Scope of Our Services
As the primary campus provider of psychological and consultation services, the Counseling Center offers free and confidential counseling sessions to registered UMD undergraduate and graduate students.
The focus of the initial appointment referred to as an brief assessment, is to determine the nature and impact of the presenting concerns and to identify options for addressing these issues. If additional treatment is indicated, the counselor will recommend the most effective method of treatment, which may include group counseling, career exploration, workshops, individual counseling, or referral to an off-campus mental health provider. In some cases, the brief assessment is sufficient for identifying ways to address the problems.
A Short-Term Model
The Counseling Center, which is staffed by licensed psychologists and counselors, applies a short-term model to individual counseling. In short-term counseling, issues are addressed over a few sessions in a solution-focused manner. The goal is to facilitate adjustment to college, reduce emotional distress, and foster resilience to help students continue attending college and pursue their academic, career, and personal goals. Therapists work to facilitate adjustment, healthy functioning, problem resolution, or symptom relief as quickly as possible. Clients who present with persistent and chronic psychological concerns and require continuous long term treatment are best served by community providers who can offer uninterrupted treatment and care.
Since therapy issues vary from person to person, the length of treatment also varies and is based on goals set by the therapist and client and on ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of treatment. While the Counseling Center provides a maximum of eight individual counseling sessions per 12-month period, most Center clients achieve their therapeutic goals and end counseling in six sessions.
The first step to determining if individual counseling could be helpful is to schedule an brief assessment by calling the Counseling Center at (301) 314-7651 or stopping by the reception desk in Shoemaker Building.
Severe or Chronic Mental Health Issues
Counseling Center therapists may assist clients in obtaining relief from some of the emotional discomfort that can accompany severe or chronic mental health problems. In such cases, the objective is to stabilize and improve coping while determining whether more intensive treatment is indicated. When long-term treatment or specialized services are needed, the therapist will recommend a referral to community resources.
Referrals are available through an appointment with our care manager. Students in need of psychiatric services, such as evaluation, prescribing and monitoring of psychiatric medication, also may be referred by the Counseling Center to a psychiatrist at the Mental Health Service in the University Health Center.