Why should someone go to counseling?
Everyone reacts differently to interpersonal violence (stalking, abusive relationships, or sexual assault). Whether you need help understanding if your relationship is healthy or if you have experienced trauma, therapists can help you heal mentally and emotionally.
What happens in a counseling session?
You can go see a therapist by walking into Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Monday through Friday, 9 am – 12 noon and 1 pm – 4 pm. Students can either walk in or call to consult with a crisis therapist about urgent concerns. After hours, you can call 966-2281. When you first come to Counseling and Psychological Services on the third floor of Campus Health, you’ll be asked to fill out a form explaining why you came in for services. Then you’ll speak to a therapist for as long as needed and you can share your concerns with him/her/hir in a confidential and private environment. You only share what you want to share. The therapist will help connect you with other resources and determine the best course of therapy for you.
Who is a Companion or an Advocate? How can she/he/ze help me?
Companions or Advocates are specially trained volunteers and staff who answer Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s and Compass Center for Women and Families’ 24-hour crisis lines. They provide emotional support to survivors. They can provide you with information that may help you decide what your options are and advocate for you if you choose to seek medical attention or file charges. A Companion or Advocate can go with you to the hospital, to the police, or to court, so if you do not want to tell family or a friend, you can have someone with you to support you and advocate for you. Companions and Advocates are not trained therapists but can provide you support and help you decide if you want to seek professional counseling.
Why would I want to go to a group counseling session?
There are other survivors of interpersonal violence who are going through some of the same concerns. Group counseling help survivors learn from and heal with each other. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center and Counseling and Wellness Services offer support groups for sexual assault survivors. Family Violence Prevention Center offers support groups for survivors of abusive relationships.
Why should I seek counseling long after experiencing interpersonal violence?
Recognize that healing will not happen over night. Give yourself the time you need. Many survivors do not realize they need help until months or years later. It is never too late to ask for help!
How might this impact my relationships now?
Many survivors of interpersonal violence struggle with issues of trust and intimacy in future romantic relationships down the road. Others may experience other symptoms which affect their relationships with friend or family members. There are support groups available for friends and family members of someone who has experienced violence. For couples in non-abusive relationships who want to work through issues brought up by past experiences of interpersonal violence, UNC Counseling and Psychological Services offers limited couples counseling.