Counseling Center - SUNY Cortland

Counseling Center

Welcome to the Counseling Center

Female Student

The staff at the SUNY Cortland Counseling Center provide a safe and confidential place for you to explore your concerns and find your personal path to self awareness!


The Counseling Center:

  • provides short-term therapeutic services to facilitate student’s personal, social and educational adjustment.
  • recognizes that adjustment to college life can be stressful and challenging; at the same time it can be an opportunity for learning and growth.
  • assists students by providing developmentally focused programming and offering developmental support services for students.
  • serves as a resource to the SUNY Cortland community.

Scope of Services

Because of limited resources, coupled with our desire to serve as many students possible, the Counseling Center has adopted a brief treatment model.  We are committed to maintaining our ability to provide students with high quality, appropriate counseling services.  At the same time, we are also committed to providing services within the limits of our expertise, which is required by professional ethics.  Each student may have an initial assessment in which the student’s needs for treatment are assessed and treatment recommendations are made.  This may include referrals to other resources on campus and in the community.

The Counseling Center provides time limited, brief  individual counseling (typically 8 sessions maximum  per semester) as well as unlimited group counseling sessions to currently enrolled SUNY Cortland students.   Most students at SUNY Cortland are seen for only 5 individual sessions, and find that their concerns can be resolved within that time frame.  Brief interventions appear to meet the needs of the majority of students seen at college counseling centers. 

As generalist therapists, we are similar to primary care physicians; that is, we are able to address a wide variety of concerns within our office, but there are some concerns which may require treatment services that we are unable to offer.  After the initial assessment, it may be determined that a student’s needs exceed what can be accommodated by our short-term model and/or staff expertise.  Therefore under these circumstances, we may refer a student to a more appropriate level of care or to an alternate service provider in the area. 

Even in cases where a student’s ongoing needs necessitate a referral to community resources, the Counseling Center can often assist the student in managing the presenting concerns and provide support until the student is able to connect to the appropriate community resources. Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to services outside of the Counseling Center include:

  • A desire or need to be seen more than once a week or for long-term therapy as indicated by:
    • History of multiple hospitalizations
    • Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injury behaviors, or history of repeated suicide attempts
    • Clear indications of a need for more intensive services
    • Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
    • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention
    • Exhibiting psychotic symptoms without willingness to follow treatment recommendations
    • Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • A need for specialized services not available through the Counseling Center as indicated by:  
    • Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence and/or past failed treatments;
    • Need for drug testing 
    • Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms with no period of remission or that may pose a medical danger
    • Request for formal psychological assessment (e.g., ADHD testing)
    • Request for psychological evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance or other nonacademic purpose
    • Request for services to fulfill students' court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements

The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions. The nature and complexity of presenting concerns and the broader context are considered in making the appropriate treatment recommendation(s). Cases are evaluated individually and the professional judgment of the mental health provider(s) will determine the treatment decision in a particular situation.

Scheduling and Keeping Appointments
All services are by appointment; call the Counseling Center at 607-753-4728 to schedule. Please be considerate of our time and of others who need services. If you must miss an appointment due to illness or an emergency, please call the Counseling Center to cancel your appointment as far in advance as possible. Students who no-show for an appointment after their initial consultation, will be subject to a no-show charge given the demand for our services. Repeated cancellations or “no shows” may limit your ability to receive our services.  If you are more than 15 minutes late to an appointment, you may be asked to reschedule. 

We have a limited ability to accommodate students who wish to change counselors.  For students who would like to start over with a new counselor at the beginning of a new academic year, this is generally not a problem; if the student makes this request when scheduling, s/he will be scheduled for a new initial appointment to see a different counselor.  For students who request a new counselor within the same academic year, there may be a delay in re-assignment.  We also prefer that the student has a conversation with their counselor prior to this request, to help ascertain what the student’s needs are that are not being addressed and to assure a successful transfer.

Crises/Emergency Appointments

Students who are in crisis or having an emergency will be accommodated as quickly as possible during work hours.  After hours, students in crisis should contact the University Police Department, who can provide assistance with accessing services (607-753-2111).

Examples of crises include:

  • feeling like you may seriously harm yourself or another person(s),
  • death of a loved one
  • hearing voices
  • physical or sexual assault
  • not being able to function due to extreme psychological distress

These urgent care meetings typically focus on helping you cope with immediate stressors that are significantly reducing your ability to function, and determining next steps that may be helpful. Because these consultations are not scheduled, you may experience a wait to be seen, usually not more than 1 hour.  Please note that you will be asked to complete paperwork so that we can help you as efficiently and as effectively as possible.


Free, confidential counseling and psychiatric services for registered SUNY Cortland students.

  • Relationship Concerns
  • Feeling Lonely/Isolated
  • Difficult Roommate
  • Alcohol/Drug Concerns
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual Identity
  • Grief/Loss
  • Family Issues
  • Eating Disorder

Contact Us

Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-44
Phone: 607-753-4728
Fax: 607-753-2367 

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Summer hours:
8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Closed for lunch from noon-1 p.m.