Appointments & Referrals
During office hours
Tuttleman Counseling Services are available on the Main Campus at 1810 Liacouras Walk (5th floor) and at Ambler Campus. Students are initially seen for a brief assessment interview at the Main Campus location during Walk-in Clinic (WIC) hours. At that time, the student talks with a counselor about their issue or problem and a decision is made about the most appropriate follow-up to help resolve that problem. Follow-up may involve referral for counseling at one of the units of Tuttleman Counseling Services, referral to other support services within Temple, or referral to other agencies and services in the student's community. If the decision is made to receive counseling at Tuttleman Counseling Services, the student is then scheduled for a more comprehensive assessment with a counselor who will work with them to address and resolve the issue or problem. For more information, please stop by our offices or contact us by phone at 215-204-7276.
During normal office hours, a counselor is always available for walk-in emergencies. Psychiatric emergency services are available to students 24 hours a day at Temple's Crisis Response Center, located at Episcopal Hospital, call 215-707-2577.
Are you, or is someone you know, in an emergency situation or experiencing a crisis? Please call Tuttleman Counseling Services immediately for assistance. A professional counselor is available on the main campus, Monday-Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Our telephone number is 215-204-7276.
After regular business hours, contact Temple's Crisis Response Center located at Episcopal Hospital, 215-707-2577 or contact Campus Safety Services at 1-1234 or
215-204-1234. Students that require assistance off-campus should dial 911.
Students residing in Temple residence halls are encouraged to contact their RA or RD for assistance. Campus police are available at all times by dialing 1-1234 from a campus phone, or by dialing 215-204-1234 from off campus.
A Referral Guide for Faculty and Staff
The purpose of this section is to assist faculty and staff in their efforts to enhance the educational and personal achievements of Temple University students by providing some information about situations or circumstances in which Tuttleman Counseling Services might lend assistance.
Students entering the University are called upon to manage the special challenges of academic life in addition to confronting career decisions, learning to integrate into a large and diverse student population, and coping with the stresses of the urban environment. In addition, young adult students are typically developing a personal identity that will mark their maturation from adolescents to adults while living more independently from their families, communities and familiar cultures. Returning adult students often have to cope with the competing demands of family, work and college. Graduate students may experience stress from all of these sources. Every student enters the University with the dream of graduation, however, during such a difficult transitional time, students may need the assistance that professional counseling can provide.
Research evidence suggests that student use of university-based counseling services improves retention rates significantly. It is in recognition of the special needs of Temple students, and through our commitment to meet those needs and support the educational mission of the University, that we offer these referral guidelines.
What is the role of faculty and staff in assisting students who have problems?
A faculty or staff member’s willingness to lend special assistance to a student who is struggling with personal issues is influenced by the personal style and philosophy of the individual. You may be in a unique position to perceive when a student is troubled. Additionally, a student may turn to you for help because they perceive you as knowledgeable, caring and trustworthy. Your timely expressions of interest and concern for their welfare may be a critical factor in helping students identify solutions to their problems. If the problems are many, longstanding, and/or serious, you have the option of calling us for a consultation, referring the student to us for professional counseling, or referring the student for help outside the University system.
Is consultation available?
Members of the Tuttleman Counseling Services staff are available to speak with faculty, students, and employees Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Please tell the receptionist if you believe the situation is an emergency requiring immediate attention. If it is not an emergency, please leave your name and phone number along with the best time to reach you during the day. We will make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. If the focus of the consultation is a concern for an individual, we will discuss the nature of your concern, ways to help you intervene with the individual, and options that are available to help you handle the situation.
The reasons that individuals seek help from psychologists are as varied as people themselves. An individual’s motives for seeking counseling might range from wanting to solve a particular problem to enhancing his/her own personal development. In any case, the following indicators should be useful in deciding whether to refer a student to Tuttleman Counseling Services. To prevent possible over-interpretation of a single or an isolated behavior, it is advisable to look for clusters of signs that appear at approximately the same time.
