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University Counseling Center

The Dependent/Passive Student

You may find yourself feeling increasingly drained and responsible for this student in a way that is beyond your normal involvement. It may seem that even the utmost time and energy given to these students is not enough. They often seek to control your time and unconsciously believe the amount of time received is a reflection of their worth. It is helpful if the student can be connected with proper sources of support on-campus and in the community in general.

What You can Do:

  • Let students make their own decisions
  • Validate when they take independent action
  • Set firm and clear limits on your personal time and involvement
  • Offer referrals to other resources


  • Get trapped into giving continual advice, special conditions/treatment, etc.
  • Avoid the student as an alternative to setting and enforcing limits
  • Over commit

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