For Parents and Families
Information For Parents/ Families About The SPCC
Why Do Students Seek Counseling?
The college years are often referred to as the best years in one's life. It is a time when students engage their intellect, forge their individual identities, and explore future life paths. This can be an opportunity for growth, challenge, and self-discovery. It is also common for students to experience heightened stress while adjusting to these life changes, particularly within the context of a competitive academic environment. Students come to the Student Personal Counseling Center (SPCC) for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for help in coping with the pressures associated with adjustment to college life. Others want to learn more effective ways of developing, negotiating, or maintaining relationships. Counseling can be beneficial for students who are feeling depressed or anxious, as well as those who want to examine their beliefs or explore their current life situation.
What Can a Parent or Family Member Do?
While many students seek our services on their own, a parent or family member is often the first person to recognize that a student is not functioning at his or her best. Students who are struggling or facing new challenges may turn to you for help in figuring out what to do because they know and trust you. You may find it helpful in these situations to have some basic information about the resources available to your student at Molloy, and to direct them to these. The SPCC is available to provide professional counseling services to students, and to consult with you when you have concerns about how to best help your student.
What is Available for Parents and Family Members at the SPCC?
We understand that a student leaving for college can also be a difficult adjustment for parents and family members. You can expect to experience a mixture of emotions, ranging from pride in what your student has accomplished, to concern over how they will handle the transition to a more independent stage of life, to anxiety or frustration regarding personal choices and decisions being made with what seems to be decreasing parental input. We encourage parents and family members to be realistic about their reactions to their student moving away, and to be patient with the process of negotiating this new phase of relationship with your student.
Most of our students would agree that, although this is a time of exploring new freedom and autonomy, parents and family members still play a critical role in supporting and nurturing them through this stage of life. Your relationship with your student will continue to be one of the most important contributors to his or her success at Molloy. We encourage parents and family members to communicate openly with students, providing support while at the same time honoring your student's development into the unique individual him or her desires to become.
The SPCC is available to assist you in the transition process and in facilitating a successful student experience. Consultation with SPCC staff is offered to any parent or family member by phone or in person. If you are worried about your student and are uncertain about what to do, you are welcome to call us, identify yourself as a parent or family member of a current student, and ask to consult with a counselor. Usually this service is available immediately. Please note: Though legally we are bound by the limits of confidentiality, we will do our best to assist you with your concerns.
Parents/Family Members and Confidentiality
As a professional counseling service, our staff is required to restrict the sharing of counseling-related information. In accordance with the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and federal law, any information disclosed in the context of a professional counseling relationship is considered confidential. This means that what is shared by a student in counseling sessions is not discussed with any person outside of the SPCC, with the following exceptions: (1) If it deemed necessary to prevent a clear and immediate danger to self or others, we may need to notify responsible individuals for your protection and/or protection of others; (2) If suspected abuse or neglect of a minor or elder, we are required by law to file a report with Child Protective Services; (3) Under the New York State SAFE Act 2013 law (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act), mental health providers are required to report alert to the Nassau County Department of Health Services, who, thereafter must report to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) if a person is likely to engage in conduct that will result in serious harm to self or others. This law may also prevent impacted people from obtaining a gun permit and may remove fire arms from their possessions in order to protect the identified person or others; (4) If records are subpoenaed directly by a court; (5) If in the event of after-hours emergency services, information may be shared with necessary campus personnel;
Unless the counselor has obtained a signed release from a student, or perceives that a student may be in immediate danger, the SPCC will not be able to share any information with a parent or family member related to the student's sessions.
We understand that parents and family members often feel they should be able to know about what their student may be discussing in counseling, and that confidentiality requirements are often a source of frustration. We encourage parents and family members who desire to know more about their particular student's counseling experience to talk with their student. Students and their parents/family members should discuss how much information (if any) the student is comfortable sharing with parents and family members. Students may want more privacy and independence in their treatment - this is part of normal development. On the whole, students tend to respond positively to open, honest communication. Though at times a student may choose to limit parental involvement, we find that the majority appreciate parental concern, acceptance, and guidance in the midst of the struggles they may face while at Molloy. When there are concerns about safety, however (i.e., suicide risk), it can be crucial for parents and family members to be in the loop by being aware of the depth of the struggles their child is facing in order to be able to provide extra support, especially during times of crisis.