Student Counseling Services

A department in the Division of Student Affairs, is the primary counseling center for Auburn University's undergraduate and graduate student community.
Getting Started
Aubie meets with the director, Dr. Hankes


The mission of SCS is to provide comprehensive preventative and clinical mental health services to enhance the psychological well-being of individual students, as well as the broader campus culture. We are committed to supporting the academic, retention, and student development missions of Auburn University, so students can have a balanced university experience and take full advantage of the educational opportunities at the university.

SCS is strongly committed to inclusion and diversity, and our staff welcomes all students. Our goal is to create a safe, supportive and affirming climate for individuals of all races, ethnicities, national origins, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, ages, abilities, sizes, socioeconomic statuses, languages, and cultures.


Getting Started at SCS
Student Counseling Services receives IACS Accreditation

IACS Accreditation

Student Counseling Services (SCS) is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). The basic purposes of the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) are to encourage and aid counseling services throughout the United States and internationally to meet high professional standards, to inform the public about those which are competent and reliable, and to foster communication among counseling services operating in a variety of settings. IACS is committed to furthering the visibility of the counseling profession and improving its quality. IACS has evolved standards that define professional quality and has established criteria for accreditation which reflect these standards. IACS accreditation also acts as a stimulus to a wide variety of agencies to upgrade their professional services to meet accreditation standards; and the Association provides the profession and the public with information about those agencies which it has accredited. Accreditation is open to University and College Counseling Centers and Public and Private Counseling Agencies.

Student Counseling Services

A department in the Division of Student Affairs, is the primary counseling center for Auburn University’s undergraduate and graduate student community.
Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk
Active Minds with Advisor Dustin Johnson
Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk

Comments from the Fall '17 Semester Client Satisfaction Survey


See the Survey Results Here

SCS has been integral to my time here at Auburn. I have seen two different counselors and they are both amazing and very professional. I recommend SCS to friends and classmates every chance I get.

SCS client

Student, Auburn University

I’m very thankful this is a service provided by AU. I thought coming to counseling meant something was really wrong with me but SCS makes me feel comfortable and welcomed, and normal.

SCS client

Student, Auburn University

Being counseled has made me a more self-aware and secure person. I am happy to have finally made strides toward understanding why I do the things I do, and identifying reasons to change. It has been pleasant to have the opportunity to explore these feelings in a secure and supportive environment.

SCS client

Student, Auburn University

I wish that more students sought out SCS as I think mental health is vitally important. I want the stigma of counseling to go away so people can realize SCS is there to help not to judge.

SCS client

Student, Auburn University

Student Counseling Services

Welcome to Auburn University’s Student Counseling Services. SCS is the primary counseling center for the Auburn University student community to talk through their personal problems and concerns. We are located on the second floor in suite 2086 of the Auburn University Medical Clinic. To make an appointment call (334) 844.5123.  Office hours are 8 am to 5 pm M-F.

Mental Notes

Getting the Most out of Counseling

A common misconception about counseling is that its success depends only on the therapist’s skills, knowledge, and expertise. While this is important, other aspects of the therapy experience and relationship are equally, and often more, important. As a client, there are things you can do to help make your counseling process a positive and productive one. The following tips can give you some ideas about how to get the most out of your counseling experience.

  • Be an informed consumer: Whether counseling is new to you or you’ve been involved for a while, you’ll likely have questions about the process and how it works. You may wonder about your counselor’s background or style as a therapist or why they’ve chosen a specific type of treatment for you. Don’t hesitate to ask these questions to your therapist. Your therapist wants to help you learn about the counseling process, have realistic expectations for it, and understand your role within it. No question is too simple.
  • Keep the work going outside of session: Although the time you spend in session with your therapist is important, it’s only one part of the change process. You spend much more time outside of therapy than you do with your therapist, and it’s important that changes you make generalize to the rest of your life. Your counselor may suggest things to do between meetings (e.g., engaging in self-care, tracking your emotions, keeping a journal), and doing this “homework” can help you maximize the benefits you receive in therapy.
  • Be active and engaged: Therapy works best when it is a collaborative effort between you and your therapist. Your counselor brings to the table knowledge and experience gained through years of training, but you’re still the expert on your own life. You know best about how a certain issue is affecting you, and this knowledge can be an incredible asset for therapy. Coming to session with ideas about specific problems that you’d like to discuss can help your therapist have a better idea of how to help you.
  • Remember that change is good, and it’s also a process: The problems that brought you to counseling likely developed over an extended period of time, maybe throughout your entire life. Because of this, change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you work through your concerns, and know that there may be ups and downs along the way. Every step that you make toward change is a positive one.

Final Exams? No Stress, No Sweat

Finals week: running on no sleep, drinking what seemed like gallons of coffee, and basically living at RBD library. Recall the stress of taking up to six exams in less than a week? Not so fun. If only you had a live-in masseuse at your new home away from home for the week. That would be nice, huh? Well it is current Auburn University students’ reality… at least for the day.

For the past three years, Student Counseling Services (SCS) and Health Promotion and Wellness Services have offered a final exams week stress reduction event at the library where students could come by and grab a free snack, make their own stress ball, create animal balloons, play games, chat with a counselor and get a free massage.

Stress will eventually pass and there are ways to decrease its impact like
  • journaling stressful thoughts,
  • deep breathing,
  • visualization, and
  • seeking support from others

according to Dr. Brandy Smith, Staff Psychologist at SCS.

For many, this is the busiest time of year with classroom deadlines, gift shopping, and final exams. So take some time to relax and reflect on what’s most important in your life, the work will get done – it always does.

What are your most effective relaxation strategies? What helped you survive final exams? Share them! Want to see and experience it in person? Come by RBD during final exams week Spring 2103 but don’t fight with the students over who gets the massages.

Academic performance

Academic Performance Enhancement and Support Group is a six-week group meeting during which students will learn mental skills that will help them manage the pressures that come with performing in their classes at a high level. Learn how to be mentally tough by addressing:

  • Commitment/Motivation
  • Emotional Control
  • Focused Attention
  • Use of Imagery and Relaxation

Emotional Transition to College

What sort of transitions should I expect?
First of all, welcome to the Auburn family! For many students, the transition to college is also the transition of being on one’s own. This transition can be scary, but also very exciting. At Student Counseling Services, we are here to help you manage the transitions so that you can make the most out of this exciting time!