In the event that a student states a direct need for help, you should feel comfortable recommending professional counseling. Sometimes the need for help is stated indirectly by students when they act distressed during a conversation, appear tearful, are agitated and angry or display an emotional reaction beyond what would be expected for the topic being discussed. Students may also be too shy or embarrassed to discuss a problem, but still want and need your help. At those times, listening attentively to words, expressions and gestures and asking the student directly if there is anything on their mind would be helpful. Noticing their distress and asking about it can alleviate the pressure on the student to face the embarrassment of asking for help. If students deny a problem, letting them know that you are available if they ever need to talk can be comforting to them.
Specific Indications for a Referral
1. References to Suicide
You need to take seriously students who say they are contemplating suicide or who allude to details of how, when or where they may commit suicide. If you think a student is suicidal, asking him or her about it does not increase the chances of committing suicide. In fact, it can be experienced as an expression of care and concern, which can be the beginning of decreasing the risk that they would actually act on their feelings. One of the hardest parts of dealing with a suicidal student is overcoming the fear of talking about it with them. If you encounter a student who is feeling suicidal, offer to walk with the student to meet with us. In the remote case that you witness an actual suicide attempt, call Campus Police at (215) 204-1234. Members of the Counseling Services staff are available to consult with you about any decision you may need to make regarding suicidality. Call (215) 204-7276.
2. Changes in Mood or Behavior
Actions that are inconsistent with an individual’s normal behavior may indicate that he or she is experiencing psychological distress. An individual who withdraws from usual social interaction, demonstrates an unwillingness to communicate, commits asocial acts, has spells of unexplained crying or outbursts of anger, or demonstrates unusual irritability may be suffering from symptoms associated with psychological problems.
3. Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the more common psychological disturbances that can present significant problems for students. Both of these rather common emotional states can impair an individual’s normal functioning when these states become prolonged or severe. When an individual’s ability to function in a normal manner becomes impaired because of anxiety or depression, some kind of assistance should be recommended.
4. Child Physical or Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Harassment
The stress of academic demands can often trigger thoughts and feelings of traumatic events in the student’s past .Students are also at risk to be victims of violence and crime. Tuttleman Counseling Services employs trauma therapists in the Sexual Assault Counseling & Education (SACE) unit. Counselors working on this team provide individual and group therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, rape, and stress symptoms. They also offer education on these topics.
5. Psychosomatic Symptoms
Individuals who experience tension-induced headaches, nausea, or other physical pains with no apparent organic cause may be experiencing psychosomatic symptoms. Such psychosomatic symptoms are real for that individual, and so is the pain. Other physical symptoms of possible problems may include a loss of appetite or excessive eating, insomnia or excessive sleeping or gastrointestinal distress.
6. Traumatic Changes in Personal Relationships
Psychological distress often results when an individual experiences traumatic changes in personal relationships. The death of a family member or close friend, trouble with a peer group or roommate, the end of a partnered relationship, divorce of parents, changes in family responsibilities, and stress in other significant relationships, can all result in psychological difficulties.
7. Drug and Alcohol Use
Use of drugs and or alcohol puts students at risk for physical, emotional, financial, and familial problems. Tuttleman Counseling Services employs addiction specialists in the Campus Alcohol & Substance Awareness (CASA) unit. Clinicians working in this program provide individual, group counseling and educational outreach for substance abuse issues including problem identification, recovery, relapse prevention, codependency, and adult children of substance abusers.
8. Career Choice Problems
It is rather common for college students to go through periods of career indecision and uncertainty. Such experiences are often characterized by dissatisfaction with an academic major, unrealistic career aspirations, and/or confusion with regard to interests, abilities, or values. However, chronic indecisiveness or conflict about choices can be a debilitating experience and many students need assistance in developing alternative goals when previous decisions need to be revised.
9. Learning Problems
Many students find the demand of college-level academic work to be greater than they anticipated. While it is expected that all students will go through some adjustment period in this regard, those who demonstrate a consistent discrepancy between their performance and their potential may need assistance. Poor study habits, incapacitating test anxiety, or repeated absences from class are all issues that might benefit from professional counseling.
10. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders cross cultural and gender boundaries, and have been steadily increasing in the young adult population across college campuses. Eating disorders develop from a combination of social, psychological, and interpersonal situations. Troubled family and personal relationships, sudden transitions/changes, feelings of inadequacy, cultural norms and media’s idealization of the “perfect body” are some situations that may well contribute to the development of an eating disorder. Food typically becomes a metaphor for emotional release. Dieting, bingeing, purging, obsessing over food, frequent and intense exercising are some of the behaviors engaged in to gain a sense of competence, self-esteem, and self-control. Eating disorders, once started, are not only self-perpetuating, but also detrimental to one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Early intervention can be very beneficial to the student.
How To Refer
In case of emergencies
Tuttleman Counseling Services has an emergency on-call professional available for immediate intervention Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students in the midst of a crisis often appreciate the faculty or staff member walking with them to the counseling center and, in some cases, staying with them throughout the intervention. We understand that this is not always possible. Having the student identify a support person who could escort them to the Center would be the next best option.
Issues that would constitute an emergency response would include: suicidal ideation, drug alcohol reactions and addictions, rape, domestic violence, physical assault, severe psychological distress, psychotic behavior. This list is not all-inclusive and we suggest that any time you have serious concerns about a student’s physical or emotional safety you treat it as an emergency.
If the student is in no condition to come to the counseling center you are advised to call Campus Police at (215) 204-1234 and ask them to arrange transport to Temple University Hospital for physical and or psychological intervention. The Counseling Services staff can be helpful in coordinating this response.
Emergencies after daily office hours
The Psychiatric Emergency Service of Temple University Hospital provides an “on-call” service for psychological emergencies that occur after the University workday and on weekends. Call Temple Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services at (215) 707-2577.
When you have determined that a student might benefit from professional counseling, it is usually best to speak directly to the student in an open caring manner that will show your concern for his or her welfare. Be specific regarding the behaviors that have raised your concerns. The option to follow through with your recommendations must be left open for the student to accept or refuse counseling. If the student is reluctant to be in counseling, express your acceptance of those feelings so that your relationship with the student can continue in a comfortable manner. The student might need time to think about your recommendation and you can leave the situation open for possible reconsideration at a later time.
When speaking with students about your recommendation for counseling, it is best to be prepared with information on what they can expect if they do come to Tuttleman Counseling Services. Let them know where we are located on campus. Tell them we are in the lower level of a building where no classes are held so they will not be running into many students or professors. Counseling sessions are confidential, and that is a right granted to them by law unless they are in danger to themselves or others. Students are frequently worried that their counseling records will become a part of their student records. You can assure them this will not occur and that, too, is guaranteed by law. When students call Tuttleman Counseling Services they will be given an intake appointment, which will last an hour. At the end of that time the intake worker and the student will decide on a treatment plan to address his or her concerns.
Helpful Suggestions for Making Referrals
1. First and foremost, become familiar with University resources and the kinds of services they provide.
2. Listen carefully to the student’s stated concerns and be sensitive to those that may underlie the presenting problem (issues that are unstated, brushed aside, or intimated).
3. Be aware of additional indicators of a problem: poor grades, frequent absences; withdrawn or isolating behaviors; expressed hostility toward teachers, parents, friends, or others; major and/or career uncertainty; complaints of loneliness; references to hopelessness and/or suicidal thoughts.
4. Communicate your understanding of the student’s feelings, acknowledging behavior you have observed (“You’ve been missing a lot of classes lately. What is happening with you right now?”)
5. Avoid arguments with the person, attempts to convince the person of your point-of-view, and touching of the person. Instead respond with warmth, kindness, and clarity, using a firm but calm approach.
6. Explore the student’s previous attempts at resolution: what steps have already been taken, what resources have been utilized, what persons or agencies have been contacted. Ask about the outcome of such actions.
7. Discuss the possibility of referral with the student (see list of referral sources). Be honest and direct about your limitations. Avoid judgmental language or vocabulary with negative implications (“You’re in bad shape. You ought to see a shrink.”)
8. Propose the referral in a direct and positive manner. Present accurate and specific information as to what services are provided, what kind of help can be expected. If appropriate, refer to a specific person or persons (personalizing the referral may establish a greater sense of safety for the student).
9. Solicit the student’s response to the suggested referral: “What do you think about the idea? How does that feel to you?” (Allows the examination of feelings, potential for follow-through).
