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Scope of Services

Many students requesting individual counseling would benefit from more extended or different types of services from what the CSC can offer. Below are some situations where we would likely need to refer our students to other services. This allows us to ensure that our students have access to the services that will be the right fit:

  • Disorders that require intensive monitoring and treatment
  • Serious and persistent mental health disorders
  • Multiple or recent suicide attempts
  • Chronic non-suicidal self-harm
  • Active psychosis
  • Active eating disorders which present significant medical complications or which have not responded to prior treatment
  • Dependence or active abuse of drugs/alcohol may be referred for specialized services
  • A need for frequent psychiatric attention

Types of Counseling

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is available at the CSC, and is our most popular service that we offer. Many students find that having a time to take care of themselves can be important in helping them reach their academic and personal goals. The counselors at the CSC are trained in many different forms of psychotherapy and can work with a plethora of mental health issues and concerns. To best serve our students, the CSC uses a brief model of counseling. This means that we ask our clients to come to counseling with a goal in mind. Some questions we might ask at your first session are:

  • What do you want to work on?
  • How will counseling help you solve this problem?
  • What is different about the times when this was less of a problem?
  • What will be different in your life once this problem is solved and how will you know that you no longer need counseling for this issue?

Along with getting to know you, we will assess the problem and help you find ways to work on solving your problem. With true commitment to change and their counselor’s support, many students find the counseling process beneficial.


Here are some important things to know about your first appointment:

  • You will receive an email reminder a day before your appointment, which will include instructions on completing some paperwork. Please review the instructions and complete your paperwork before your session.
  • At first, you will have an intake session with one of our counselors to clarify the concerns and/or problems that prompted you to seek counseling. The intake session will allow you and the counselor to determine if the CSC will be appropriate for you to continue counseling, or if a referral for off-campus services is needed. Sessions typically last between 45-50 minutes.
  • If it is determined that you would benefit from continued counseling, you and your counselor will discuss a schedule for sessions, as well as how many sessions you can expect to have for the semester. Typically, students are seen 4-6 times in one semester, depending on the problem. If long-term or more intensive treatment is needed, your counselor will help you get connected to services off campus.
Group Counseling

Group counseling is a powerful arena for tremendous growth and change. Not only will students receive understanding, support, and encouragement from others facing similar issues, but they also gain different perspectives, ideas, and viewpoints on those issues. It’s like having 8 counselors for the price of one!

Most students, though somewhat apprehensive at first, report that the group experience was helpful far beyond their expectations. 

Numerous groups are offered every semester through the Counseling Services Center that address student concerns in a variety of areas. Some of the groups are population and/or issue specific, while other groups consist of skill building and experiential learning.

These groups are free and open to all university enrolled students. A SCREENING MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PARTICIPATION. Most groups are 60-90 minutes long and they consist of 6 to 8 members.

Check out our Groups and Workshops currently offered.

Complete our Group Interest Form for more information or to offer topics for future groups.

Couples Counseling

We offer couples counseling at the CSC for anyone who is interested in enhancing or improving their couple relationship. College is a time when many people experience the ups and downs of dating, and couples counseling can be a great way to help students who want guidance in making their relationship more satisfying.

Both students must be registered SUNY Oswego students.

Please note – If active dating violence is occurring, your counselor will not be able to meet with you together as a couple. This is for safety and ethical reasons. Individual counseling may be offered to both parties until the violence has ended and it is safe to conduct couples counseling. Please ask your counselor for further details.

Psychiatric Evaluation and Medication Management

The CSC staff encourage all students who have a prescriber at home to maintain that relationship! We cannot guarantee that you will have access to our psychiatrist, so it is important that you continue medication management through your provider at home.

For students who require psychiatric care, the CSC has a part-time psychiatrist on staff.

Dr. Marija Mutabdzic, MD specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry, and has extensive experience working with the college population. Dr. Mutabdzic has partnered with the CSC for several years and has been in the field of psychiatry for more than 20 years.

Students interested in seeking psychiatric supports must have an established relationship with a counselor in the CSC. At that time, your counselor will use clinical judgment to assist you in assessing whether a psychiatric evaluation may benefit you.

* At this time, the CSC refers to outside resources for ADD/ ADHD evaluations and treatment.


Students, family members, faculty, and staff are able to use the CSC for consultation services. What does consultation look like? You may have concerns about yourself or another student, or a family member who attends SUNY Oswego and you’re not sure how to proceed. The CSC can be a great resource for general information regarding mental health concerns and referral resources when appropriate.

Although counselors cannot confirm or deny if a student is a client of ours, we can hopefully answer some of your questions. It is important to understand that we must protect our client’s right to confidentiality, so we cannot give you direct information about our clients.


Students (Let's Talk)

Let's Talk is a Counseling Center Outreach Program designed to engage students by providing informal walk-in consultations with a counselor one-on-one. Additional sites, days, and hours may be added on other parts of campus.

Let's Talk is considered different from counseling and is not a "clinical" service. We call it "informal consultation" or "consultation and support." There is no formal intake, no appointments and no fees. Students are encouraged to drop by and talk about whatever is important to them. Meetings have no set time length, but may be shorter than a traditional counseling session. Many students are helped by one visit. Others stop by occasionally. Some could benefit from ongoing counseling and are encouraged to schedule an appointment at the Counseling Services Center.

