Psychiatry Services

The psychiatry services at the UIC Counseling Center offers students the opportunity to explore medication options for their mental health concerns.

Eligibility and Limitations of Psychiatry Services

The UIC Counseling Center offers limited, short-term, psychiatric  services. Typically, only students who are actively engaged in individual therapy at the Counseling Center may be referred for psychiatry services at the center. If a client is engaged in therapy at the Counseling Center, their therapist may recommend that they receive a Psychiatric Consultation with a psychiatrist. Psychiatry services are by appointment only, and no psychiatry appointments are offered after hours or on weekends. If a client already has a psychiatrist in the community, but is interested in meeting with a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center, their therapist will review this request with the Counseling Center psychiatrists before scheduling an appointment. Students who are not engaged in therapy at the center, as well as students whose needs exceed the services available at the Counseling Center, are usually directed to seek psychiatric services in the community.

Psychiatric Consultation

The Counseling Center psychiatrists are available to provide clients with a comprehensive Psychiatric Consultation. Psychiatric consultation with a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center may assist with diagnostic clarification, provide guidance regarding need for medical and/or laboratory evaluation of medical concerns which may play a role in a person’s mental health concerns, or allow for recommendations regarding medications or alternative treatment options, if/when needed. The psychiatrists at the UIC Counseling Center believe in a holistic approach to a person’s treatment, and may provide education and guidance regarding optimization of self-care, such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise, as a part of a client’s overall treatment plan.

Ongoing Treatment

Depending on the psychiatrist’s assessment and the client’s clinical needs, it may be recommended that the client continue to receive psychiatry  services at the center, or be referred to another facility for continued management. Treatment throughout psychiatry services may include prescription medication, vitamins or other nutritional supplementation, and/or adjustments to diet, substance use, or other lifestyle factors. If a client continues working with a psychiatrist at the Counseling Center, they will have appointments with both their therapist and psychiatrist. Psychiatry services may be continued on a short-term basis, not to exceed a total of 16 weeks’ duration of time, and only if the student is actively engaged in therapy at the Counseling Center. When a client’s therapy services at the Counseling Center are terminated or when a client has reached the end of their eligibility for psychiatry services at the Counseling Center, arrangements for transfer of their psychiatric services will be coordinated with the client, if needed.

Treatment for ADHD at the Counseling Center

At times, students with a previous history of ADHD are interested in continued medication management for ADHD while they are engaged in therapy. Please be informed that in order to be treated for ADHD at the Counseling Center, documentation of a diagnosis through neuropsychological testing within the past 5 years is required. If a client has previously been treated for ADHD, neuropsychological testing within the past five years documenting this diagnosis is still required. Summary letters from previous providers are not sufficient, previous prescriptions, pill containers, or other documentation would not be adequate for continued treatment of ADHD at the UIC Counseling Center. At the present time, neuropsychological testing is not available at the Counseling Center, but the staff at the Counseling Center may provide referrals to an outside qualified professional. Neuropsychological testing is obtained at the student’s expense, which may be covered by insurance.
If neuropsychological testing does not support a diagnosis of ADHD, a client may still benefit from a consultation with a psychiatrist, as there may be other explanations for a client’s symptoms. Many other problems such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, or substance use, can cause symptoms that are misinterpreted as ADHD. Meeting with a psychiatrist may provide understanding of the nature of these symptoms and how to address them. If a client would like to pursue treatment for ADHD outside of the Counseling Center, their therapist may provide them with referrals in the community. A client may also choose to maintain psychiatric management with their previous psychiatric provider.