Offering a place and time for students to talk about any issues, difficulties or concerns they are experiencing in their personal life.
Our licensed mental health counselors are trained to assist students of any age who are struggling emotionally. We'll listen to your concerns and help you better understand yourself and your situation. Together, we will develop ways you can overcome obstacles that might be preventing you from achieving personal and/or professional satisfaction. A board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner is available for individuals who may need psychotropic medications. More information about our counselors is available on our staff listing page.
You can also make a confidential appointment by calling 716-829-7819. For after-hour mental health emergencies, please call Crisis Services' 24-hour hotline at 716-834-3131.
Visits to the Personal Counseling Center are free of charge. The information you share with your counselor is confidential.
Please keep in mind the following legal and ethical limits to confidentiality:
- duty to warn and protect regarding threats to harm self or others
- court order from judge
- mandatory reporting for suspected child abuse/neglect
- mandatory reporting for suspected abuse, neglect, self-neglect and/or exploitation of
- vulnerable adults and the elderly.
For more information about our services, please contact the Personal Counseling Center at (716) 829-7819. The center is located in Marguerite Hall.
- For mental health emergencies contact Crisis Services at (716) 834-3131, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence 24 Hour Hotline 1-800-942-6906
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
- Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)
- Intervention Now 24hr toll-free number 1-855-943-5766
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
For life threatening emergencies, dial 911
Those who suffer from depression often feel as if they are alone and have no one to turn to. That is never the case. The following organizations are dedicated to providing resources for those living with depression:
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: This organization is dedicated to promoting the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety, depression and related disorders. Its site offers insight into understanding depressive mental illnesses provides links for those seeking help and identifies mobile apps designed to help people living with depressive illnesses.
- National Institute of Mental Health: A division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIMH works to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and a cure. NIMH offers a wealth of information on pinpointing signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, resources for seeking help and opportunities to participate in clinical trials to further research.
- ULifeline : This online resource for college students seeking mental health wellness provides a wealth of information, such as tips on helping friends in crisis and ideas on developing good wellness habits.
- American College Health Association: The ACHA promotes healthy campus communities and works to serve as the principal leadership organization for advancing the health of college students. There are many resources such as helplines, brochures on different types of depression, and external links for seeking help.
- The Jed Foundation: The foundation has a number of online resources to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students. For example, Help a Friend in Need (PDF) is a community guide for social media users to identify warning signs in friends at risk. Through its Half of Us campaign, the foundation promotes mental health awareness nationally via on-air or live events and connects students with health care providers.
The following organizations are excellent resources for students suffering from anxiety disorders. Each organization provides information on the different forms of anxiety and resources that explore approaches to coping.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: This organization is dedicated to promoting the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety and depression, and related disorders. This site offers insight into how we might better understand depressive mental illnesses; it also suggests several innovative mobile apps that cater to users with depressive illnesses.
- American Psychological Association: The APA is dedicated to advancing the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society. This site offers a great deal of insight into the differences between anxiety disorders and depression, and has tools to help you find a Psychologist specializing in anxiety disorder treatment near you.
- Anxiety Resource Center: This nonprofit is dedicated to offering assistance to those suffering from anxiety disorders. The website has a lengthy list of education materials, a newsletter, and a blog to help you stay updated on breakthroughs in research and trends.
- Social Anxiety Association: Promoting the understanding and treatment of social anxiety disorder, this nonprofit maintains a large body of resources for people suffering from social anxiety. The site provides links to support groups, information on how to find health professionals, news and updates on the disorder, and extensive information on treatment options.
- Beyond OCD: This site features suggestions and resources intended to help sufferers cope with and conquer OCD in college. Beyond OCD also offers tools for visitors to find support groups in their area.
