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Services at the Counseling Center typically fall into two categories based on whether or not they require an initial consultation appointment. Many of the services that the Counseling Center provides are available to all currently-enrolled students. However, some services require a referral after an initial consultation. If you are unsure which services may be right for you, consider scheduling a single-session appointment or initial consultation and one of our staff can help you figure out which services may be right for you.
If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, please call us 24/7 at (312) 996-3490. Visit our crisis services page for more information.
FAQs Heading link
An initial consultation is an appointment with a Counseling Center therapist to determine what services might be most helpful for you based on several factors including your mental health history, current concerns, and treatment goals. At the end of the appointment, your initial consultation therapist will review your treatment recommendations and provide a referral to one or more services on or off campus.
Yes and no. You can access many of our services simply by signing up or scheduling an appointment online. We offer a variety of these services to give you as much flexibility as possible. We also encourage students to let their initial consultation therapist know if they have a strong preference for a specific service like a particular therapy group. We can’t always guarantee that you’ll be referred to a specific service, but we do take your preferences very seriously and want to connect you to a service you’ll feel comfortable with and engaged in.
That said, our staff cannot ethically recommend a service that we believe will be unhelpful simply because a client asks for it. Think of it like going to your primary care provider with a migraine and asking for amoxicillin. The bubblegum-flavored medicine might be delicious, but it’s not going to do anything for your migraine.
Sometimes, but not always. Individual therapy tends to be the service most people are familiar with, and this familiarity can make it feel like the default or “best” choice. In the United States, we tend to think of individual therapy as the default because our culture is highly individualistic. Especially in a community as diverse as ours at UIC, we know that this model doesn’t fit for everyone.
While individual therapy can be helpful for some people, it’s simply one of many different types of mental health services. No service is any better or worse than another. Each service addresses a unique need in a unique way. The “best” options are always the services that meet your specific needs.
IC vs SSA
- Scheduled by calling our office at (312) 996-3490
- Scheduled up to two weeks in advance
- Involve more extensive paperwork
- Generally last longer, up to 50 minutes
- Involve a more comprehensive assessment of your mental health history
- Generally don’t focus on resolving concerns
- Required for referral to therapy services at the Counseling Center
- Scheduled online
- Scheduled within 24 hours
- Involve less extensive paperwork
- Generally briefer, up to 30 minutes
- Involve a focused discussion on resolving a current problem
- Generally focus on resolving a specific concern
- Can recommend specific services and resources within and outside of the Counseling Center