Scope of Practice
Counseling & Behavioral Health Services staff invite students seeking counseling to make an Initial Consultation appointment to discuss their concerns for therapy. This first conversation between the counselor and the student offers a discussion of the student’s current difficulties, a review of treatment options, and recommendations to assist the student in obtaining the appropriate services. Recommendations may include receiving services at the Counseling Center (individual or group therapy, psychiatric referral or substance counseling referral), connection to other campus resources, or a referral to community resources when appropriate. Students who would like to speak with a counselor regarding a concern, but are not considering therapy at the Counseling Center for themselves, may schedule an information/referral session with a counselor as a “Consultation.” Students who would like to speak with the Victim’s Advocate may specify an “Advocacy” appointment.
All students are able to contact the Counseling Center staff for immediate help on an emergency basis, for a mental health crises, for help with interpersonal violence (sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, partner violence or abuse) and/or for help with referrals. Ongoing clinical care may be provided to full time, enrolled and matriculated students.
Hybrid Services: TeleCounseling via secure videoconferencing is available for all students to speak with a professional staff member, or a student may attend sessions in person.
In order to meet significant student demand and use its resources most effectively, the Counseling Center utilizes a short-term individual therapy model. Working together, the therapist and student determine the number and type of sessions that are needed for the student based on the nature of the student’s concerns and available resources. In addition to being the best treatment option for many presenting problems, group therapy may allow a student to receive more long-term services than would be available through individual therapy.
Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed in short-term counseling at the Counseling Center are:
Personal Mental or Behavioral Health Concerns: Stress, anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, guilt, low self-esteem, grief
Relationship Concerns: Romantic relationship, roommate problems, family problems, social life
Developmental Concerns: Identity (e.g., personal, cultural, sexual orientation, gender identity), adjustment to college, healthy lifestyle choices, decisions, life transitions
Substance Use: Concerns for self or another related to alcohol or other drug use/abuse
Academic Concerns: Focus, motivation, performance anxiety, perfectionism, other academic difficulties
Other Concerns: Effects of trauma, sexual assault, abuse, concerns from childhood or adolescence, body image, food preoccupation, disordered eating.
Students who require long-term support will generally be referred to community resources for ongoing treatment. Similarly, students whose needs require a particular type of expertise that is not available in the Center are also referred to community resources. Even in cases where a student’s ongoing needs necessitate a referral to community resources, the Counseling Center can often assist the student in managing the presenting concerns and provide support until the student is able to connect to the appropriate community resources.
The Counseling Center may provide referral services through phone consultation, during the initial session, or as these factors become more apparent during the course of services.
Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to services outside of the Counseling Center include:
A desire or need to be seen more than once a week, or desire for ongoing long-term therapy, as indicated by:
- Student’s preference or external provider’s recommendations
- History of multiple hospitalizations
- Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injurious behaviors, or history of repeated suicide attempts
- Clear indications of a need for more intensive services than are offered on campus
- Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial; lack of progress
- Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention
- Exhibiting psychotic symptoms without willingness to follow treatment recommendations
- Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
A need for specialized services not available through the Counseling Center, as indicated by:
- Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence and/or past failed treatments; a need for drug testing
- Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms with no period of remission or that may pose a medical danger
Request for formal psychological assessment (e.g., ADHD or psychoeducational evaluations)
Request for medications not prescribed by the consulting psychiatrist
- Request for psychological evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance
- Request for services to fulfill students’ court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions. The nature and complexity of presenting concerns and the broader context are considered in making the appropriate treatment recommendation(s). Cases are evaluated individually, and the professional judgment of the mental health provider(s) will determine the treatment decision in a particular situation.
t is the policy of the CBHS that any student who wishes to meet with the consulting psychiatrist must be a client in ongoing counseling at our center. Students may be referred at any time by their CBHS therapist after the appropriate background information has been gathered and clinical need has been established.
Our consulting psychiatrist offers 10 clinic hours per week. The consulting psychiatrist may also refer students for services that are not part of the CBHS psychiatrist’s scope of care. More information regarding psychiatric services is available on request.
Emergency psychiatric services are not available. Walk-in students seeking medication refills or experiencing an urgent need for psychiatric evaluation will be referred or otherwise assisted according to their needs.