Life is stressful, but the life of a college student is especially so. Counseling offers you an opportunity to talk to someone who will listen to you without criticism or passing judgment, and who will keep what you say confidential. In counseling, you have a safe space to verbalize your thoughts, feelings, and concerns and – in doing so – to gain some understanding and control over them.
College students can at times experience many stressors as they pursue their educational goals. A few examples of such stressors can be sorting out identity issues, establishing and maintaining important relationships, coping with anxiety and depression, communication parents and other family members, dealing with losses, handling new academic demand, etc. Counseling is the chance to learn how to resolve personal issues that are confusing or upsetting, talk with someone not personally involved in the situation who can give feedback from a different perspective, and learn new ways of coping that can help now and in the future. To help with these tasks, the Bloomfield College Personal Counseling Office provides a variety of psychological counseling services for students. Services are free, and confidential to all enrolled.
Who can use the Bloomfield College Personal Counseling services?
The Bloomfield College Personal Counseling Office provides services free counseling services to all students enrolled at the college. If both partners of a couple are BC students, they can be seen for couples counseling to work on their relationship. The office is also able to connect students with off campus referrals as needed.
Why seek counseling?
Most people come to counseling when their usual ways of handling problems are not working well. Maybe they have found that talking to friends or relatives about the problem is impossible or unsatisfying. Many students who come feel upset in some way - angry, depressed, scared, or confused. These feelings may have been set off for a number of reasons:
- Feeling the loss of someone close
- Trying to begin or maintain a relationship
- Having problems concentrating while studying
- Experiencing anxiety about tests or speaking in class
- Procrastinating too much
- Wondering why you are in college
- Becoming aware you have a problem with alcohol or drugs
- Struggling to become independent from parents or to not lose touch with your family
- Concern about family members or friends who are facing issues such as a drinking problem, divorce, serious illness, or death
- Reacting to an unwanted pregnancy or a traumatic experience such as rape
These are only a few of the reasons why people come for counseling.
What is Group Counseling and why would someone go to a group?
Counseling groups are often the best way to work on problems, especially when the problems deal with issues about your relationships with other people. A group gives you contact with a few of your peers, along with a counselor, who are not part of your everyday life and so can give you more useful feedback. It is also a safe environment where you can test out different ways of acting with others. The specific groups available each semester vary in theme and time, but in recent semesters we have offered groups focusing on relationships, parenting, and stress management.
How "bad" should I feel before I go for counseling?
Counseling is NOT just for those times when you feel "at the end of your rope." Many students find that using a counselor as a sounding board as they're trying to figure out a solution to a particular problem or learn more about themselves can be extremely helpful. While feeling bad can be one way of knowing it's time to speak with a professional, it's not the only one. Just feeling stuck or confused is enough reason.
Of course, if you are feeling distressed -- having difficulty concentrating: sleeping: experiencing changes in appetite; serious relationship problems -- then you should make an appointment as soon as possible.
How much does it cost to seek counseling at BC?
Services at FREE to all enrolled students. Students are also able to participate in couple counseling with their BC partners.
Will anyone else find out what I talk to my counselor about?
A counseling session is private and confidential. The counselor does not report to deans, parents, and members of the faculty except at the student's written request. The theory behind all forms of counseling is that creating a safe zone where anything can be discussed without worry of repercussion is a basic necessity before anything else can occur. For more information on confidentiality, click here.
What can I do if I'm not ready for counseling?
There are lots of other ways to work on your problems. A counselor might suggest reading material, self-help groups, Internet links. It's ok and in fact, extremely helpful, to tell the counselor if you're not interested or ready to continue one-to-one counseling. Then other options can be discussed.
If you don't feel ready to meet with a counselor even once to explore some options, take a look through the "Help Yourself" pamphlets displayed in the lobby of the Student Center. You may find something there that's useful.
Meet Our Staff
Nicole Palagano, LPC
Director of Personal Counseling
Phone: 973-748-9000 x1403
Lucia S. Winston, M.A.
Phone: 973-749-9000, ext. 1302