Office of Counseling and Wellness

The Office of Counseling and Wellness on the Albany Campus offers free wellness and mental health services for students, faculty, and staff of the College.

Services include assistance with a variety of issues, such as academic and adjustment concerns, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, family problems, LGBTQ, mood swings, relationship difficulties, stress, and suicidal thoughts.

All counseling, consultations, and referrals are kept strictly confidential, in accordance with legal and professional guidelines.

The Office of Counseling and Wellness is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Office is located  in the Student Center, Room 209.

The clinicians staffing the Office may be contacted directly by phone or e-mail (see contact information in sidebare of this page). Appointments may also be made through the confidential secretary/receptionist at 518-694-7107 or emailing the Office of Counseling and Wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I go about booking an appointment with one of the counselors?

There are several options:

  • In Person: Drop by the Student Center (Room 209) and speak to the confidential secretary/receptionist who will schedule you with one of the counselors, or speak to a counselor directly if available.
  • Phone - Call 518-694-7107 and ask to schedule an appointment.
  • Email - Many students prefer to use email, although it must be kept in mind that email cannot guarantee privacy of communications.

How much do counseling sessions cost?

Services are free for all ACPHS students, faculty, and staff.

Are the services offered confidential?

Absolutely. Nothing that is discussed during sessions can be discussed with anyone without your permission. Your privacy is protected under HIPAA and professional ethics. Only in cases where there is a danger to yourself or others can confidentiality be breached, or when court-ordered.

Will this go on my record or show up on my transcripts?

Absolutely not. In accordance with confidentiality rights, ACPHS personnel are not made aware of your use of the Office of Counseling and Wellness unless you request this. It will never show up on your transcripts.

Aren't people who go for counseling “crazy” or don't they have major problems?

There are a wide variety of reasons why people seek help. Some issues are indeed serious, but much more often help is being sought for common concerns with mood, anxiety, relationships, family, and stress related to school.

What will we talk about in our first session?

Usually, you'll start off by discussing the nature of your issue or the concerns you are having. In the first session, the counselor may also ask you about some pertinent background information. It is also your chance to ask any questions you might have about the process.

How long will the counseling session last?

Usually about 45 minutes, in some cases 30 minutes. It depends upon the issue at hand.

After the first session, how often will I come in?

That depends on what frequency you and your counselor decide upon. On the average, most students come in once a week for a 45 minute session. If your situation warrants, you can come in several times a week or even daily until things improve.

How many sessions will I have?

Students have unlimited access to the Office of Counseling and Wellness. Some students get what they need in only one session. Others may need more, or prefer to see a counselor on a regular basis throughout the year. It all depends on what you and your counselor feel is necessary.

Can the counselors prescribe medications if I need them?

No. Only a licensed medical professional can prescribe. If you and your counselor decide that you might be a good candidate for medication, your counselor will assist in getting you evaluated with the Albany Family Practice Group, your primary care physician back home, or we can refer you to a local psychiatrist. Whatever you prefer.

What if I wanted to attend counseling, but I don't want to use the services of the ACPHS counselors?

The ACPHS counselors will refer you to a qualified mental health professional in the area. Keep in mind, however, that an “outside” professional will charge a fee that you will be responsible for. Sometimes your health insurance will cover the fee, other times you may have to pay “out-of-pocket.”

What if I feel as though I'm in crisis and I can't wait until my scheduled appointment with my ACPHS counselor?

During business hours, go directly to the counseling office and see if your counselor is available. If not, tell the confidential receptionist/secretary of your situation, and you will be seen ASAP by a member of our staff. If this is an emergency that involves safety concerns, Capital District Psychiatric Center (CDPC) Mobile Crisis (518-447-9650) or 911 may be called.

What if I want my parents, or my boyfriend/girlfriend, or my roommates to come into a session with me?

Perfectly fine! Just discuss it with your counselor first.

Contact Us

Peter Cornish, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling and Wellness
518-694-7262
peter.cornish@acphs.edu

Randee McArdle, LCSW
Wellness Counselor
518-694-7143
randee.mcardle@acphs.edu