The Center for Counseling and Wellness is a free resource for Calvin students who aim to grow and thrive emotionally through their university years. We offer a broad range of services that are customized to the specific needs and strengths of each student through the use of a Stepped Care Model. All services are designed to support student wellness and emotional flourishing, helping to equip students for wholehearted pursuit of their academic pursuits as well as healthy engagement with their community.
Wondering what to expect at a screening? Students begin by filling out initial paperwork on a tablet in our waiting room, and then meet individually with a counselor for 20 minutes to discuss concerns and create a customized support plan. You will leave the session connected to resources that will help you feel better and move toward your goals (see list of services below). As you proceed with your support plan, you are always welcome to connect back with your screening counselor to revise your plan as needed.
All students meet initially with a counselor for a brief screening session in order to determine which Counseling and Wellness resources are the best fit for their presenting concerns. Through both electronic intake forms and face-to-face conversation, students share an overview of their concerns and goals. Students are provided with information and recommendations regarding relevant resources at Counseling and Wellness, and they work together with the counselors to determine a plan for moving forward.
Screening appointments for new students are generally available within one business day, with some exceptions during peak seasons. Screenings are required prior to participation in all face-to-face Counseling and Wellness services (steps 5 through 9 below), with the exception of in-dorm Thrive! programs and Reading Recess RECHARGE events.Request Appointment
Counseling and Wellness works closely with multiple partners across campus to support student wellness. Interdepartmental referrals are provided for students who would benefit from support in areas such as career development, health, fitness, intercultural connection, academic skills, spiritual formation, and housing.
Students seeking psychiatric consultation related to medication are referred to Health Services, where services are billed through insurance. In these situations, open communication between the student, counselor and psychiatrist ensures a collaborative approach to treatment.View on-campus wellness resources
Counseling and Wellness cultivates healthy connection and authentic discussion between students. Students are often referred to student organizations and other peer groups (such as Healthy Minds) in order to practice healthy connection and active belonging. In addition, chat-based support from trained peer listeners is available 24/7 through the Peer Listener Program.Peer Listener Program (7 Cups) Student Organizations
A full range of online tools are available for students who are motivated to work independently on strengthening mental health. A series of videos available through Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) Self Help provides training in emotional resilience, calming anxiety, reducing depression, communication/relationships, managing pain, and avoiding substance use. Included in the package are activity logs and other online tools designed to engage and train students in skills necessary for emotional flourishing. In addition, the Counseling and Wellness Resources page links to multiple apps and websites related to mental wellness.
A variety of wellness equipment is available for students to check out. A Wellness Room is provided in the Spoelhof University Center—a space for students to practice stress management and care well for their emotional health in the course of a busy day. Light boxes are available for students to borrow through the Counseling and Wellness office, for support in managing symptoms of depression during the dark winter months. And reading material related to emotional health is available in the Wellness Library, located on the Johnny’s patio.TAO Self Help Online resources Wellness equipment
Workshops and seminars
Emotional Wellness Workshops present skills-building information related to anxiety and depression in a highly structured and fast-paced format. Students meet in a class-like setting for three, one-hour sessions in order to receive instruction and practice skills. One additional workshop is a drop-in “lab” experience where students practice applying self-care strategies throughout the semester. Prior to beginning a workshop, all participants complete a brief screening with a Counseling & Wellness counselor.
Thrive! Programs are offered in a dorm basement on a weekly drop-in basis, in collaboration with Residence Life. Activities include yoga, art therapy, meditation, and other stress-relieving activities.
RECHARGE events are held on Reading Recess day at the end of fall and spring semesters. Students are invited to drop in to enjoy a variety of stress-reducing activities and supports (including pets!) as they prepare for final exams.Workshops and seminars
For students encountering a specific problem or decision, a one-time therapeutic consultation can provide the needed support to move forward. Counselors focus with the student on naming the issue and problem-solving next steps, after which the student can follow up with other Counseling & Wellness resources as needed. Prior to receiving consultation, all participants complete a brief screening with a Counseling and Wellness counselor.
Counseling groups offer students an opportunity to share concerns, support one another, learn skills, and practice healthy coping. Many counseling groups are focused on specific topics, such as grief or mindfulness. Others are open to students who are seeking more general emotional support. Assessment results consistently demonstrate that Counseling and Wellness groups are the most effective treatment for a wide range of presenting difficulties, with the highest satisfaction ratings of all available services. Prior to engaging in group therapy, all participants complete a brief screening with a counselor.Groups
Students can qualify for brief, weekly videoconference sessions with counselors from Counseling and Wellness in conjunction with use of online psychoeducation tools through Therapist Assisted Online (TAO). This provides students with active engagement with skill-building videos and activities throughout each week in order to support effective learning of the material, while also connecting them with a counselor to serve as a coach. Prior to engaging in TAO therapy, all participants complete a brief screening with a counselor—this is not required for students accessing TAO on a self-help basis (see Step 4: Self-help resources).TAO Log in
Due to professional licensure requirements, videoconference sessions are not available to students out-of-state.
Individual counseling is provided on a limited basis, often in conjunction with other available services. For students meeting criteria for individual therapy, a full diagnostic assessment is completed prior to beginning, and ongoing assessment of symptom severity is provided throughout treatment. Counselors maintain open communication with students regarding progress toward treatment goals and duration of treatment. Individual counseling is discontinued when acute symptoms have abated, with ongoing availability of other services through Counseling and Wellness to support continued growth and healing. While brief couples counseling services are available, engaged couples seeking premarital counseling are referred to community providers. Prior to engaging in counseling, all participants complete a brief screening as well as a full diagnostic assessment with a counselor.
Students are referred to community providers if they desire individual therapy for non-acute symptoms or require intensive or specialized treatment beyond the scope of Counseling and Wellness services. Students seeking ADHD evaluations or other psychological testing are also referred to the community. An up-to-date list of nearby providers, along with information about how to navigate appointment logistics, is available through the ThrivingCampus community provider link below. Students are also welcome to contact our office directly to discuss referral options.Community Provider List
In addition to the above services, Counseling and Wellness staff are available for faculty, staff, and family members for consultation regarding student concerns. While information regarding clients will never be shared without consent, Counseling and Wellness staff can offer suggestions regarding ways to intervene with a student. Treatment and referral recommendations are also available. (Please note that the office does not provide clinical services to faculty, staff, or alumni.) Information regarding supporting students is available in Faculty & Staff Resources and Parent/Guardian Resources.Faculty & Staff Resources Parent/Guardian Resources