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Counseling Options for Parents

The Counseling Center at Immaculata University is available to consult with family members who have concerns about their student. Consultations may focus on how to assist a student experiencing a challenging time/situation, how best to refer a student to the Counseling Center or how to locate local resources.

Please note that the Counseling Center staff adheres to professional ethical standards as well as state and federal laws relating to confidentiality. These standards prevent us from speaking with parents about their student’s contact with the Counseling Center unless we have the student’s written consent. An exception is if a student is in imminent danger.

How can I help my student?

  • Communicate regularly with your student. Even though she is becoming more independent, she needs to know that you are available for support. Be available for discussions of everyday events as well as more challenging issues.
  • Allow your student to structure the conversation. There is a greater chance that he will open up if he does not feel like he is being grilled for information.
  • Clarify financial decisions/responsibilities early on. Be specific about who will be paying for what to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Be realistic about academic performance. Adjusting to college life is challenging. Refer your student to campus resources as needed. Focus on her development, not just grades, provided that basic academic requirements set by the University are being met.
  • Remind your student of resources if he is experiencing difficulties (academic, emotional, social, career, health). We are available to help students problem-solve and meet their goals.
  • Take care of yourself. Students often worry about their parents/guardians/siblings; this can impact their college experience. Use supportive resources that will help you manage your feelings (e.g., your student going to college). Find healthy outlets for yourself!

Resources for parents or guardians:

  • A New Beginning: A Survival Guide for Parents of College Freshmen by Kaye Bernard McGarry (2001).
  • You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years by Marjorie Savage (2003).
  • Empty Nest…Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Andrea Van Steenhouse (1998).
  • How to Survive and Thrive in an Empty Nest: Reclaiming Your Life When Your Children Have Grown by Jeanette Lauer (1999).
  • Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger (2003).

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