Suicide Prevention Resources
There are many resources available to you through the personal counseling center on campus or through the following organizations dedicated to preventing suicide:
- Active Minds: This organization is dedicated to educating and changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses. There are over 400 chapters on campuses across the U.S. that works to promote the growing concerns of mental health and teach prevention techniques for students and faculty. Active Minds has a list of resources for students in a crisis, and has a therapist/counseling search tool for locating professionals in your area.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: Dedicated to improving the lives of Americans affected by mental illness, NAMI provides information on suicide prevention, a link to a 24 hour suicide lifeline crisis chat, a text support line and social network groups to join the conversation.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: The AFSP works to end and "prevent suicide through research, education and advocacy." It has a wealth of information on suicide statistics in America, prevention techniques and a lengthy list of available resources. The foundation also hosts Out of the Darkness Walks on campuses across America to raise funds for youth suicide prevention and to reach out to students to help create a safe environment.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Calling the toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), connects those in need to compassionate people who are there to provide the emotional support some can't find anywhere else. They will help family and friends of those at risk find ways to help their loved ones. All calls are confidential.
- The Trevor Project: A project began to give LGBTQ individuals of any age a safe space to talk and find support; the Trevor Project provides several outlets for communication and help. The Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, is a toll-free, 24/7 intervention and suicide prevention service.
Eating Disorder Resources
If you need assistance helping a friend through an eating disorder, or if you need to understand more about them before you come to terms with the fact that you may have one, the following list of resources are a good place to start. Each organization provides information on getting help for yourself and a loved one.
- National Eating Disorder Association: NEDA is dedicated to improving the understanding of eating disorders in America. Its site has a list of links and tools to seek help and a wealth of information regarding support groups, treatment referrals and research studies.
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: ANAD is dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of eating disorders. The organization has a helpline and email to provide information and answer questions for sufferers. ANAD also hosts an annual conference for news and updates on the disorders and to connect patients with healthcare providers and support.
- Academy for Eating Disorders: This global network is dedicated to the research, education, prevention and treatment of eating disorders. AED is a great resource for learning about the differences between eating disorders, identifying signs and symptoms, and finding information for professionals in your area, as well as news on treatment options and developments in research.
- Eating Disorder Hope: This site provides information on education and awareness, recovery tools, and access to treatment and support. The organization also has a blog with specific news and information for college students suffering from eating disorders.
- American College Health Association: The ACHA promotes healthy campus communities and works to serve as the principal leadership organization for advancing the health of college students. Many resources are made available on the site: helplines, brochures on different types of depression, and external links to seek help.
Consult these resources available to you to find out more about curbing your addiction today:
- National Institute for Drug Abuse: This database provides reports on recent research and prevention programs for alcohol and drug addiction. NIDA offers findings on the latest research projects, clinical trial offers, and guidance for those seeking treatment.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration: This is an agency within the Department of Health that works towards advancing behavioral health in the United States. This site has extensive information on substance abuse, a treatment locator by zip code, and a national hotline available 24/7, 365 days a year for individuals suffering from substance abuse.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: This organization provides support for those suffering from substance abuse. The site has information for every stage of addiction, from admitting your issues to recovery; it also hosts a directory of programs and services offered in your area.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: This 12-step program is designed to give alcoholics the opportunity to rebuild their lives and learn to live without alcohol. AA provides members with a support group and sponsor to help through the rough patches. You can find a location for a meeting near your zip code on their site.
- Narcotics Anonymous: Much like AA, this is a 12-step program designed to help those who have developed a dependency on drugs. You can find meetings near you, publications and news, and the support you need to break your habit and work through addiction.
Information for resident assistants
On behalf of the Personal Counseling Center, we want to thank you for taking on the duty of being an RA. Being an RA is a challenging and rewarding opportunity. The Personal Counseling Center wants you to know that we are here to help you. We have put together some information on helping your students and yourself. You can always contact the Personal Counseling Center with any questions or concerns at 829-7819.
How to Help and Refer
What to Do
- Be available. Let your residents know that they can come to you before problems arise.
- Be aware. Pay attention to behavior changes. Talk to the resident's roommate, if possible, to confirm there have been changes. Talk to the resident to understand what is happening.
- Take problems seriously. Do not trivialize problems even if they seem unimportant to you. (e.g., failing grades, relationship breakup, etc.)
