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Counseling and Pastoral Care

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Mission and Purpose

DTS Counseling Services seeks to alleviate psychological suffering by helping clients navigate through the challenges of daily living. Our mission is to provide mental health support services to current students, faculty and staff of Dallas Theological Seminary.


Our counselors work to enhance the emotional well-being of clients by providing confidential short-term individual counseling, couples counseling, and family counseling. Support groups, assessments, educational resources, wellness programming and referrals to community mental health professionals are also provided.


Some of the most common issues encountered by our clients are depression, anxiety, stress management, grief, loneliness, low self-esteem, cultural adjustments, life transitions, and difficulties with establishing and maintaining relationships. If a client has particular concerns about their spiritual life, our therapists are trained to help the client discern how spiritual matters intersect with emotional health.


Current DTS students, staff, faculty and their immediate family members (spouse and each child) are eligible to receive services through DTS Counseling Services, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. The first 3 sessions are free and each additional session is $25, for each individual.


Counseling Services are provided by licensed professional counselors or by other mental health professionals, some of whom are in training. All professionals-in-training are supervised by a licensed professional staff member.

However, eligibility for counseling services may vary due to severity, appropriateness of services, and availability of resources.


DTS Counseling Services offers short-term individual and couples counseling services. A counselor will help you determine which services are available and most appropriate. Students might be scheduled with a counselor at DTS or they may be referred to an off-campus counselor. Off-campus counselors offer more flexibility for students to be seen more frequently or long-term and are also able to provide more specialized services.


Whether you call or come by DTS Counseling Services to make an appointment, a counselor will talk with you, gather some information about you (e.g., name, phone number, whether you have been to DTS Counseling Services before), briefly assess your needs, and make treatment recommendation(s) based on their professional opinion and in collaboration with you.

Attention: Unfortunately, if you reside, outside of Texas, our licensed professionals on the Dallas or Houston campuses will NOT be able to offer services to you due to licensing restrictions that only allow them to counsel in Texas.

Our Counselors

Counseling Services are provided by licensed professional counselors or by other mental health professionals, some of whom are in training. All professionals-in-training are supervised by a licensed professional staff member.


Who can benefit from counseling?

Just about anyone can benefit. No problem is too big or small. Listed below are just a few examples of some common concerns which bring students to DTS Counseling Services:

  • Symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression

  • College adjustment issues such as homesickness, academic problems, and long-distance relationships

  • Interpersonal difficulties, including roommate conflicts, family problems, romantic relationship concerns, problems with assertiveness, and other issues

  • Bereavement and grief related to the loss of a loved one (such as relationship breakups, deaths, parental divorce, or other major losses)

  • Questions/confusion about identity, self-image, sexuality, gender, or religious concerns

  • Concerns about body image, food, eating, or weight, as well as treatment for eating disorders

  • Experience with sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, abuse, or other trauma

  • Thoughts of suicide, death, or hurting others

  • Behaviors that can be harmful to you, like drug or alcohol abuse or cutting

When Should I See a Counselor?

Our counselors are trained to intervene or provide support for a countless number of issues, far too many to list in any comprehensive way. While counseling might be helpful in numerous situations, there are some conditions in which we would strongly encourage you to seek counseling services:

  • You are unhappy on most days or feel a sense of hopelessness

  • You worry excessively or are constantly on edge

  • You are unable to concentrate on your schoolwork or other activities

  • You are unable to sleep at night or constantly feel tired

  • You have experienced a change in your appetite or your weight

  • You have experienced a loss (e.g., a relationship breakup, a parent’s death)

  • You have increased your use of alcohol or other drugs.

  • You feel overwhelmed by what is going on in your life

  • You are having thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else

How can I get the most out of my counseling appointment?

