The Counseling Center supports students in attaining their goals and assist students with mental health, emotional, and social problems that interfere with their personal and academic functioning. Our Center utilizes a brief therapy model designed to help students manage immediate problems and concerns through short-term individual and/or group counseling. The counselor and student work collaboratively to address identified concerns and determine a plan based upon the student’s needs and available resources.
If students are facing long-term functional difficulties, it is likely that the CC will recommend a transition to a community provider to ensure access to mental health treatment that is not limited. The referral assistance process may occur at the time of the initial assessment or during the course of short-term services if it becomes clear that more intensive, long-term or specialized services are needed. Counselors in consultation with the CC clinical team make treatment recommendations. Students who transition to off campus providers remain eligible for an emergency meeting or further referral assistance.
Group counseling at the CC may be helpful for many students in meeting their goals and supporting their growth and can allow a student to receive more long-term services than are available through individual counseling.
Common concerns and goals addressed through short-term counseling:
- Mild to moderate mental health issues including anxiety and depression
- Relationship concerns: roommate problems, romantic relationship difficulties, family problems
- Developmental concerns: adjustment to college, life transitions, etc.
- Identity development related to various dimensions of identity (racial/ethnic, sexual, religious, gender, etc.)
- Substance use: mild to moderate alcohol or other drug use/abuse
- Academic concerns: test and performance anxiety, motivation, perfectionism, career indecision
When an off-campus therapy referral is recommended or preferred by students, counseling staff will support the student through the transition of care process. The CC can provide referral assistance services to connect students to appropriate off-campus providers and also provide support managing presenting concerns until the referral connection is made. CC staff will assist students with utilizing and/or obtaining health insurance benefits if needed. Many off campus providers are accessible on the local UMBC transit lines and the CC staff will assist students in identifying transportation options
Concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to outside provider:
- Need or desire for more than once/week, long-term therapy, or more intensive care as indicated by:
- long-standing and/or significant depression, mood disorder, or anxiety concerns
- need for ongoing treatment consistency with no interruption necessary for safety & outcome
- history of multiple suicide attempts, chronic suicidal thoughts, frequent self-harm behaviors
- evidence of significant decrease in functioning that requires intensive intervention
- Need for specialized services not available at the CC as indicated by:
- evidence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as dependence and/or past failed treatments
- presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms
- request for formal psychological assessment and/or evaluation documentation for academic or residential accommodations (e.g., ADHD, learning disabilities)
- medication evaluation and/or management for attention deficit disorder
- request for court ordered or mandated treatment or assessment
- forensic evaluations