University Counseling Center


"Welcome to the University Counseling Center (UCC). I am Dr. Peter Emerson, the Director of the UCC. It is our goal to facilitate self-understanding and empowerment for all clients. To this end, we strive to assist clients in identifying and resolving those challenges that impact their lives.

We believe that counseling can help individuals learn about themselves, their environment, and their methods of handling roles and relationships. Through counseling, clients will have the support of a counselor as well as the freedom to determine how they wish to resolve the challenges facing them."


What services do we provide?

We offer:

Individual Counseling

Family Counseling

Telehealth Services

Couples Counseling

Psychoeducational groups

Support groups 




24/7 emergency on-call services.

Who can receive our services?

Counseling services are provided free of charge to students, faculty, and staff.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an initial appointment, come to the University Counseling Center located at 303 A Union Avenue, in the Student Union Annex to complete the intake paperwork. At that time, the receptionist will schedule an appointment for you.  For those scheduling for the first time, the intake process takes up to 30 minutes.  Due to the length of time it takes to complete the intake and the University closing at 5pm Monday thru Thursday and 12:30pm on Fridays, we do not accept new intakes at 4:30pm from Monday thru Thursday, as well as 12:00pm on Fridays.  We ask that you give yourself time to complete the intake as you will not be able to save your place if you need to leave early.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 985-549-3894.

What should I do in an emergency?

If you have a mental health emergency on campus during operating hours of the University (7:30am - 5:00pm), you may come immediately to the Counseling Center. Individuals with mental health emergencies are seen as quickly as possible by hour on-call counselor. If you have an on-campus emergency after hours or during the weekends/holidays, please contact the University Police Department at 985-549-2222. You will need to give the dispatcher your name, W number, and location.The police department will then contact the on-call counselor.

In the event of a mental health crisis such as suicidal/homicidal thoughts, for those who are off
campus, we recommend calling 911 for emergency services, seeking out emergency services at
your nearest emergency room, or calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

What to expect from counseling?

You will be asked to fill out a confidential Intake Form before your initial appointment time. Counselors at the UCC attempt to provide an atmosphere of caring and understanding so that you may  examine aspects of your life that are not working at this time without any judgment. The number of sessions needed to meet your goals is determined by you and your counselor. A fifty minute time period is set for each session.

Each counselor has his/her own style of counseling; therefore, you can expect an eclectic approach to problem solving, geared toward meeting your needs. It is important to note that you are a full partner in the counseling relationship.  This partnership is built on trust and a rapport built between you and your counselor that may take time to develop. Your honesty and effort are essential to success, as this will best inform your counselor on how to proceed with sessions.  However, you will not be forced to discuss issues that you are not ready for, but it helps to communicate to your counselor on your readiness for certain goals. You may be asked to participate in activities or complete "therapeutic homework assignments" between sessions.  Following through with assignments and goals is paramount in building rapport, developing progress, and establishing a healthy counseling environment.

If, as you work with your counselor, you have suggestions or concerns about counseling, it is valuable to share those suggestions or concerns with your counselor or with the director of the UCC so that we can make the necessary adjustments.

It is important to know that in the course of counseling, additional issues may surface about which you were not initially aware. If this occurs, you should feel free to share these new concerns with your counselor.

What are my responsibilities as a client?

  1. Keep appointments. Please cancel or reschedule appointments at least 24 hours in advance. After 2 "no-shows," the client's counseling privileges may be suspended for the semester.

  2. Be prompt. Promptness allows the client to receive a full fifty minute session.

  3. Be an active participant in your growth process. Clients are full partners in the counseling process. Honesty and effort are essential to success. Being active in counseling means communicating with your counselor, being honest in discussing concerns, completing outside assignments, and informing the counselor if you decide to terminate.

  4. Notify your counselor of any pre-existing professional mental health relationship with other counselors or psychiatrists.

  5. Inform your counselor of any physical concerns you may have and/or any medications you may be taking. 
    Physical health can be an important factor in the emotional well-being of an individual. If you have not had a physical examination within the past year, your counselor may suggest that you do so.

What are your rights as a client?

  1. You have the right to confidentiality within the limits of the counselor's Code of Conduct (listed above and available at

  2. You have the right to download a copy of the ACA Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice (url address listed in #1 above).

