Our Services

The Counseling Center provides services to assist students in meeting their personal and mental health needs and goals. The Center has the resources to provide individual and group therapy as well as psychiatric consultations to meet the needs of most students. These services are free of charge.

For those students whose needs may be better met outside the Center, we will help provide referrals which are compatible with your insurance plan.

In addition, the Center offers consultations to students, faculty, staff and parents on questions about situations and issues related to students and student-life problems.

The Center also offers workshops to enhance students’ personal growth and development. Workshops may include such topics as Dealing with Grief, Performance Anxiety, Managing Stress, Dealing with Depression and How to Recognize Students who may be Distressed. Additional programming is also available to residence halls and to other organizations and departments on campus.Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our services, or to request a workshop.

How To Make an Appointment & What To Expect

You may schedule an appointment either by calling our center at 410-516-8278 or by walking in to speak with one of our receptionists. Please note that except in cases of emergency, same-day appointments are generally not available.

What questions will I be asked when making an appointment?

  • Have you ever been to our center before?
  • What school/program are you in?
  • Are you a full-time or part-time student?
  • Your first name, last name, and middle name
  • The last four digits of your social security number
  • A phone number where its best to reach you, and permission to leave a voicemail.

How will I be assigned a counselor?

The Counseling Center offers a variety of appointment times each day for meeting new students. For most students, the assignment of a therapist depends on the appointment time you choose, as different therapists cover specific shifts each week. If you are interested in meeting with a particular therapist (or if you have been referred to a specific counselor by a friend, teacher, or administrator) please let us know so we can try to accommodate you.

How long will my initial appointment be?

Once you pick an appointment day and time that works for you, the receptionist will make sure to remind you to come in 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. This paperwork includes our consent form, which explains our services and your rights as a client. You will also be asked to fill out basic information about yourself, your academics, and your insurance. The paperwork also includes a questionnaire that helps your therapist understand the difficulties that have brought you in for counseling. In addition to paperwork time, appointments are generally 45 – 60 minutes long.

What will it be like meeting my therapist for the first time?

Once you finish filling out our forms, you will be asked to take a seat in our waiting room. Your therapist will come out to greet you when he/she has finished reviewing your paperwork. Your therapist will be either a psychologist, or an intern completing the final year of his or her doctoral degree. Interns are supervised by licensed psychologists on staff. The content of the discussion during this first meeting will vary depending on who your therapist is and what brings you into the counseling center. However there are certain givens that you should expect will occur during your first meeting, regardless of whom your therapist is:

Your therapist will provide you an explanation of your rights as a client, including your right to confidentiality and the limits of that right. He or she will also provide you with the opportunity to tell your story about the problems and concerns that have brought you for treatment. To provide the best treatment possible, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment which will include questions about your history prior to your attendance at Johns Hopkins. Before the end of the first meeting, you and your therapist will have a collaborative discussion in which you will agree on a plan of action geared towards your recovery and well-being. As part of devising this plan of action, your therapist will share with you the different services available to clients of the Counseling Center, including the option to continue to meet with your therapist for short-term psychotherapy. When appropriate, your therapist may also explore with you options for off-campus treatment.

What will my therapist be like?

While each therapist has a unique style and way of making sense of things, there are a number of values and ideals espoused by the psychologists and interns who provide therapy at the Counseling Center. Your therapist will do his or her best to provide you with an experience in which you feel understood, cared for, and not judged for what you are thinking, feeling or doing. The therapists at the Counseling Center also care deeply about social justice, and are diligent to be mindful of the difficulties faced by those individuals who experience marginalization in our society. As a Center, we celebrate difference and strive to have an open dialogue with our clients about how issues of diversity impact their life and well-being.

Individual Therapy

Students meet individually with a staff psychologist to determine the services which will best suit their needs. If it is determined that a student’s needs would best be met elsewhere, the counselor will help the student find a referral in the area.

In the event that psychotropic medication may be indicated, the staff psychologist will refer the student to one of our consulting psychiatrists. The psychiatrist and psychologist will work together to evaluate the student’s needs and prescribe and monitor medication as needed.

