Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty-one Years of Service to the Student


Finding the Right Fit in the Counseling Center

I want to start talking to a counselor about my specific needs, how can I get matched with the right counselor for me? Also, is there any process to refer a friend to the counseling center? Thanks.

-I.M. Curious

Dear Curious,

Finding a counselor you are comfortable working with and who understands how to address your specific circumstances is important. In fact, there is a large body of research indicating that the counseling relationship (i.e., how consistent and trustworthy the connection is between client and therapist) may be the most important factor in predicting success in counseling.

To help assist students in finding a good fit, the counseling center has developed a state-of-the-art tool using the latest algorithms borrowed from social media and online dating websites.

Actually, we have you fill out a three-page intake form asking for some background information and the reason(s) you are seeking services at the counseling center. The form also has a section asking students to list any preferences for working with a counselor. We use this information to try and match students with counselors appropriately skilled to address the needs of each individual client.

Unfortunately, because of conflicts in schedules and caseload limitations, the counseling center cannot guarantee that all client preferences will be accommodated. But we’re all pretty cool, so we hope you’ll give your assigned counselor a chance to help you make change in your life.

To answer your second question, the counseling center does not have an official process of referring friends for services; however, anyone can fill out an intake form in the counseling center lobby and drop it off at our mailbox on the credenza.

If you are concerned for a friend we encourage you to let them know that you care about their well-being and that the counseling center is a great resource for students struggling with a variety of life challenges.

You can always offer to come with your friend to their first appointment if that would increase their comfort. In the extreme case of an emergency, we suggest you contact 9-1-1 or try to reach out the counseling center directly.

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Finding the Right Fit in the Counseling Center