For Family & Friends
Our center provides consultation services for those who are concerned about a Georgia Tech student, including family members and friends. You may reach the Counselor On Call at any time (24/7) by calling 404-894-2575. For non-urgent matters, it is best to call during our regular business hours (M-F 8-5).
Due to confidentiality, we are not able to provide information about a specific student without their written permission. However, we are able to discuss the situation with you and provide advice regarding how to proceed.
What can I do if I am concerned about my son/daughter?
As the parent of a Georgia Tech student you can talk to a counselor at the Counseling Center during office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time. Counselors will be able to help you with many questions and concerns you may have about your child’s well-being. They also can help you decide if your child needs assistance and where he or she can get it. The number to call is 404.894.2575.
Confidentiality is an essential part of any counseling relationship and is legally protected in Georgia. Consequently, the Counseling Center cannot discuss your child’s counseling in any way without written permission from your child, except in rare instances when disclosures are legally required, including but not limited to, situations when child abuse is suspected, when the therapist has reasonable cause to believe that a client presents a danger to himself or herself or others, or in response to a valid court order.
You should not expect anyone from the Counseling Center to confirm in any way whether your child has been seen at the Counseling Center. However, you should always feel free to contact the Counseling Center if you have any concerns about your child, want the Counseling Center to be aware of something concerning your child, or have questions about how the Counseling Center works.
What can I expect from my child?
Your son or daughter will very likely be experiencing a range of emotions as he or she leaves for college. Remember that these emotions, such as joy, anxiety, excitement, and sadness are perfectly normal. During the college years your child will be continuing a process of independence yet also establishing new and intimate connections with friends, faculty, and other mentors. He or she will be exposed to many new ideas and may experiment with new ways of being with friends and with you. Remember that many of these changes are a normal part of growing up. Also remember that every child is different and has his/her own experiences of adjusting to and dealing with the challenges and rewards of college life.
What can I expect as a parent?
Like your child, you can expect to experience a wide range of emotions when your child leaves for college. You may experience the joy of new freedom as your child leaves home, as well as sadness at his or her departure. You may experience a great deal of pride and joy about your child’s achievements. You also may worry about whether he or she will be able to adjust well to a new life, and you may worry about "losing" your child as he or she experiments with new ideas, behaviors, and relationships. These are normal feelings and ones that are often good to share with other family members and friends.
What can I do to help my child with this adjustment?
One of the most important roles of a parent is that of listener and supporter. You cannot overestimate how important this role is. Be an active listener. Work hard at understanding what your child tells you about his or her feelings or experiences. Be sure to listen before making suggestions or giving advice. Listening is always necessary and often sufficient.
Offer suggestions when appropriate but also allow your adult child to make up his or her own mind. Resist rescuing your child from a problem but rather let your child know how confident you are in his or her ability to resolve things independently. Help your child find the appropriate resources on campus. Remember that while it may be difficult for some parents not to talk to their children every day, developing autonomy is an important aspect of emerging into adulthood.
Stay in touch with your child. Let him or her know what is going on at home, when appropriate. Remind your child that he or she is still part of the family. Seek your child’s input on how to use his or her old bedroom!
Deal with problems effectively.
If there are problems at home, a divorce or illness, for example, work hard to resolve them effectively. Just as you want to know that your child will be able to take care of him or herself, your child needs to know that you can deal with these situations effectively on your own. In the case of a divorce, work especially hard to keep your child out of the marital argument.
Know Warning Signs.
Children are not always direct about letting parents know when they are experiencing even serious problems. Some warning signs are: a drop in academic performance, an increase in sadness or anxiety, calling home more or less frequently than usual, physical complaints, depression, eating problems, alcohol- or drug-related problems, a lack of social supports. If you see these signals do not hesitate to ask your child how he or she is doing, or call the Counseling Center to find out how you might get your child needed help.
This is particularly important if your child has a previously identified physical or mental health-related condition or requires ongoing treatment or medication. Find out where important resources are for your child. Do not be shy about calling these resources if you or your child needs help.
What type of professionals make up the counseling center staff?
The Center is staffed by psychologists, counselors, and marriage and family therapists. We also have a small number of interns (graduate students in counseling) who are supervised by senior staff.
What should I do if my student needs an assessment at the counseling center?
Encourage your student to contact us directly to schedule an appointment. We can be reached at 404.894.2575.