INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
CONSULTING WITH THE COUNSELING CENTER STAFF
Launching your student into the college years is a complicated process for parents and loved ones. As with every life transition, parents want to do what is best for their children. Parents often become concerned about their college student’s emotional functioning. The Counseling Center is available to consult with parents who have questions or concerns about their Villanovan. It is best to call and schedule a time to talk to a psychologist – by phone or in person.
Issues commonly raised by parents are:
- Is this a normal, developmental process for a college student?
- How might the parent best support the student?
- How might the parent convince the student to seek professional help?
- If there is a basis for treating the student’s condition as an “emergency,” what steps should be taken?
The psychologist’s assistance will be based on the description you provide, and on our extensive experience working with college students’ emotional development. Our thoughts will NOT be based on information we have about your specific student. In fact, you probably will not be speaking to a psychologist who has met your child (see “disclosure” below).
DISCLOSURE TO PARENTS OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE STUDENT
The student’s assurance of privacy is one of the conditions that makes counseling effective. The Counseling Center is prohibited by law from disclosing anything about the student without explicit written permission from the student. This even applies to parents! Some students have signed a “waiver” allowing parents to talk to academic deans about the student’s progress. That waiver does NOT apply to psychological counseling.
If you know that your child has seen one of our psychologists and if you think it is important to talk to your student’s psychologist, PLEASE TELL THE STUDENT OF YOUR CONCERN, AND ASK THE STUDENT TO SIGN A RELEASE OF INFORMATION AT THE COUNSELING CENTER, which then allows us to discuss your child with you.
We are not even free to share with you whether your student has sought counseling, as even that information is protected by state law.
EXCEPTIONS TO CONFIDENTIALITY
When we believe that any student is in imminent danger, at risk of seriously harming themself or someone else, we will seek the student’s permission to involve family members. If the student will not give permission, we are compelled to break confidentiality. In that case, we will contact the family.
If YOU have very worrisome information that we may not have, such as someone revealing to you that your child has made a suicide attempt, please call us and give us that information. In that unusual circumstance, the priority is to protect the student, and the family’s involvement is essential.
In summary, if you are a concerned parent, call us! We will talk openly with you about the concerns you describe. If there is a confidentiality dilemma, we will work with you to determine what is best for the student.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College
by Patricia Pasick
The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior to College Life
by Laura Kastner, Jennifer Fugett Wyatt
Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Sixth Edition
by Karen Levin Coburn (Author), Madge Lawrence Treeger
You're On Your Own (But I'm Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
by Marjorie Savage
Your Nest is Empty? Enjoy Each Other!
New York Times