- Listen. Be willing to give your time to your residents. If concerned, ask directly if they have thought of harming or killing themselves.
- Explain options. Let your residents know there is help available for them. (e.g., Personal Counseling Center)
- Stay available. Continue to let residents know you are available.
What NOT to Do
- Don't try to shock or challenge. ("Yeah, right. You're not going to do it.")
- Don't analyze the person's motives. (You're just upset, because…")
- Don't argue or try to reason. ("You can't kill yourself, because…")
- Don't use guilt. ("Think of how bad your parents will feel.")
- Don't console WITHOUT listening. ("I know how you feel. I flunked chemistry, too, but everything will work out.")
- Don't abandon the student once they are receiving professional help.
Note: Students in emotional distress should always be taken seriously. During the day, contact the Personal Counseling Center at 829-7819. In the evening or during the weekend, call Crisis Services at 834-3131.
How to Refer Someone to Counseling
- Speak to the student with a calm, warm, and understanding manner.
- Clearly express your concerns by giving specific examples of observable changes that you have noticed in their behavior, work, academics, relationships, or life situations. Be sure to express these concerns as observations, not judgments.
- Reassure the student that help is available. Tell the student what services are available at the Personal Counseling Center, how to reach us, and that all services are confidential.
- If the situation is not a crisis, let the student know that it is okay to think about using our services and that if they choose not to go you will not take it personally.
- If the situation is a crisis, express your concern for their welfare and that you want to consult with someone that can better assist them. Then contact, the Personal Counseling Center.
One of the most common problems facing college students is anxiety. Certainly the added pressures of being in a new environment, being away from home and the stress of wanting to do well in college can overwhelm some people. Anxiety disorders are among the most common or frequently occurring problems facing college students. Typically, anxiety disorders involve disturbances in mood, thinking, behavior and physiological activity. In the college student they may take many forms. Often they present as adjustment disorders with anxious features, test or performance anxiety, social phobia, or substance induced anxiety disorders. Like depression, anxiety disorders and panic disorders often run in families. Therefore, genetics, biochemical and environmental factors may all be involved.
It is important to remember that with help the symptoms are treatable and you can learn alternative ways of coping with anxiety. It is usually not very helpful to pretend that anxiety will simply go away on its own.
Some mild anxiety is appropriate regarding certain events like an exam, an important or new event like an interview or speaking in front of an audience. It usually causes us to become more alert and to be prepared. However, when the worry or anxiety becomes overwhelming and interfere with one’s daily living and ability to cope effectively, then it is unhealthy and requires the intervention of a mental health professional.
Panic attacks may be one way in which these overwhelming feelings of anxiety are expressed. Panic attacks are usually brief episodes of intense fear that present with physiological symptoms, such as heart palpitations, dizziness, stomach discomfort, etc., that occur unexpectedly in the absence of any external threat. They can occur in conjunction with social phobia, generalized anxiety and major depression. Often an individual will recognize that the fear they are experiencing is excessive or unreasonable. However, they are unable to cope with the anxiety that is generated. At least two unexpected panic attacks with persistent concern or worry about further attacks, changes in ones behavior to avoid or minimize the attacks that create difficulty in daily functioning should be further investigated with the aid of a counselor. It is best to seek treatment early to help prevent it from progressing to later stages.
There are many types of treatment approaches. However, usually a combination of treatments is recommended such as medication and psychotherapy. Once the initial symptoms of the anxiety are managed, a therapist and client may want to work together to uncover through the talk therapy any underlying emotional conflicts and problems to help better understand what may have caused the anxiety. Through therapy one can learn alternative coping strategies for managing future difficulties. Some anxiety or tension in certain situations is normal. However, too much anxiety can be very detrimental and incapacitating. A therapist can help you identify what is going on and help you learn to manage the symptoms more effectively so that they do not interfere with your ability to perform well.
