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Counseling Services

Special resources for coping during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus News Related Anxiety and Struggling with motivation? Here are tips to help you // by Dan Jarboe, university counselor

Coping and Staying Emotionally Well During COVID-19-related School Closures // by

For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, counseling services will continue to be available to students in need using tele-mental health technology. You may request an appointment by contacting your selected counselor directly by email:

Counseling services are available to help Ouachita students with a wide range of mental health challenges – from test anxiety and dealing with stress to grieving the loss of a loved one or depression, among others. One-on-one sessions, group sessions and online screenings and resources are available.

What is "counseling," and who needs it anyway?

Counseling is a place where you can talk safely with someone who is eager to listen to your concerns. It’s a time to learn new skills and new ways of looking at situations. At OBU, we’re eager to come alongside you, listen carefully, and help you decide how to handle the difficulty you’re facing. Some students benefit from one or two sessions of problem-solving, while some concerns may require more time. It is our sincere intent to provide good counsel based upon sound psychological understanding, Biblical principles and Christian values.


Isn't counseling really for those who are weak or have serious psychological problems? Of course not.

While we're eager and ready to help students who have a history of mental health challenges, we're prepared to help students with a wide range of issues in other areas as well.  It takes quite a bit of courage to face life’s difficulties honestly, come to counseling, and work through difficult feelings, experiences, and life challenges. You don’t go to the doctor only when you’re certain you have heart disease, seeing the physician is smart when you’ve simply been feeling bad for a while and want to get things checked out. To seek out wise counsel amidst difficulty is just plain smart. A counselor can guide or coach you through a difficult season of your life, relationship, or time of decision.


How does the process work?

In the beginning stage of counseling, your counselor will ask questions to develop a better understanding of the issue you’re facing, and to get to know you personally. As counseling proceeds, the trust between us can build so that a working partnership is developed. The goal is to help you explore your key thoughts and feelings, and help you make wise decisions about how to handle and respond to your feelings, relationships, concerns, or life situation. Frequently, incorrect thinking also has to be recognized, examined and changed.

Initial sessions are customarily 50-55 min. in length, to allow for 1) the collection of the client’s personal, family, social and health history, 2) a review of any pertinent information or specific concerns the client wishes to share, and 3) a review of the client’s completed intake forms. All follow-up or subsequent sessions are typically for 25-30 minutes, unless the client’s circumstance or condition warrants an exception.


What about the cost?

Counseling Center services are free to currently enrolled OBU students.


Will anyone from the counseling office be telling my professors or friends that I’m coming to counseling, or what we’re talking about?

NO! Your conversations with the counselor will be considered privileged communication and will not be part of your academic record. You can expect us to treat you with courtesy, respect, and with the highest level of ethical and professional courtesy and  devotion to confidentiality. Counseling files are kept locked and protected.  Exceptions occur only when we have good reason to suspect that your personal/bodily safety, or that of another person (especially a child or elderly person), is at risk.

  • Depression, or feeling unusually “down”
  • Fears, worry, or anxiety issues
  • Problems at home
  • Grieving the death of someone close
  • Dealing with stress
  • Test anxiety
  • Anger
  • Childhood physical or sexual abuse
  • Relationship problems, loneliness
  • Confusing or disturbing feelings and thoughts
  • Eating or body image struggles
  • Low self-confidence, frequent discouragement
  • Rape or assault
  • Academic performance concerns
  • Pre-marital counseling
  • Trouble with time management
  • Adjustment to college & life on your own
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Sexual behavior, sexual addiction, same-sex attraction
  • Choosing a major, career decisions


Take a Screening

If you want to find out if the symptoms you are feeling are consistent with a mood or anxiety disorder, PTSD, alcohol problem, or an eating disorder, take our brief, anonymous online screening.


How can I make an appointment?

  1. You can click on the "Make an Appointment" link at the top of the page, or
  2. Visit the “Meet Your Counselor” page and click on the email address for the staff counselor you would like to contact. Then, send them an email requesting an appointment.
  3. You can schedule an appointment through our Administrative Assistant, Vickie Davis, by coming to the Student Development Office in the Evans Student Center, or by calling her at 870-245-5220. This is the fastest and most efficient method for securing an appointment with any of our counselors. Mrs. Davis has access to all our staff’s schedules and can tell you immediately what’s available.

Appointments are 50 minutes long and begin on the hour. If you have to cancel an appointment, please provide 24 hours’ advance notice. The counseling office is open on weekdays only, but is always available for emergencies (in this situation he can be reached by calling campus security at 870-245-4000).

“Take the Self Directed Search! The SDS is one of the most popular and easy to use Career Assessment tools available - designed to help you identify the best college major and career direction for you. (The cost is about $10, paid online) If you’re interested, click here:

For a more in-depth career aptitude assessment, which takes into account your many interests, values, educational preferences, personality, academic strengths and weaknesses, and skills, we encourage you to contact the Career and Calling Office on the 1st floor of the Cone Bottoms Administrative Building, and consider another assessment called FOCUS, she’ll be eager to help you with using this tool or direct you to a few other helpful online professional development resources.

Next Steps