Counseling Services FAQs

Why would I see a counselor?

People visit counseling services for many reasons. Some are dealing with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Others do not have a mental health diagnosis but have found life is presenting more challenges than they feel they are equipped to handle. Counseling can provide a safe place to discuss the issues you are facing and help you find healthy ways to deal with them. Common reasons to come to a counselor include: feelings of sadness that won’t go away; feelings of homesickness that are interfering with your social life or school work; roommate issues; dating issues; overwhelming stress and/or anxiety; eating disorders; low self esteem; parental issues; social anxiety; alcohol/drug related issues; anger control.

How much does counseling cost?

Counseling is free to all Barton College students.

Do I need to be referred?

No. You may call the counseling center at any time to schedule an appointment. Your professors, RA, area director, or other faculty or staff members may recommend you make an appointment based on their interactions with you; but you do not require a referral.

Can anyone make me go to counseling?

Counseling is totally voluntary, except in cases in which it is deemed necessary as part of a disciplinary action.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Simply call the counseling office at 252-399-6587 or email You may also stop by the Lee Student Health Center to see if the counselor is available for walk-in sessions or to schedule an appointment.

Will my friends and family know I’m talking to the counselor?

No. Your visits with the counselor are strictly confidential. This confidentiality will be broken only if the counselor thinks you are a threat to yourself or someone else, if you disclose information about child or elder abuse, or if legal proceedings require disclosure of your counseling sessions.

How does counseling work?

Counseling provides a safe environment to share all your feelings. You will do most of the talking, and the counselor will ask questions to help you express your thoughts and feelings. The goal is that, as you identify your feelings and explore why you may feel the way you do, you and the counselor will gain clarity on your particular situation. The counselor will also teach you specific techniques and/or assign specific activities to help you overcome your presenting issue. Each counseling session is focused on you and what your needs are, so it is your responsibility to tell the counselor if there is something specific you do or do not want to work on in that session.

How often would I see the counselor?

You and the counselor will decide together how often you should meet. Usually, you meet once a week or once every other week.

How long does counseling last?

This can vary based on the individual and the presenting problem. You and the counselor will decide together when you have met your goals and no longer need regular counseling sessions. Some issues can be resolved in 2-8 sessions while other issues may require ongoing supportive counseling. You have the right to discontinue counseling at any time or request a referral to another provider.