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Unrealistic or excessive worry and fears
- Exaggerated startle reactions
- Excessive sweating, trembling, shakiness, muscle aches
- Stomach upset, diarrhea, excessive dry mouth
- Dizziness, chronic tension headaches
- Racing or pounding heart, chest tightness (not related to a medical/cardiac condition)
- Rapid pulse, episodes of hyperventilation
- Ritualistic behaviors to reduce anxiety or avoid anxiety
For the occasional and milder forms of anxiety you may want to try the following suggestions:
- First recognize that what you are experiencing is anxiety. Trying to deny or avoid what you are feeling may only make matters worse.
- Take a deep breath and try asking yourself why you might be anxious
- Talk with a friend, relative, etc., to see if talking helps you
- Take a walk or engage in some physical activity to help you work off the nervous energy you are feeling
- Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc.
If these things do not work for you it may mean that you need help in understanding what is causing your anxiety and you may also need additional help in finding ways to cope with the symptoms. Please feel free to contact the Personal Counseling Center at anytime to schedule a confidential appointment.
Suicide is a major public health concern. Around 30,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. More people die by suicide each year than by homicide.
Suicide is tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.
Who is at risk for suicide?
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities are at risk for suicide. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:
- Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
- A prior suicide attempt
- Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Having guns or other firearms in the home
- Incarceration, being in prison or jail
- Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or media figures
The risk for suicidal behavior also is associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which is also associated with depression. Lower levels of serotonin have been found in the brains of people with a history of suicide attempts. Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. Suicide is not a normal response to stress. It is however, a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention.
What about gender?
Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. Men are more likely to use deadlier methods, such as firearms or suffocation. Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide by poisoning.
What about children?
Children and young people are at risk for suicide. Year after year, suicide remains one of the top three leading causes of death for young people ages 15 to 24.
What about older adults?
Older adults are at risk for suicide, too. In fact, white males age 85 and older consistently have the highest suicide rate than any other age and ethnic group.
What about different ethnic groups?
Among ethnicities, American Indians and Alaska Natives tend to have the highest rate of suicides, followed by non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanics tend to have the lowest rate of suicides, while African Americans tend to have the second lowest rate.
How can suicide be prevented?
Effective suicide prevention is based on sound research. Programs that work take into account people’s risk factors and promote interventions that are appropriate to specific groups of people. For example, research has shown that mental and substance abuse disorders are risk factors for suicide. Therefore, many programs focus on treating these disorders in addition to addressing suicide risk specifically.
Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy," can effectively reduce suicide risk. One type is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help people learn new ways of dealing with stressful experiences by training them to consider alternative actions when thoughts of suicide arise. Another type of psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been shown to reduce the rate of suicide among people with borderline personality disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by unstable moods, relationships, self-image, and behavior. A therapist trained in DBT helps a person recognize when his or her feelings or actions are disruptive or unhealthy, and teaches the skills needed to deal better with upsetting situations.
Some medications may also help. For example, the antipsychotic medication clozapine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for suicide prevention in people with schizophrenia. Other promising medications and psychosocial treatments for suicidal people are being tested. Still other research has found that many older adults and women who die by suicide saw their primary care providers in the year before death. Training doctors to recognize signs that a person may be considering suicide may help prevent even more suicides.
What should I do if someone I know is considering suicide?
If you know someone who is considering suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get your loved one to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Remove any access he or she may have to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including medications.
- Crisis Services, 24 hour hotline at (716) 834-3131
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
*National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH
The Beginning Stages
While the early months of a relationship can feel effortless and exciting, successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners. Building healthy patterns early in your relationship can establish a solid foundation for the long run. When you are just starting a relationship, it is important to:
- Build — Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Focus on all the considerate things your partner says and does. Happy couples make a point of noticing even small opportunities to say "thank you" to their partner, rather than focusing on mistakes their partner has made.
- Explore — Explore each other's interests so that you have a long list of things to enjoy together. Try new things together to expand mutual interests
- Establish — Establish a pattern of apologizing if you make a mistake or hurt your partner's feelings. Saying "I'm sorry" may be hard in the moment, but it goes a long way towards healing a rift in a relationship. Your partner will trust you more if he or she knows that you will take responsibility for your words and actions.
