Division of Student Affairs > Support Services > Counseling

Counseling

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​The college experience includes many unique challenges and opportunities for students. It is a time of change, growth and transition. Reaching your academic goals can be difficult if you are suffering from emotional distress, relationship difficulties or other concerns. There may be times when these challenges lead to excessive stress, anxiety, depression, confusion and loneliness. Seeking support, including counseling can enable you to understand and deal with these issues. 
​Thank you for your interest in University Counseling Services (UCS) at DePaul University. The college experience includes many unique challenges and opportunities for students. It is a time of change, growth and transition. Reaching your academic goals can be difficult if you are suffering from emotional distress, relationship difficulties or other concerns. There may be times when these challenges lead to excessive stress, anxiety, depression, confusion and loneliness. Seeking support, including counseling can enable you to understand and deal with these issues. 

The Counseling services staff is committed to creating a welcoming and affirming space where the dignity of all DePaul students is valued and affirmed. We strive to support the educational success of students by providing culturally aware clinical services, including: individual and group counseling, outreach programming, consultation, psychiatric services, community referrals, and training opportunities. 

Services Offered (updated in response to COVID-19)

We care about your mental health, especially in this stressful time. We provide tele-mental health services and connections with resources to serve our students. We are adjusting and expanding our services wherever we can in response to the changing environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Services available to enrolled DePaul students currently living in Illinois:

Teletherapy services:  Individual therapy with a UCS therapist via videoconference or telephone for students located in Illinois. Group teletherapy via videoconference for students in Illinois.

Telepsychiatry services: with the UCS psychiatrist for students who are meeting with a UCS therapist. These services are offered by referral at the discretion of UCS therapists. (UCS does not provide assessment or treatment for ADHD, but can help students locate a provider outside of DePaul.)

Services available to enrolled DePaul students regardless of location: 

Local Referrals: when appropriate, for mental health care in the Chicago area, including low-cost options. 

Consultation: to help students find mental health support where they are now, whether in Illinois or out-of-state.

Virtual Outreach Programs and Workshops: Visit our Outreach page to view our current outreach programs.​​

UCS has a diverse, caring, and competent professional staff that works from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Some students find that talking to a counselor once is sufficient to resolve their immediate concern. Our counselors can help you in a variety of ways because they are excellent sounding boards, compassionate listeners, and skillful experts in the problems of living. If further services would be beneficial, these will be discussed and recommendations will be made by the counselor.

UCS offers primarily short-term counseling, but we do provide referrals to the community when students could benefit from longer term services.

Contact University Counseling Services

The Basics

The first step is calling our main number, (773) 325-7779 (Lincoln Park Campus) or (312) 362-6923 (Loop Campus) to set up an Initial Consultation appointment. You will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns with a counselor for about 15-20 minutes in order to assess what kind of service would be most helpful. Initial consultations are conducted by telephone. 

Please note: if you are experiencing an urgent or crisis situation, please call or walk-in to one of our offices and let the secretary know it’s an emergency.  For more information on crisis and emergency services, please click here

Full-time and part-time DePaul students currently registered and enrolled in a degree program are eligible for counseling services. Services include: individualgroup, and couple’s counseling ; psychiatric evaluation and medication management; crisis intervention; and referrals to community providers and agencies. 

DePaul employees are not eligible for UCS (even if enrolled as a student). Employees seeking counseling services can contact the Employee Assistance Program or their HMO/PPO for more infromation. 

We are only able to provide therapy for students in Illinois due to variability in state licensure laws for the practice of psychology. These laws create licensing barriers and constraints for practicing therapy across state lines.

Our goal is to make our services as accessible as we possibly can. In order to expand our services in a lasting and consistent way to students residing outside Illinois, UCS is pursuing membership in an interstate alliance (PSYPACT) that will permit our therapists to provide teletherapy to students in 14 member states. We will update our website as those services become available and as PSYPACT grows to include more states, as we expect that it will in the coming year.

All students have access to phone consultations with a UCS clinician about mental health options. If you have questions or concerns about mental health, call us at (773) 325-7779 or (312) 362-6923 to arrange an initial consultation appointment. The UCS clinician who consults with you can assist with finding mental health support where you are, navigating insurance, and connecting you to additional university support services. They can also orient you to our virtual outreach and workshop offerings, which are open to all students. Visit our Outreach page to view our current outreach programs.

After the initial intake appointment with your assigned counselor, your counselor will help you define what you would like to gain from the counseling experience. After the assessment, your counselor will work with you to develop a plan to help you meet your particular goals.

UCS has a consulting psychiatrist on our staff who conducts evaluations, provides medication management, and helps and link students to community services. Students must be referred to the psychiatrist by their UCS counselor. UCS does not provide medication treatment without concurrent therapy with a UCS therapist and does not prescribe medication to treat ADHD, but will help you access quality providers in the community if you are looking for ADHD treatment or medication management alone.

If concerns exceed the scope of UCS’s short term counseling focus, or if recommended resources are not available within the University, your counselor will refer you to private therapy or other appropriate community mental health resources. Examples of this include circumstances in which longer-term, more intensive, or more specialized treatment are indicated. As discussed above, students outside of Illinois who are seeking treatment will need referrals in their local area.

UCS has relationships with mental health treatment providers in the local, Chicago community who provide high quality services to DePaul students. UCS providers will also help students find appropriate resources outside of the Chicago area when needed. The cost of such therapy is not included in your student fees. Health insurance plans usually will reimburse part of the cost of private therapy. Your counselor will discuss additional options to help manage or minimize costs if a referral for private therapy is made.

Teletherapy, telepsychiatry and telemental health are terms for individual talk therapy or other mental health treatment, such as group therapy or psychiatric medication management sessions, provided remotely by video conference or telephone. UCS clinicians conduct individual and group sessions primarily using the Microsoft Teams video meeting feature. Students who would have difficulty using this platform may opt for telephone sessions instead.  

We shifted from in-person services to telemental health services in March 2020, due to the public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus. Telemental health has the advantage of allowing students to connect with their counselor from a private location at home, without having to travel to the office. We find that we can make strong connections with students through video conference without infection risk to the student, the provider, or the campus community, and without the worry and discomfort of conducting therapy masked in a confined office space for up to 45-60 minutes at a time. Growing evidence shows that telemental health treatment is as effective as in-person treatment.

 

Find a private and secure location and make sure you have a stable and reliable internet connection. Have your phone with you as a back-up in case there are any technology issues. If privacy is a concern in your home, here are a few suggestions:  If you live with others, ask them to not disturb you. You may wish to use headphones or earbuds so that your therapist’s voice is only heard by you, place a fan or noise maker next to your door, or find a private area like outside or in a car.

UCS strives to help students successfully make important transitions, such as: starting college; living away from home for the first time; transferring from another school to DePaul; returning to college after a time away from school; adjusting after a major life event or trauma (e.g., international travel or new cultural experience, parental divorce, illness or death; an assault or accident), and preparing to move from college to the work force. UCS also provides consultation, assessment and referral, and conducts a wide variety of workshops for the DePaul community. 

Clients include a diverse population of students of varying ages and social identities, who present with a wide variety of situations and concerns, including:

  • test anxiety
  • depression
  • self-esteem
  • motivational problems
  • eating concerns
  • relationship issues
  • body image
  • sexual identity
  • family concerns
  • racial trauma
  • social confidence
  • couple concerns

Please encourage students to contact UCS at our main number: 773 325-7779. Front desk staff can answer general questions for students and can arrange an initial consultation appointment over the phone. Staff and faculty members are also welcome to call our main number with questions about our services or if needing to consult about a student of concern.

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