Couples Therapy

Students who wish to have counseling as a couple must both be eligible students of Johns Hopkins University.

Group Therapy

Group Therapy is intended for you to gain peer support in dealing with personal or interpersonal challenges. It can be especially effective for people interested in exploring their interpersonal style and enhancing their approach to relationships in such areas as trust, intimacy, anger, conflict, assertiveness, taking risks, or improving self-esteem. Learn more about groups are being offered and our Group Therapy Confidentiality policy.

Psychiatric Care

Counseling Center Consulting Psychiatrists provide psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis, and they can provide prescriptions for psychotropic medications and ongoing medication monitoring for eligible students.

Our psychiatrists assess a student and decide whether a prescription may be appropriate. They will also decide whether they would be comfortable prescribing medication to the student without them also being in counseling. The psychiatrists’ options include to (a) decide to prescribe medication and continue ongoing psychiatric services without concurrent counseling by a Counseling Center therapist; (b) decide that the student must be in counseling in order for the psychiatrist to feel comfortable prescribing medication; or (c) decide that the student is not best served by or suitable for services at the Counseling Center, in which case the Counseling Center’s referral specialist will assist the student in locating and arranging for off-campus services. Two other options/paths include (1) a psychiatrist might begin to prescribe medication without concurrent counseling and later decide that counseling is necessary and (2) a student who is in counseling and starting or receiving psychiatric services at the Counseling Center can be transitioned to psychiatric care without counseling if the psychiatrist feels that would be a reasonable shift in care.

Initiating Contact with a Psychiatrist

Our Counseling Center psychiatrists can be accessed in one of 2 ways: (1) if you are currently taking a psychotropic medication prescribed elsewhere, you can schedule an appointment with one of our psychiatrists; (2) if you are not currently prescribed a medication, you must first meet with a Counseling Center clinician who may refer you to one of our consulting psychiatrists. The Counseling Center professionals will decide whether a student will need to be in counseling in order to receive a prescription and/or continue to receive services from the psychiatrist.

If you are currently in counseling at the Counseling Center and you are interested in consulting with a psychiatrist, please discuss this with your therapist. Your therapist may also suggest a psychiatric consultation as part of your treatment plan.

Attendance

Psychiatric consultation hours are limited. We request students’ cooperation to help us utilize this time most effectively for the benefit of as many students as possible. Please make note of your appointment time and make every effort to be on time for your appointment. If it is necessary to cancel, please give us 24-hours’ notice so that we can offer the appointment time to another student. Students who regularly miss appointments the psychiatrists may be referred off campus for psychiatric care.

Renewing Your Prescriptions

It is your responsibility to manage your medications, including knowing when you need a renewal of your prescription. Please work with your psychiatrist to obtain your prescription renewals in a timely manner. If you are following through on regular appointments with your psychiatrist, this will be fairly easy to do. It is often not possible to accommodate last minute requests for prescription renewals. Community urgent-care clinics and / or hospital emergency departments may provide an alternative venue for obtaining urgently required prescription medications.

Pharmacy Services

Neither the Counseling Center nor the University has a pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. CVS on St. Paul Street is the closest pharmacy to campus.

Off Campus Psychiatric Referrals

In some circumstances, it may be advisable for you to seek psychiatric care outside of the Counseling Center. This will be the case if: (a) one of our psychiatrists decides that you would need to be in counseling in order for them to prescribe a medication, and you are not interested in also receiving psychotherapy services, or (b) you need more extensive, more accessible, or more specialized psychiatric care than is provided at the CC. Insurance can often help cover the cost of private psychiatric care, and we are glad to assist you in finding a provider who accept your insurance.

Policy on Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The Counseling Center does not provide medication or assessment for ADHD. If requested, the Counseling Center can offer you referrals to off-campus specialists for assessment and/or treatment.

LGBTQ Help Zone

Navigating this world as an LGBTQ or questioning person can present a unique set of challenges. Clearly, many of them are dealt with personally or with the support of friends, family, and other allies. Sometimes, however, it may be beneficial to seek professional help to cope with what is going on in your life.

