If you have any additional questions about the Counseling Service and/or other sources of support for your child both on and off campus, please look through the rest of this website and/or feel free to call us at (207) 725-3145. While we can not discuss specific individuals without consent, the staff is available to answer your general questions and to talk about your concerns.
Confidentiality is a central value at Counseling Services. Creating a trusting environment by respecting student privacy encourages honesty on the part of the student and helps create a safe, trusting environment for the process of psychotherapy. As counselors, we work to respect a student's trust and keep session information private by restricting access to records and other forms of information. Counselors may discuss students in a supervisory setting within the Counseling Service. However, information will not be given to anyone outside the Counseling Service without a student's Formal Consent or permission. This includes parties who may contact Counseling Services out of concern for a student including parents, teachers, deans, or coaches. In the case where a student is receiving coordinated support from both Counseling Services and Health Services (i.e.: disordered eating, head trauma), information will be shared among treatment team members in a secure format.
There is only one exception to the rule of confidentiality. Law and professional ethics require us to intervene when, in our judgement, there is imminent risk of danger to harm self or others, for example, suicide, assault, and child or elder abuse. In emergencies when someone is physically at risk, confidentiality must take second place; however, we would discuss the alternatives with you before taking any action that might breach confidentiality. Any questions a student has regarding our confidentiality policy can and should be brought up at their initial intake appointment.
If your child has been in treatment some time, is doing fine with their medication, and requires no changes to their prescription, whomever is prescribing at home may continue to provide the service while the student is away at college.
If your child requires or is interested in on-site medication management, our psychiatric consultants are available for all cases that are being actively followed by one of our individual counselors. In select cases, medication management may be offered as a stand alone service without the requirement of concurrent individual counseling. Providing us with information from the treating doctor or therapist at home will help facilitate a smooth transition of care and avoid duplication of services.
Students who are looking to receive counseling on campus as a continuance of work begun at home are encouraged to contact the Counseling Service as soon as possible after arriving on campus to ensure continuity of care. As requested, or when otherwise appropriate, the Counseling Service may refer a student off campus to receive long-term, intensive psychotherapy requiring more than one session per week. Establishing a new clinical relationship is most easily done before potential problems present themselves, thus we recommend a proactive approach to initiating treatment.
Providing us with information from the treating therapist at home will help facilitate a smooth transition of care and avoid duplication of services. If the student would like their new counselor to speak or correspond directly with their treatment provider at home, they will have to sign a consent form (link to consent to consult form in policy and form section). The Counseling Service is prepared to work with students experiencing social phobias, relationship problems, academic problems, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as more serious problems such as depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma.
The Counseling Service strongly believes that individuals who are aware of their psychological needs, and are thoughtfully engaged in both self-care and personal growth, can have uniquely exceptional, purposeful, and successful careers at Bowdoin College.
- You're On Your Own (But I'm Here if You Need Me): Mentoring your Child during the College Years by Mary Savage
- Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn
- The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior Year to College Life by Laura Kastner
- When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent's Survival Guide by Carol Barkin
- When Kids Go to College: A Parents Guide to Changing Relationships by Barbara Newman and Philip Newman
- Some Thoughts for Parents by Robert Villas PhD