OBU Home
Apply Online | Give Online
Ouachita Baptist University
Counseling Services

What is “counseling”, and who needs it anyway?

Counseling is a place where you can talk safely with someone who is eager to listen to your concerns. It’s a time to learn new skills and new ways of looking at situations.  At OBU, we’re eager to come alongside you, listen carefully, and help you decide how to handle the difficulty you’re facing. Some students benefit from one or two sessions of problem-solving, while some concerns may require more time. It is our sincere intent to provide good counsel based upon sound psychological understanding, Biblical principles and Christian values.

Isn’t counseling really for those who are weak or have serious psychological problems? -Of course not.

It takes quite a bit of courage to face life’s difficulties honestly, come to counseling, and work through difficult feelings, experiences, and life challenges. You don’t go to the doctor only when you’re certain you have heart disease, seeing the physician is smart when you’ve simply been feeling bad for a while and want to get things checked out. To seek out wise counsel amidst difficulty is just plain smart. A counselor can guide or coach you through a difficult season of your life, relationship, or time of decision.

How does the process work?

In the beginning stage of counseling, your counselor will ask questions to develop a better understanding of the issue you’re facing, and to get to know you personally. As counseling proceeds, the trust between us can build so that a working partnership is developed. The goal is to help you explore your key thoughts and feelings, and help you make wise decisions about how to handle and respond to your feelings, relationships, concerns, or life situation. Incorrect thinking sometimes has to be examined and changed.

What about the cost?

Counseling Center services are free to currently enrolled OBU students.

Will anyone from the counseling office be telling my professors or friends that I’m coming to counseling, or what we’re talking about?

NO! Your conversations with the counselor will be considered privileged communication and will not be part of your academic record. You can expect us to treat you with courtesy, respect, and with the highest level of ethical and professional confidentiality. Counseling files are kept locked and confidential, except where your or someone else’s personal/bodily safety is threatened or at risk, and in cases of suspected child or elder abuse.

  • Depression, or feeling unusually “down”
  • Fears, worry, or anxiety issues
  • Problems at home
  • Grieving the death of someone close
  • Dealing with stress
  • Test anxiety
  • Anger
  • Childhood physical or sexual abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Confusing or disturbing feelings and thoughts
  • Eating or body image struggles
  • Low self-confidence, frequent discouragement
  • Rape or assault
  • Academic performance concerns
  • Pre-marital counseling
  • Trouble with time management
  • Adjustment to college, life on your own, loneliness
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Sexual behavior, sexual addiction, same-sex attraction
  • Choosing a major, career decisions

How can I make an appointment?

  1. You can click on the link on the left side above, or
  2. You can call Dan directly at ext. 5591 to speak to him or leave a message, and he can let you know what session times are available, or
  3. You can schedule an appointment through the secretary, Sandy at ext. 5220.
  4. He can also be reached by email: jarboed@obu.edu


Appointments are 50 minutes long and begin on the hour. If you have to cancel an appointment, please provide 24 hours’ advance notice. The counseling office is open on weekdays only, but is always available for emergencies (in this situation he can be reached by calling campus security).

“Take the Self Directed Search! The SDS is one of the most popular and easy to use Career Assessment tools available – designed to help you identify the best college major and career direction for you. (The cost is about $10, paid online) If you’re interested, click here: http://www.self-directed-search.com/browser.html

For a more in-depth career aptitude assessment, which takes into account your many interests, values, educational preferences, personality, academic strengths and weaknesses, and skills, we encourage you to contact Mallory Moddelmog in the Career and Corporate Development Office on the 1st floor of the Evans Student Center, and consider another assessment called FOCUS, she’ll be eager to help you with using this tool or direct you to a few other helpful online professional development resources.