Your Rights & Responsibilities as a Consumer of Counseling

Counseling Techniques
The counselors at Ohio University's Counseling and Psychological Services have a broad range of training and interests. We try to maintain a diversified staff with knowledge of a variety of counseling techniques so that we can be helpful with a wide range of problems and people. You have a right to ask about your counselor's specialty areas, training, and interests. You may also request specific counselors based on your needs. We try as much as possible to meet students' requests based on the availability of the counselors.


Professional Training and Credentials
We employ licensed professional staff, including psychologists and mental health counselors. We also have advanced graduate students who are training in our office. Both professional staff and graduate students possess unique and varied skills that enrich the services we offer you. Psychiatric consultation for medication is available on referral from professional staff and student health services. You have the right to be informed of any degree, licensing, or other credentials that your counselor has earned. You also have a right to know whether your counselor is being supervised, and by whom.

Record Keeping
Counselors at CPS are required by law to maintain professional records documenting sessions appropriately. These records are for your protection and are kept in a secure location in our office. You have a right to a copy of your file at any time, allowing us time to create a copy for you. Staff at CPS encourage you to discuss any record release with your therapist. Doing this will insure that any confusing information is talked over and clarified at the time of release.


Diagnosis
If you see a physician or need medication for any reason, it is required by Ohio state law that you receive a diagnosis for your condition. Diagnoses are often used in circumstances where we need to communicate what's going on with you in brief terms to other professionals. You have the right to be informed of any diagnosis given to you. You also have the right to ask for an explanation of any diagnostic information that is unknown, unclear, or confusing to you.

Limitations to Counseling
Counseling has some potential emotional risks. Approaching feelings or thoughts that you have tried not to think about for some time may be painful. Making changes in your beliefs or behaviors can be scary, and sometimes disruptive to the relationships you already have. You may find your relationship with your counselor to be a source of strong feelings, both positive and negative. It is important that you consider carefully whether these risks are worth the benefits to you of changing. Most people who take these risks find that counseling is helpful, and we will do what we can to minimize risks and maximize positive outcomes.

Your Responsibilities as a Client
You are responsible for coming to your session on time and at the time we have scheduled. If you are late, the session will still end on time and will not run into the next person's session. If you are very late or miss entirely, you may have to reschedule when there is an available time. If you miss a session without providing 24 hours' notice, a $20.00 fee will be charged to your student account as a miscellaneous medical fee. The only exception to our cancellation policy is if your absence is unavoidable, such as serious illness.

Complaints
We hope you'll talk about any dissatisfaction you have with your counseling sessions directly with your counselor. Counselors appreciate such information and use it to improve their sessions with clients. We take any criticism seriously, with care and respect. If you believe that your counselor has been unwilling to listen or respond, or if you believe that he or she has behaved unethically, you can complain about his or her behavior directly to the Director by calling 593-1616.