Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Community

Parent Resources

Counseling Center FAQ

 How can parents help?

  • Know the signs that may indicate psychological or emotional distress (included below)
  • Learn how to respond effectively
  • Learn about campus resources
  • Learn how to make a referral

 Some signs of troubled students

  • Changes in academic performance: motivation, grades, or class attendance
  • Changes in behavior: energy, personal hygiene, speech, mood, or appetite
  • Changes in relationships: death of a family member or close friend; difficulties in romantic relationships; or conflict in close relationships
  • References to suicide: direct statements about suicide; statements about hopelessness or helplessness; or pessimism about the future

 How to talk with your student

  • Speak to your student when you notice something unusual; don't ignore disturbing behavior.
  • Communicate directly in a caring manner describing the behaviors that are cause for concern.
  • Use "I" language that focuses on what you notice or what you feel.
  • Avoid being critical or judgmental.
  • Don't bring up concerns in the midst of an argument.
  • Be willing to listen to what your student has to say.
  • Ask directly how you can best be of help.
  • Encourage responsibility by helping your student to define the problem and identify possible solutions.
  • Recommend counseling as an objective, outside resource.

 How to make a referral

  • Tell your student why you are making the referral to counseling.
  • Review information about our services by visiting our website.
  • Suggest that your student attend one session before deciding whether counseling would or would not be helpful.
  • Except in the case of imminent danger to self or others, allow your student to refuse counseling. Your suggestion might still be under consideration for a later time or a decision to be made privately.
  • Call the Counseling Center, yourself, to get information about services and how to make an appointment; for consultation about how to discuss the referral with your student; or for outside referral sources. Our phone number is 310.506-4210

 What does the counseling center provide and at what cost?

  • Please refer to our counseling services page to read an overview of the services that we provide Pepperdine students. Our confidentiality policy is outlined on the confidentiality page. A staff or licensed counselor can provide counseling to students. Help is available if your student needs any of the services included on this page. Refer to our Emergencies Page for emergency help information. There is no charge for counseling. For more information, call our office at 310.506-4210 or email us at Please keep in mind that due to the non-secure nature of e-mail, the Pepperdine staff cannot ensure the confidentiality of such communication. Please use discretion when sending information that is sensitive in nature. Also, please note that we do not maintain 24-hour access to e-mail accounts.

 If a student seeks counseling services, does this information go on the student's permanent record?

  • No, information about counseling is confidential and protected by privileged communication laws of the United States and California Statutes. No information is released to anyone, including parents, without the student's explicit written consent.