As the Months Go By: Important Things to Recognize as Your Relationship Grows
Relationships Change — Changes in life outside your relationship will impact what you want and need from the relationship. Since change is inevitable, welcoming it as an opportunity to enhance the relationship is more fruitful than trying to keep it from happening.
Check in Periodically — Occasionally set aside time to check in with each other on changing expectations and goals. If a couple ignores difficult topics for too long, their relationship is likely to drift into rocky waters without their noticing.
What to Do When Conflict Arises
Disagreements in a relationship are not only normal but, if constructively resolved, actually strengthen the relationship. It is inevitable that there will be times of sadness, tension, or outright anger between you and your partner. The source of these problems may lie in unrealistic/unreasonable demands, unexplored expectations, or unresolved issues/behaviors in one partner or in the relationship. Resolving conflicts requires honesty, a willingness to consider your partner's perspective even if you don't fully understand it, and lots of communication.
Healthy communication is critical, especially when there are important decisions regarding sex, career, marriage, and family to be made. The following are some guidelines for successful communication and conflict resolution.
- Understand each other's family patterns — Find out how conflicts were managed (or not managed) in your partner's family, and talk about how conflict was approached (or avoided) in your own family. It is not unusual for couples to discover that their families had different ways of expressing anger and resolving differences. If your family wasn't good at communicating or resolving conflict constructively, give yourself permission to try out some new ways of handling conflict.
- Timing Counts — Contrary to previous notions, the best time to resolve a conflict may not be immediately. It is not unusual for one or both partners to need some time to cool off. This "time-out" period can help you avoid saying or doing hurtful things in the heat of the moment, and can help partners more clearly identify what changes are most important. Remember - if you are angry with your partner but don't know what you want yet, it will be nearly impossible for your partner to figure it out!
- Establish an Atmosphere of Emotional Support — Emotional support involves accepting your partner's differences and not insisting that he or she meet your needs only in the precise way that you want them met. Find out how your partner shows his or her love for you, and don't set absolute criteria that require your partner to always behave differently before you're satisfied.
- Agree to Disagree and Move On — Most couples will encounter some issues upon which they will never completely agree. Rather than continuing a cycle of repeated fights, agree to disagree and negotiate a compromise or find a way to work around the issue.
- Distinguish between things you want versus things you need from your partner — For example, for safety reasons, you might need your partner to remember to pick you up on time after dark. But calling you several times a day may really only be a "want."
- Clarify Your Messages — A clear message involves a respectful but direct expression of your wants and needs. Take some time to identify what you really want before talking to your partner. Work on being able to describe your request in clear, observable terms. For example, you might say, "I would like you to hold my hand more often" rather than the vague, "I wish you were more affectionate."
- Discuss One Thing at a Time — It can be tempting to list your concerns or grievances, but doing so will likely prolong an argument. Do your best to keep the focus on resolving one concern at a time.
- Really Listen — Being a good listener requires the following: (a) don't interrupt, (b) focus on what your partner is saying rather than on formulating your own response, and (c) check out what you heard your partner say. You might start this process with: "I think you are saying..." Or "what I understood you to say was..." This step alone can prevent misunderstandings that might otherwise develop into a fight.
- Restrain yourself — Research has found that couples who "edit" themselves and do not say all the angry things they may be thinking are typically the happiest.
- Adopt a "Win-Win" Position — A "win-win" stance means that your goal is for the relationship, rather than for either partner, to "win" in a conflict situation. Ask yourself: "Is what I am about to say (or do) going to increase or decrease the odds that we'll work this problem out?"
Healthy and Problematic Expectations in Relationships
Each of us enters into romantic relationships with ideas about what we want based on family relationships, what we've seen in the media, and our own past relationship experiences. Holding on to unrealistic expectations can cause a relationship to be unsatisfying and to eventually fail. The following will help you to distinguish between healthy and problematic relationship expectations:
- Respect Changes — What you want from a relationship in the early months of dating may be quite different from what you want after you have been together for some time. Anticipate that both you and your partner will change over time. Feelings of love and passion change with time, as well. Respecting and valuing these changes is healthy. Love literally changes brain chemistry for the first months of a relationship. For both physiological and emotional reasons, an established relationship will have a more complex and often richer type of passion than a new relationship.
