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What to Expect in Counseling

Counseling is the process of helping people gain a better understanding of themselves and what is occurring in their lives to bring about personal change. Counseling is helpful for any child, adolescent, or adult from any background or walk of life. A trusting relationship is the foundation to effective counseling. It is important to first create an encouraging and accepting place for clients so we can safely look at your emotions and concerns. Once we explore and identify what is personally important to you, we will create goals for you to work towards. We hope to help you work through your concerns, increase your awareness, and incorporate this knowledge in your life to bring about change. Effective counseling cannot start until you want something and are motivated to achieve it.

Student Counselors

Growing Edges services are provided by graduate students enrolled in Shippensburg University’s counseling program under the supervision of faculty professionals. Our student counselors have:

  1. Completed practicum or field courses
  2. Displayed excellent clinical skills as evidenced by faculty observation
  3. Displayed professionalism and care for others throughout their coursework
  4. Excelled in their courses in the program


We recognize and respect that information stared in counseling is private and personal. All information will be protected and held confidential except under certain conditions in which your student counselor is mandated by Pennsylvania State law and our professional Code of Ethics. Your counselor can answer any questions you have about the following exceptions:

  • When a client shares that they intend to harm themselves or others
  • When there is reason to suspect child, elder, or disabled abuse or neglect
  • When a judge orders records or testimony

You may request that your student intern share records or information to a third party. In order to do so, you will need to sign a release requesting that we share information.

Benefits and Risks

It is important to know that there are benefits and risks involved in the changes that may occur when receiving counseling services. The benefits include an increased ability to handle yourself, your marriage, your family and other relationships in a healthier way. You may also gain a greater understanding of personal and family goals and values. This new understanding may lead to greater comfort and happiness.

However, counseling work may be difficult and uncomfortable at times. Discussing unpleasant events may cause intense feelings of fear, anger, depression and frustration. As you work to resolve issues between your family members, spouse, partner and others, you may experience discomfort and an increase in conflict.  There may be changes in your relationships you had not originally intended.

Your student intern will discuss with you the benefits and risks involved in your particular situation. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you have as your work progresses.

Contact the Growing Edges Community Counseling Clinic 1st Floor, Shippen Hall Shippensburg University Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1248 Fax: (717) 477-4078