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Counseling Center

First Time Appointment

Your initial consultation meeting is a time for you to speak with a clinician about the situation and feelings that brought you to the Center. There are two options for attending an initial consultation meeting.

  • You can schedule an initial consultation meeting with a clinician by calling the Counseling Center at 202-885-3500 or stopping by to schedule this appointment.

  • Alternatively, you can come in to the Counseling Center between 2:00 and 4:00pm Monday through Friday and meet with a clinician. These drop-in appointments are brief (10-15 minutes) and are helpful to students who need a quick consultation, a referral to campus resources or community mental health providers, or help with an urgent concern.

After completing paperwork, the clinician you meet with will help you sort out your concerns, gather some background information, and discuss with you your options for obtaining further assistance. If needed, your initial consultation clinician may schedule an additional appointment to further clarify your concerns and possible courses of action. Some students find that they need only one or two sessions to help them feel "back on track." With your permission, a graduate clinician-in-training at the Center may also participate in your initial meeting.

Based on what you discuss in your initial meeting, you and your clinician will consider your options for further assistance. Options include seeking private psychotherapy off campus (in which case your clinician will help you find an appropriate, affordable, accessible therapist); consulting with a different office on campus (such as the Career Center or the Academic Support and Access Center); or participating in a therapy/support group or short-term individual therapy sessions here at the Center.

At certain times of the year, there may be a wait for individual therapy sessions at the Center. During these times, your clinician will talk with you about whether it is advisable to wait for services at the Center or seek immediate assistance through a referral to a community mental health provider. Your clinician may also suggest a community mental health provider if your concerns would be best addressed by a clinician who can offer long-term or specialized mental health treatment.

To learn more about first time appointments and our services, watch these videos.