Counseling Center Spring 2021 Services and Updates
Due to utmost concerns for health and safety during this time of COVID-19, the Counseling Center is continuing to offer its services online. While this changes the way many of our services look, we are committed to continuing to provide mental health services to UIC students in remote ways.
- Initial Consultation: For many students, the first contact with the Counseling Center comes through an initial consultation. To schedule this appointment, please call us at 312-996-3490. On the day of your scheduled appointment, you will call this number again in order to access our initial paperwork. Once you submit your completed paperwork, our receptionist will alert your initial consultation counselor, who will send you link to a secure online video platform (Zoom PHI, etc.). At the time of your appointment, your counselor will connect with you using the chosen online platform. This conversation typically lasts for for 30-45 minutes; be sure to have a safe, private space for this conversation and for any future therapy appointments. You can expect to talk about what concerns bring you to the Counseling Center and to answer some questions about your history. Some students find that talking with a counselor once is sufficient to resolve the immediate concern. If further services would be beneficial, your counselor will then make a recommendation. For example, your counselor may think you are a good fit for the brief individual therapy, group therapy, psychiatry services, and/or themed workshops we offer at the Counseling Center. Your counselor may also recommend other services on campus or perhaps specialized or longer-term counseling in the community instead of services at the Counseling Center. For further information about our scope of services, you can read more here.
- Individual and Couples’ Therapy: If your initial consultation counselor recommends brief individual or couples’ therapy at the Counseling Center, you will receive an email after your initial consultation with your assigned counselor’s contact information. You can then reach out to that counselor to set up a first appointment and to determine whether you will meet using an online video platform (which is our standard practice at this time) or phone. You and your counselor will also work together to identify your goals for therapy and determine the frequency of sessions. Similar to in-person sessions, remote sessions tend to last 45-50 minutes.
- Group Therapy: If your initial consultation counselor recommends group therapy at the Counseling Center, you will receive an email after your initial consultation with contact information for your group co-facilitators; you will have the chance to meet with them to talk more about group and whether it feels like the right fit for you. Most of the groups at the Counseling Center have been able to continue using online video platforms, including our interpersonal process groups, as well as more structured, skills-based groups. These weekly meetings tend to last anywhere from 60-90 minutes and usually include 5-8 members. Interpersonal process groups remain our treatment of choice for students presenting with relationship concerns, and our group therapy calendar is currently up to date. Our peer-led support groups are also running remotely. To participate in a remote group, please have a private space and access to online video platforms (as phone tends to be a difficult medium for groups).
- Psychiatry Services: The Counseling Center continues to offer psychiatry services, using online video (preferred) or phone formats. Psychiatry services remain limited to students who are individual therapy clients at the Counseling Center. For more information about the scope of our psychiatry services, read here.
- Outreach and Workshops: The Counseling Center is continuing to offer remote outreach services by request and a variety of remote workshops, including our popular Koru Mindfulness and Self-Compassion To request an outreach workshop or presentation for your organization or department, please complete this form and email it to our outreach coordinator, Johanna Strokoff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Campus departments are still more than welcome to contact their Counseling Center liaisons with questions or requests, and faculty and staff who have concerns about a student may still call our office during business hours to consult about how to support students in distress.
- Let’s Talk: Though we are not currently providing our “Let’s Talk” drop-in service in person, we do encourage any student who needs to talk urgently about COVID-19, race-related stress, or concerns related to their international student status to call us at 312-996-3490.
- Crisis Services: As is always the case, we strongly encourage any student experiencing a mental health crisis to reach out for help. If you call the Counseling Center at 312-996-3490 during our 9-5 business hours, Monday through Friday, our receptionist will ask you a few questions and connect you to a counselor. If you call us before or after business hours, just press option “2” on the automated menu, and you will be connected to a crisis counselor. For a list of additional recommended crisis resources on and off campus, click here; this has been updated to reflect current availability during COVID-19.
- Service Limitations: Though we hope to be able to provide services to even more students than ever before using these remote means, we regret that due to state licensure limitations, we are not able to provide ongoing counseling services for students located outside of the state of Illinois. If you are in need of counseling services but are residing out of state, we can still provide an initial consultation appointment to discuss appropriate types of treatment and to advise you on how to connect to therapy resources in your area (such as by calling your health insurance to find in-network providers). All UIC students, regardless of their physical location, are eligible for Counseling Center workshops and our peer-led support groups. We have also expanded our online presence make more mental health resources accessible online, including topical e-newsletters, meditation videos, suicide prevention and education materials, and even a new self-care app.
Throughout the ever-changing landscape of life during COVID-19, we at the Counseling Center remain committed to provide accessible mental health resources for our UIC Community. We continue to strive to create safe and inclusive spaces for our students, to push ourselves to grow in our multicultural awareness, and to be strong allies and advocates for the diverse populations we serve.