Counseling Center

As a branch of the Center for Leadership, Calling, and Service, Counseling Services endeavors to equip and encourage men and women associated with Trevecca Nazarene University toward greater personal and community health. In keeping with the college mission, Counseling Services fulfills a vital role in developing campus community members’ God-given potentials by providing a broad range of professional psychological and career services. Integrating psychological practice with Christ-Centered principles, we seek to support the academic process of Trevecca Nazarene University students. Believing that the student and campus community reciprocally influence one another, we aspire to enhance the holistic well-being of the entire campus community through intentional support and challenge for the purpose of developing students psychologically, vocationally, socially, academically, and physically.

The Counseling Center is located in the Center for Leadership, Calling, and Service and is available for all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. The center is open from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Counseling services are free of charge for currently enrolled students. Such services as individual therapy, couples therapy, and pre-marital therapy are available.

Location & Services

The Counseling Center is located in the Center for Leadership, Calling, and Service and is available for all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. The center is open from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Counseling services are free of charge for currently enrolled students. Such services as individual therapy, couples therapy, or pre-marital therapy are available.

Common Issues Presented in Therapy

  • Grief or trauma
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Family Problems
  • Roommate Challenges
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Pre-engagement Counseling
  • Addictions

What to Expect

All counseling sessions and communication with your counselor will be confidential. This means that RAs, RDs, professors, coaches, friends, family, or parents will not have access to your counseling records and will not be informed that you are in counseling.

The first counseling session will include brief paperwork, orientation to counseling, and a conversation about your current concerns. Your counselor will also want to obtain some family history and any history of struggles you may have had in the past.

Follow up counseling sessions between you and your counselor will include skills for managing difficulties, conversations about ways to improve your life, as well as identifying ways to improve interactions with others. The nature of your conversations will depend on your presenting concerns. The counseling session typically lasts 45 to 50 minutes and typically occurs one time a week.

FAQ for Students

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Typically you will spend the first few minutes filling out intake paper work that provides your counselor with basic information such as your contact information and demographic information. This information will also include a symptoms checklist and a brief description of why you made the choice to come to the Counseling Center. You will also be asked to read information regarding appointments and confidentiality and sign a document stating that this was provided to you and was explained to you by your counselor. You will then talk to the counselor for the next 45-50 minutes about your current concerns, why you are seeking counseling at this time and information regarding your history and family. It is important that you share any information you feel would be important for your counselor to know. At the end of your session, your counselor will make some preliminary reactions or give some input and you will decide together about future counseling sessions.

How do I know if I need counseling?

Students seek counseling for several reasons. Often times individuals will report feeling “stuck” as they try to work out a personal problem. Although many issues  bring students into counseling, some common themes include depression, anxiety, problems transitioning into college life, relationship problems, eating disorders or concerns, family issues, substance abuse, academic stress or concerns with friends and family. If you are unsure if your concerns can be helped while working with a counselor, we encourage you to make an appointment during which you can work with the counselor to determine if you would like to return.

What is counseling? How does it work?

Counseling is essentially a “partnership” that is formed between the client and the counselor. Through this partnership or relationship the client can begin to find healing and help. You will work with your counselor to form a collaborative team in a nurturing and caring environment. You will identify goals to move you towards feeling better and the task that will need to be completed to accomplish these goals.

Although counseling can be hard and sometimes uncomfortable, your counselor will respect your right to talk about difficult information and will not force you to talk about things you don’t feel comfortable with. Your counselor may at some point feel there is a need to talk about an issue you might be avoiding however this will be done in an environment of caring and collaboration.

Is what I say confidential?

Yes. Everything you say will be kept confidential. There are rare occasions in which a counselor feels the safety of a client or another student is at risk and at that point the counselor will be required to disclose information.

What if people find out I’m seeing a counselor?

Counseling sessions are confidential and will not be part of your academic transcript. Typically, the only way someone will find out you are coming to the Counseling Center is if you share that information with them. You may even find that you want to tell a select number of people that you are seeking help.

Shouldn’t I be strong enough or have faith enough to solve my own problems?

Choosing to ask for help when you are struggling is a sign of strength and maturity. God makes it clear that we are to seek the counsel of others when we are experiencing pain.

How long does counseling last?

Counseling typically last 50-60 minutes and takes place one time a week. However, you and your counselor might decide that you would benefit from more or less frequent appointments. The length of time a student will stay in counseling varies depending on the reason they sought counseling, but most students will attend counseling for 3-8 sessions.

What does it cost?

Counseling services are free if you are a Trevecca student.

How do I schedule an appointment?

There is an online form that can be accessed using TNU4U. Under "Services," select "Counseling Services." This form can be emailed to The student may also contact Dr. Sara Hopkins, Director of Counseling Services, at

If I feel I need to speak to someone immediately, is that possible?

If there is an immediate concern we will do our best to meet with you immediately. It is recommended that you schedule appointments in advance if possible. If you are in a crisis you can call the on campus crisis hotline at 615-244-7444 for aid during non-business hours (before 8 AM or after 4:30 PM.)