- Accept Differences — It is difficult, but healthy, to accept that there are some things about our partners that will not change over time, no matter how much we want them to. Unfortunately, there is often an expectation that our partner will change only in the ways we want. We may also hold the unrealistic expectation that our partner will never change from the way he or she is now.
- Express Wants and Needs — While it is easy to assume that your partner knows your wants and needs, this is often not the case and can be the source of much stress in relationships. A healthier approach is to directly express our needs and wishes to our partner.
- Respect Your Partner's Rights — In healthy relationships, there is respect for each partner's right to have her/his own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions. It is unrealistic to expect or demand that that he or she have the same priorities, goals, and interests as you.
- Be Prepared to "Fight Fair." — Couples who view conflict as a threat to the relationship often find that accumulated and unaddressed conflicts are the real threat. Healthy couples fight, but they "fight fair" - accepting responsibility for their part in a problem, admitting when they are wrong, and seeking compromise.
- Maintain the Relationship — Most of us know that keeping a vehicle moving in the desired direction requires not only regular refueling, but also ongoing maintenance and active corrections to the steering to compensate for changes in the road. A similar situation applies to continuing relationships. While we may work hard to get the relationship started, expecting to cruise without effort or active maintenance typically leads the relationship to stall or crash! Though gifts and getaways are important, it is often the small, nonmaterial things that partners routinely do for each other that keep the relationship satisfying.
Outside Pressures on the Relationship
Differences in Background - Even partners coming from very similar cultural, religious, or economic backgrounds can benefit from discussing their expectations of how a good boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse behaves. What seems obvious or normal to you may surprise your partner, and vice versa. If you are from different backgrounds, be aware that you may need to spend more time and energy to build your relationship. Take the time to learn about your partner's culture or religion, being careful to check out what parts of such information actually fit for your partner.
Time Together and Apart - How much time you spend together and apart is a common relationship concern. If you interpret your partner's time apart from you as, "he or she doesn't care for me as much as I care for him or her," you may be headed for trouble by jumping to conclusions. Check out with your partner what time alone means to him or her, and share your feelings about what you need from the relationship in terms of time together. Demanding what you want, regardless of your partner's needs, usually ends up driving your partner away, so work on reaching a compromise.
Your Partner's Family - For many students, family remains an important source of emotional, if not financial, support during their years at the university. Some people find dealing with their partner's family difficult or frustrating. It can help to take a step back and think about parental good intentions. Families may offer well-intentioned advice about your relationship or your partner. It's important that the two of you discuss and agree on how you want to respond to differing family values and support one another in the face of what can be very intense "suggestions" from family.
Friends - There are some people who seem to believe that "I have to give up all my friends unless my partner likes them as much as I do." Giving up friends is not healthy for you or the relationship, except in circumstances where your friends pressure you to participate in activities that are damaging to yourself and the relationship. At the same time, keep in mind that your partner may not enjoy your friends as much as you do. Negotiate which friends you and your partner spend time with together. You might ask: "Which of my friends do you enjoy seeing and which ones would you rather I see alone or at other times when I'm not with you?"
Eight Basic Steps to Maintaining a Good Relationship
- Be aware of what you and your partner want for yourselves and what you want from the relationship.
- Let one another know what your needs are.
- Realize that your partner will not be able to meet all your needs. Some of these needs will have to be met outside of the relationship.
- Be willing to negotiate and compromise on the things you want from one another.
- Do not demand that a partner change to meet all your expectations. Work to accept the differences between your ideal mate and the real person you are dating.
- Try to see things from the other's point of view. This doesn't mean that you must agree with one another all the time, but rather that both of you can understand and respect each other's differences, points of view, and separate needs.
- Where critical differences do exist in your expectations, needs, or opinions, try to work honestly and sincerely to negotiate. Seek professional help early rather than waiting until the situation becomes critical.
