Some students come to the Furman Counseling Center with symptoms that seriously interfere with their ability to work, study, relax, and/or socialize. The student might experience herself as depressed or anxious; her symptoms might be physical or mood-related or both. If your counselor believes that, in conjunction with your other concerns, you have symptoms that would respond well to medication, she/he owes it to you to suggest this. This suggestion will be the beginning of a conversation between the two of you in which you can discuss your feelings about medication, and ask any questions that you might have. If, together, you decide to consider how medication may be of help to you, your counselor can refer you to one of the Counseling Center's psychiatrists for an evaluation. These appointments can be made by referral only.
Your evaluation will consist of meetings with the psychiatrist where you will discuss the issues that brought you to the Counseling Center, as well as the symptoms that you are experiencing. If your psychiatrist decides to prescribe medication, she/he will describe the expected course of treatment and the proper way to take your medication. She/he will also address any concerns or questions that you have.
At the Furman Counseling Center, we believe that the most effective way to use psychoactive medication is in combination with psychotherapy. Accordingly, if your psychiatrist prescribes medication for you, you'll continue to meet with your individual counselor once a week, and will schedule follow-up visits with your psychiatrist at whatever intervals she/he thinks appropriate. Some students start out meeting weekly with their psychiatrists as well, and then change later to once-a-month meetings.
Some students are already following a course of treatment that includes medication when they come to Barnard. If you are taking medication prescribed by a psychiatrist at home, and would like to work with a psychiatrist in Manhattan who can monitor your progress, we would be happy to provide you with a referral.