» Making a Referral to Counseling Services

When is This Important?

  • You realize that the student has a crisis or significant problems that you feel requires professional help, and you feel ill-equipped to handle them yourself
  • You recognize that the student has persistent problems which do not appear to get better with your help, or are getting worse
  • You see that the student is unwilling to take responsibility for his or her behavior or seems unable to recognize the impact their negative behavior has on him or herself and others

Steps to Make a Referral

  1. Attempt to develop a trusting relationship with the student and get to know him or her.
  2. Address the concerns you have in a caring, but straightforward manner. Point out the student's behaviors that concern you. It's often helpful to note the magnitude and duration of these behaviors. "I'm concerned about you because you've been very withdrawn and uncommunicative for the past three weeks."
  3. Give your reason for making the referral and then recommend that the student get counseling. "You and I have talked several times over the past three weeks and it seems that things aren't getting any better for you. I think it would be helpful for you to talk with a professional counselor. Assure the student that you are not dumping him/her by making the referral. "I want you to know that I'm concerned and care about you and want to remain in contact with you, but I feel that it would be to your benefit to explore professional counseling."
  4. Don't force the idea of counseling, as it may jeopardize the relationship you have with the student and make him or her feel you are rejecting or stigmatizing them. Do bring it up again at a later time, pointing out how the behaviors or problems continue or do not get better.
  5. After referral, stay in touch with the student in a non-intrusive way. Check in to see how things are going.

In many situations, all you may need to do is tell the person to come by the Student Psychological Counseling Services located at 410 N. Glassell to fill out an intake to make an appointment. If you feel the student needs more support in contacting us, you may wish to call us directly and tell us that you are referring someone, or you may wish to walk over with him/her. If the student is not ready to make the appointment, encourage seeking help soon rather than putting off facing the problem. As appropriate, suggest to the student that with permission, you are willing to give the counselor information about the nature of the problem and the reason for your referral. But remember, once a student is seen at SPCS, any information about the student, even if he or she is attending counseling, cannot be shared with anyone without the student's written permission.

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To set up a meeting or find out more about a service or concern, please email or call us at:


(714) 997-6778

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