Personal Counseling

Counseling Services' staff can help with a wide variety of personal difficulties, such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sexual identity, relationship conflicts, eating disorders, and growing up in a dysfunctional family. Personal counseling within a supportive professional environment can help you understand yourself better and gain healthy coping strategies. Couples counseling is available when appropriate.

What You Should Know about Counseling and Psychotherapy

Myth #1

Therapy is too expensive for me.


Thatís true and not true! While the usual rate for a therapy hour is $75 to $125, Counseling Services provides this service free of charge to the students of Creighton University.

Myth #2

You have to be "crazy" to go for therapy.


Only a small percentage of our clients have had psychotic experiences. Most clients come to work through some problem areas of their life. Actually, instead of being "crazy", it is smart to utilize the resources which are available to you.

Myth #3

Going to therapy is a sign of weakness.


Actually, it takes a great deal of emotional strength to confront problem areas, seek help, and take responsibility for your life.

Myth #4

The counselor will tell me what to do and how to "fix" my problems.


Counseling is not a "quick fix" cure to your problems. The counselor is there to help you explore your feelings, thoughts, and concerns, to examine your options, and to assist you in achieving the goals you have set.

Myth #5

The counselor cannot understand me unless he/she has had similar experiences or is of the same background.


Counselors are trained to be sensitive to and respectful of individual differences, including the specific concerns of students with regard to gender, racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic issues. Counselors seek to learn from each client how their unique experiences have impacted their lives.

Myth #6

All you do is sit in the counselor's office and tell them your problems.


While talking about your problems is a part of the therapy process, it is not "all you do". For counseling to be effective, you will need to think about the issues discussed in therapy in between your counseling sessions and will need to follow through on making the changes you decide you want or need to make to reach your goals. In addition, your counselor may request that you do certain activities outside of your sessions (e.g., reading, journaling, recording your thoughts or feelings, practicing certain exercises) in order to make the most out of your therapy experience.


Now, let's move on and address the "who?", "what?", "when?", and "how long?" questions you may have about counseling and psychotherapy:

Who will I see?

All of the full-time therapists at Counseling Services are licensed in Nebraska or training to become licensed.  You also may see a master's level practicum student, who is being supervised by one of the staff psychologists. Generally, the person you see for your first session at Counseling Services will continue to work with you if individual or therapy is recommended. However, if for whatever reason you would prefer to switch to another counselor after your first session, you have every right to make this request!

What will I do in counseling?

During (or shortly after) your first appointment, your counselor will provide some recommendations regarding what will likely be helpful in addressing your specific concerns. Recommendations may include any or all of the following: individual counseling, career counseling, couple's counseling, group counseling, participation in a workshop, medication, and/or referral to another agency on or off campus.

If academic or career counseling is recommended, you will likely spend anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions exploring your academic and career interests through discussions with your counselor, completing various written and computerized career and academic assessment measures.

Oftentimes, group counseling is the best treatment option for students - particularly if you are dealing with interpersonal issues or relationship concerns, or if you could benefit from peer support. If group counseling is recommended, you will likely meet with the group counselor individually for a "screening session" first so that you can learn more about the group and so that the counselor can learn more about you.

If individual or counseling is recommended, you can expect to spend the first few sessions discussing the concerns that bring you to therapy and formulating goals that you will work on for the remainder of therapy. During this time, your counselor also will be attempting to get to know you better by asking you questions about your life here at college, your family background, your relationships, and other areas of your life.

If you are in the midst of a crisis when you first come to Counseling Services , time also will be spent during the first few sessions on helping you cope with the crisis. From this point, what you do in your counseling sessions will vary from talking about what is contributing to your problems and exploring potential solutions, to role plays, relaxation training, discussing assigned readings, reviewing homework assignments, etc...

Although what you do in session may change over time, your counselor will discuss each component of therapy with you before deciding how to progress. After some time in individual, couple or family counseling, other treatment recommendations may be made, such as joining a group   When you have met many or all of your therapy goals, you and your counselor will make a decision about ending therapy. The last few sessions are a time to review your progress, make future plans, and discuss your experiences with counseling.

When will my counseling sessions take place?

Individual or couple  therapy sessions typically last for 50 minutes and may be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, or less frequently, depending on the nature of your presenting concerns, what stage you are at in the therapy process, and how busy Counseling Services is (the mid-term and end of semester time periods tend to be busiest). Groups also meet weekly and last for 90 minutes. You should plan on coming early or on-time for your scheduled appointments! Regular and on-time attendance of counseling sessions is critical for ensuring that you reach your therapy goals.

When will I start to feel better?

Many people report that counseling is helpful even with the first session. This may be due to feeling good about having made a decision to get help or the relief that comes from being able to discuss your concerns with someone who is understanding and non-judgmental. Long-lasting relief from problems comes more gradually and is the result of making changes in your life, relationships, thoughts, and behavior. There is no definitive time schedule for these improvements. However, you should share with your counselor if you have noticed no improvement after working in therapy for several months or more. The good news is that research has repeatedly demonstrated that therapy works, as long as clients take an active part in the counseling process.

How long will I be in counseling?

Obviously, this is ultimately up to you. However, depending on your therapy goals, brief counseling (up to 3-5 sessions) or more long-term counseling will be more effective. Regardless of how long you participate in therapy, your counselor will revisit your therapy goals with you on a regular basis and you will decide together when it makes sense to end therapy.