Many students have trouble adjusting to the challenges of college life. It is quite common to feel anxious or concerned about your course work, social life, or the everyday pressures of being a college student. The Counseling Center is a place where you can come to talk about these problems. We assist students who are struggling with a variety of difficulties. A few examples include:
As a college student, you are likely to experience problems that are not easily resolved. Your usual ways of handling such problems may not be effective or may even be making the problems worse. If you are unsure about whether counseling is for you, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your concerns with a counselor. Any number of resources the Counseling Center provides could be of assistance to you, and there is no obligation to continue.
Individual counseling provides an opportunity for you to talk with a professional about what is troubling you. We strive to help you to learn more about yourself and your situation in ways that will improve your ability to deal with your struggles. The Counseling Center operates from a short-term model of counseling, helping students understand and problem-solve stressful situations. For students needing long-term counseling, staff will assist them to find resources. At the Counseling Center, appointments typically last 45 minutes.
If you're in a relationship that you would like to improve (partner, spouse, friend), couples counseling may be a helpful option for you. The focus is typically on identifying and finding solutions for problem areas, then assessing and strengthening communication to address these problems beyond counseling. Both potential clients must be current UMBC students. Appointments typically last 45 minutes. However, it is important to note that the Counseling Center cannot provide both individual and couples counseling services simultaneously to an individual student. For situations in which both forms of counseling would be indicated, staff can assist you in finding appropriate community resources.
The Counseling Center offers a variety of group experiences depending on the need that particular semester (i.e., Connections on Campus Interpersonal Group, Dissertation Support Group, LGBTQ Support Group, Grief & Loss Support Group). Groups typically involve 1-2 counselors with 5-8 students, and they usually meet weekly or biweekly for 60-90 minutes. You control what and how much you share with the group, and we encourage you to share only when you are ready.
Group counseling provides you with a unique opportunity to:
Occasionally students feel nervous or uncomfortable with the idea of joining groups. This is normal. Pursuing or confronting the things that cause us to feel uneasy can sometimes be the most beneficial way to facilitate change. The Counseling Center Staff recognizes this and, as such, efforts are made to ensure group environments are supportive and safe.
Often the personal issues that bring us to counseling have more to do with how we relate to others than we think. This group will help members explore the relationship between their interpersonal style and their emotional well being. Members will be encouraged to experiment with new behaviors, which can foster more meaningful connections with others and enhance emotional well-being. This group can be especially beneficial for students who feel isolated, depressed, anxious, or who are concerned about how they relate to others.
We also currently have openings in the Trans Support Group. This is an emotional support group for students who identify as trans, genderqueer, gender fluid, outside of the gender binary, two spirit and/or those who are questioning their gender identity. The Trans Support Group meets on Fridays at 2:00pm in the Counseling Center. All sessions are free and confidential. To join the group, please call the Counseling Center at 410-455-2472
Counseling Center staff are open to developing groups based on students’ needs. Please let us know what other groups you’d be interested in joining by calling the Counseling Center at 410-455-2472
Some students may find that they are in need of services outside of the Counseling Center. Finding a community provider can be daunting, as financial considerations, time considerations and stigma against receiving mental health treatment can all act as barriers to connecting to the right providers. Our dedicated referral coordinators aim to make this process less stressful.
Referral coordinators are available at the Counseling Center to:
Some individuals may prefer to locate and connect with community providers independently of our referral coordinators. We offer a Community Referral Database (http://umbc.rints.com/) to help you with this task. For best results, enter as much information as you are able to provide.
The Counseling Center has a psychiatrist on staff part-time who can prescribe medications when appropriate. This service is limited to who are actively engaged in ongoing counseling at the Counseling Center. If you and your counselor decide that medication may be appropriate, your counselor will make a referral and an appointment with the psychiatrist. Alternatively, you may be assisted in obtaining psychiatric services in the community.
The Counseling Center offers classes, student organizations and student leaders, faculty and staff a variety of workshops and trainings intended to help you improve your ability to make the most of your experience and to assist you to help others.
Designed to improve your chances for academic success. The workshop series includes structured, 1-hour workshops on Time Management, Procrastination, Stress Management, Test Anxiety and other relevant topics. Check dates below or call (410-455-2472) for more information.
No current/upcoming workshops
At the Counseling Center, we have a "Self-Development Center" (SDC) where you can educate yourself at your own pace using print video and audio materials, that cover a variety of topics related to college life. Among the topics are study skills, anger management, assertiveness, communication skills, managing conflict, diversity, eating issues, relationships, health, foreign languages, leadership, public speaking, dealing with loss, self-esteem, mental health issues, sexual assault, sexuality, stress management, substance abuse, and women's/men's issues. This is only a sample, and each category contains a number of media resources on specific aspects of that broad subject. If you would like to use or look over our options, you do not need an appointment. Just walk in and let our front-desk staff know you would like to utilize the SDC. In addition, there are also a number of helpful websites you can use to learn more about yourself and mental health issues that may be of concern or interest to you.
Our staff is an active participant in campus outreach programming. We make presentations and facilitate discussions in residence halls, academic classes, student organizations, and faculty/staff groups. In order to make a request, please complete the Outreach Request Form below.