What is counseling and who is eligible for services?

About Counseling

Counseling is a process that can help people identify more effective strategies both to cope with difficult situations and to achieve their goals. While some people who seek counseling have chronic emotional difficulties, most are dealing with normal life events and are simply in need of an objective listener- someone who doesn't judge and who can help them see new alternatives.

For college students, help may come from friends, family members, significant others, etc., but in some cases, help is needed from a trained professional. Counseling can provide students with support and help in finding ways to cope with the emotions that go along with a difficult period. The goal of the Counseling Center is to provide students with an opportunity to explore their concerns and problems with professional mental health providers in a confidential setting. We provide crisis intervention, brief individual and couples counseling and groups for students on a variety of personal, academic and career related issues.

When to Seek Counseling?

While counseling might be helpful in numerous situations, there are some conditions in which we strongly encourage you to seek counseling services:

  • You are unhappy on most days or feel a sense of hopelessness
  • You worry excessively or are constantly on edge
  • You are unable to concentrate on your schoolwork or other activities
  • You are unable to sleep at night or constantly feel tired
  • You have experienced a change in your appetite or your weight
  • You have experienced a loss (e.g., a relationship breakup, a parent's death)
  • You have increased your use of alcohol or other drugs (including cigarettes)
  • You feel overwhelmed by what is going on in your life
  • You are having thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else

Other Reasons for Seeking Counseling Services

  • adjusting to college life (roommate issues, time management and study skills)
  • adjusting to life after college (What's next? Career issues)
  • relationship troubles with family, friends, or romantic partners
  • difficulties arising from ethnic, cultural, and racial differences
  • alcohol and other drug issues
  • LGBTQIA+ issues
  • food and nutrition, body image
  • sexual assualt/harrassment/relationship violence/stalking
  • stress: stressful academic and/or social pressures
  • troublesome feelings such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, shyness, fear, and anger
  • taking care of ourselves and building community, response to tragedy, building vs. dividing community, helping others, taking care of self
  • loss of a loved one or other bereavement including loss by suicide
  • same day emergency/crisis situations (self-injury, suicidal thoughts/behaviors)

Eligibility for Services

Counseling Center services are available for all full-time, enrolled students (undergraduates, graduates, Tuck, Thayer, and Geisel School of Medicine). There is no charge for counseling services on a short-term basis. Students needing long-term therapy may receive a referral from the Counseling Center to a community mental health provider. A courtesy visit is offered to students who are on a leave term.

Spouses/Domestic Partners of Students
Spouses or domestic partners of full-time enrolled students are eligible for a one time courtesy visit to obtain a referral to a community mental health provider.

Dartmouth Faculty and Staff
Dartmouth Faculty and Staff seeking counseling services are not eligible to be seen at the Counseling Center. Faculty and Staff should contact Dartmouth College's Faculty/Employee Assistance Program (F/EAP). There are two ways to access the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program (F/EAP):

  • Call 844.216.8308: You'll speak to a counseling professional who will listen to your concerns and can guide you to the appropriate services you require, including local providers for in-person counseling.
  • Visit GuidanceResources® Online, click on Register and enter your company ID: Dartmouth and then follow the registration prompts. You will find timely, expert information on thousands of topics, including relationships, work, school, children, wellness, legal, and financial. You can search for qualified child care and elder care, attorneys and financial planners as well as ask questions, take self-assessments and more.