The Effectiveness of College Counseling Centers in Helping Students with Psychological Disorders
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Readers/AdvisorsVocisano-Bruel, Carina G.
Term and YearSpring 2020
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCollege can be very demanding, and thus, leave students full of stress and anxiety. The increased stress related to college, in addition to vulnerabilities to psychological disorders, can have a major impact on a student’s academic performance and their decision to continue attending college. It is imperative that colleges offer effective services that will help students cope with stress, diminish their risk of mental illness, and combat their symptoms if they have developed psychological disorders. The overarching aim of this review of the literature is to examine the strengths of college counseling centers and the ways they could be improved. This literature review focused on questions related to this aim such as: What are the services offered by most college counseling centers? How effective are college counseling centers in helping students with psychological disorders? What factors are related to satisfaction with counseling centers? How can satisfaction levels and therapy outcomes be increased? The services offered by most college counseling centers were grouped into the categories of counseling and health services, testing and assessment, prevention and outreach, consultation and collaboration, campus involvement, and training. The effectiveness of college counseling centers can be measured through student satisfaction and therapy outcomes. In a satisfaction survey, 66% of students reported their satisfaction with counseling services. Students who received help from counseling centers had a 10% higher retention rate than the general student population. Factors that have been proven to be related to student satisfaction and therapy outcomes are institutional factors, the structure of therapy and the therapeutic approach, client and therapist characteristics, demographic match, and the relationship between client and therapist. The most highly recommended way to increase student satisfaction and therapy outcomes is to increase the number of staff. Other recommendations are to diversify staff because African American and Hispanic/Latino(a) American students are the ones who use counseling services the least. Diversifying the staff may increase these students' usage of services. By meeting students’ needs and wants from their counseling center, satisfaction levels will increase. In this literature review, the researcher further discusses the implications, limitations, and the importance of this research. In addition, the researcher provides recommendations for future research and public policy. Keywords: College and university counseling centers, college student mental health, counselors/therapists, counseling center services and functions, effectiveness