- Do your best to treat your partner in a way that says, "I love you and trust you, and I want to work this out."
* "Healthy Romantic Relationships During College", Suzanne Fremont, Ph.D.
- Talk with someone about your feelings – anger, sorrow, and other emotions – even though it may be difficult.
- Don't hold yourself responsible for negative events that happen to your residents or be frustrated because you feel that you cannot help every resident every time.
- Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by staying active in your daily life patterns or by adjusting them. This healthy outlook will help yourself. (i.e. healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, meditation.)
- Maintain a daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities of yourself.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Don't suppress having a good cry. Tears can help cleanse the body of substances that form under stress. Tears also release a natural pain-relieving substance from the brain.
- Do relaxation exercises daily. Good ones include visualization (imagining a soothing, restful scene), deep muscle relaxation (tensing and relaxing muscle fibers), meditation, and deep breathing.
- Count to 10 when you're so upset you want to scream. This gives you time to reflect on what's bothering you and helps to calm you down.
- Modify your environment to get rid of or manage your exposure to stress.
- Rehearse for stressful events. Imagine yourself feeling calm and confident in an anticipated stressful situation.
- Escape for a little while. Watch a movie, visit a museum, etc.
- Laugh a lot. Keep a sense of humor.
- Take a warm shower or bath.
- Reward yourself with little things that make you feel good.
- Don't try to please everyone. You can't.
- Balance work and play. Plan social and extracurricular activities in the time you have left after class, work, and sleep. Don't take on more activities than you can reasonably do in a given day or week. Set priorities.
- Listen to music that you find soothing while at a quiet, calm place. Meditate.
The personal counseling center can customize each workshop to fit student needs and time allotment. If you are interested in scheduling a workshop please contact the personal counseling center directly at 716-829-7819
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Learn how stress can either be motivational or detrimental. In this workshop, we discuss where stress shows up in our lives and how, unmanaged, it can manifest as anxiety. Participants will learn to determine what component(s) of life are affected, how to address these and minimize the chance of feeling overwhelmed.
What does self-care mean? Participants will take a survey to determine how well they are taking care of self in different dimensions of life – physical body, relationships, fun and relaxation, physical environment, emotional health, and spirituality. Each individual will leave the workshop with a self-care plan to improve one specific area of their life.
Why do we do what we do? Behave the way we behave? Respond to things the way we do? Like the people/places/things we like? Why are we attracted to some people and turned off by others? This workshop will explain different personality styles and traits, and participants will complete an assessment to determine their unique personality style. When time permits, interactions between different personality styles will be explored.
Does it feel like there's never enough time to get things done? Are you a procrastinator? This presentation will review your time management habits and patterns, and share techniques to help you improve the way you manage your time.
Humor and Wellness
"Laughter is the language of the soul." Pablo Neruda. Have fun with us and recognize the extreme benefits of laughter and light-heartedness. Seeking wellness is vital in stressful and intense environments.
Presented in an experiential format, participants in this workshop will learn and practice various techniques for relaxation and well-being.
Mental Health Awareness
Various mental health topics can be presented in assorted formats – discussion only, movies and discussion, case studies and discussion.
A Listening Ear - For students of Diversity
This presentation is geared towards students of color, minority students and international students. The presenter opens a discussion about the many challenges students can experience in addition to the college work load. Issues that will be discussed:
- Campus climate (culture shock)
- Differing methods of communication (tone of speech, language used, bilingual)
- Social and Academic integration (methods to bridge gap in residence halls and classrooms)
- Financial Aid/Income (For many low-income and minority students, enrollment and academic persistence are driven by availability of financial aid and financial security.)
- Pressure/Significance of degree attainment (First generation college students, the social-psychological factors which affect academic achievement).
Throughout the discussion the presenter will provide strategies to motivate students to overcome life obstacles and work towards achieving their goals
505 Prospect Avenue Marguerite Hall (1st floor)
Erin M. Moss, MA, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Isabel Molina, APRN BC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
More information is available on our Counselors page.
Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Evening appointments are available.