Counseling

The UMB Student Counseling Center (SCC) offers counseling services to currently enrolled students based on the Brief Intervention Model. The Brief Intervention Model is a three-step treatment model that includes assessment, treatment, and review of progress (see figure under "Limitations to Services below"). 

When a student requests counseling services, they are scheduled with a counselor who will conduct a phone triage (15-30 minutes) to determine immediate needs and assess risk. Depending on needs, a student may meet with a counselor as soon as appropriately necessary for an In-Person Assessment session (40-50 minutes). The purpose of this session is to further evaluate immediate needs and begin to develop a personalized treatment plan. 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.

If a student's mental health needs are greater than what the SCC can provide, they will receive supportive/stabilizing counseling services while a SCC Clinical Case Manager assists the student in finding appropriate and affordable community resources.  

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 to connect the student with community/local resources.

Scheduling Services: What to Expect

1.) You may call or stop by the office during regular business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) to schedule a "Phone Triage" with an SCC counselor. If you are experiencing acute stress and are unable to wait until your assigned time, please notify our administrative staff or ask to speak with our clinician on coverage.

2.) A counselor will speak with you over the phone or in person for 15 to 30 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 at the SCC is the "In-Person Assessment," which is not a counseling session. Its purpose is for your counselor to gather information about you so that the SCC clinical team may decide upon the level of care that best fits your needs. If the team determines that the SCC is an appropriate setting for your treatment, you in collaboration with your counselor will develop a treatment plan and begin to work on the issues that brought you to counseling at your next session. Your primary counselor is usually the counselor who meets with you during your "In-Person Assessment."

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.

SCC Brief Intervention Model with directional arrow

The SCC brief intervention model consists of three steps:

Step 1: Assessment, thid is done during the phone triage and in the in-person assessment. The assesment will give the clinician a better understanding of what you are looking for and what you may need in regard to treatment.  

Step 2: Treatment options, we collaboratively determine what treatment will work best for you. This may include, individual counseling, group counseling, workshops, inclusion of medication management, referrals to other on campus resources, or an off campus referral.

Step 3: Review of progress, for those who start individual counseling at SCC. Depending on how the treatment is going, a change may happen. For example, if someone needs more intensive or specialized treatment, they may need an off campus referral. For those who need less intense treatment, session frequency may be decreased. Lastly, treatment may no longer be appropriate. This will be determined between you and your counselor.

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 In-Person Assessment 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., Fitness for Duty or employment). Please see our additional information section for further explanation.

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.

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 refer you to a substance use program for an evaluation and/or more specialized treatment if necessary. The SCC can help refer you to substance use treatment centers or other resources to support sobriety (e.g., UMB Scholars for Recovery).

Concurrent Treatment with a Psychiatrist

There could be times when your counselor asks you to meet with a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation. In these cases, following through with the psychiatrist's recommendations is an essential or required element of your treatment. Based on those recommendations, the treatment team may modify your treatment plan.