What services are offered by Counseling and Testing Service?
Counseling and Testing Service offers individual counseling, group counseling, and biofeedback services. All clinical services are free of charge and students do not require medical insurance to seek our services. If your concerns require resources or competencies other than what we can provide, we will refer you to appropriate services, which may be in the community.
Who is eligible for counseling services?
In general, any student enrolled in the current ISU semester is eligible for counseling services. Any student living outside of the state of Idaho may access free, confidential telehealth services through MySSP. Please review this document regarding Eligibility for Services to learn more specifics.
What is counseling like, and how do I know if I would benefit?
Counseling is a process by which people who are dissatisfied with some aspect of their lives enter into a relationship with a trained professional to gain greater insight into their situation and to develop more effective ways of responding to life experiences. Counselors generally do not give advice or make decisions for their clients. They ask questions and make comments to help you understand yourself more fully, make your own choices, and become more connected to others. To receive the most benefit from counseling, you will need to attend sessions regularly and be honest and open about your concerns; and this is sometimes difficult. Counseling is intended to improve your life in the “real world,” so making efforts to practice new behaviors, approaches, and ways of thinking, as recommended by your counselor, could be a crucial element to the success of your counseling experience. Although counseling helps most people, it is not always or completely effective.
In general, most people can handle most of life's problems on their own or with the help of family or friends. There are times, however, when we "get stuck" or can't figure out the solution on our own. When people develop problems of sufficient severity, professional assistance is needed. Also, many times college students find they are a long distance from their friends/family and they don't have their usual support network to turn to. These are times when counseling may be helpful.
What if I am in crisis or am having thoughts of suicide?
Crisis situations include suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, recent sexual or physical assault, death of a close loved one, or symptoms of psychosis (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). Students who feel they are in a crisis can call the counseling center during business hours and request to speak with a counselor that day. During non-business hours and on weekends, students in crisis can utilize emergency services available to them.
How do I initiate services and what is the process to get established with a provider?
To initiate services, call CATS at (208) 282-2130 from 8 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday - Friday during the regular school year and 7:30 a.m. -3 p.m. during the summer. You will be asked to complete a brief form and provide some demographic information before being scheduled for a phone consultation with a staff member. If you are in crisis and need to speak with a counselor that day, we will accommodate this request and have you speak with the next available counselor. If you are not in crisis, you will be scheduled for a phone consultation appointment.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Will anyone know that I am participating in counseling services? Will counseling services be a part of my academic record?
The University Counseling & Testing Service's counseling records are separate from other university records and are defined as confidential medical records by both state and federal law. All counseling is confidential. No information is released without your consent except when the law requires. These exceptions include the following: immediate danger to you or someone else, suspicions of child or elder abuse, subpoenaed records, or a threat to national security.
Can I receive a letter for an Emotional Support Animal, or to excuse missed classes or assignments?
If you require a letter for any reason from Counseling & Testing Service, please note the following:
- Letters are provided at the discretion of Counseling & Testing Service according to your 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 counselor at Counseling & Testing Service (i.e. engagement in ongoing group/couple/individual therapy or biofeedback services). Please note that attending a brief consultation, crisis session, or assessment and referral appointment does not qualify you as a client of this agency nor does it constitute having a therapeutic relationship with any provider of this agency.
- All requests for letters must be made in person at least five (5) working days in advance of when it is needed
- You must fill out a Release of Information before a letter will be given, even if you are requesting a letter made out to yourself.
- We do not provide letters and other documentation for emotional support animals.
- We do not provide excuses for missed classes or late or missed assignments/exams.