Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people go to counseling?

Students come to counseling for a variety of reasons.  Some encounter problems that aren’t easy to resolve, or their usual way of handling problems isn’t working. Some have family, friends, or LSSU faculty/staff who have encouraged them to see us. Others want support making some changes in their lives. Some common concerns include:

  • Anxiety/stress
  • Low self-confidence
  • Problems sleeping
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Feelings of sadness or depression
  • Self-harm
  • Academic concerns
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Addiction issues
  • Procrastination and perfectionism
  • Sexual identity concerns
  • Home sickness
  • Decision-making dilemmas
  • Trauma or abuse
  • Concern about a friend or family member

No matter what the reason is behind seeking our services, the Counseling Services staff is prepared to help.

If I go to counseling, does it mean something is wrong with me?

No.  Counseling involves the concerns and problems of normal students. Many students encounter situations that are challenging and confusing, or their usual ways of handling problems may not be working well for some reason. We view seeking counseling as a sign of strength; it shows that you have insight into things you would like to improve. Counseling Services is a place where you can benefit from professional, experienced providers who can help you explore many different concerns. Many students take advantage of our services.

Who can use LSSU’s Counseling Services, and what does it cost?

Any currently enrolled LSSU student can use Counseling Services. All services are free of charge.

How long would I have to go for?

here is no set number of sessions that are required.  You and your counselor will work together to determine the number and frequency of sessions.  Some concerns are best handled with several counseling sessions.  However, it is also possible that after one session you leave the appointment feeling able to handle things without additional counseling.

If your concerns exceed the limitations of our brief-therapy model (average 6 sessions), your counselor will discuss a referral to a community provider.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by calling (906) 635-2752 between 8:00am and 5:00pm every weekday.  The receptionist at the front desk will help you find a time to meet with a counselor that works with your schedule.

What will happen at my first appointment?

You will fill out paperwork and meet with a counselor.

Paperwork:  Before your first visit with a counselor, you will be asked to complete paperwork that takes about 5 – 10 minutes.  Please come into Counseling Services early to complete this paperwork.

Meeting with the counselor:  You will meet with a counselor who will talk with you about the ways in which Counseling Services might be able to help. Options may include individual counseling and/or referral to another campus service or community resource.

Is it confidential?

Yes.  All counseling sessions are confidential and are not part of a student’s record.  Counseling Services will not release information regarding your use of our services without your written consent.  This means that under normal circumstances, no one outside the Counseling Services is given any information – even the fact that you have been here – without your written consent.  Parents, teachers, and other University staff outside of Counseling Services may not have access to information about your contacts here without your permission.  You are protected by confidentiality laws, and we will not break these laws unless your situation meets one of the legal limitations to confidentiality.  For details regarding these limitations to confidentiality, you can refer to our Confidentiality Policy as described in our Policy Statements and Student Consent for Services form available at the receptionist’s desk.

What if I am worried about a friend or family member?

Often it is helpful for students to share their worries about friends or family members, and we encourage you to make an appointment at Counseling Services to do this.  You will be able to speak confidentially with a counselor and receive advice about how to deal with your concerns about this person.

Counseling Services Staff

Kristin Larsen, PhD, LMSW, ACSW
Manager of Counseling Services; Mental Health Clinician
BA 2000, University of Michigan;
MA 2003, University of Chicago
PhD 2015, Loyola University Chicago

Kristin Larsen joined Lake Superior State University in September 2010. Originally from Petoskey, MI, Kristin received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. She then spent one year working as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the Keweenaw before pursuing a graduate degree in social work at the University of Chicago. Following completion of her master’s degree, Kristin spent a number of years working in the Southwest before returning to Chicago to continue her clinical social work education at the doctoral level at Loyola University Chicago. Kristin relocated to Sault Sainte Marie, MI to work as LSSU’s Counseling Services. Kristin is a licensed master’s social worker with a clinical specialty. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in both inpatient and outpatient therapeutic settings. She enjoys the opportunity to draw on clients’ strengths to foster their innate tendencies toward positive growth.

James Muller, LMFT
Counseling Services; Mental Health Clinician/Therapist
M.MFT 1999, Abilene Christian University

James lived in the South, Southwest, Northwest, and Central United States before moving to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 2004.  After completing his graduate degree, he worked primarily in clinical settings helping children, adolescents, and their families in such programs as deferred adjudication, intensive therapeutic services, and foster care.  Locally, James has enjoyed providing therapeutic, consultation, and Employee Assistance Program services.  He also devotes one day a week to the Sault Health Adolescent Care Center (the “SHACC”) – a clinic providing medical, mental health, and dental services – housed in the Sault High School.  In addition to his current work at LSSU Counseling Services, he has been previously involved with LSSU as both a student doing coursework, and as an adjunct Instructor.  James is particularly interested in issues involving gender, culture, and equality.

Affiliations:

American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, Clinical Member since 1999
Michigan Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, Clinical Member since 2004

Katee Blalock

Katee joined Lake Superior State University in September 2010. Although originally from the Sault area, Katee’s family moved to Grand Ledge, MI where she attended high school. After graduation Katee moved back to the Sault area and attended Lake Superior State University. She is the first point of contact for most students, faculty and staff who have questions or concerns for Counseling Services. In her free time, Katee enjoys spending time with her family hiking and kayaking.