Making a Referral

When making a referral for counseling…

  • Be direct with the person. State the specific behaviors you have observed that represent your best judgment as to why you believe counseling would be helpful. Throughout your conversation reinforce that you are acting out of concern and not out of punishment. This may seem obvious to you. However many people feel they have done something wrong when someone recommends counseling. Remember the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem. Present the idea that counseling is a positive step that a person can take to regain a sense of control over the problem or to move in a positive direction.
  • If the person is open to a referral, suggest calling the Counseling Services office immediately to schedule an appointment with a counselor (215.951.2868). You can also encourage the student to come to Counseling Services Drop-In Hour (4-5pm weekdays).  (Kanbar Campus Center Suite 323) Ask if you can share information with the counselor. This is helpful in the transition for the person as well as the counselor. 
  • Meet resistance with acceptance. Initially, many people are resistant to the idea of seeing a counselor. Often people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. If the person seems resistant to your suggestions, accept her/his feelings. It is best to move more slowly and gently with someone who is resisting the idea of following through with counseling. Let him/her know that he/she can exercise the option at any time. The only exception to the situation would be if you believe that the person is in imminent danger of hurting herself or someone else. 
  • If you believe that the person is in severe crisis or the situation is an emergency, contact the Dean of Students Office (215.951.2740)  to alert them to the situation. A member of the Counseling Services staff will make every effort to see the person immediately or as soon as possible that same day. You may want to escort the person to the Dean's Office (Kanbar Campus Center - suite 221)
  • Finally, follow up with the person at a later date. This is perhaps the most critical part of the process. Following up demonstrates your ongoing concern and interest - even if the person does not follow through with your suggestion.