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Kalamazoo College
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Common Questions

How do I make an appointment?

To make an initial appointment, please stop by the Counseling Center and complete intake forms on the computer in the lobby. We will contact you as soon as possible (within 48 hours) to set a meeting time. If you wish to cancel an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible, as our schedules are typically very full. Twenty four-hour notice is best for us, but calling at the last minute is preferable to not letting us know.

How do I know if I could benefit from counseling?

Counseling can be useful for students with mild difficulties in their lives as well as those with more serious or long-standing problems. Any student who would like to sort out any concern is encouraged to come to the Counseling Center. Some of the most frequent concerns that bring students to the Counseling Center are: depression, anxiety, trouble with romantic relationships, navigating isms, family issues, academic stress, learning disabilities, low self-esteem, difficulty getting along or making friends, concerns about family members or friends, eating issues, gender identity issues, sexuality issues (including sexual orientation), and questions about the use of alcohol and/or other drugs.

How does counseling/therapy work?

When you first come for counseling, we will want you to describe what's brought you to us and how you understand the problem or concern. We may then ask you questions about your background and other areas of your life to develop a fuller picture of you. As counseling proceeds, we will work with you to understand further your concerns and the feelings that accompany them. Sorting through thoughts, feelings and behaviors will help you understand yourself better, clarify your goals and work through your concerns.

How do I get in touch with the Counseling Center (staff)?

You may contact the staff by phone or by e-mail (click here for phone numbers and email addresses). If you get the answering machine, please leave a message that includes the best time to return your call during the day or ask us to email you. If you experiencing a crisis and need to be seen right away, please alert the Health Center staff, which is located next door to the Counseling Center.

Is everything I say in counseling "confidential"?

We do not give out information about your participation in or the content of your counseling -- even to faculty members, parents, or RAs--unless you give us your consent. Typically, that consent involves filling out a short written form that indicates with whom we may communicate and about what. The exception to this policy of strict confidentiality involves situations where we believe that you are clearly dangerous to yourself or to others. In those cases, we are ethically and legally bound as mental health professionals to inform persons, such as family members and/or residence staff, who can help reduce the risks of serious harm to yourself or others. The Dean of Students is also informed of these very serious situations.

Who's Who on the Counseling Center Staff?

We are staffed by three doctoral psychologist, Director, Kenlana Ferguson, Ph.D, Outreach Coordinator, Heather Dannison, Ph.D, Training Coordinator, Erika Driver, Psy.D., a Consulting Psychiatrist, Gayle Ruggiero, D.O., and by five intern counselors. Staff contact information found here.