Tennessee Tech Counseling Center
Informed Consent/Notice of Privacy Practice
Welcome to the TN Tech Counseling Center
The Center is dedicated to serving you by providing counseling/services that foster your academic and personal development. This handout is prepared to give you some basic information regarding our counseling services. Please read and discuss any questions or areas of concern with your counselor. Members of the TN Tech Counseling Center clinical staff are Licensed Professional Counselor Mental Health Service Providers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers.
Counseling Center Hours:
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Individual Counseling and Referral Services
The TN Tech Counseling Center provides free, short term services to all currently registered and enrolled students. Brief counseling is often effective for common issues faced by university students and utilizing this model allows us to serve a greater number of students with our available resources. Eligible students are allotted 12 individual sessions per academic year. This does not include groups, workshops or crisis sessions. We also provide referral services for students who have more chronic, ongoing, or specialized needs.
The Counseling Process
At your initial visit, which is typically a 15-20 minute triage session, you will complete a client questionnaire and meet with a counselor to discuss your concerns. The counselor will share with you what you can reasonably expect regarding the counseling process and will describe some of the benefits as well as some of the risks of counseling. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have. Clear communication and understanding are the cornerstones of a good counseling relationship. The student may receive counseling at the TN Tech Counseling Center if the student presents with issues that may be addressed utilizing a solution-focused, brief treatment model. Individual therapy sessions, typically 25-45 minute sessions, may be scheduled on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. If the clinician decides that the client presents with long term or chronic issues, the clinician will assist the client in connecting community providers. Due to availability, we may not be able to accommodate same day appointments, unless a student is experiencing a mental health crisis.
TN Tech University does not provide psychiatric services, including, but not limited to, psychiatric evaluations, medication evaluations or medication management. Students determined to be in need of these services will be referred to an off campus provider. The Counseling Center maintains a list of local providers.
TN Tech students who are in immediate crisis are provided Crisis / Walk-In access to meet with a TN Tech clinician if that student:
- Is currently thinking about suicide
- Has a strong desire to harm someone else
- Is having strange experiences such as hearing voices or seeing things that others do not
- Has been physically or sexually assaulted in the previous two weeks.
If the student does not meet the criteria listed above, then a regular appointment may be scheduled. The typical wait time to meet with a clinician is within one to two weeks. If a student experiences a crisis outside of normal office hours, please call the TN Tech Counseling Center's Eagle Eye After Hours Crisis Hotline at 855-206-8997 or 931-372-3331. You may also call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Limits of Service
I have read and understand that the TN Tech Counseling Center does not provide:
- Documentation for Emotional Support or Therapy Animals
- Counseling for issues that require long term psychotherapy and long term medication management
- Psychological Assessments, Testing or Evaluations, including, but not limited to ADHD evaluations or disability benefit assessments
- Testimony or evidence in legal matters or Mental Health Services mandated by legal process.
- Family, Marital or Couples Counseling (Premarital Workshops are available pursuant to the TCA)
- Evaluations or long term treatment for substance abuse
- Requests for Fitness For Duty
Fees and Eligibility
Currently registered/enrolled students and TN Tech employees are eligible for any of the Center's counseling, consulting, workshops, or outreach services at no cost to them unless otherwise stated.
Appointments generally last 25-45 minutes with follow up appointments scheduled as
appropriate. Regular and consistent attendance plays an important role in making progress
towards your treatment goals.
Please call to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance if you know that you have a conflict so that we can reschedule another appointment as quickly as possible. We understand that unanticipated situations can arise. If you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment due to illness or emergency, please contact the office as soon as possible. Clients who miss more than 2 appointments during the semester will be referred to a community provider for continuation of care. We value our clients, but please understand that poor attendance hurts your ability to reach your treatment goals, and limits our ability to see others who need to meet with our Counseling Center staff members.
All information shared by you is strictly confidential. Any disclosure outside of the Counseling Center mental health staff will be done only with your prior written permission. The legal exceptions to your right to confidentiality are:
- to protect you or others from imminent serious harm;
- to protect children and impaired adults from abuse;
- court ordered testimony or release of records;
- to parents of minors (under age 18).
As noted above, when a situation arises in which there is an imminent threat of serious harm to you or others, TN Tech University Counseling Center staff may share information with others (i.e. Crisis Intervention, Law Enforcement, Dean of Students, Associate VP of Student Affairs, Behavioral Intervention Team) without your consent as the circumstances dictate. Additionally, there may be other situations, as determined by the Counseling Center staff that is of such a serious or emergency nature that the staff will determine they must contact the individual you have indicated as your crisis/emergency contact. By voluntarily providing us with the information for this emergency contact you should understand that doing so will allow the staff to make such contact at their discretion under situations they deem to be of a serious or emergency nature. The Counseling Center staff works as a team. Your counselor may consult with other members of the Counseling Center staff to provide the best care for you.
There may be times that you may need information sent to an office on campus (i.e. Financial Aid, Health Services etc.) or in the community (i.e. medical doctor etc.) In all cases, except where outlined above, an Authorization for the Release of Information must be completed before written or verbal information is shared. Counseling Center Documents and Mental Health Records are not part of a student's college educational records. Any and all records, whether written or in electronic format, are confidential and may only be disclosed for the purpose of treatment and as otherwise provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with the exception of limits of confidentiality outlined above in compliance with the TCA.
Because confidentiality and prompt response of e-mail communications CANNOT be guaranteed, we ask that you NOT contact us via e-mail. If you do decide to contact us by email, please use your TN Tech email and only for canceling appointments or in response to an email that one of the clinical staff may have sent to you. You may send secure communication using the Eagle Wellness Portal.
Benefits and Risks
Counseling can have both benefits and risks, which you are encouraged to discuss with your counselor. Since counseling and psychotherapy often involve discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may for a time experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, loneliness, frustration and anger. On the other hand, counseling has been shown to have benefits for people. It often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in distress. However, there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
- You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- You have the right to know the qualifications and professional experience of your therapist
- You have the right to expect professional and competent counseling help.
- You have the right to ask questions about anything related to your treatment.
- You have the right to know information concerning diagnosis, treatment philosophy, method, and prognosis. You have the right to participate in decisions related to your treatment. You have the right to refuse treatment methods or recommendations.
- You have the right to request a second opinion and referral to another counselor or agency.
- You have the right to end therapy at any time. Please discuss your reasons for wanting to stop therapy with your counselor.
- You have the responsibility of taking an active role in the counseling process. Participation involves honestly sharing your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. It also may involve following through on assignments or reflecting upon new ideas which may have arisen during your sessions.
- You have the responsibility of providing information about past and present physical and psychological problems, including hospitalization, medication, and previous treatment.
- You have the responsibility of keeping your appointments. The time is reserved especially for you. If you are unable to keep your appointment, give 24 hour notice so that the time can be given to another student.
- You have the responsibility of arriving on time for your appointment. If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, please inform the Counseling Center. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you may need to reschedule.
Additional Important Phone Numbers
TN Tech Police 911 or 931-372-3234
TN Tech Eagle Eye After-Hours Crisis Hotline 855-206-8997 or 931-372-3331.
TN Tech Health Services 931-372-3320
TN Tech Dean of Students 931-372-3123
Genesis House Rape & Sexual Assault Center 800-707-5197 or 931-526-5197
Genesis House Domestic Violence & Crisis 800-707-5197 or 931-526-5197
Volunteer Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline 1-800-704-2651