The Counseling Center, located on the Evergreen Campus, provides confidential, short-term individual counseling and year-long therapy groups. Graduate students enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours of coursework are eligible to receive these services. Unfortunately, due to high clinical demand, we are unable to provide counseling services for students seeking to fulfill the counseling requirement of their graduate program. Referral information is also provided, in person or over the phone, to all graduate students needing individual psychotherapy for more long term concerns.
The Counseling Center is staffed by licensed psychologists, a clinical social worker, and Post-Doctoral Fellows. Graduate students may make an appointment for an initial consultation that ranges from one to three sessions in order to determine recommended treatment options. Life as a graduate student can present many unique rewards and challenges.
Opportunities and Challenges
Life as a graduate/professional school student is full of new experiences—opportunities and challenges—that call for adaptive and flexible coping skills. From the initial transition to graduate/professional school through the various phases of completing your degree program, you will be challenged in a number of ways that can be exciting and sometimes daunting. Some of these challenges might include:
Adapting to a new place - Learning how to navigate the Loyola campuses, utilize the various resources available to Loyola students, as well as adjusting to the Baltimore community if you are new to the area are typical developmental experiences of the new graduate student. For international students, being in the U.S., perhaps for the first time poses even greater challenges related to language and culture that are less familiar.
Creating new relationships - Developing social friendships, academic partnerships, and mentoring relationships with faculty is all a part of adjusting to your graduate school experience. You need a caring community to support you through the rigors of this academic journey. Creating this community takes time and energy.
Taking on new roles - Learning what it means to be a graduate or professional school student, and a research or teaching assistant are examples of new roles you may be taking on. Feeling comfortable and confident in these new roles takes time.
Setting limits - Along with these new roles may come the need to clarify boundaries—what are appropriate expectations and what are not? Learning how to set limits and how to negotiate responsibilities are among the challenges of graduate and professional school student life.
Academic transition times - Preparing for comprehensive exams, working on a thesis or dissertation, and going out on job interviews are all high stress times for graduate and professional school students.
Academic Competence - Whether you are coming to graduate school right after undergrad and worry about being a “small fish in a big pond” or are returning to school after some time off and are concerned about feeling “rusty” in the student role, the tendency to doubt one’s academic competence is very normal during the transition to graduate school.
Multiple roles - Balancing your commitments and activities as a student with other areas of your personal life can be very challenging at times. Relationships may feel strained, or you may sometimes feel like there’s just not enough of you to go around. Learning how to set priorities and manage stress and time are critical skills for graduate/professional school students to acquire.
We encourage you to take time to review some basic self-care practices that will help you prevent manage your stress more effectively:
A Healthy Diet - Eat regular, well balanced meals. Limit caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Good Sleep Habits - Get at least six hours of sleep a night (eight is even better), maintain a regular sleep routine.
Regular Exercise - Find physical activities that you enjoy, commit to an exercise schedule.
Time for Play & Relaxation - Build breaks into your daily schedule, learn and use healthy relaxation strategies (breathing exercises, meditation, yoga).
Get Connected to Others - Build relationships with others not only through your academic discipline but through team sports, clubs and organizations, religious/ spiritual groups, or other resources found on the web.
When the stress you are experiencing is increasing and you are beginning to feel out of balance, services offered at the Counseling Center can help you navigate these challenges, and prevent these common aspects of graduate/professional education from becoming debilitating stressors or life crises. You may phone 410-617-CARE (410-617-2273) or stop by the Counseling Center to make an appointment between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will meet with an initial assessment counselor who will help you to clarify the problem and determine what type of service will best meet your needs. There are several possibilities which include individual or group counseling in the Center, or when appropriate, referral to other campus agencies or to off-campus resources. During times of heavy service demand, there may be a wait of several days before an initial appointment can be made. However, if you have a problem of a crisis nature, the receptionist will arrange an emergency appointment with a counselor.