"The mission of Georgia College Counseling Services is to enhance student success and promote a safe and healthy academic environment by attending to the psychological, emotional, and developmental wellbeing of students. We encourage personal responsibility, respect human dignity, and value the differences among people."
Counseling Services is a supportive and accepting environment for students of all belief systems and identities.
Counseling Services provides voluntary, confidential and free professional counseling to enrolled students for a wide range of issues, including:
Personal Issues: A whole array of individual concerns, such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment to college and health problems.
Academic Skills: Time management, study skills, test-taking, test anxiety
We also provide:
Psychiatric Services: Short term medication management.
Alcohol and Other Drug Education: Learning more about alcohol and other drugs, screening and referral for treatment if needed
Referral: Assistance in locating additional sources of help, both on and off campus, including times when issues are beyond our scope of practice
Consultation: We consult with students, faculty, staff and concerned family members about problems students might be having. While we cannot discuss any specific client's information, we are happy to suggest ways of addressing certain kinds of behavior or help facilitate a referral to our office or to some other service.
If you are are at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.
*If you call Counseling Services about an emergency situation during office hours (M-F 8 AM-5 PM), tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment
*If you experience an emergency outside of normal office hours, go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.
Do not use email to communicate during an emergency.
If you are experiencing a crisis, you may also call the
Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1 800 715-4225 (for assistance with mental health or substance abuse issues) or the
National Suicide Hotline 24 hours per day 1 800 273-TALK (8255)
When to Call Counseling Services
- A student is depressed, extremely anxious or psychotic
- A student has difficulty controlling emotions and/or behavior, and has not responded positively to your attempts to problem solve
- A student’s weight and eating behavior is a concern
- A student’s substance use is a concern
- A student appears to be in an abusive relationship
- A student is experiencing grief or loss
- Whenever you are concerned about a student
The Georgia College CARE Team (Crisis Assessment, Response and Education) is a resource for anyone at Georgia College who is concerned that an individual on campus may pose a potential threat to him/herself or others (doc). The individual may be a student, staff or faculty member, or a visitor. Call 445-7475 (445-RISK) to report concerns. A person is available to answer the phone 24 hours per day.
The CARE Team is not the appropriate place to direct concerns about a present or imminent emergency - those concerns should go directly to GC Public Safety at 445-4400.
If you are in distress and think that you may harm yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.
During office hours, you may come to Counseling Services or call us at 478-445-5331. If you think that you may be in danger of harming yourself or someone else, tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment.
Limits of Confidentiality: Under normal circumstances, information disclosed in counseling is strictly confidential. However in emergencies, it is sometimes necessary to disclose information for the protection of those involved. While we try to honor the student's wishes whenever we can, we will disclose information regardless of the student's preference if we believe that doing so is necessary to prevent harm.
What goes on in personal counseling?
The exact nature of the counseling experience will vary according to factors such as the nature of the issues a student brings in to counseling and the personality and training of the counselor. In general, counseling involves identifying and building upon an individual's strengths in order to work through a challenge or difficulty. Counseling often involves gaining new insights into oneself, but it may also involve learning new strategies and techniques for coping. Many students find their needs are met after one session with a counselor or that they may benefit from a workshop or group that teaches specific skills. Workshops are usually a 1 hour commitment while groups might meet for 1 hour for about 4-8 sessions. Individual counseling may be recommended in certain cases and your counselor will work with you to determine the best path. Those sessions are typically 45 to 50 minutes depending on what is needed. Often the work a person does between counseling sessions is a critical part of the success of counseling.
What kinds of issues might a student deal with in personal counseling?
A wide range of issues could be addressed in personal counseling. Many students find it helpful to seek counseling regarding homesickness, adjustment to college, roommate conflicts, or other relationship difficulties. Other examples of issues that a student might bring to personal counseling include coping with grief and loss, adjusting to life after divorce, and recovery after a trauma. Personal counseling also helps individuals work through or better manage depression or anxiety and to learn more effective stress management.
Is there a limit to the number of sessions of personal counseling a student may have?
