Who is eligible for therapy at SHaW – Mental Health?

All registered students at Storrs are eligible for services. Sometimes other persons important in your life, such a partner, spouse, or friend may be involved in the therapy process as well and do not have to be a UConn student.
If it is an emergency, call 911.

If I go to SHaW Mental Health for help, does it mean there is something wrong with me?

No. Students who use mental health services are interested in their personal growth and adjustment in the world around them. Students face normal developmental concerns and academic pressures while UConn and may feel anxious, angry, lonely, or depressed. SHaW staff members are trained professionals and supervised graduate assistants who help students explore alternative coping strategies and ways of dealing with themselves and their environment.

Isn’t it better for me to solve my own problems?

A therapist doesn’t solve your problems for you. Rather, they help you clarify issues so you can solve problems on your own with a therapist’s guidance, support, and expertise. The goal of therapy is to make you more self-sufficient, not more dependent.

Will anyone be told I have come to SHaW Mental Health?

No. We have a strict confidentiality policy and will not release information regarding contact with a student without permission from the student except in a few excepted areas. If a student is 18 years of age, it is the student’s right to choose whether to discuss their use of mental health services with parents, friends, academic advisors, or prospective employers.

Why do people consider using therapy?

Therapy is a partnership between an individual and a professional who is trained to help people understand their feelings and assist them with changing their behavior. People often consider therapy under the following circumstances:

  • They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness in their futures.
  • Their emotional difficulties make it hard for them to function day to day.
    For example, they are unable to concentrate on assignments and their class performance suffers as a result.
  • Their actions are harmful to themselves or others.
  • They are troubled by emotional difficulties facing family members or close friends.
  • They just need someone with whom to talk.

What can I expect at my first individual therapy appointment at SHaW Mental Health?

Please complete paperwork prior to your first individual therapy appointment. This will help the therapist know the reason(s) you are seeking services and how they can assist you. The therapist will meet with you for approximately 50 minutes. At this first session you will be asked questions to clarify your current situation and past history. The therapist will discuss treatment options with you. We will make every effort to see that you receive the best available care, whether it is on or off campus.

What are the benefits of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy (a.k.a. talk therapy) can help people work through painful experiences and events of the past, promote healthy coping strategies, help people clarify their goals for the future, and assist in developing the tools needed to achieve such goals. Talk therapy helps people explore and promote understanding of various emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and can be particularly helpful in treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and relational problems.

If I begin therapy, how should I try to gain the most from it?

There are many approaches to therapy and various formats in which it may occur–including individual, group, and couples. Despite the variations, all therapy is a two-way process that works especially well when you and your therapist communicate openly. Research shows that the outcome of therapy is improved when the therapist and the client agree early about what the major problems are and how therapy can help.

You and your therapist both have responsibilities in establishing and maintaining a good working relationship. Be clear with your therapist about your concerns that may arise. Therapy works best when you attend all scheduled sessions and give some forethought as to what you want to discuss during each session.

Therapy isn’t easy. But individuals willing to work in close partnership with their counselor or psychologist often find relief from their emotional distress and begin to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

How can I evaluate whether therapy is working?

As you begin therapy, you should establish clear goals with your therapist. Perhaps you want to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with feelings of depression. Or maybe you would like to control fear that disrupts your daily life. Keep in mind that certain tasks require more time to accomplish than others. You may need to adjust your goals depending on how long you plan to be in therapy.

After a few sessions, it is a good sign if you feel the experience is a joint effort and that you and your therapist enjoy a comfortable relationship. On the other hand, you should be open with your therapist if you find yourself feeling “stuck” or lacking direction once you have been in therapy awhile.

You may feel a wide range of emotions during therapy. Some qualms about therapy that you may have might result from the difficulty of discussing painful and troubling experiences. When this happens, it can actually be a positive sign that you are starting to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

You should spend time with your therapist periodically reviewing your progress. Although there are other considerations affecting the duration of therapy, success in reaching your primary goals should be a major factor in deciding when you should end therapy.