  • Mondays, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm, Penfield Library (Room 211)
  • Tuesdays, 4:00 pm-6:00 pm, Lakeside (Room 140)
  • Wednesdays, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Penfield Library (Room 211)
  • Wednesdays, 4:00 pm-6:00 pm, Lakeside (Room 140)
Let's Talk walk-in counseling
Family and Friends

College requires much independent thinking and decision-making of students. Ideally, your student has gained these skills gradually over the past 18 or so years. If so, your student will have a less challenging time adapting to his/her/zir new environment. Still, there will be many choices to make and nearly every student will struggle at times.

How much your student informs you of their dilemmas often depends upon the parent/child relationship which was established prior to college. Does your budding adult tend to keep you abreast of their friendships, romantic relationships, financial dealings, academic challenges, career goals, health concerns, etc.? Or are you often left in the dark about what is going on? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how your student is adjusting to their new environment, roommate, classes, social climate and freedom.

Parental direction can be of great value to college students — especially if it is in the form of a discussion as opposed to a lecture. (Many parents find the car ride to college to be an ideal time for a "so how do you envision this college experience?" discussion.) If you already have confidence in your student’s decision-making ability, take this opportunity to let them know that you believe in them AND that you are also available to guide them when they need/want guidance. There is a commonly-held belief that in late adolescence, youth function with relative autonomy; however, a recent study found that family cohesion and support continue to play an important role in the well-being and functioning of young people emerging from adolescence. Feeling close to one’s family may actually contribute to competence in autonomous functioning. So, stay in touch and remember that mail, cards and packages are always appreciated (and a nice surprise!).

The Counseling Services Center is a great resource for students. Students who wish to make an appointment can reach us at 315.312.4416. If you're a parent with a concern who wishes to consult with a counselor, you are welcome to call the center during normal business hours. Please note that counseling is free paid for by the student health fee and confidential. Since students 18 years of age are considered adults by law, counselors cannot reveal if a particular student is receiving services. We are, however, available to speak in generalities about particular concerns parents may have. Please remember that your student’s successful adjustment to college is our priority.

Faculty and Staff

CSC staff encourage all faculty and staff members to feel comfortable calling us for consultation. As a university, we can work together to wrap our students in support and provide you with support as well.

If you have a student that you're concerned about, try talking to them in a private area first. Just knowing that someone is listening to them can have a positive impact on the student.

If you feel the student could benefit from talking to a counselor, call the CSC at 315.312.4416 and ask to speak with a counselor. Tell us what your concerns are and we can work towards a plan to help support your student.

Although counselors cannot confirm or deny if a student is a client of ours, we can hopefully answer some of your questions. It is important to understand that we must protect our client’s right to confidentiality, so we cannot give you direct information about our clients.

Your First Appointment

If this is your first experience with counseling, you may feel a little nervous about what to expect. We hope that this introduction will give you some sense of what the counseling experience is like and the framework in which it occurs.

Step 1

Make your appointment

You can make an appointment by calling the CSC at 315.312.4416.  You can reach us during business hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:00 p.m. Email is not always confidential. Please do not email counselors with appointment-related matters. 

You will recieve an email reminder a day before your appointment, which will include instructions on completing some paperwork. Please review the instructions and complete your paperwork before your session. 

Step 2

Attend your appointment

You will first attend an intake session with a counselor to clarify the concerns and issues you would like to discuss. Intake sessions typically last around 45-50 minutes and will allow us to determine if counseling through the CSC is appropriate or if a referral for another service is needed. 

If we decide to continue counseling through CSC, you and your counselor will discuss a schedule and how many sessions you can expect throughout the semester. Typically, students are seen 4-6 times during one semester, depending on the concern. If long-term or more intensive treatment is needed, your counselor will help you get connected to services off campus. 

Step 3

Set goals for counseling

In the beginning, your counselor will help you focus on what you want to accomplish in counseling and help you formulate goals for your counseling experience. 

It has been our experience that the more committed you are to actively participating in the counseling process, the more satisfied you will be with the results of counseling. Also, the more invested you are in your own growth, the more quickly you will see these desired changes occur. 

Step 4

Work towards accomplishing your goals

Your counselor will help you develop healthy coping skills to manage the issue at hand. Have an open mind during this process, as some skills may work for you and some may not. Trying a variety of skills will help determine what works best for you.

You may be assigned “homework.” This will help you reach your goals, challenge yourself to try something new, and hopefully, help resolve your concerns and issues.

It’s our job to make it so that our clients no longer need counseling. You and your counselor will determine when it is appropriate for you to end counseling for this problem.

Contact Us

Phone: 315.312.4416 
Fax: 315.312.5416 
150 Mary Walker Building 
(Lakeside of campus)

Hours of Operation

Monday–Friday: 8:30 am–4:30 pm

Please call us to schedule an appointment. If you’re not ready to make an appointment, check out Let’s Talk!

  • For timely updates on our services, as well as self-care tips, follow us on Instagram @mindful_oz.
  • If a student requires alternative accommodations to access our services, please call our office for assistance.