Addictive Behavior Counseling
All positive changes are viewed as successes; so reducing, using more safely, moderating, controlling and stopping the behaviors are all seen as acceptable goals on the path towards positive change, healing and growth.
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky
At the Counseling Center, our team of professionals provide a variety of clinical services—assessment, individual counseling, group counseling, referral services— within our short-term framework to assist students with goals around addictive behaviors and recovery. Addictive behaviors may include gambling, gaming, internet use, sexual activity, exercise, substance use including nicotine, etc. We also offer consultation, support, connection, and educational opportunities to the university community.
- Are your behaviors interfering with your quality of life–relationships, academics, finances, health, eating, sleep, etc?
- Have you struggled to cut back on your own?
- Are you prioritizing your behaviors as opposed to your wellness?
- Have others expressed concerns about your behaviors?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, consider getting started at the Counseling Center.
After meeting with one of our triage counselors, they will assist in setting up an assessment. Assessment is a more in-depth, face-to-face process that can help highlight areas of focus and outline collaborative goals for treatment.
The counselor may recommend a combination of Counseling Center services (individual counseling, group counseling, psychiatric evaluation) and may make referrals to other resources in the community to fit the student’s needs.
During your initial meeting with a counselor, ask about individual counseling if that’s something you are interested in. We provide short-term individual therapy and can help with off-campus referrals for long-term individual therapy.
Group counseling is a very powerful tool and is the treatment of choice when working on addictive behaviors. It helps foster connection and community. Here are the group options for addictive behaviors at the Counseling Center:
Come As You Are (CAYA)
- This group is for students who would like to make healthier decisions around certain harmful behaviors or consequences relating to alcohol/drug/porn/masturbation/gambling/internet/gaming/nicotine. The group’s focus is to work on minimizing the negative consequences to your wellness (mental & physical health, relationships, school performance, etc.). In the CAYA group, you have the option to develop individualized goals in a safe nonjudgmental space with fellow students who may relate to some of your stressors & concerns.
Pack in Action
- Maintain abstinence from addictive behaviors, including substance use, gambling, gaming, etc. You will be in a supportive and safe place, among other students in recovery, where you can develop strategies and tools to support your own recovery.
Currently, there are FDA approved forms of Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) available for certain substance use disorders, including nicotine, alcohol, and opioids. We have board certified physicians on staff at the counseling center who can consult with you about MAR for alcohol and nicotine and whether such treatments may help support your overall goals. We do not currently provide MAR for opioid use disorder at the center, but are able to provide referrals to local practices and physicians who are able to provide these services when appropriate.
In some cases, a student’s concerns may be beyond the scope of services provided. Our staff is available to assist in connecting students to appropriate treatment providers—whether at the outset of therapy, after assessment, or in the course of treatment. We will always do our best to collaboratively find the best services for you. We are available to assist you during walk-in hours.
If you are involved in a legal situation or have been referred by a lawyer, you can always access our database of off-campus providers or access SAMHSA’s database. If you need further assistance, please call our center during walk-in hours.
When a student’s addictive behavior(s) becomes a point of concern, our clinical staff are available to parents, faculty, staff, friends, and family members for consultation. Consultation for non-life-threatening situations may be done by phone or in-person during our normal business hours. It is important to note, however, that the Counseling Center abides to confidentiality and may not be able to discuss protected information.
Some students enter or return to college after treatment for addictive behaviors, and for many, recovery is a lifelong process. Individual and group counseling can be helpful in the recovery process—in times of relative stability and also during life’s ups-and-downs.
The university’s student-led Collegiate Recovery Community is a way to connect with others who are in recovery from addictive behavior concerns.
The more we know, the better we are able to navigate potential issues related to addictive behaviors. We are available to present on topics suitable to the needs of your group. Students, faculty, or staff members interested in programming should visit the outreach page and follow the request process.