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SPU Home :: Student Life :: Student Counseling Home


Counseling Services:



Who We See

We work with students struggling with a variety of personal issues. Here are some common concerns:

  • Crisis situations when life gets overwhelming (including feeling suicidal and all other mental-health emergencies)
  • Adjustment to college life
  • Emotional distress (anxiety, stress, grief, depression)
  • Low self-esteem - feelings of inadequacy
  • Relationship issues (family, pre-marital, marital, friends, roommates)
  • Issues of past, recent, or present physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Past or recent losses or trauma
  • Academic challenges
  • Spiritual challenges
  • Body image, eating, and nutritional concerns
  • Eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia)
  • Addictions (alcohol, substances, pornography)
  • And many other unique issues specific to each person



In addition to seeing individual students, we also provide couples and family counseling. Often, relational issues affect a student's ability to be a successful learner in the SPU community. Only one member of the family or couple needs to be an undergraduate SPU student to be eligible for services.

Premarital Counseling
The Student Counseling Center offers pre-marital counseling throughout the school year. We use a variety of assessment tools to help couples learn more about each other and to facilitate in working towards further growth and enrichment in their relationship. We incorporate aspects of each person's family history into counseling, which often times helps the couple understand why each acts/reacts the way they do in various situations. Areas we cover in counseling often include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Marriage expectations
  • Personality issues
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Financial management
  • Leisure activities
  • Sexual issues/expectations
  • Children and parenting
  • Family and friends
  • Relationship roles
  • Spiritual beliefs

Often couples come into pre-marital counseling with specific issues with which they struggle. Our first priority is to help couples work through issues that are the most important to them, so we encourage clients to disclose this information early on in counseling.

Marital Counseling
Marital counseling can take many forms. We see some couples who have been married for a little while and are looking for a place to work out some of their marital growing pains and enrich their relationship. On the other end of the spectrum, we work with couples who feel angry, exhausted, and at their wits' end. Collaboratively, we create goals for the couple and work together to make changes that facilitate greater satisfaction in the marriage.

Family Counseling
The dynamics of family counseling can cover several generations. We see everything from students with their parents and grandparents, to students with their spouse and children when these issues affect a student's ability to be a successful learner in the SPU community. Non-traditional families are also welcome.

Frequent issues seen in family therapy include, but are not limited to:

  • Conflict with parents and/or other family members
  • Issues with in-laws
  • Parenting concerns
  • Issues pertaining to a family member living with a chronic mental/physical illness
  • Family stress
  • Divorce and remarriage, step-parents

There are also times when relationship counseling may be needed for other types of relationships (e.g. dating, roommates, friendships, co-workers).  Please contact the Student Counseling Center for more information.


The SPU Student Counseling Center is committed to providing quality, effective groups to students. Here is a list of our current groups.


If you are interested in any of the following groups, please stop by the Student Counseling Center to fill out an intake form.



Please contact the Student Counseling Center at (206) 281-2657 or email with any questions.



In a manner consistent with our ethical standards and the laws of the State of Washington, no client information will be released on or off campus without informed written consent of the client, in order to maintain confidentiality. There are several exceptions to confidentiality, as required by law.  In the State of Washington, counselors are required to break confidentiality when they believe their clients are at high risk for suicide or when they hear a direct, specific homicidal threat from a client to another person.  In the State of Washington, all counselors must report abuse or neglect of a child, dependent adult, or developmentally disabled person when they have reasonable cause to believe that such an incident has occurred.  These exceptions will be explained to all potential clients prior to treatment in our written consent form and in most cases, will be discussed with the client before the disclosure is made.  For additional information, please contact the Director of the Student Counseling Center.


In order to best support student responsibility, encourage continuity of counseling treatment, and keep the waiting list down, we need our clients to attend their scheduled appointments.  We therefore have firm policies regarding cancellations and no-show appointments.  The SCC policy for the Counseling Assessment is that whenever a student cancels or no-shows for the appointment, the SCC counselor will contact the student (usually by voicemail or email) indicating that the student must contact the counselor within one week or the case will be closed.  If a student cancels or no-shows for the second schedule Counseling Assessment, the student's case will be closed.  



Copyright ©2010 Seattle Pacific University. Student Counseling Center: 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119