Counseling Services offers short term counseling. The majority of students are seen for five sessions or fewer, but students may receive up to 12 individual counseling appointments per academic year. Group counseling, workshops and psychiatric appointments are not included in this 12 session limit. At times, a student may be facing a difficulty that requires a much longer course of treatment. In such cases, Counseling Services will help secure referrals to clinicians in the community and will offer support until the connection between student and outside therapist is made. For example, we routinely refer students whose primary issues are Substance Abuse or severe Eating Disorders to off-campus providers, because treatment for these issues tends to be long term and highly specialized. While there are local treatment options for Substance Abuse, there are no residential Eating Disorder treatment facilities in the local area.
Is counseling confidential?
Yes, with a few exceptions that are described below, counseling is confidential. The confidential nature of counseling means that your counselor cannot share information about you with your parents, professors, roommates, or other college staff. If you would like for your counselor to communicate with anyone, we will do so with your written permission. Exceptions to confidentiality include the following:
- If we believe that you pose a life-threatening risk to yourself or someone else, we may share information as necessary to prevent any harm from occurring. In the event of imminent risk to self or others, voluntary or involuntary hospitalization may also be necessary.
- We are legally required to report information about the current abuse or neglect of a minor, an elderly person or a person with a disability.
- In order to provide you with the best care, staff members may consult with or receive supervision from other professional colleagues within Counseling Services.
- If you are involved in a legal action and a judge determines that clinical information will provide evidence bearing significantly on the case, the counselor may be mandated to release your records. A counselor may also be required to disclose confidential information as part of a defense against civil, criminal, or disciplinary action.
- For purposes of evaluating our services, gathering valuable research information and designing future programs, the counseling services staff may utilize your clinical information. Your anonymity will be maintained by utilizing a client identification number unique to counseling services and by using aggregated data that prevents the exposure of personally identifiable information.
- If you are under the age of 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) must provide consent for us to provide services to you. If you are under 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) may request access to your records and may authorize their release to other parties.
All career-related concerns should initially be addressed at the Career Center. You can make an appointment by phone at 478-445-5384, in person at 110 Lanier Hall, email at email@example.com, or online in UNIFY. The Career Center can help you collect and assess career information, assist you in taking the Focus2 career assessment to learn more about your interests, values, and personality, explore possible areas of study or career paths, and decide on majors/careers. They can also help you develop a plan of action as it relates to gaining experience so that you are competitive for internships, graduate/professional schools, or jobs.
Career Center advisors may also refer you to Counseling Services if they feel you could use additional assistance or more in-depth assessment. Counseling Services provides in-depth confidential counseling and career assessments to complement the Career Center. This can be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, severe indecision, a disability, identity concerns, excessive family pressure, rejection, or difficulty with parents, family, or other relationships.
Students often find it difficult to adjust to the rigors of the college curriculum. Many report that they did not find it necessary to apply themselves in high school to perform adequately. Additionally they recognize that parents and teachers often played a large role in helping them stay organized and managing their time. Consequently, they may have never developed effective study habits and their academic performance is college suffers. Students without effective strategies for studying and time management often feel overwhelmed and anxious about tests and other demands.
For students who want or need assistance developing academic skills, we offer guidance in
- Time Management
- Controlling Test Anxiety
- Efficient Study Techniques
Academic Skills Resources
Click on the links below for text or audio versions of resources offered to enhance study skills. In addition to these titles, we have several other pamphlets and books available in the Counseling Services office.
Successful Notetaking (wav)
Tutoring for specific subjects is offered through the Learning Center.
Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are addressed through Disability Services.
Spring 2020 Groups and Workshops
Anxiety Group – The Anxiety Group addresses various kinds of anxiety, ranging from test anxiety to social anxiety to generalized anxiety. The group will focus on becoming more aware of the triggers and early signs of anxiety as well as developing coping skills to disarm and rethink automatic, negative thoughts. This group will meet for 5 sessions and will be closed to new members after the 2nd session.
Freshman Support Group The Freshman Support Group addresses adjustment and anxiety related issues for students in their first year of college.
Grief Group –This group will provide grieving students a safe environment in which they can share and learn from each other. Students may be dealing with different losses, ranging from a death to the end of a friendship or relationship. The criteria for becoming a member of the group is simply that they are struggling with a loss in their life. Students will review the stages of grief, identify and explore fears surrounding the loss and healthy ways of managing their fear, share their loss with others and support each other through the grief process.
Mindfulness Group– This 5-session group will help students who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD or help with over-thinking and stress. Mindfulness is a holistic therapy approach that is evidenced-based on the treatment of a wide variety of issues. Group members will learn awareness exercises and cognitive techniques designed to help them deal with their concerns and increase their feelings of control and direction in their daily lives. Group screening with Dixie prior to group session if possible.