  1. Define your goals. Think about what you would like to get out of counseling. It might be helpful to write a list of events, relationship issues, or feelings that you think are contributing to your distress. Take time before each session to consider your expectations for that session. Self-exploration and change involve hard work, and sometimes painful feelings are stirred up in the process of healing. Counselors are trained to pay close attention to these issues and will probably encourage you to discuss these feelings openly.
  2. Be an active participant. This is your counseling experience, so be as active as you can in deciding how to use the time. Be honest with the counselor and give her or him feedback about how you see the sessions progressing.
  3. Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time, effort, and patience. All of your coping skills, behavior patterns, and self-perceptions have been learned and reinforced over a long period of time, so change can be difficult and slow at times.
  4. Ask questions. Ask questions about the counseling process, any methods used by the counselor, or about any other services at DTS Counseling Services. Your counselor is there to assist you.
  5. Follow your counselor’s recommendations. Take the time between sessions to complete any activities suggested by your counselor. Counseling is intended to improve your life in the “real world,” so making efforts to try out and practice new behaviors, approaches, or ways of thinking could be a crucial element to the success of your counseling experience.

What Happens During my Counseling Appointment?

If you and your counselor determine that individual counseling at DTS Counseling Services is the treatment recommendation that best meets your needs, you will then be offered the first available appointment that matches your schedule. If you have particular counselor preferences, this might increase the time you have to wait for your first appointment. Your appointment will usually be scheduled within a few days to a few weeks. (Please note that if you are in need of immediate help, inform our staff so that we can connect you to the appropriate DTS Counseling Services resources immediately.)


In your first appointment, your counselor will obtain information about your current concerns, relevant history and goals. Your counselor also will review relevant DTS Counseling Services policies and procedures, such as confidentiality.


For subsequent or follow-up sessions, you will meet with your counselor for 45-minutes, weekly for a specified period of time. If you would like additional counseling beyond what DTS Counseling Services can provide, then we will work with you to find a counselor in the community.


Early on, you will work with your counselor to set goals for your counseling sessions. Establishing clear goals will provide direction as well as help you to monitor your progress in counseling. If you have any questions or concerns about the counseling process, don’t hesitate to bring these up with your counselor, who will be pleased to discuss them with you. The exact direction of your counseling experience will depend on the issues you bring into counseling, your counselor’s perspective, and the goals you set for your work together.

What if I have to cancel my counseling appointment?

Call the front desk at (214) 887-5175 as soon as possible after you become aware that you cannot come to your appointment. You can leave a message on the voice mail if you are calling outside of business hours.


Information you share during contact with counseling services will be treated with the strictest confidentiality as allowed by law. In accordance with ethical and legal standards, this information will not be disclosed to anyone without your written consent, except in very specific circumstances as required by law. Counseling records are entirely separate from your academic record.

Schedule Appointment

Schedule with one our counselors for all non-urgent matters. If assistance is needed, please call the Counseling Center at 214-887-5175. If no answer, please leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours Monday through Friday. If you or someone you know have a crisis, contact the DTS Campus Police at 214-887-5590 or campus_police@dts.edu.


For life threatening emergencies call please call 9-1-1.
Call or Text 9-8-8 if experiencing thoughts of Suicide.
NTBHA 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 866-260-8000


Pastoral Care

When to Contact our Pastoral Care Team?

  • When you need support in time of illness, crisis, or loss
  • When you feel the need to draw strength from your spiritual roots
  • When you would like to inquire about better ways to cope
  • When you would like to explore your call to seminary and/or ministry
  • When you or your loved ones are in need of prayer
  • When you would like someone to pray with or just a friend to talk to
  • The pastoral care team works closely with DTS Counseling Services. Depending on the specific needs of the student, occasionally pastoral care team members will refer the student to a DTS counselor or other resources within the community.

Self Care

What is Self-Care?

Seminary can be really exciting, but it can also at times be stressful. Practicing self-care can help you manage the ups and downs of college life. Self-care refers to activities and practices that can help you to reduce your stress and enhance your overall well-being: essentially, proactively taking care of yourself. Self-care is essential in order to be successful inside and outside of the classroom. Self-care is more than an occasional treat, but a way of living each day that incorporates practices and behaviors that help you feel refreshed, re-energized, and rested. Self-care helps you deal with the daily stresses in your life—from academic pressures, to interpersonal relationships, to future plans, and others. Everyone deals with stress differently, and everyone’s preference for practicing self-care is different as well.

