Counseling Appointment Types

Navigating Dartmouth Counseling Center

Listed below are the most common appointment types utilized at the Counseling Center. The Navigating Dartmouth Counseling Center guide can help students identify the best appointment type for them as well as provide details of what happens during an inital Triage appointment.

Crisis Mental Health Services

The Counseling Center offers 24-hour crisis (emergency) mental health services for enrolled students or for those who are concerned about an enrolled student. While most counseling services are scheduled on an appointment basis, there may be crisis situations that require immediate or same-day intervention.

A crisis might involve:

  • Thoughts and/or plans to hurt yourself or someone else
  • Engaging in a behavior that is life-threatening
  • If you have been assaulted, physically or sexually
  • Not being able to eat, sleep, or go to class
  • Concern for a friend

* During Regular Business Hours: call (603) 646-9442 and ask to speak with the counselor on-call. 

Fall, Winter, Spring terms: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Summer term and term breaks: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

* After Regular Business Hours: call (603) 646-9442 and choose option 1 to initiate on-call services.

If you are not able to call and you are in the US, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. 

If you are outside of the US, please find crisis phone numbers at the Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support website, or call a local hospital. You can also find information at the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). IASP is an online resource that provided phone numbers to crisis crises centers in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America.


Triage Appointments

The first appointment with the Counseling Center is called a "triage" appointment. Here's what you can expect:

  • The afternoon before your appointment you will receive either a secure message or email giving you instructions for completing a teletherapy consent and questionnaire through the Health Service Portal. IMPORTANT: Not completing these forms prior to your appointment time may result in having to reschedule the appointment.
  • All triage appointments are conducted by PHONE. The counselor will call you at your scheduled appointment time or shortly after as long as the consent and questionnaire are completed. Make sure you have a quiet and private space available for your appointment.
  • During the phone conversation with the counselor, you will discuss your concerns and the counselor will make recommendations for the next step. Sometimes students find the triage appointment has met their needs and no further services are necessary. However, when further services are needed, the following options may be recommended:
    • an appointment for an Intake for short-term individual counseling within the Counseling Center (Intake appointments are usually scheduled the following week to give students time to think about their therapy goals.)
    • a referral to meet with a dietician
    • a referral to other campus or community resources
    • a referral for a psychiatric medication evaluation
    • a referral to an off-campus mental health provider
    • a referral to one of our workshops or therapy groups
    • if your situation is critical, we offer same-day crisis appointments

In order to meet significant student demand and use its resources most effectively, the Counseling Center utilizes a short-term therapy model. When a student is referred for an "Intake" appointment at the Counseling Center, the counselor and student work together to determine the number and type of sessions that are needed based on the nature of the student's concerns and available resources. If longer term counseling is needed, the counselor will help a student find a referral to a therapist in the community.

Individual Counseling

At the end of the triage appointment, the student may be referred for individual counseling. During individual counseling, the students meet one-on-one with a counselor to establish goals for their work together. Session length, duration, and frequency vary and are determined by treatment goals.

The Counseling Center adheres to a short-term therapy model with the focus on helping students resolve or manage specific concerns. Since challenges vary from student to student, the length of short-term therapy also varies; it is based on goals set by the counselor and student, as well as an ongoing clinical assessment of the effectiveness of treatment.

If students' goals do not fit within a short-term model, or, if their treatment goals are not sufficiently managed in a short-term model, they can work with a counselor to get a community referral for treatment.

For additional information or to schedule a triage appointment, please call the Counseling Center at 603-646-9442.