Social Anxiety “Breaking Out of Your Shell” – This 8 session structured group is designed to help students struggling with social anxiety. Group members will learn how thoughts, physical sensations and avoidance behaviors interact to create a vicious cycle. Students will learn strategies for recognizing and changing their unhelpful or inaccurate thoughts and for managing avoidance behaviors. Students should know that group therapy for social anxiety is more effective than individual counseling or medication.
Women’s Therapy Group – An ongoing open group for woman-identified students, or students whose gender-identity falls under the trans umbrella and feels this group would be a good fit for them. This group offers a space for women to form a community in which they can express their feelings and discuss issues in a safe, supportive environment. Group screening with Dixie prior to group session if possible.
Rewriting History (Trauma) Group - This group is for women who have experienced emotional, physical or sexual trauma. Utilizing an empowerment model, students will address their past trauma, and learn ways to form healthy boundaries, build relationships, increase self- care and regulate emotions associated with a traumatic event. This is an eight session group, and a screening session is required prior to group entry.
Personal Wellness - This is a four-session supportive skill-based group to assist in building self confidence and self-esteem. This group will look at promoting healthy relationships and understanding your core self through discussion on increasing body appreciation, embracing your strengths, conquering self-doubt and overcoming self-criticism.
One Session Workshops
Managing Panic Attacks – This workshop is for students experiencing panic attacks, regardless of whether they meet criteria for panic disorder. This one session workshop will help students understand and learn strategies for stopping panic attacks. Students will learn techniques for reducing physiological symptoms and changing maladaptive thoughts.
Sleep Workshop – This workshop is designed for students who have insomnia or nightmares that are primarily due to stress and anxiety.
Academic Confidence - This is a one session workshop designed to assist students in developing a foundation to promote academic confidence. During this workshop students will focus on time management, communication, and self-criticism as it relates to the academic environment.
Time Management - This workshop is designed to help students identify barriers to managing their time and learn effective strategies to overcome those barriers.
Anxiety Workshop – This workshop offers practical skills for managing anxiety, as well as increase understanding of where anxiety comes from. (Students interested in ongoing work will be encouraged to join one of the anxiety groups.)
Academic Stress Management and Test Anxiety – This workshop will focus on developing a balanced approach to preventing and managing academic stress and test anxiety. The goal is to develop a healthy mindset and hone skills to regularly address stress and anxiety.
Meditation – This workshop is primarily experiential. Students will learn about mindfulness and then be led through a sitting meditation and given resources for continued practice. Students are welcome to attend this workshop more than once.
Relationship Workshop Series
Session 1: Come explore how to recognize a healthy relationship, the importance of knowing who you are and what you want in a relationship, what it means to “find the right one” and “be the right one,” as well as what “compatibility” means in relationships. Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:30 – 4:30
Session 2: Love is an action word, so this session will explore healthy ways to connect with and show commitment to your special someone. We will explore “Love Languages”, ways to show commitment, how to recognize your significant other’s pleas for connection, and how to make healthy decisions in a relationship. Wednesday, February 5, 2020 3:30 – 4:30
Session 3: How you manage communication skills and conflict/problem solving skills will make or break your relationship. Learn how to set healthy patterns early in your relationship so when problems come you will be ready to conquer them together like champs! Wednesday, February 12, 2020 3:30 – 4:30
Session 4: It takes two healthy people to build and keep alive a healthy relationship. Learn how to manage stress, use mindfulness to strengthen your relationship, and ways to make your true love feel like the most valued treasure in your life. Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:30 – 4:30
Session 5: In this session, we will talk about recognizing when it’s time to call it quits, including healthy and not-so-healthy ways to end relationships, and how to recognize and get out of unhealthy or abusive relationships. Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:30 – 4:30
In an effort to reduce wait times, students seeking a first session to begin counseling can walk-in during the hours of 9AM-3:00PM, Monday-Friday. No appointment is necessary. You and your counselor will work together to determine a plan for meeting your needs. The plan may include one or several of the various treatment resources available, including workshops, groups, or individual counseling.
For students who have an established relationship with at counselor, we ask that you call 478-445-5331 to make a follow-up appointment. We see students by appointment, Monday Through Friday 8AM-5PM.