Why is Self-Care Important?

There are many reasons that self-care is important. Research shows that self-care helps to keep you healthy, helps you recharge and helps to improve your overall well-being.

How Can I Practice Self-Care?

There are lots of ways to practice self-care. What works for you may not work for someone else. The important thing is to make self-care a priority in your schedule. This could mean blocking off time to workout or spending some time unplugged from technology once in awhile. Here are some ideas for self-care: Sleep: Sleep is essential to overall health and is closely linked to academic success. Go here for more information on how to get optimal sleep. Napping: Napping throughout the day can improve energy levels. Exercise: Research shows that exercise can relieve stress, improve your mood, and help you sleep better. Do something you love: Carve out time for your passions and hobbies, whether that’s hiking, crafting, dancing, reading for fun, etc. Hobbies can provide you an outlet for managing stress and can increase happiness levels. Hang out with friends and family: Research shows that spending time with loved ones is the number one determinant of happiness. Take time to connect with a friend or a family member. Practice mindfulness: Being in the present moment can help to reduce stress. Practice mindfulness by noticing your five senses; what do you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell right now. Practice gratitude: One simple way to practice gratitude is by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for everyday. Remembering to find things, experiences and people in your life that you’re grateful can have powerful effects on your mood. Unplug from technology: Sometimes the best way to recharge is to take a break from technology. Research shows that downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. Journaling: Journaling can have a lot of benefits. Writing can help you process your feelings, ignite creativity centers in the brain, and help you be in the present moment. Take a few minutes each day to journal. Go here for more information about writing as a method of self-care. Spend time in nature: Research shows that spending time in nature can have remarkable benefits to human health.

How Can I Make time for Self-Care?

When it feels like your to do list is a mile long, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to practice self-care. Oftentimes we view self-care activities as not being productive, but it’s important to shift this way of thinking by broadening what we view as productive. Studies show that if we prioritize taking care of our mind, body and spirit, it will actually help us be more productive academically and professionally in the long run. Here are some tips to help prioritize self-care: Add it to your calendar or to do list: Block off time in your day to practice self-care. Add self-care into your day: Find small windows of time to practice self-care. For example, if you arrive to class or a meeting 10 minutes early, how can you use those 10 minutes to practice self-care? Make it a habit: Create a routine so practicing self-care becomes a habit.


Telephone Help Lines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline English: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) español: 1-888-628-9454 English:  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ español: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/en-espanol/ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (English and español) SMS: Text TalkWithUs to 66746 SMS (español): “Hablanos” al 66746 TTY: 1-800-846-8517 English: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline español: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/espanol


Baylor Scott & White Health 3500 Gaston Avenue Dallas, TX 75246-2017 844.74.BSWMD Link: https://www.bswhealth.med/Pages/departments/psychiatry-psychology.aspx UT Southwestern Psychiatry Clinic 6363 Forest Park Road, 7th Floor, Suite 749 Dallas, Texas 75390 214-645-8500 Link: https://utswmed.org/locations/bass/psychiatry-clinic-bass-bldg/ Parkland Behavioral Health Center 6300 Harry Hines Boulevard, 7th Floor Dallas, TX 75235 214-590-5536 Link: https://www.parklandhospital.com/locations/behavioral-health-clinic-135

The links provided on the following pages are intended to serve as potentially helpful informational resources. This site contains links to websites not administered by DTS Counseling Services. Dallas Theological Seminary is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or the content of linked pages. While these resources may contain helpful information, always consult your mental health professional regarding the best treatment approach for your particular situation.

Anger Management
 Domestic Violence
Grief and Loss
 Personal Effectiveness at School and Work
Substance Abuse
 Trauma and Stress