Counseling Frequently Asked Questions


What exactly is counseling?

Counseling is a confidential, personal growth process assisted by a professional counselor who will help you define goals, make decisions and solve issues related to educational, career, personal, and social concerns. During counseling, the counselor will help you clarify your concerns and set goals, gain insight into yourself and others, and learn effective ways to cope and/or resolve problems.

After an initial assessment, you and the counselor will determine whether your needs may best be served by MCC services or if those needs are better served by community resources.

If services are to be provided off campus with community agencies, you will receive a referral to other sources of assistance. The counselor will continue to provide support and help you choose an appropriate course of action.

What are some of the reasons students come for counseling?

Concerns of students vary considerably but often, students seek counseling for:

  • Career development and decision-making
  • Adjustment to college
  • Poor grades
  • Stress and time management
  • Study and test-taking skills
  • Math/speech anxiety
  • Anger management
  • Low self-esteem
  • Improving relationships
  • Child and family issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Conflict resolution
  • Depression
  • Assertiveness training
  • Cultural/intercultural issues
  • Alcohol and substance use
  • Communication issues
  • Eliminating self-defeating behaviors
  • Grief and loss
  • Sexual assault
  • Concern for a friend
  • Referrals to community resources

Please consider making an appointment with the MCC Counseling Department if we can help with any of the concerns listed above.

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What's the difference between advisors and counselors?

A counselor is a Masters-level professional trained in counseling. Counselors assist in the areas of in-depth career counseling, provide assistance with personal issues and work with students who are struggling academically. Counselors teach courses on Career Decision-Making, Positive Living, and many other personal development topics. See Personal Development (PDV) courses in the schedule or catalog.

Advisors are professional staff who help you select courses, a degree, develop a transfer plan (if you plan to transfer) and ensure you are taking the right courses for your degree or certificate.

Is my counseling appointment confidential? Who will find out if I see a counselor? Will counseling become part of my MCC records?

Yes. All counseling is completely confidential within the limits of the law. Academic status will not be jeopardized by seeking assistance. Referrals are provided only with your permission.

There are instances where counselors are required by law or a court order to reveal information:

Abuse of Children
Counselors are required to notify proper authorities of any case of substantiated or suspected child abuse or neglect.
Imminent Harm to Self
If counselors believe you are in danger of physically harming yourself, they may seek your involuntary admission to a hospital and/or contact a family member or friend who may be able to help protect you.
Imminent Harm to Others
Counselors are required to notify proper authorities of any case with intent to do harm to an individual or to society (e.g. through an illegal act).

Whenever possible, we will discuss with you any action that is being considered.

No one will know you've seen a counselor without your written permission.

Nothing that occurs during counseling becomes a part of any of your academic or education records.

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Do I need an appointment to see a counselor?

Making an appointment ensures that a counselor will see you at a time set aside specifically for you. If you are experiencing a crisis situation, inform the secretary and you will be seen immediately or contact the McHenry County Crisis Line, 1-800-892-8900.

Call (815) 455-8765 for an appointment. Do not leave urgent information on voicemail. Or, you can stop by in person in Room A257 during office hours.

Our counselors will schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible.

Is counseling only for people who have personal problems?

NO, counseling can help with the following:

  • Choosing a major
  • Exploring a career path
  • Resolving conflict
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Overcoming test or speech anxiety
  • Managing stress
  • Improving communication
  • Coping with grief, loss, and depression
  • Overcoming social anxiety
  • Adjusting to new surroundings/circumstances

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How much will counseling cost me?

We provide counseling services free of charge. However, we do charge for career assessments and we may refer you to a community resource that could charge a fee.

Are there any bilingual counselors?

Yes. You may request an appointment with a bilingual counselor by contacting the Counseling Department at (815) 455-8765. All counselors are trained to work with a diverse student population.

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How long can I receive counseling?

MCC counselors can provide supportive services, however, if you require psychotherapy, the counselor will refer to a community provider.

What qualifications/credentials do the counselors have?

All of our counselors have a Masters degree and extensive work experience. Some of the counselors are licensed or certified.

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What if I'm not in good academic standing?

If you've attempted 12 credits and your cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, you will no longer be in Good Academic Standing.  You will work with a counselor instead of an advisor. Together, you and the counselor will develop strategies to achieve academic success, select coursework for your next academic term, and only then will you be allowed to register. The counselors care about you and work closely with you to help you succeed. You will continue to see a counselor each semester until your cumulative grade point average is above 2.0. See the Making Academic Progress Policy for more information.