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, after confirming this interest over the phone and completing paperwork, the student is scheduled with a counselor who will conduct a telehealth consultation (45-55 minutes). The purpose of this session is to further evaluate immediate needs, give therapeutic skills and resources, and assess potential treatment options. Some students may then continue with our brief intervention model by completing an intake, or an “Assessment” will begin to develop a personalized treatment plan. Please see below for more details about What to Expect.

Students who receive individual counseling services at the SCC participate in customized session frequency, ongoing symptom measurement, and work on a specific goal(s). Sessions are usually 45 minutes in length each but may vary depending on each student’s individual needs. 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 Referral Assistance Coordinator assists the student in finding appropriate and affordable community resources.

Scheduling Services: What to Expect

When you are ready to access our services as a new client, please fill out this form: Request for Consultation or call our number (410-328-8404) and leave a message (option 3) with your full name (please spell), your phone number, and your email. A staff member will follow up within one business day to explain services and discuss options available to the student. For example, if a student calls asking for referrals or if the student is ineligible for services, referrals and other resources can then be emailed to the student. If the student is interested in and is eligible for services, then they would proceed to completing paperwork for and scheduling a telehealth consultation.

A Telehealth Consultation is a one hour long session focused on collect preliminary information about you and your current concerns as well as providing skills and resources. In order to be eligible for this service, you must be physically located in Maryland during the time of the session and have completed paperwork prior to the session (which will be explained during the first phone call). If you are not in Maryland, please let us know during the initial phone call so that we can discuss other options and resources available to you.

The Telehealth Consultation, as well as other sessions, are conducted via a WebEx video meeting as that is a HIPAA compliant platform. Information you provide during this consultation will:

  • Help us understand the nature and urgency of your concerns.
  • Discuss therapeutic skills and resources available to you
  • Begin to identify the most appropriate next steps.

What happens after the Telehealth Consultation depends on each student and their specific needs. Some students may transition to our brief intervention services model. Some may attend one consultation with an additional follow up appointment. Some may receive long-term referrals or referrals to best fit their needs. We consider many factors during this decision.

Should you, the therapist, and the treatment team determines that the SCC is an appropriate setting for your treatment, you will then be scheduled for an intake or an "Assessment." During this session, you, in collaboration with your counselor, will learn more about your background, develop a collaborative treatment plan, and begin to work on the issues that brought you to counseling. Your primary counselor is usually the counselor who meets with you during your "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, this is done during the consultation and in the assessment. The assessment 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 Telehealth Consultation, the 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 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.

Please note that if a student is not physically located in Maryland at the time of session, SCC counselors are unable to provide therapeutic services due to licensure requirements. If you are located outside of Maryland, SCC can still assist in finding referrals and resources in your area. You can also visit our Find a Therapist section to find therapists in your area and to explore other potential options.

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.