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Personal Growth and Counseling Center

Personal Growth and Counseling Center

Counseling FAQs

  • One third of adults in the United States experience an emotional or substance abuse problem (National Institute of Mental Health). Nearly 25 of the adult population suffers at some point from depression or anxiety.

    People often consider seeking the help of a counselor, also known as "therapy," under the following circumstances:

    • They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness, and they lack hope in their lives.
    • Their emotional difficulties make it hard for them to function from day-to-day. For example, they are unable to concentrate on assignments and their school performance suffers as a result.
    • Their actions are harmful to themselves or to others. For instance, they drink too much alcohol and become overly aggressive.
    • They are overly troubled by emotional difficulties facing family members or close friends.
    • If you are a CSUMB student and feel that you could benefit from the services of a Personal Growth and Counseling Center Counselor, please contact us at (831) 582-3969 to schedule an appointment.
    • You are currently thinking about suicide.
    • You have a plan for suicide.
    • You are thinking about or have a plan to harm someone else.
    • You've recently been the victim of a crime or experienced a traumatic event and are having trouble functioning.

    Think of a crisis appointment as a trip to the emergency room. Our goal is to ensure that you are safe and able to stay safe.

  • While many issues typically encountered by university students can be addressed with the short-term counseling we provide, if at any point it is determined that other services are more suitable for you, we will help you to obtain assistance from the appropriate off-campus provider that will best serve you.

  • Learn more about the Personal Growth and Counseling Center staff here.

  • You can expect someone who is interested in listening to your concerns and in helping you develop a better understanding of them so that you may deal with them more easily and effectively. Your counselor will take you seriously and will be willing to openly discuss anything you wish to discuss. Your counselor will be willing to answer some questions about herself or himself directly and honestly.

    Because counselors have different beliefs about how people change, they differ on how much talking they do in sessions, whether they ask you to do "homework", and their focus of discussion. If you have any questions about what is going on, by all means ask. Counselors have no "magical" skills or knowledge, and will be unable to solve your problems directly for you. Your counselor will want to work with you, but will not do what you are capable of doing yourself. Except under unusual circumstances, your counselor will maintain strict confidentiality about you, and will openly discuss this with you.

  • Your main responsibilities in counseling are to attend your regularly scheduled sessions, talk about what is bothering you as openly and honestly as you can, and complete any tasks or "homework" assignments you may be asked to do. You are expected to let your counselor know if you are unable to make it to a session. Most counseling will require you to try something new or a "different approach." Another thing your counselor will expect is for you to be willing to experiment and try things out without jumping to conclusions. You are also expected to let your counselor know when your problems have been solved, as well as, let your counselor know if you don't feel like you're making any progress. This latter point is most important: your counselor is most interested in your benefiting from counseling.

  • The staff of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center make every attempt to provide services to you, up to the limits of the law and professional ethics. Due to varying state laws, students who reside outside of the state of California (such as distance education students) may find that we are unable, by law, to provide counseling or therapy services of any kind.

  • Due to high demands for our services, the number of individual sessions is necessarily limited. Because of these limitations your counselor may ask you to consider other counseling support options on campus and/or in the community, such as PGCC groups, community self–help groups, private practitioners, or other public counseling agencies.

    • Letters are provided at the discretion of the PGCC according to clinical history, current functioning and relevant legal and ethical statutes.
    • Letters will be provided only in the event that a treatment relationship has been established with a PGCC clinician.
    • All requests must be made in person at least five (5) working days in advance of when it is needed.
    • PGCC clinicians are unable to write "doctor's notes" or give excuses for absences, missed exams or assignments turned in late.
    • Students must fill out a Release of Information form before a letter will be given. This form is available at the PGCC.
    • Letters are provided at the discretion of the PGCC according to clinical history, current functioning and relevant legal and ethical statutes.
    • Letters will be provided only in the event that a treatment relationship has been established with a PGCC clinician.
    • All requests must be made in person at least five (5) working days in advance of when it is needed.
    • PGCC clinicians are unable to write "doctor's notes" or give excuses for absences, missed exams or assignments turned in late.
    • Students must fill out a Release of Information form before a letter will be given. This form is available at the PGCC.
  • As there is currently no established literature base for the clinical efficacy of emotional support animals (ESAs), letters and other documentation for ESAs are not provided by the PGCC.

  • The PGCC does not permit ESAs on site because they are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    PGCC complies with federal and state disability civil rights laws and permits service animals. The University requires that any student using a service animal on campus request such accommodation by contacting the office of Student Disability Resources (SDR). SDR is in the Health and Wellness Services Building (80) and can be contacted by phone at (831) 582-3672 or by email at student_disability_resources@csumb.edu.

  • Disability verification/documentation for learning disabilities, psychiatric disabilities or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are not provided by the PGCC. Student Disability Resources and/or the counseling center can help students find resources within the community or through their insurance.