Who is a STAR Counselor?

A STAR counselor is a sophomore, junior, or senior who lends an ear to other students of the Brandeis community. They hold office hour sessions in the STAR room (3rd floor of the Shapiro Campus Center) and are there to listen to everyone who want to share their thoughts, feelings, and questions pertaining to any and all of their relationships. STAR counselors have received training in many areas to become student peer counselors. They are obligated to keep all information they learn from people who come into the office confidential (unless they plan to cause harm to themselves or others). Counselors hold at least one two-hour session each week, attend the general meetings, organize group programs, and help choose new counselors for the upcoming year.

What is the room like?

The STAR office is located on the third floor of the Shapiro Campus Center and is shared with FMLA. We are open Sunday-Thursday, 2-4PM and 7-10PM. The room has a friendly vibe with an open door while no helpees are in the office. When someone enters to speak with a STAR counselor, the door is closed and the counselor and helpee o to a closed-off section of the office to protect the helpee's confidentiality. There are comfortable chairs and couches in the office, creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Are there other ways to contact STAR?

Absolutely. Besides for coming to our office hours, you can also email us completely confidentially at star@brandeis.edu. You can also call us at x64745 during office hours.

Is it confidential?

Everything you say at STAR is completely confidential. You are not required to share you name at STAR, but if you do, it will not be repeated to anyone. Your conversation will also not be shared with anyone outside of STAR. However, as in all peer counseling situations, if the crisis is life-threatening for you or anyone else, the confidentiality agreement must be broken.

Also, although the STAR office has many windows, if you come in there is a section blocked from view where we sit to talk. This ensures your complete privacy when coming to talk to STAR.

What can you talk about at STAR?

Whatever's on your mind. STAR is here to help you. No problem is too big or too small. Come talk about anything from relationships to abuse to the stress of picking classes. For particularly difficult issues, STAR can be the first steop to finding more professional help. Don't face difficult and stressful situations alone; we are here to help you.

What kind of training do STAR counselors receive?

STAR counselors undergo rigorous and intensive training. After applicants are accepted in the spring, they arrive back on campus early and are trained in a variety of subjects, including: active listening, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide. Specialists from local organizations and university staff come to train the counselors. Counselors are trained by: a nutritionist, someone from REACH who specializes in domestic abuse, an administrator from the health center, and a SANE nurse. Furthermore, many other organizations such as Good Samaritan and Planned Parenthood give STAR counselors information. This comprehensive and thorough training produces STAR counselors who are ready to help you with whatever problem you may be facing.