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.”

Scope of 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 (see Scope of Services below for more information), 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.

Scope of Services
UMB SCC’s scope of services model developed based on EAB: Establishing a Sustainable Scope of Service. Guidance for Campus Mental Health Services.Their overview of national collegiate mental health trends and recommendations inspired UMB SCC to define a sustainable scope of services based on UMB’s mission and resources on and off campus.

Primary Goal

The UMB Student Counseling Center’s (SCC) primary goals are to provide high quality, timely access to confidential short-term mental health services and referral assistance to all currently enrolled UMB students.

The UMB SCC has three essential roles for advancing the educational mission of the University of Maryland, Baltimore community:

a.Providing a range of short-term mental health services designed to help students manage immediate problems and achieve their academic and personal goals.

b.Educating the campus community about the mental health and developmental needs of graduate and professional students through campus wide interventions, including outreach programming and consultation.

c.Responding to the psychological effects of crisis impacting individual students and assisting the campus community in maintaining a safe and supportive educational environment.

Eligibility

Note: During COVID 19 pandemic all SCC services provided virtually.

Services provided are free and confidential. All currently enrolled UMB students are welcome to walk into the Student Counseling Center (SCC) and/or request an initial consultation. The goal of the initial consultation is to discuss the student’s concerns and for a clinical staff member to determine if their needs fall within SCC’s scope of services.

The decision about whether or not the needs of the student fall within the scope of services will be made during or after an initial consultation meeting with a counselor or, if needed, after consultation with the treatment team, the Executive Director, and/or the Clinical Director. The professional judgment of SCC mental health providers will govern the determination in a particular case.

Our individual services are based on a Brief Intervention Model (above) and isdesigned to help students manage immediate concerns. These services are ideal for issues that have arisen recently or that are expected to resolve, not ongoing.

The SCC’s Brief Intervention Model reallocates counseling resources in a manner that is beneficial to all UMB students, reduces their wait time and helps themmanage immediate concerns.

Model

SCC’s Brief Intervention Services Model ( Above)

The SCC provides confidential brief, short-term mental health services based on a Brief Intervention Model. Clinical staff will meet with students to provide support and stabilization while continuing to assess individual needs and set therapeutic goals. The number and frequency of sessions will be determined on a case by case basis. Individual needs that cannot be accommodated within our Brief Intervention Model of Services will be referred to off-campus resources for care. Such referrals might occur immediately following a consultation, after further assessment of need has taken place, or after some treatment has been delivered.

SCC's Scope of Services

Common concerns that may be addressed using the SCC’s Brief Intervention Model may include:

  • Mild to moderate mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression
  • Adjustment and developmental concerns
  • Interpersonal concerns (e.g., with family, friends, roommates, romantic partnerships)
  • Self-esteem concerns
  • Concerns related to the transition to graduate and professional new life circumstances
  • Identity development related to various dimensions of identity (sexual, racial/ethnic, religious, gender, etc.)
  • Academic concerns: Performance anxiety, perfectionism, under or over achievement, and low motivation
  • Trauma or Interpersonal Violence: Assessment, stabilization and early intervention within a brief therapy model.
  • Grief and loss
  • LGBTQ+ concerns
  • Cultural concerns: Impact of oppression, power, and/or privilege
  • Other concerns, which may include: disability, body image, healthy lifestyle choices, setting healthy boundaries

NOTE: During periods of high demand for service, our providers may no longer have openings for new clients. However, in an effort to avoid wait lists or a delay in care, we may help students to connect with community providers rather than place them on a substantial wait list.

Services offered by the SCC

Common concerns that may not be addressed using the SCC’s Brief Intervention Model may include:

  • A need or request for ongoing weekly sessions or more services
  • A history of long-standing and/or significant depression, mood disorder, or anxiety concerns
  • A need or request for frequent consultation after hours that cannot be stabilized with short-term crisis intervention
  • A need or request for services that is beyond the clinical expertise of the Counseling Center’s staff
  • Presence of one or more of the following, such that the best treatment would be an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or higher level of care:
    • Alcohol and/or other substance use problems as the primary issue with possible need for medical detox and/or medical stabilization
    • Active or long standing disorder eating symptoms requiring medical monitoring
  • Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injury behaviors, history of repeated suicide attempts, recent or multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning
  • An inability to comply with treatment recommendations
  • Requests for ongoing counseling when already participating in treatment with another mental health provider
  • A need or request for treatment over multiple, consecutive semesters or academic years
  • Requests for medication evaluations and/or management when not participating in the SCC brief intervention counseling services model

Services Not Provided by the UMB SCC

  • Mandated mental health evaluation or counseling
  • Psychological assessments, predicting performance evaluations or forensic evaluations (e.g., employment security assessment, litigation or legal adjudications)
  • Court appearances/testimony/evaluations or court-ordered assessment and treatment
  • Medication evaluation and/or management for attention deficit disorder(ADHD)
  • Counseling services solely to gain clinical experience
  • Psychological evaluations for the purpose of determining disability status or to make recommendations for students who have been diagnosed with a disability (Disability)
  • Documentation/authorization for emotional support animals (ESA)

Off-Campus Refferal Process

When off-campus mental health services are recommended or preferred by students, during or after the initial evaluation or as these factors become apparent during the course of treatment, your counselor or the SCC’s Referral Assistance Coordinator (RAC) will help to identify several referral options selected specifically for your personal situation (Referrals). The SCC can help with accessing health insurance benefits and navigating transportation options. For example, if a student does not have a car, finding an off campus provider that is located close to the UM Shuttle route may be taken into consideration. Local counseling options include some providers within walking distance to campus and some that provide telemental health, low or sliding scale fee services.

UMB SCC’s scope of services model developed based on EAB: Establishing a Sustainable Scope of Service. Guidance for Campus Mental Health Services. (2018)

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.