My roommate is really struggling with an issue, and I am having a hard time coping with it, can I come in and talk about how her situation is affecting me?

Yes, if you are having difficulty with roommates, friends, or others in your life, please feel free to speak to a counselor.

FAQ for Parents

Leaving home and going to college represents a major step into adulthood. Although this can be an exciting time for both you and your child, it can also be a time of loss and intense emotion. The mix of both joy and sadness can be confusing for some parents as they navigate through this time. To help make the college transition easier:

  • Maintain a supportive relationship with your student, especially during the first year.
  • Allow space for your child to approach you and set an agenda for some of your conversations.
  • Be realistic and specific with your child about financial issues, including what you will and will not pay for, as well as your expectations for how he will spend money.
  • Be realistic about your student’s academic performance recognizing that not every straight-A student in high school with be a straight-A student in college. Help your student set reasonable academic goals and encourage her to seek academic assistance when needed.
  • Refrain from burdening your child with problems from home that she has no control over and can do nothing about.
  • Obtain contact information for people involved in the various aspects of your child’s college experience, and involve your child in a collaborative effort to address the problem.
  • Accept your emotions. It is normal to have mixed feelings when your children leave home. It is normal to feel some level of pain and loss and also some relief when your children leave for college.
  • Support yourself. Develop and maintain your own social support and do your best to maintain your own sense of well-being.

Common Behavioral Signs Associated with Transition

It is not uncommon for anyone to experience one or more of these signs during some point of their life. These behaviors could raise concern if they occur for an extended amount of time or if your student is experiencing several during the same time period. Parents can assist by monitoring your child’s health and, if needed, encouraging them to seek further help. Be on the lookout for:

  • Loss of interest in activities the student once enjoyed
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Trouble sleeping; too much or too little
  • Significant changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Not going to Class
  • If they have experienced a recent loss
  • Rage
  • Overreaction to criticism
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Flat affect or mood
  • Excessive crying
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Repeated unwanted thoughts or obsessions
  • Intense episodes of fear or panic
  • Social anxiety that affects behavior
  • Physical symptoms; trouble breathing, dizziness, headaches, rapid heart rate. Rule out medical cause first.
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Talking /writing about suicide or plans to harm themselves or others (requires immediate attention)

Below are a few questions commonly asked by parents about their son/daughter receiving counseling services while attending TNU. If you have further questions you can contact the Director of Counseling Services, Dr. Sara Hopkins at 615-248-1653 or

What to do when your son or daughter is having difficulty or is in crisis

As a parent you may be in a good position to help the student acknowledge that there is a problem. Talking promptly, openly and caringly about your observations and concerns will likely have the best result. Here are a few suggestions on how to respond to changes you may observe in your son or daughter.

Don’t “put off until tomorrow.” Gently raise your concerns with your son or daughter as soon as you notice problems. Ignoring disturbing behavior is unlikely to “make it go away.”

Have a caring, concerned nonjudgmental discussion of your concerns. Choose a time and place carefully to allow for a private and honest discussion.

Listen at least as much as you talk.

Avoid the tendency to be critical or judgmental.

Avoid the temptation to offer easy solutions to problems or to “take care of everything” for your son or daughter.

Know your own limits. Do not feel pressured to take on the problems yourself. University staff may be better trained to help students with specific concerns. Being able to refer your daughter or son to university resources if a vital role you can play.

Know the resources available to your child on campus. RD’s are available to address any concerns you may have. Your student can also contact the Counseling Center if needed to receive free services.

Confidentiality and Parents

The TNU Counseling Center believes that Confidentiality is an essential component within therapeutic relationships. If your child choices to participant in counseling we will keep this information confidential and private. This is according to both state and federal law that mandates that confidentiality be maintained when individuals seek mental health services. We are unable to disclose any information about students who may have been seen at the Counseling Center without written permission from the student. This can be very frustrating for parents and we respect the concern that you have for your child’s well-being. Asking your student for permission to speak to their counselor can easily resolve this concern.

What services are offered at the Counseling Center?

The Center provides counseling for all students free of charge. The Center also host several psychoeducational training each semester. The Center works with other departments on campus to develop relevant trainings and outreach for your student to move them towards holistic health.

The Counseling Center also provides various group counseling opportunities. These are arranged based on need and availability of staff.

Who will be providing clinical services to my son or daughter?

The Counseling Center is overseen by Dr. Sara Hopkins. She is available to see limited clients during the semester. The Counseling Center also has four master’s level interns that provide counseling services to students throughout the year. These individuals receive frequent clinical supervision by Dr. Hopkins. Further information on the staff can be found under the Counselors tab on this webpage.

Online Resources

  • Information about mental health for college populations

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • Resources and information for college students, including self-assessments.

  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center

  • Suicide and emotional distress prevention for college populations

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

  • Grief Recovery Institute

  • To Write Love on Her Arms, non-profit movement that offers hope for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide

  • offers support to college students grieving the loss of a loved one while trying to navigate through school

  • a biblically based addiction recovery program developed by Saddleback Church


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