What is Counseling at SCC?

What is the role of a counselor at SCC?

As Faculty Counselors our role is to provide education and support related to mental health and well-being for students at Seattle Central pursuing their academic, career, and personal goals. Counselors are informed by a developmental perspective and the impact of social emotional learning on mental well-being while in school including phase of life issues during students’ experiences transitioning into college, throughout their time here, and as they consider the next transition. Counselors work to see the whole person in their role as students and to provide culturally responsive, social emotional learning. Counseling is holistic and most meetings include discussions that overlap with personal and academic or career aspects.

Counselors teach courses, offer workshops, and work individually with students. We work across the institution to reduce stigma, provide psycho-educational and social emotional as well as cognitive learning opportunities.

Counselors do not diagnose students, treat mental illness, or provide long-term therapy. We are able to work with students to seek these services in the community and to provide a touch point at SCC for the student and at times in conversation with their community provider.

What does Counseling at SCC look like?

More information is also available in the FAQ. 

Personal Counseling 

Personal counseling at Seattle Central College is an opportunity to learn and grow through surviving toward thriving. Identifying where you are on your path whether it is a time of expansive exploration or focusing in on points of friction you and your counselor can address developing your strengths and the goals you are working toward in your life.

Counseling often addresses personal as well as historical and structural issues that can make it difficult for students to persist in, complete, and take advantage of college. These may include: stress, grief, anxiety, depression, problems with self-esteem or relationships, culture shock, and other life concerns. We do not diagnose students or provide long-term treatment for individuals with the need or desire for those services. Referrals may be made for long-term counseling or therapy as needed. 
Some common topics discussed:

  • Feelings of sadness or depression 
  • Feelings of stress or anxiety 
  • Experiences of racism 
  • Gender identity and sexuality 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Substance use 
  • Community resource referral 
  • Cultural conflicts 
  • Life management 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Emotion management 
  • Grief and loss 
  • Lack of balance in life 
  • Relationship or family issues 
  • Resolving campus interpersonal conflicts 

Academic Counseling

Academic counseling addresses many aspects of the college experience including opportunities and challenges. Work with a counselor often includes identifying the impact of your academic history on your experience, clarifying your current situation and orienting toward the future. Counseling supports students with issues related to classes, adjusting to college culture, understanding college processes and other issues. Referrals may be made to campus support services such as advising or tutoring.

Some common topics discussed:

  • Life (time) Management 
  • Study skills 
  • Test anxiety 
  • Learning (dis)abilities 
  • College culture 
  • Communicating with professors 
  • Academic complaint process 
  • Academic Alert and Probation 
  • Academic pathway and transfer concerns 
  • Imposter syndrome 
  • Stereotype threat 
  • Concerns about class 
  • Campus involvement 
  • Withdrawing from school 
  • Resolving campus interpersonal conflicts 

Career Counseling

Career counseling helps students explore career paths that best fit their skills, needs, personality, and interests. Counselors use career assessment tools and individual attention to help students gain a better understanding of their strengths and interests. In addition to developing personal strengths and clarifying the path toward careers counseling may address historical and structural issues that can be obstacles for employment and job satisfaction.

Some common topics discussed:

  • Career indecision 
  • Career skills assessment 
  • Career interest assessment 
  • Career exploration 
  • Aligning abilities and resources with career preparation and demands 
  • Aligning life needs, desires with career pay 
  • Major identification 
  • Professional development 
  • Identifying alternate majors and /or careers 
  • Navigating work cultures and conflicts with personal and/or cultural values 

Crisis Counseling

While in school, students may occasionally encounter extremely challenging acute situations or repeated experiences that dramatically impacts their cognitive and emotional strategies. A crisis is an emergency (non–medical) situation that an individual perceives as stressful such that normal coping mechanisms are insufficient and an immediate response is necessary to reduce the social and emotional distress. Counseling staff work with the CARE Team to address situations and, if necessary, refer students to additional support services.

Immediate triggers and personal-historical precedents for a crisis are individual but some common ones include:

  • Acute and chronic traumas both physical and psychological
  • Grief
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Harassment
  • Experiences of racism and white supremacy
  • Developing mental illness
  • Exacerbated prior mental illness
  • Substance use and addiction.