Counseling Services offers free, confidential services to current students. We offer scheduled appointments, walk-in sessions, crisis intervention services, and a series of classes and workshops. Come and visit us in the Center for Student Success (Building 22, Suite 260) to learn more about what we offer. We look forward to meeting you.
Personal counseling gives students the opportunity to meet with a professional counselor to discuss issues and concerns that may be interfering with their ability to achieve educational and personal goals. Personal counseling is available by appointment or on an emergency basis.
Counselors help students examine career and life goals; assess interests, values, and skills; make occupational decisions; select educational programs and majors; and explore the world of work. Career counseling is available through classes, workshops, or individual appointments.
Educational Skills Counseling
Educational skills counseling assists students in learning how to improve study skills such as reducing test anxiety, managing time more effectively, establishing and reaching realistic goals, and adjusting to college life. Educational skills counseling and instruction are available through classes, workshops, and individual appointments.
Counselors are available to help with a variety of emotional crises or emergencies. When a counselor cannot be reached, call the Thurston County Crisis Clinic at (360) 586-2800 for personal assistance; and call 911 for medical assistance.
Counselors are available to come to your classes and speak on a range of topics. Whether that is an overview of counseling services, any of our Success Series Workshops, or another topic that is germane to your class, we would be happy to put together a presentation and schedule time to meet with your class.
The counselors are available for faculty and staff who have concerns about students and would like guidance on strategies moving forward.
What is Counseling at SPSCC?
Counselors with Counseling Services at SPSCC are professionals who hold a Master’s degree in Psychology, Counseling, or Education. They are trained to help people with personal and emotional issues as well as career decisions and study skill support. A lot of times, the counselors at SPSCC help students by listening and problem-solving with the student.
How do I know if I need counseling?
There is no easy answer to know when one person’s struggles are such that counseling is needed. We recommend that you come in during our walk-in counseling times to talk about this question with a counselor. Talking with a counselor is confidential and completely voluntary.
Do I have to pay for Counseling at SPSCC?
No, you do not have to pay for counseling at SPSCC. This service is covered by your tuition and fees and is limited to current students.
What is the difference between the Advising Center and Counseling Services?
The Advising Center helps students plan their academic goals, including what classes to take, when to take those classes, or how to transfer to a 4-year college. Counseling Services is a place where a student can find help with personal or emotional struggles, concerns, or goals. Often academic goals and personal goals can be intertwined, and counselors will sometimes provide academic guidance in these situations. Most of the time, academic advisors have not received training to address personal or emotional issues and may refer a student with this type of difficulty to Counseling Services. See Current Student Advising.
What is the difference between the Career Center and Counseling Services?
There is often confusion about which center is more helpful when a student has career concerns. Ask this question: Is my issue about what I want to do for my career, or is it about how I can get into my career? If the issue is about what you want for a career, then you will likely be best served by Counseling Services. If the issue is about how you will get to a particular career, then you will likely be best served by the Career Center.
How do I meet with a counselor or make an appointment?
For a first meeting with a counselor you have two options: Call 360-596-5306 to talk to a counselor directly and schedule appointment. This generally includes a 30 or 60 minute appointment one-on-one with a counselor. Or, come in during the walk-in counseling times and meet with a counselor—this meeting generally lasts up to 20 minutes. At the end of this meeting you and the counselor will decide together if you would like a regular appointment and schedule accordingly. For ongoing meetings with a counselor, this will be determined through a discussion between you and the counselor you meet with.
How do I cancel an appointment?
Cancel an appointment by calling 360-596-5306, or by contacting the counselor you are scheduled with directly. You can find each counselor’s contact information in the counselors listed below.
What do I do if I have to talk to someone right now?
You may come in for a walk-in meeting with a counselor if it is during walk-in times. See the Counseling Services contact information and office hours for the current walk-in times. If it is outside of these hours but still within the counseling hours, you can call or stop by the counseling office to see if a counselor is available. If it is after counseling office hours and you feel that you MUST talk to someone right now, then call the Thurston County Crisis line at 360-586-2800.
Will my counselor talk to my instructor, parents, or anyone else?
No. The Counselors in Counseling Services abide by a strict code of ethics that forbids them from talking to anyone about any person that they are helping. Occasionally they may consult each other about how they might better help students in certain situations; however these discussions are kept in confidence as well. There are a couple of limitations to confidentiality. If someone discloses to us that 1) a child or dependent adult is experiencing abuse or neglect or 2) a person is intending to hurt themselves or someone else. In these situations we need to break confidentiality because we are concerned that the student we are working with, or someone else, is at risk of harm. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have about confidentiality with a counselor—you can disclose as much or as little about your situation as you feel comfortable sharing. Confidence is only broken if it is absolutely necessary.
In some situations, students find that they want their counselor to share information. If you find that you would like your counselor to share information with someone else (a medical provider, instructor, parent, etc.), then we will have the student sign a Release of Information form authorizing what information to release, when to release it, and who it will be released to. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you have about this process with your counselor.
