Referral Guidelines

Referral Guidelines

Referral Form


  • share your interest and concern openly, directly, and with care; 
  • set clear limits, don't lead the individual to believe you will "take care of everything"; 
  • maintain the individual's privacy; 
  • do NOT promise confidentiality, inform the individual that you may need to speak to others (qualified professionals), but that you will exercise discretion while doing so; 
  • allow the individual the opportunity and freedom to speak to you, to tell you what is wrong; 
  • paraphrase what the individual has told you - this will ensure you understand correctly and will show that you are listening and attempting to understand; 
  • clarify vague, confusing, or disturbing disclosures; 
  • inquire as to how the individual is attempting to resolve the problem(s); 
  • discuss with the individual the consequences of "doing more of the same", discuss new options for coping with the problem(s); 
  • suggest a referral to the Counseling Center, or to some other source if the individual is unwilling to see a campus based therapist; 
  • explain to the individual that counseling is not just for "crazy people", discuss various reasons people have for seeking counseling (financial worries, drug and alcohol problems, roommate difficulties, etc.); 
  • and finally, realize that once the individual has been referred and is receiving assistance from a qualified professional, you will not necessarily be kept informed as to what progress is being made. Whether or not you are is entirely up to that individual .

Some further guidelines regarding when to refer:

  • when the problems or requests made are beyond your level of competence; 
  • when there are personality differences which interfere with your ability to work with the individual; 
  • when the boundaries of your role make it unwise to work with the individual on personal issues; 
  • when the individual expresses a preference (directly or indirectly) to speak with someone else regarding the problem(s); and 
  • when, after some time and effort, you feel you are not making any progress in helping the individual.