What to Expect

Our services are free, confidential, and open to all Bowdoin students.

How long does it take to get an appointment?

  • Students experiencing a mental health crisis are offered an immediate appointment (M-F, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. during the academic year). Emergency Assistance is available after hours, on weekends, and during breaks.
  • Most students not experiencing a mental health crisis are offered an appointment on the same day they contact our office or the next day.

Getting Started

  • After scheduling your first appointment with Counseling Services, we will send a link to your Bowdoin email address that you’ll use to complete some brief paperwork prior to meeting with a counselor.
  • Your counselor will ask you some questions during your first meeting to better understand your needs and what might be helpful to you. Time permitting, you may begin the counseling process. 
  • You’ll discuss options and next steps with your counselor at the end of the appointment.

How often will I meet with a counselor?

  • This depends on your needs, the kind of service you are utilizing, and our available resources.
  • Emergency appointments are always available.
  • Groups usually meet once a week.

How long are sessions?

  • Most individual sessions are scheduled for either 30 or 60 minutes.
  • Groups are usually either 60 or 90 minutes.

The Semester Cycle




We prioritize the scheduling of Episodic and Single Session Counseling for most students to accommodate their often shifting schedules and the rapid influx of students seeking services.  Group Counseling, Support Groups, and Workshops are open to all students.


Schedules and the rate of students seeking services stabilize.  We have more flexibility to offer Short-Term counseling along with Episodic and Single Session Counseling.  Group Counseling, Support Groups, and Workshops are open to all students.


Scheduling becomes more difficult as students sprint to the end of the semester.  We return to prioritizing Single-Session and Episodic Counseling sessions.  Beginning Short-Term Counseling for most students is discouraged given that there is little time left in the semester.  We work with students to explore and connect them to resources in their home communities to continue care after the end of the semester if they desire.  Group Counseling, Support Groups, and Workshops are open to all students.

A description of the services we offer can be found on the Services Offered page.

Our mission is to support student success and well-being through the provision of individualized mental health services grounded in evidence-based practice.  As such, the above are general guidelines. Students will work with their counselor to develop a menu of services that best suits their needs.

Mental health crisis services are always available to students.