For Parents

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For Parents

Clinicians are available to speak with parents by phone or in person by appointment. Parents can call if they have concerns about their son or daughter, or if they have questions about the specific services we provide. We also help parents obtain referrals to clinicians and resources within the community. It can be especially helpful for parents whose son or daughter has a history of mental illness to contact Counseling & Psychological Services prior to or at the beginning of the academic year to discuss treatment options that will provide continuity of care.

What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of an effective counseling relationship. Connecticut state law prohibits us from sharing any information about a student's contact with a clinician, without the written permission of the student, except in the event that the student is a risk to self or others, or in the case of suspected child or elder abuse.

However, we are not prohibited from discussing ways in which parents can be helpful in dealing with the issues confronting their son or daughter. Even if a student does not give his or her clinician permission to provide information to you, you may speak with a clinician to share your concerns, particularly if you feel your son or daughter is at risk. Please note that the clinician is unable to even acknowledge knowing your student, and will discuss with them any information you provide.

Why do students seek counseling?
Each year, about 20% of our students consult Counseling & Psychological Services seeking help with a wide range of problems. These include adjustment difficulties, relationship and family problems, as well as more serious issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse. We encourage students to consult with us about matters that concern them.

What services are offered?
Counseling & Psychological Services offers short-term psychological counseling, crisis intervention, groups and workshops, consultations, and psychiatric referrals.

What should I look for during my son or daughter's transition to college?>
Typical adjustment issues during freshman year include complaints about living arrangements, roommate problems, academic workload and time management difficulties, and homesickness. While most students gradually adjust and transition successfully as freshmen, some continue to struggle. Some warning signs of poor adjustment to college life include isolation from other people and campus activities, irritability, poor class attendance, excessive partying, constant telephone contact with parents, visiting home every weekend, sleep and/or appetite disturbance, and poor concentration. If you are concerned about your son or daughter, encourage them to speak with one of our clinicians.

What about Alcohol?

The Sound of Your Voice

What should I do if my son or daughter does not stay in touch?

Follow this link for some advice from the Christian Monitor.

Self Assessment and Interesting Links

Alcohol Awareness - A Handbook for Parents

On Campus Services

Health Center

Health and Wellness Education


Career Center

Campus Ministry

Suggested Readings

Don't Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller
When children leave for college, many parents feel uncertain about their shifting roles. By emphasizing the importance of being a mentor to your college student, Don't Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money shows parents how to influence their college student while still supporting their independence. The authors offer valuable insight into the minds of college students and provide parents with simple suggestions for improving communication with their children. Filled with humorous anecdotes and realistic dialogs between parents and students, this comprehensive guide covers a wide range of issues including financial matters, academic concerns, social adjustment, and postgraduate choices.

Empty Nest...Full Heart: the Journey from Home to College by Andrea VanSteenhouse, Ph.D.
The author chronicles the tumultuous journey from the senior year of high school, through the challenging summer, to the first year of college for students. Featuring an emphasis on the freshman experience, Empty Nest...Full Heart offers a lighthearted yet savvy look at this turbulent time. The book's generous and compassionate scope makes it lively, humorous, an emotionally resonant.

Helping Your First Year College Student Succeed by Richard H. Mullendore and Cathie Hatch of the National Orientation Director's Association
This informational pamphlet focuses on "letting go" as a long-term process that should never be completed. The authors encourage parents to renegotiate their relationship with their student as an adult. This concise guide features ten sections about the major events and feelings parents and students will likely experience during the first year of college and offers suggestions for resolving these issues.

Let the Journey Begin: A Parent's Monthly Guide to the College Experience by Jacqueline Kiernan MacKay
As you and your first-year college student begin the school year, many questions may arise. Parent Orientation will be one opportunity to get answers to your questions. Knowing what to ask will help you maximize the benefits of your orientation. Use the strategies in Let the Journey Begin to tackle problems and find solutions. Start with these questions and review more FAQ's in Chapter 2. Remember, there is always something new to learn!

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
Letting Go leads parents through the period of transition that their student experiences between the junior year of high school and college graduation. The authors explain how to distinguish normal development stages from problems that may require parental or professional intervention. The new edition explains the differences between college life today and the college life parents experienced twenty or thirty years ago. It features a completely new resource guide that introduces parents to campus technology, useful websites, and other organizations providing information on a wide range of topics.

When Kids Go to College: A Parents Guide to Changing Relationships by Barbara M. Newman and Philip Newman
This practical guide will answer that important question and tell you how to make the most of these exciting years. Topics covered in this book are: identity formation, values development, career exploration, social relationships, sexuality, alcohol and drug abuse, romantic relationships, dorm life, personal freedom, depression, discrimination, and college bureaucracy.

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