Counseling FAQs

Counseling Services FAQs

What types of counseling does the staff provide?

The Counseling Services staff provides personal counseling services for the OTC community. Our services are primarily provided in a private office setting, meeting one-on-one with a counselor, although some services may also be provided in a small-group setting or via webcam or Internet based services. Staff also works closely with our Academic Advising staff to provide advising/educational planning services.

Are services available for currently enrolled, college students only?

Personal counseling services are available to currently enrolled post-secondary students.  If you are an employee of OTC, you will be referred to community counseling agencies following your first appointment with an OTC counselor.  (NOTE: For information about counseling and career assessment services available to OTC's Career Center students, please visit the Career Center website).

What is the difference between "personal" and "career" counseling?

"Personal counseling" (sometimes referred to as mental-health counseling) is sought by individuals (or small groups) who have issues in their lives that are interfering with their life satisfaction.  Common examples of "personal counseling" issues may include (but are not limited to) struggles with anxiety (test, performance, and/or generalized anxiety), depression, stress, relationship communication, abuse, grief, or post-traumatic stress disorder.  Counselors are available to work with minors (under the age of 18) for personal counseling issues, however, a minor will need to obtain parent or guardian permission if he/she wishes to participate in more than one personal counseling session.

"Career counseling" is sought by individuals who would like assistance in career or college major decision-making.  Career counseling may involve researching careers, learning about the process of career decision-making, taking career assessments, and studying related college major opportunities.  For additional information on career counseling, please see Career Employment Services .

"Academic Advising" services are designed to assist new and returning students in developing educational and career plans, selecting appropriate majors and courses and accessing campus resources.  For additional information please see Academic Advising.

I recently set up an appointment for personal counseling. What can I expect on my first visit?

When you arrive for your appointment, you will be greeted by a member of our department staff and your counselor will be informed of your arrival.  A new counseling client will be asked (in the privacy of your counselor's office) to read and sign the Counseling Services Information and Consent document prior to the start of the session.  You will also be asked to inform the counselor how you prefer to be contacted (if at all) in the event the counselor must reschedule a future appointment.  Once these necessary "housekeeping" tasks are accomplished, you can begin visiting with your counselor about the reasons you are seeking counseling services.

What will happen if I do not want to sign the Information and Consent document?

We will be happy to work with an individual for the one scheduled session in which the document is presented. However, without a signed and dated Information and Consent form on file, we will not be able to schedule any further counseling appointments.

What types of degrees and credentials does the counseling staff hold?

Counseling Services counselors hold Masters' degrees in Counseling from accredited Counseling programs, are supervised by Licensed Professional Counselors, and/or retain the required certification and/or licensure in their particular area of expertise.

Joyce R. Bateman, Director of Counseling 
   M.S.Ed. Counseling; Licensed Professional Counselor
James Carpenter, Coordinator of Counseling Services
   M.S. Counseling; National Board Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor
Heather Lewellen, Counselor (part-time)
   M.S. Counseling; National Board Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jennifer Holum, Counselor (part-time)
   M.S. Counseling; Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor

What are the office hours?

Office hours are Monday thru Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the main campus in Springfield.

Office hours are Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Richwood Valley Campus.

Webcam services are also available.  Please contact our office at 417-447-6974 or email counseling@otc.edu to arrange webcam counseling.

Does the staff provide distance (email, Internet) counseling?

Staff have access to email through OTC and are happy to respond to student/client inquiries that are general in nature.  Because email is not a secure medium and confidentiality of content cannot be guaranteed, counselors encourage individuals to come in and visit in person to discuss private issues.  We also provide web-cam counseling services, which is confidential and secure, at our Lebanon and Waynesville Education Centers.

Do I need to make an appointment to see a counselor?

Occasionally individuals can walk in and see a counselor on the spot. However, to ensure an uninterrupted, private meeting with a counselor, our staff asks individuals to come by or call in advance to schedule an appointment.

Are there any fees for counseling services?

There are no fees for our individual or group counseling services.

What types of services are available for OTC employees?

Counseling Services in the form of classroom presentations and consultation regarding students of concern are available to OTC employees. We encourage employees to visit our Employee Resources link for details concerning these services.

The professional counseling staff of OTC's Counseling Services Department are primarily focused on promoting student health and development. Due to limited staff and resources, we are not able to offer on-going, individual counseling services to college employees. College employees are, however, eligible for one, individual consultation and referral session at no charge.

Employees who desire to take advantage of this consultation and referral session should call (417) 447-6974 for further information. If you are a full-time employee of OTC, we also encourage you to contact OTC's current insurance provider to locate mental health professionals who are preferred providers.

Will the staff give me a diagnosis for a mental disorder if I come in for personal reasons?

Counseling staff may provide screenings for mental disorders (including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, eating disorders and bipolar disorder) but we do not make mental health diagnoses.  We do work closely with an individual's referring physician, mental health, or social service provider and are well-versed in the wide variety of diagnoses that may have been made by one of these referring agents.

What kinds of community referral resources are available?

Because our counseling services are intended to be short-term, referral to an outside agency may be helpful.  Our department has an extensive network of mental-health, social service, and physical health referrals. Many of our referrals provide services at a reduced or no cost to the client.  To receive a referral recommendation, individuals can call our department, come in for an individual meeting or visit our website link for community referral resources (pdf).

What does it mean that services are "confidential"?

Counseling Services adheres to the American College Association (ACA) Professional Code of Ethics.  Counseling files are not a part of the college records and cannot be accessed without the student's written permission.

Our individual personal counseling services are provided in a private setting. Clients can be assured that information they share with their counselor in this setting remains confidential.  Information about our clients and their issues is released only in specific mandated circumstances. Examples may include: if a client threatens harm to him or herself or to a third party; in cases of child or elder abuse/neglect; or if a client gives the counselor written permission to disclose information outside the confines of the counseling office.

 

My instructor referred me for counseling. Will the counselor talk to my instructor after I complete my counseling session?

Without written permission from a client, counselors may not disclose any information about a client to anyone outside of the counseling department.  This includes disclosing information to concerned instructors, OTC administrators, or loved ones.  Occasionally, students who are referred by an instructor may give the counselor permission to confirm with the instructor that the student did come in for a counseling session.  Again, this information can only be disclosed with the client's expressed written consent to do so.