn over the care of their daughter or son to strangers. You probably want to know what is going on and if your child is safe. While we cannot discuss particulars, if you wish to call the Personal Development and Counseling services to get a sense of who we are or to share information or concerns with us, please feel free to do so. Our telephone number is 660.562.1348 and our hours are 8:00 until 5:00, Monday through Friday. For after hour emergencies, one of the therapists can be reached through University Police at 660.562.1254.
Many students are hesitant about seeing a counselor and it is generally helpful to project a positive and accepting attitude about counseling when referring your child to Professional Development & Counseling Services. Reassure your child that all information is confidential.
If you feel your child would benefit from a referral for counseling, it is usually best to express your concern directly to him or her. It is generally better to suggest counseling and allow the student to make his or her own decision. Encourage your son/daughter to arrange the appointment.
Professional Development and Counseling services are intended primarily to help students with short-term emotional adjustment problems rather than long-term, intensive psychological problems. In the event that your son or daughter would need more intensive on-going therapy, an outside referral may be an appropriate alternative. If you are unsure if our services would be appropriate for your son/daughter, please call and talk with one of our staff about the situation. The list below describes the types of services we offer.