The Counseling Center is a safe, confidential, and inclusive place to engage in conversation on a myriad of topics. In individual counseling, our staff is here to help process and explore questions that you might have pertaining to your sexual orientation or gender identity. While there is an almost endless list of questions that can be explored at the Counseling Center, here are a few examples:

Are you…

  • Beginning a coming out process?
  • Feeling lonely because everyone you know is straight?
  • Wondering how to tell your roommate that you are gay?
  • Trying to reconcile your religious beliefs with your sexual orientation?
  • Struggling with the idea about transitioning?
  • Wrestling with the pain of internal homophobia?
  • Thinking about whether it’s time to talk to your parents about your asexuality?
  • Confused about how to explain to friends that you are bisexual?

These questions may be explored through individual counseling or by joining the LGBTQ Student Support Group.

The LGBTQ Student Support Group meets weekly and provides a safe environment to speak with other students who might be experiencing some of your same concerns. It is a place to explore and gain support as well as a place to help others.

All of these services can be accessed by contacting the office and making an appointment. Or, you may contact Dr. Rosemary Nicolosi, coordinator of services for LGBTQ students.

Information for International Students

As an international student, you bring unique and valuable experiences that enhance the overall climate of our world class institution. Many international students also face some unique stressors compared to American born students/peers. Some of these stressors could include homesickness, difficulty getting along with your roommates and peers, academic difficulties, financial stressors etc. These stressors can make you feel lonely, anxious, depressed, and isolated. Although some level of stress is normal (and even healthy!), it is important to know when you should be seeking professional help to cope with what is going on in your life.

Our staff, at the counseling center, provides confidential and free counseling services to all students. We can offer professional help in many areas like adjusting to the new culture, forming relationships, combating loneliness and homesickness, managing stress, and academic adjustment. To make an appointment, simply call our office and tell our front desk staff that you would like to speak with someone.

The following are some additional resources that are available through our counseling center for our international students:

  • International Student Support Group — This is a weekly support group on adjustment concerns. This support group will not only allow you a space to connect with other international students who are also experiencing adjustment related stressors but also learn effective ways of managing them.
  • International Student Bridge Program

The Office of International Services in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Admissions & Affairs, Counseling Center, Career Center and other offices on the Homewood Campus has come up with monthly programs to better support this transition process for new international graduate students. The Counseling Center offers various programs on adjusting to the university community through the ISB program. For more information, please visit www.grad.jhu.edu. Please note: Although geared toward graduate students at the Homewood Campus, students from any Johns Hopkins University school, including undergraduates, are welcome to attend any of the events.

Crisis and Emergency Services

We offer a variety of crisis and emergency services for eligible Johns Hopkins University students who need immediate assistance.

Sexual Assault Helpline

Contact the Sexual Assault Helpline at 410-516-7333.

The JHU Sexual Assault Helpline is a confidential service available 24/7 to ALL Johns Hopkins University students. The Helpline is staffed by the professionals at the Counseling Center and provides confidential assistance to those affected by sexual assault. Callers may remain anonymous. All calls to the Helpline are confidential and do not constitute making an official report to the University of sexual misconduct.

If you have experienced a sexual assault, this line can assist and support you in accessing medical help; support you in feeling safe on campus by helping you access housing changes, no contact orders or academic assistance; explain your options to report the assault to the police and/or the University’s Title IX office; and provide you with emotional support and information about accessing counseling resources. Calling the line does not obligate you to take any of these actions, we are a resource to talk through what you experienced and offer you options. The decision about what you do or don’t do is totally up to you. The Helpline staff are simply available to provide information and support.

Monday through Friday during regular business hours, the line will be answered by the Counseling Center receptionist and your call will be transferred to an available counselor. After hours, the Helpline is regularly monitored by our on-call counselor. If you reach voicemail, please leave your first name and telephone number and the on-call counselor will return your call as soon as possible. All calls are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.

Emergencies

If you are in danger or need immediate medical help, call 911 or Hopkins Security at 410-516-7777.

Off-Campus Sexual Assault Hotlines

More detailed Information about JHU Sexual Assault Policies and Resources is available at sexualassault.jhu.edu.