NWC Counseling Center Mission

Recognizing that mental health issues are inextricably intertwined with academic functioning, spiritual development, and interpersonal success, Northwestern College provides a quality professional counseling service for our students.  Our goal is to maximize each student’s functioning in order to enable students to take full advantage of their NWC education so they can engage in faithful and courageous learning and living.


Sally Oakes Edman, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling Services
Lila Simmelink
Administrative assistant
Northwestern provides free counseling services in order to promote and encourage health and wholeness for our students.
Students who want to make an appointment with a therapist should e-mail wellness@nwciowa.edu, call 707-7321, or stop in the office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lila Simmelink, Wellness Center administrative assistant, will answer your e-mail or take your call and schedule an appointment. If Lila is unavailable, please leave a message, and a member of the Wellness Center staff will return your call as soon as possible.
It is estimated that one in every three to four Americans will seek therapy for personal problems at some point in their lives. Unresolved personal problems can lead to a host of physical, academic and social difficulties. As therapists, it is our goal to help students resolve problems, feel better, function more productively and relate in more satisfying ways with other people. We see the students we work with as the experts on themselves and their life situations, while we are experts in methods of coping, altering behavior and solving problems. In therapy, the client and the therapist form a team, working together toward the client's goals.
The Wellness Center takes confidentiality very seriously. No information will be exchanged with individuals or agencies outside of our center unless you provide us with explicit consent to do so. Your counseling record is not a part of your academic record, and information shared within counseling is not reported to your parents or anyone else without your written consent. We recognize that a safe and confidential environment is crucial in order for you to feel comfortable sharing personal information.

In rare circumstances, the confidentiality policy requires unauthorized disclosure of information. Such circumstances would include when the counselor believes the student's life is in danger, when the safety of others is at risk, when there is suspicion of child or elder abuse, or when requested by subpoena or court order.

If you have any questions or concerns about the confidentiality policy, please feel free to talk them over with your counselor.

Licensed professional therapists provide private, confidential therapy for students facing emotional, relational or other issues to help them cope, alter behavior and solve problems. The therapists also provide mental health information, run support groups, and plan events to raise awareness for mental health issues. Students may seek help during times of difficulty or with challenges of any kind, including:

  • Dating or roommate issues
  • Drug and alcohol use/abuse
  • Eating disorders or body image issues
  • Family dysfunction/divorce
  • Grief/death of a loved one
  • Homesickness/adjusting to college
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Sexual assault (see sexual assault policy)
  • Sexual identity questions
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Wellness Center

Rowenhorst Student Center
Northwestern College
208 8th Street SW
Orange City, IA 51041


Therapy Agreements
Title Description File type