Available Counseling/Psychotherapy Services
The Counseling Service is the division of the Counseling Center that provides help and support around personal, interpersonal, and vocational issues. Staffed by counseling and clinical psychologists, the Counseling Service offers a variety of services to help students, faculty, staff, and the community deal with issues concerning them. To make an appointment, stop by the Front Desk in the main lobby of the Shoemaker Building, or call 301-314-7651.
Available services include:
- Intake Counseling
- An intake appointment is the first meeting between the client and a member of the Counseling Service. During this appointment the client's issues are explored and background information is sought. The primary purposes of the intake are to determine the nature and impact of the issues, and to provide an understanding of the situation to the counselor assigned to the case. The intake counselor (with the client) determines what the most effective mode of treatment would be. Sometimes the intake session is sufficient to help the client think about new ways to address their problems.
- Emergency Counseling
- Emergency counseling is very similar to intake counseling. The primary difference is that the client comes in to the Counseling Center without a previously-made appointment and needs to talk with someone fairly soon. The purpose of these sessions is to aid persons in crisis who cannot wait for an appointment to get help. The process of the emergency appointment is similar to the intake, though it will likely focus more on the immediate issue of concern and probably be less comprehensive. Depending on the nature of the situation, a follow-up appointment may be scheduled during the emergency session.
- Individual Counseling/Psychotherapy
- Individual counseling/psychotherapy is the most common form of treatment provided. The Counseling Service utilizes a short-term model for counseling, meaning that issues are addressed over a few sessions and in a more focused manner. Once assigned, the client will see the same counselor for every appointment. Each counselor has their own style of therapy, so each counseling experience will be different. Counseling is available for a wide range of personal issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem), interpersonal problems (e.g., shyness, anger management, feelings of isolation), and career/major issues (choosing a major, determining career direction).
- General Therapy Groups
- General therapy groups are offered to clients whose issues suggest difficulties in interpersonal relationships. The purposes of these groups are to provide a safe, semi-structured experience where the client can explore their ways of interacting with others, and to create a setting where the client is free to experiment with new, hopefully more successful behaviors. Getting feedback from peers, learning that others are dealing with similar issues, and feeling like you can be of help to someone else are only a few of the benefits of group therapy. Unlike individual counseling, there is no limit to the number of group therapy sessions you can have. Most groups are co-led and have 5-10 group members. In order to be part of a therapy group, you must have an intake session first.
- Structured and Theme-Oriented Groups
- Structured and theme-oriented groups have several similarities to general therapy groups, but also some important differences. While general therapy groups tend to have members dealing with many different issues (though usually with some interpersonal aspect), structured and theme-oriented groups tend to focus on a particular issue (e.g., eating disorders, procrastination, stress). General therapy groups usually last for the full academic year or longer, while the sturctured and theme-oriented groups are often one or two semesters long. These groups also fequently involve an educational component. The learning of new behaviors and coping strategies is often more structured than in general therapy groups.
- Couples Counseling
- Sometimes the difficulties a person is having is due to problems in their relationship with a significant other, rather than (or in addition to) problems individual to themself. In this case, couples counseling usually is the treatment mode of choice. While a person can work on a relationship on their own, it is usually much more effective to have both partners in the room working on the relationship together. As long as one of the partners is a registered student at UM, the couple can be seen for counseling.