University Counseling Center (UCC)
Preparing for your Initial Assessment
Prior to your visit, please complete the Intake Forms Packet and bring those documents with you on your first visit; they will help us understand you better during your initial assessment and aid in helping develop your individualized treatment plan. This plan will address your unique needs and concerns and provide recommendations such as, but not limited to: group therapy, workshops, brief therapy, referrals to community provider for specialized treatment or longer term therapy services, Therapist Assisted On-line (TAO), case management services, psychiatry or other campus services.
While waiting for your appointment...
Now that you've made the important decision to seek help with your difficulties, below are some ideas to take care of yourself while you are waiting for your counseling to begin. Not all of the ideas will work for everyone, but you can try a few of them every day to find ways to best help yourself.
If you are experiencing a crisis and need to talk to someone immediately, please contact one of the following services:
- Call UCC's 24/7 on-call service:............(585) 275-3113
- Call the community's 24 hour LifeLine:......(585) 275-5151
The first five are basics that are helpful for just about everyone.
- Stick to a routine - get dressed, go to classes, go to meetings. Keeping structure in your day can help things feel less overwhelming.
- Be sure to eat regularly and in a healthy way. Skipping meals or overeating can wear down your coping resources.
- Get as much sleep as you need - and avoid sleeping too much. Six to eight hours are what most people need. To help with sleep, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, avoid napping, and do not study in bed.
- Do some physical activity that you enjoy - walking, running, swimming, working out, playing sports, etc. Moderate physical exercise can help you feel better emotionally. Start small with walks around campus.
- Talk to friends and family who are supportive and positive influences. Isolating yourself can make things feel even worse.
- Try to do at least one fun or enjoyable thing each day.
- Practice relaxation activities, such as meditation,progressive muscle relaxation, hot baths, massages, and yoga.
- Avoid using alcohol, other drugs, and caffeine for self-medication.
- Use deep breathing techniques.
- Keep a journal - write down your thoughts and feelings. Remember, this is just for you - so it doesn't need to be perfectly written. It's an outlet for you to express some of the things going on inside you.
- Self-soothe using one or more of your five senses - watch the beauty of snow falling, listen to your favorite relaxing music, wear your favorite perfume, give someone a hug, eat strawberries, etc.
- Visualize a pleasant memory, a relaxing place, an image of yourself feeling better. These can be real memories or imagined events and places. Visualize with lots of detail, using each of your senses to create as vivid an image as possible.
- Give yourself permission to not worry about your problems for a while. Save your worries for one 20 minute period each day and only think about them then. Visualize blocking away your worries or sad thoughts - build a wall, bury them, lock them up.
- Use humor - spend time with people who make you laugh, watch a funny movie, read a funny book.
- Challenge negative self-talk - pay attention to negative messages you may give yourself and challenge their validity.
- Distract yourself temporarily from your difficulties - watch a movie, read a book, play a game. Give yourself permission to attend fully to something besides your worries and concerns.
- Attend to your spirituality - go to church/synagogue/mosque - pray, read religious works.