10. If the student agrees to be referred, invite the student to make the appointment while in your office. If the student seems reluctant to do so but glad to have you offer, and if you are comfortable with doing so, make the appointment and note for him/her the date, time, location, and person with whom he/she will be meeting. Do not disclose confidential information to the referral source without written permission from the student.
11. If you are concerned about the seriousness or urgency of the problem despite the student’s unwillingness to be referred, please call Tuttleman Counseling Services for a consultation.
12. It is important to keep written documentation of your efforts to refer the student for future reference. Note the date and action taken or recommended.
13. If the student maintains contact with you after the referral, continue to be supportive, but be careful to maintain confidentiality and to stay within your realm of responsibility (e.g., academic needs, financial problems, health concerns).
Reasons for referral failure
On occasion, despite one’s good intentions and accurate knowledge of resources, a referral is not successful. Before you judge yourself, the student, or the referral source too harshly, consider the following possibilities:
1. The student may not have been ready to receive the kind of help offered. Readiness is an essential component of effective help; it is not a one-way process.
2. There may have been a disparity between the student’s expectations and the actual nature and extent of help provided by the referral source.
3. The referral source may have been inappropriate for the type of help needed.
4. The referral source may not have been aware of the student’s actual needs due to misunderstanding, misinformation, or poor communication.
5. There may have been an incompatible relationship between the student and the referral source.
Should you, in a follow-up contact, discover that the referral was unsuccessful, there are several steps you can take. Continue to be receptive to the student, try to determine the reason for failure, and once again explore options with the student:
1. If lack of readiness is the problem, be accepting of the student’s feeling, but communicate your limitations and encourage the student to consider other options for assistance. It is possible that at a later date or under different circumstances, the student will be more receptive.
2. If disparity or inappropriateness is the problem, define more carefully with the student his/her needs and expectations and investigate more thoroughly the nature of the help offered by the referral source. Then try again!
3. If lack of awareness on the part of the referral source is the problem, obtain the student’s permission to contact the referral source and communicate directly with the referral source to correct or provide information about the student’s needs.
4. If incompatibility is the problem, encourage the student to try another person or another agency rather than giving up. If you feel comfortable providing a specific individual for referral, do so.
What About Confidentiality?
It is important for members of the University community to understand that the interviews conducted by University Counseling Services staff are confidential in nature. Information about those interviews or the content of such interviews cannot be released except upon a student’s written request, in circumstances which would result in clear danger to the individual or others, or as may be required by law. University Counseling Services adheres very strictly to this policy.
If a faculty member is interested in a student’s contact with Tuttleman Counseling Services, information can best be obtained directly from the student. It should be noted that students are not bound by the same promises of confidentiality that professional psychologists are obliged to keep.
Are Counseling Services Available to Faculty and Staff?
Faculty and Staff
While Tuttleman Counseling Services does not provide on-going counseling services for University employees, the staff will meet with such individuals to assist in assessing a concern or problem and making an appropriate referral to another source of help.
Civility on Campus
LINK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON CIVILITY ON CAMPUS
Critical Incident Stress Management
Trauma Response Team
In the event that a trauma occurs to a member of the Temple University community, Tuttleman Counseling Services is prepared to address it with three interventions, which are all coordinated by the Trauma Response Team: 1) Direct Trauma Response - the Team goes to a trauma scene to work with those who have been directly affected by the event; 2) Trauma Intervention - those who have had any contact with the victim of trauma can benefit from coming together to process their thoughts and feelings and receive information on stress management ( this intervention should occur within 8 to 72 hours after an event). The Team uses a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing intervention for groups and is available for one-on-one consultation. 3) Trauma Education - when someone within the University community reveals to you that he or she is a survivor of trauma, a member of the Team will consult with you about your concerns.
A normal response to trauma is to re-experience the event through intrusive thoughts and dreams, to avoid reminders of the event and to experience sleep difficulties, poor concentration, irritability and hypervigilance. The purpose of a Trauma Team intervention is to provide the proper support and care to trauma survivors and to prevent vicarious traumatization of those in contact with trauma survivors. Reduction of stress symptoms and prevention of burnout are further goals of the Trauma Response Team. In the past the Team has responded to the suicide death of students, the murder of a student and the arrest of a student for rape.