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Information for Graduate Students

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  1. Information for Graduate Students University counseling and consulting services 340 Appleby Hall 128 Pleasant street, S.E. Minneapolis, mn 55455 www.uccs.umn.edu

  2. What graduate students may struggle with • Academic demands • Grad school is hard work. It is usually very demanding and work load is high. • More time may need to be spent working on scholarly tasks. • They often have to wear many different hats on the same day, being in different roles, fulfilling different obligations. • Personal demands • Many graduate students are in serious long-term romantic relationship or have a family. • Graduate school does not necessarily mean not having a social life – people still expect you to be fun! • Finding an appropriate work-life balance • How do I fulfill all of my obligations and be able to manage my stress level at the same time? • How do I prioritize something without neglecting another? • How can I effectively manage my time given all the responsibilities?

  3. What graduate students may struggle with • Dissertation/Thesis • You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to finish a thesis or dissertation • You may feel frustrated about being able to meet your dissertation goals • You may be struggling with having the motivation to work on your thesis/dissertation • Stress related to finances • Many graduate students rely on student loans or assistantships • At times, living under a strict budget is necessary and can be stressful… especially if you also have dependent(s). • Boundary setting • As you work very closely with your academic program and/or advisors, you may need to practice being more assertive • Being able to take some time for yourself and being able to say “no” to people when you feel overwhelmed may be a challenge

  4. What graduate students may struggle with • Choosing the appropriate ways to cope • As a graduate student you are expected to be “mature” and therefore “deal” with your problems well • There may be pressure to act as if everything is fine even when you do not necessarily feel that way • Some graduate students may deal with personal, career, and academic pressures by using less effective means (e.g., drinking, not sharing struggles with others, isolating themselves) • Career-related stress • Now that you have spent so many years doing academic work and spending so much on your tuition, there is pressure to get a job right after you graduate • There is also perceived pressure to succeed and to love what you do, which can be extremely stressful • Or… you might have begun graduate school thinking you were going to enjoy what you do and finding that might not be the case. • UCCS can help!

  5. About counseling… • Is it true that only people who are experiencing severe distress go to counseling? • No. While we do work with students who struggle with severe emotional distress, many of the students with whom we work are actually students who are struggling with day-to-day difficulties. • These are students with personal, academic, or career issues who are in need of support. • We have worked with many graduate students who are in need of certain skills to help them go through graduate school without feeling too overwhelmed (e.g., time management, stress reduction, dissertation support) • Will people find out about what my counselor and I talk about? • No. All of the counseling sessions are confidential. Information stays between you and your counselor. • Nobody will have access to any information about you without your consent. • Will my family members be notified if I decide to go to counseling? • No. In fact, it is against the law to notify them without your consent. • Your counseling record is notpart of your academic record. • Nobody will find out that you are in counseling unless you choose to let them know.

  6. About counseling…, cont. • Is it true that counseling is always long-term? • No. Throughout the time that you and your counselor work together the two of you will continue to assess your needs. • Together you will determine whether you have met your counseling goals and therefore are ready to discontinue. • Will my counselor be solving my problems and telling me what to do? • No. We believe that you are the expert when it comes to yourself. • We help you explore your thoughts, feelings, and possible solutions to what may be bothering you. • Once you set a goal for yourself, we will try our best to help you get there! • I’ve tried it in the past. It didn’t work back then. • Every counselor has a different style and every problem requires a different kind of process. • Don’t hesitate to try again because you may experience your work with a new counselor completely differently than how you did in the past!

  7. About UCCS • Who are the UCCS staff members? • UCCS staff is composed of professionals with backgrounds in Counseling or Clinical Psychology. • All UCCS counselors are experienced in working with graduate students and familiar with what they commonly struggle with • How much does it cost to see a counselor? • University students who are enrolled can see a UCCS counselor for individual counseling at no cost. • Students can also participate in group counseling sessions at no cost. • How long is a counseling session? • Each counseling session usually lasts for 50 minutes. So plan on setting aside one hour or so when you come in for a counseling session. • How do I schedule an appointment? • You can schedule a counseling appointment by calling the UCCS front desk at (612) 624-3323 or visitroom 340 in Appleby Hall.

  8. UCCS Services: Personal Sessions • UCCS counselors work with you one-on-one to address some personal issues that you may be experiencing. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: • Stress due to academic demands • Dissertation-related stress, high work-load, time management • Managing boundaries and assertiveness • Managing multiple roles (e.g., spouse, parent, student, researcher, instructor) • Relationship issues • Romantic relationships, conflicts with friends or family members • Feelings of sadness or anxiety • Eating concerns • Social isolation and loneliness • Stress due to finances • Perfectionism • You don’t need to know what is wrong or feel like you don’t know how to handle things on your own to call us. If you don’t feel like yourself or you think talking to somebody can help, that is good enough reason to get support from a UCCS counselor.

  9. UCCS Services: Career Sessions • Career counseling is more than just making a decision about what major/type of career to pursue! • Although often times graduate students have already developed an idea of the type of career they would like to pursue, career counseling could be helpful in helping you make other decisions that could be relevant to your career choice (e.g., relocation stress, anxiety about starting a new position, career-related satisfaction or dissatisfaction, etc.) • The career counselor will: • get to know you • find out what is important for you • talk to you about what you may want to do in the future

  10. UCCS Services: Academic Sessions • Academic expectations in graduate school might be different from what was expected during one’s undergraduate studies. • Individual academic counseling could help you finish larger tasks (e.g., master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, major projects) by: • Providing you with support • Helping you set realistic goals • Helping you talk through stress, anxiety, or other feelings • Helping you process thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that are holding you back • Other Benefits of Academic Counseling: • Increased motivation to complete academic work • Improved time management skills • Decreased procrastination • Improved reading speed and comprehension • Better note-taking skills • Strengthened test preparation strategies • Improved test performance and grades

  11. UCCS Services: Group Sessions • Group is an effective way to give and get support. • Sharing your struggles with other students who may be experiencing what you are feeling could be very therapeutic. • It requires a semester-long commitment • Most groups will have 6-8 members • Groups are also confidential • We require that members not disclose identity of other members/information shared by other members to protect their privacy • UCCS offers multiple Dissertation/Thesis Support groups for graduate students • Get support and set goals! • Other groups that we generally offer include: • Understanding Self and Others • Women’s Personal Issues Group • Graduate Women’s Group • Grief Support Group • Assertive Communication Workshop (6 weeks only) • Please contact UCCS for more information about group.

  12. UCCS Services: Walk-in Crisis Students who are experiencing severe distress and would like to be seen by a counselor immediately could take advantage of UCCS walk-in crisis counseling. Urgent crisis counseling services are offered from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis East Bank location at 340 Appleby Hall. A student who is having a crisis and feeling unable to cope can call UCCS or come in to speak to a receptionist about seeing a counselor. These services are not the same as those available in an emergency room and should not be substituted for a situation requiring immediate intervention. 

  13. Where to find us! University Counseling and Consulting Service 340 APPLEBY HALL – Minneapolis 199 COFFEY HALL – St. Paul Phone: (612) 624-3323 For more information about our services: www.uccs.umn.edu For information about other mental health resources: www.mentalhealth.umn.edu