  3. You have the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

  4. You have the right to be informed of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of the counseling services you will receive. (Please note, this is the statement that you read, signed and received during your first visit.)

  5. You have the right to share any concerns or issues with your counselor, the UCC Director, or the Vice President for Student Affairs.

What are some typical issues addressed at the UCC?

  • Low self confidence
  • Self defeating behaviors
  • Relationship problems and break-ups
  • Sexual concerns
  • Difficulties with alcohol and other drugs
  • Boundary issues
  • Concerns with academic performance, lack of motivation, test anxiety
  • Gender and/or sexuality concerns
  • Dealing with feelings such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, and anger
  • Relationship violence
  • Managing Stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual harassment, sexual assault or rape
  • Concerns about helping a friend
  • History of childhood abuse or neglect
  • Suicidal thoughts

 Will my information be confidential?


Your information will not be disclosed outside of the professional counseling staff without your written permission. The exceptions to confidentiality are:

  1. When there is indication of suicidal or homicidal ideation, plans, means, or intent.

  2. When there is reason to suspect the abuse of a child, elderly person, or gravely disabled person.

  3. When there is a court order. 

Counselors in-training may present cases (unidentified) to their faculty supervisor. These professionals are bound by the same strict standards of confidentiality as listed above. Confidentiality of clients is defined by the American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics (

May I seek counseling services through the internet?

The UCC is currently providing teletherapy services.  Your counselor will work with you to determine if these services are appropriate for your care.  Please call our office at (985) 549-3894 for more information.  You will need to complete intake paperwork to initiate this process.  Please remember that email communication should not be used as a means for communicating regarding your care.

National Hotlines

Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741. Mental Health America is a nationwide organization that provides assistance through this text line. You will be linked to someone who can guide you through a crisis or just provide information.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call or Text 988. Crisis intervention and free emotional support are available, which is helpful when you need confidential assistance during an emotional distress for you or a loved one. The help line is open 24/7 and a live online chat is available as well. 

Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. Specialized crisis counselors are just a text message away on this free, confidential 24 hour support line. To further protect your privacy, these messages do not appear on a phone bill. The text line also provides services and support if you are upset, scared, hurt, frustrated or distressed.

Veterans Crisis LIne: 1-800-273-8255. Text a message to 838255. Operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these services aid veterans and their families who may be in crisis by connecting them with VA responders.

Local Hotlines



PHONE: 985-231-1142





PHONE: 1-855-268-1091



PHONE: 504-832-5123



PHONE: 225-924-3900



PHONE: 211



PHONE: 1-800-273-TALK
SPANISH: 1-888-628-9454



(573) 303-5604 (VIDEOPHONE)


PHONE: 1-866-488-7386 OR TEXT START TO 678678




What to Expect During a Natural Disaster

Mental Health Crisis During Closure

On Campus

  • Call UPD at 985-549-2222 or go to the UPD Office on the first floor of Pride Hall

Off Campus

  • Dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or dial 988
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990


What to expect from the UCC during the closure:

Depending on the severity of the Disaster, the UCC physical office may remain closed for structural safety and functioning reasons; however, the UCC will continue to function in the following ways below: 

  • The UCC will provide an On-Call Counselor for on-campus mental health related emergencies, call UPD if you have a Mental Health Emergency on campus.


If the University has to remain closed longer than 4 business days:

    • The UCC will begin contacting current clients through phone calls and/or emails.


If the closure extends past 6 days: 

    • The UCC is prepared to provide clients with contact and remote counseling services. 
    • Please know that we cannot guarantee you will be called or receive counseling services from your assigned counselor due to limited resources after a Disaster.
    • Please note that the UCC could also recruit help from another University to provide counseling services depending on the severity of the storm.


Shelter in Place or Evacuation Plans

  • Identify safe shelter as soon as possible or decide if you will evacuate.



  • Be sure to have water and non-perishable food for yourself and any pets staying with you for several days. 
  • Be sure your supplies include medications, flashlight, first aid kit, candles, etc.  More information at:
  • Be sure to have activities that can occupy your time and do not require electricity: art supplies, journaling, coloring books, books, etc.

In the event a storm approaches, please continue to monitor your email and UCC web page for more information regarding UCC updates.






For more information about the UCC Staff visit the "About UCC Staff" section.

The University Counseling Center is accredited by IACS, the International Association of Counseling Services.