If I had to pick one hidden gem on Pitt’s campus to recommend to other students, it would definitely be the University Counseling Center through Pitt Student Health. Although most students have heard of it, many do not take advantage of the services they offer.
To allow others to become more comfortable with the idea of the Counseling Center, I have summarized my experiences and research of going to counseling/therapy through the Wellness Center, and compiled a list of reasons why every Pitt student should consider booking an appointment at some point in the future.
The Counseling Center offers numerous services, including individual, group, and couples counseling and psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and outreach services. The center is staffed with psychologists, counselors, social workers, and a psychiatrist, as well as advanced graduate trainees in various mental health disciplines.
The first appointment is generally a triage assessment. This is a time for your counselor to introduce themselves to you and for them to learn more about your background, your goals, and your struggles. This first appointment is important because it allows you to express your reasons for scheduling an appointment and what you hope to talk about during the sessions. This appointment is also time for you to get comfortable with your counselor; if you’re not comfortable you won’t get the same benefits out of the counseling as you would with someone you like—feel free to ask the receptionist to reschedule you with someone else.
After your first appointment, you will generally lead the topics of the sessions. Be prepared to talk about what stresses you out (even if it’s something small, like an upcoming exam or roommate issues), things you’re scared of, how much you miss home and your family, etc. Your counselor will often let you lead discussion so you get the most out of the sessions.
The University Counseling Center also offers group sessions and workshops. They offer a large variety each semester, ranging from workshops on how to cope with anxiety, family drama, grief and loss, and chronic health to support groups for LGBTQA students, grad students, college men, empowering women, and for sexual assault survivors. There are also treatment groups for drug/alcohol misuse.
I attended the Coping with Anxiety workshop a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! A group of us met with a counselor and talked about our anxiety and what we do to prevent anxiety attacks. The counselor gave lots of great tips to conquer our stresses and anxiety. It met for a couple of hours for four weeks of the semester, so it was totally manageable with my schedule.
The University Counseling Center is located on the second floor of Nordenberg Hall in the Wellness Center. Their front desk is right next to the Student Health reception desk.
They are open between 8:30 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and also host evening hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
To schedule an appointment, stop in and speak to one of the receptionists in the Wellness Center or call 412-648-7930. Appointments are available and free to all University of Pittsburgh undergraduate and graduate students.
More information can be found on their website.