Yolanda Machado, M.Ed.
Yolanda Machado received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Puget Sound and her Master of Arts Degree in Education from Antioch University. Before accepting her current position at SPSCC she worked as an Adult Education Instructor/Counselor for both the Muckleshoot and Nisqually Indian Tribes. While in this capacity she also served as an Indian Education Consultant for Resource and Evaluation Center III at Gonzaga University. Yolanda has presented numerous workshops and training seminars at the local, state and national levels on a variety of student success topics (which is her area of interest/expertise) such as Native American Learning Styles, Self Esteem and Academic Achievement, and Learning and Motivation. She also was recently appointed to serve as the Assistant to the President for Tribal Relations at SPSCC. When she is not working, Yolanda enjoys spending time with her large extended family, camping, hiking, sightseeing, and photography.
Sally Sharbaugh, M.C., L.M.H.C.
Sally Sharbaugh received her Master of Counseling from Seattle University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington state. She completed a Bachelor of Art in Sociology and a Bachelor of Art in Communications from the University of Washington. Sally has worked at SPSCC since 2001 and considers the College not only her work place but an important part of her community here in Olympia. Prior to SPSCC, Sally worked as a counselor at Grays Harbor College, as a Career Specialist at Shoreline Community College, and as a reproductive rights advocate and sexual health counselor and educator in Seattle. Sally is passionate and dedicated to her work providing mental health support to students and teaching success classes and workshops. She has particular interests in the intersections of mindfulness, neurobiology and psychology and has completed training in somatic experiencing and interpersonal neurobiology. She brings experience, knowledge and deep compassion to her work with students. She works with students on a wide variety of issues but has particular skills and experience helping students manage stress (including test anxiety), post-traumatic stress, anxiety/depression, and how to bring the power of mindfulness into daily living. She loves helping students discover their own resiliency and create their own best lives here at school and beyond. Sally loves travel, the outdoors and she regularly hikes, back-packs, kayaks and commutes by bike as often as possible.
Colleen Clukey, M.A., L.M.H.C.A.
Colleen Clukey received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Gonzaga University and holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Seattle University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate with the State of Washington. Colleen spent the first years of her career working in the social service arena with underserved families and children; international adoption; pregnant and parenting teens; and crisis services for families in a variety of non-profit organizations in Eastern and Western Washington. After receiving her Master’s degree in Counseling, Colleen worked for Highline Community College and has been at South Puget Sound Community College since 2008 as a Counselor and Human Development Faculty. Colleen primarily uses the concepts of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (belief and effect) and Reality Therapy (choice) to assist students to a place of growth and success. Colleen is busy in her personal life with a husband and their dog, Charlie, 4 adult children, their spouses, 6 grandchildren, and extended family.
The counseling center hosts workshops designed to help students grow academically, personally, and professionally.
Each quarter, we offer a Strategies for Success Series of workshops that target a range of topics. The workshops are completely free to students. Students do not need to register for these workshops—simply show up and learn about areas that can enhance your experience here on campus.
Contact Counseling Services for the Strategies for Success Series workshop schedule.
We also partner with Career Services to bring you Career Explorer’s Workshops each quarter. See Career Services.
Sexual Violence can occur in many forms including sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, or sexual assault. If you are experiencing, of if you are wondering if you are experiencing, any kind of sexual violence, Counseling Services is a resource for you.
We are professionally trained counselors who will work with you at any step of the way in your process toward healing. Whether that is immediate crisis support, connection to additional resources, a place to process decisions around taking legal action, or at any point in the recovery process, we are here to assist you. Please reach out to us so that we can offer you the support you deserve.
Campus Security is also available to assist at any time on any day. You can reach campus security by calling 360-596-5299. Local police are also available by dialing 911.
Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs (not the VA) — Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs is separate from the federal VA. They work with veterans on many issues. Their records do not connect to any service record.
Thurston County Veterans Assistance Fund — The Thurston County Veterans’ Assistance Fund helps eligible veterans or family members with rent, mortgage, power, water, garbage, food, bus passes and burial.
Veteran-Based Organizations Supporting Other Veterans:
Veterans Homelessness Prevention Program — The Veterans Homelessness Prevention Program offers supportive services and temporary rental assistance and/or rapid re-housing for veterans. Please call them for more information. 1-855-468-8387
Mental Health and Relationships:
- Go Ask Alice
- Psychology Today
- Mental Health America
- Half of Us
- Online Screening for Mental Health
Drug and Alcohol Information:
Sexual Health Information:
Counselor and Therapist Referral:
Note: These links will take you to information on counselors, psychologists and therapists in the community, including what forms of payment they accept and how to contact their offices. SPSCC does not endorse any one counselor or group of counselors. These links are intended to be used only for gathering more information.