If you call Counseling Services about a crisis situation during our office hours, tell us it is a crisis, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment. No appointment is necessary. Examples of a crisis include thoughts of harming yourself or others, a recent traumatic experience or a recent loss.
To make an appointment:
Call: You can reach us at (478) 445 5331.
Email: If you are making a follow-up appointment, you can email your request for an appointment to firstname.lastname@example.org or email a counselor directly (click here to see our counselors). To protect your privacy, please refrain from including sensitive information in emails.
To seek treatment with a mental health professional off campus:
- See your insurance plan website for mental health professionals covered by your plan.
- Employee Assistance Program (844) 243-4440 or EAPhelplink.com (password USGcares; free for GC employees; https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/2019_benefits/eap)
- Milledgeville VA Clinic (478) 414-4540 or https://www.dublin.va.gov/locations/milledgeville.asp (free for Veterans)
To seek online, video or phone based treatment with a mental health professional off campus
- Student Assistance Plan www.uhcsr.com/school-page (free for members of the United Health student insurance plan)
- Employee Assistance Program 844-243-4440 or EAPhelplink.com (password USGcares; free for GC employees; https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/2019_benefits/eap)
- See your insurance plan website for tele-mental health or tele-behavioral health services (typically fee based)
- https://www.meta.app (insurance billed or fee based service; specializes in counseling for college students)
- https://www.betterhelp.com/ (fee based service)
- www.talkspace.com (fee based service)
To connect with Peer Support Programs, Clubs, Groups and Organizations: These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by licensed mental health professionals. These peer supports are not intended to replace mental health treatment but are a source of support for managing stress and promoting wellness. Except where indicated, the following peer support programs, clubs and groups do not charge participants.
Campus Based/Student Led organizations for the promotion and support of well-being and mental health. These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.
- Active Minds is a student led organization “dedicated to raising mental health awareness among college students, on the peer level” (activeminds.org)
- To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a student led organization “dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide” (twloha.com).
- Collegiate Animal Therapy Society. This student led organization provides the "opportunity to interact with Therapy Pets, thereby providing stress relief in a fun and safe environment" (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).
- Meditation Club. This student led organization, which is also open to employees, seeks to “provide an open and safe environment for learning various meditation styles and techniques. Centering the thoughts of the mind has proven to be important for sustaining positive mental health” (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).
- Unleashing Positivity (UP) Project. This goal of this student led organization “is to spread happiness around campus. The club will go into the community and advertise concentrations of positive thinking, emotional support, and anti-bullying within the community” (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).
Community based, peer led organizations for the promotion and support of mental health: These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an advocacy group that provides education, advocacy and support for those with mental illness and their families. The Baldwin County chapter offers NAMI Connection, a biweekly “recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each other’s experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding” (NAMI.org)
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Peer led support groups for substance abuse. https://www.aageorgia.org/8-meetings.html
- Narcotics Anonymous: Peer led support groups for substance abuse. https://www.na.org/meetingsearch
- Al Anon. Peer led support group for the families and friends of substance abusers. https://al-anon.org/
Church based pastoral care or lay minister support. These sources of support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.
- Stephen’s Ministry is a program of the United Methodist Church that provides lay support for those coping with stressful situations. In the Milledgeville area, the Stephen’s Ministry is offered through the First United Methodist Church (http://www.milledgevillefumc.org/stephen-ministry).
- Fresh Hope, provides faith based, online support groups for individuals and families of those with a mental health diagnosis (FreshHopeMeeting.com).
- Grief Share, is a faith based, structured program to assist individuals struggling with the death of someone in their lives. The program is offered in at least three Milledgeville churches program (First Baptist Church of Milledgeville, Victory Baptist Church and Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church) at a cost of $15-20 for the 13 week course (https://www.griefshare.org/groups).
- Care Ministry - The website of Northridge Christian Church specifies that the church offers a care ministry that pairs individuals with a “life-experience mentor who is willing to walk with you along the journey, providing care, comfort and guidance” (http://northridge.online/care)
- Celebrate Recovery at Freedom Church “is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life.” https://freedomchurch.net/ministries/celebrate-recovery/
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To make an appointment: call, email or drop in
Suite 210 Wellness and Recreation Center
134 West Campus Drive
Campus Box 61
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Note: To protect your privacy, please refrain from including sensitive information in emails.