Counseling

The UMB Student Counseling Center (SCC) offers counseling services to currently enrolled students based on the Brief Intervention Model. When a student requests counseling services, they are immediately connected with a counselor who conducts a phone triage (15-30 minutes) to determine immediate needs and risk assessment. Depending on needs, a student may meet with a counselor as soon as appropriately necessary for an in-person triage session (20-60 minutes) to further assess immediate needs and begin to develop a personalized treatment plan. If a student's mental health needs are greater than what SCC can provide, they will receive supportive/stabilizing counseling services while an SCC Clinical Case Manager assists the student in finding appropriate and affordable community resources. Students who receive individual counseling services at the SCC participate in customized session frequency, ongoing symptom measurement, and work on a specific goal(s). Regular progress review allows clinical staff to detect and act on non-improvement, stepping down when a less-appropriate treatment becomes appropriate and discontinuing counseling when no treatment becomes appropriate.

Tele-health services at UMB:
Tele-video counseling is not offered at this time, primarily because of legal and ethical practical concerns regarding practicing across state lines and confidentiality. Click here for additional information. The SCC assists students in crisis who may consult with a counselor in person or by phone as needed to assess danger to self and others and connect student with community/local resources.

Scheduling Services: What to Expect

1.) You may call or stop by the office during regular business hours to schedule a "phone triage" with an SCC counselor. *If you are experiencing acute stress and you are unable to wait until your assigned time, please notify our administrative assistant, Vivian Brown, or ask to speak with our clinician on coverage.

2.) A counselor will speak with you over the phone or in person for five to 15 minutes and will collect preliminary information about you and your current concerns. Information you provide during this brief discussion will:
          a.)  Help us understand the nature and urgency of your concerns.
          b.)  Begin to identify the most appropriate next steps.
                    
Your first meeting is not a counseling session. Its purpose is for your counselor to gather information about you so that they may determine your treatment plan. Your counselor decides upon the level of care that best fits your needs. If they determine that the SCC is an appropriate setting for your treatment, you will begin to work on the issues that brought you to counseling at your next session. Your primary counselor is usually the counselor that meets with you during your "in-person triage."

If your counselor determines that your needs exceed the SCC's scope of services, they will refer you to an outside provider. You will be expected to make and keep an appointment with an outside provider within a reasonable period of time, and your counselor will assist you with the process.

Limitations to Services

The SCC provides brief, short-term counseling based on a Brief Intervention Model. Counselors will meet with students to provide stabilization and support while continuing to assess individualized needs and set therapeutic goals. The number and frequency of sessions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The SCC experiences fluctuations in student demands for mental health services throughout the academic year. Counselors’ availability and session frequency vary depending on demand for services and individual needs. The frequency of your treatment may be affected by demand for services and clinician availability. If you cancel an appointment with your counselor, it may take three to four weeks to get another appointment. 

If the SCC determines during the initial evaluation or over the course of treatment that a student’s needs exceed our scope of services, the student will be provided appropriate referrals to community resources.  The SCC can provide the student with assistance in the transition. However, the student will be expected to play an active role in making and keeping an appointment with an outside provider within a reasonable period of time.

If a student holds a faculty or staff position, the student may be referred to an outside provider. If the previous sentence applies to you, please ask to speak to one of our counselors before scheduling an appointment or use the SCC’s walk-in consultation services (daily at 1:30 p.m.) to determine eligibility.

In addition, the SCC does not provide evaluations for outside entities (e.g., child custody or employment).

Use of Alcohol and Recreational Drugs

Use of alcohol or recreational drugs will interfere with the therapeutic benefit of your counseling and, in some cases, can cause worsening of symptoms. Please speak to your counselor about any substances you are using. If your use of substances is regular and habitual without the ability to reduce or stop use, your counselor may choose to refer you to a substance use program for an evaluation and/or more specialized treatment if necessary. Your counselor reserves the right to discontinue treatment at the Student Counseling Center if you do not follow their treatment recommendations. The SCC can help refer you to substance use treatment centers to support sobriety.

Couples Counseling

If you and your partner are UMB students, you are eligible for couples counseling. We will gladly provide outside referrals for couples counseling if your partner is not a UMB student.

Concurrent Treatment with a Psychiatrist

Sometimes your counselor will recommend ongoing treatment with a psychiatrist as an essential or required element of your treatment. In these cases, your continued eligibility for counseling services is conditional upon your receiving concurrent psychiatric treatment.

Requests for Academic Accommodations

We do not provide assessments, evaluations, or documentation for students seeking academic accommodations. If you are, you must work directly with Deborah Levi, MA, LGSW, in the Office of Disability Support Services at 410-706-5889. Linked here is the University of Maryland policy regarding student accommodations, as well as a list of providers who offer evaluations. 

Requests for Letters

If you want your counselor to provide a newly written statement about your treatment to you or someone else, please allow 10 business days for us to complete the documentation. If there has been more than a six-month lapse in your treatment at the SCC, a counselor may have to complete an additional intake evaluation before providing documentation. If the documentation you are requesting requires an evaluation by a counselor, the process may take more than one session and/or more than 10 business days to complete.

We ask that you give your counselor as much advance notice as possible. If you are requesting a Verification of Attendance form only, and if your clinician is available, we may be able to honor same-day requests depending on our demand for services that day. A Verification of Attendance includes your name, dates of treatment, and no other information. We do not provide notarized letters or documents. Depending on the nature of the letter, your counselor may or may not be able to provide you or your school with the documentation you are requesting.