Frequently Asked Questions about Counseling & Testing Services (CTS)

How do I schedule an appointment?

Appointments can be made by calling (251) 460-7051 or by stopping by in person at Alpha Hall East, Room 326. Business hours are 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

What about emergencies?

For emergencies, CTS counselors are available during regular business hours and can be accessed by calling or coming to the center. If a mental health emergency arises on campus after business hours or on the weekend, the University Police Department (460-6312) will contact the CTS counselor on-call.

Where is CTS located?

We are located on the 3rd floor of Alpha Hall East, Room 326.

What about parking?

All persons parking on campus must have a valid parking pass for the lot in which he or she chooses to park. If you do not have a parking pass for the lots near the CTS office, we strongly encourage you to obtain a temporary parking pass from Parking Services (located near the University Police Department) prior to attending your appointment. CTS does not have dedicated parking and, in most instances, cannot assist in parking ticket reversal.

What types of services are offered by Counseling and Testing Services?

CTS offers individual counseling; group counseling; consultation for faculty, staff, parents, and students; and educational and outreach programs to the campus community. In addition to counseling services, our department is involved in administering many standardized admission tests, professional certification exams, and correspondence exams. Included among our test offerings is the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test which enables students to obtain college credit by examination. Please see our Testing Services page for further information or call our office. All services are available throughout the year.

What happens during the initial session/intake appointment?

Intake appointments can typically be scheduled within the same week. The initial paperwork takes approximately 15 minutes to complete; you can then expect to spend approximately 30-45 minutes with a counselor who will assess your current situation. Follow-up sessions are scheduled as appropriate to help you work through your problems. There are no limits on the number of individual sessions you can attend per academic year. Additionally, group counseling may be used as an adjunct or primary form of treatment. Group sessions are only limited by the number of groups available and the number of times any group meets.

How much does it cost for counseling?

There is no charge for counseling services. To receive services, you must be a currently enrolled South Alabama student.

With what types of problems do students typically come to counseling?

Students come to CTS with a wide range of problems. Many have issues related to their normal development such as identity or relationship issues. Others are dealing with more specific psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bereavement, substance abuse, and/or eating and body image issues. Some students are not sure what the problem might be but just know they are not functioning or feeling the way they normally do. They might notice having a harder time studying, eating or sleeping too little or too much, or otherwise just not meeting their day-to-day obligations. A counselor can help sort out what is wrong in order to get students back on track.

How confidential is my contact with CTS?

Counseling services are provided confidentially. Information is not divulged to others without your written consent unless there are compelling ethical and/or legal reasons for doing so such as when there is a threat of serious harm to self or others. If you have further questions about confidentiality, please contact our office. 

What are the qualifications of the CTS staff?

CTS is committed to providing the highest quality of counseling services to its students. To that end, full-time licensed or license-eligible counselors staff CTS. CTS also serves as a training site for South Alabama graduate students in mental health-related fields. The graduate clinicians-in-training are closely supervised by senior licensed staff.

What about medication?

Counselors at CTS utilize local and on-campus physicians for medication referrals. If you think you may benefit from mental health medication, please contact your primary care physician, Student Health (on-campus), or a psychiatrist for an evaluation. You may choose to contact your health insurance provider for referral options as well. 

What about ADHD testing?

CTS does not provide the type of testing necessary to support a diagnosis of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students interested in this type of testing may want to contact the USA Psychological Clinic at (251) 460-7149.

What if a parent, another student, a faculty or staff member is concerned about a student?

Counselors are available to consult during business hours if there is a concern about a student. Strategies for helping the student, and if appropriate, getting the student in to see a counselor can be discussed. CTS staff members do not generally contact students and ask them to come in or inquire about their mental health. It is our belief that counseling is most effective when it is voluntary. If a situation exists in which a student is in imminent danger as a result of a psychological problem and refuses help, then appropriate law enforcement or emergency medical personnel will be contacted.