Division of Student Affairs > Support Services > Counseling > Counseling FAQs

Counseling FAQs

Students wanting to learn more about counseling are invited to contact UCS  to set up a brief Initial Consultation appointment. Our front desk will assist you in scheduling an appointment for the earliest available time.

During the initial consultation 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. There is no fee for an initial consultation appointment.

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.

Students-at-large, non-degree seeking students and individuals enrolled in certificate programs may have an initial consultation with recommendations and referrals for off-campus services. 

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.

Fees

Students interested in individual, couple’s or group counseling are charged $5 per session.  Please note that these fees may be reduced in case of financial need.  Though minimal, we would not want these fees to be an obstacle to getting professional help or support.

Counseling Sessions Limitations

The exact number of sessions is decided by the counselor and the student in the spirit of UCS’ brief therapy framework.  The average number of sessions at UCS (as well as other college counseling centers is five sessions). 

Individual counseling sessions generally do not exceed 8 or 10 sessions per episode of care.  There is no limit on group counseling which is often the treatment modality of choice for the most common issues confronting college students (e.g., anxiety/stress, depression, relationship concerns, etc.).

 

Recognizing that some students may want or need longer term support, especially students who have already had a significant amount of counseling, our counselors will work with you to locate an off-campus referral if ongoing care would be helpful or necessary for your ongoing academic and personal success.

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

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.

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.

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. For more information about our current outreach programs, please click here.

Yes. We can provide couples counseling as long as one of you is a DePaul student. It does not matter which one of you is the student. If you are interested in couple's counseling, call us to set up an initial consultation.

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.

UCS employs a consulting psychiatrist who conducts psychiatric evaluations, medication consultations and medication management for students who are engaged in concurrent counseling at UCS. Psychiatric services are limited to students who meet UCS' criteria for brief therapy. If you need a referral for medication-only or longer term medication management, a UCS counselor can help you find a referral in the community.

Don't let the cost of counseling discourage you from seeking services you might need. The counseling we provide to DePaul students is affordable and there are professionals in the area who will provide services to students at a sliding scale. If you have concerns about cost, do not hesitate to discuss them with your counselor or contact UCS.

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.

Consistent with our Catholic and Vincentian mission and values, University Counseling Services (UCS) respects the dignity and confidentiality of all students from all backgrounds. Although our staff do not directly ask about legal or immigration status, students are more than welcome to raise it themselves. We recognize the life of undocumented and DACA students may be filled with unique stressors. These may include feelings of uncertainty and fears about the future, loneliness and isolation, depression, anxiety, relationship stress and concern about family members.  These pressures may be compounded by one’s legal status and societal opinions about immigration. UCS is staffed by counselors ready to support the emotional and mental wellness of our diverse student body.

Yes. To find out more about services for international students, please click here.

We provide individual, group, and couple’s counseling to all non-employee DePaul students enrolled in a degree program at last half-time, including undergraduate, graduate and law students.

No. Although, we do not provide counseling services to DePaul alumni, we can refer them to services in the Chicago area. If you are an alum who would like a referral, please give us a call.

Yes. If you need counseling, you may call us for a local referral, or you may explore the resources listed on this site.

Please encourage students to call UCS at 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 are also welcome to call UCS with questions about our services or if needing to consult about a student of concern.



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