Scope of Care
Services are provided on the MUW campus and designed to assist students with various concerns and enhance their ability to be more effective and successful. The Counseling Center provides short-term individual, group and couple counseling for all currently enrolled Mississippi University for Women students by licensed mental health professionals and supervised graduate student trainees. Students who complete classes spring semester and are registered for classes the following fall semester, are considered enrolled students during the intervening summer in terms of eligibility for counseling services.
A short-term model of therapy is utilized in order to maximize the center resources more effectively. However, individual counseling may address long-standing mental health problems, issues of long-term personal growth, or explore ways that past experiences impact present functioning. The length and type of individual counseling depends on nature of clients’ concerns and goal for counseling. The student and the counselor decide the number of counseling sessions necessary or available in any given semester based on the nature of the student’s presenting concerns and the availability of counseling resources. Students may be seen weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or in other mutually agreed upon patterns.
Issues that are commonly addressed in short-term counseling at the Counseling Center are:
- Personal Issues: anxiety, depression, loneliness, grief, body image, low self-esteem, anger
- Relationship Issues: partners, roommates, family, sexual concerns
- Developmental Issues: adjustment, transitions, identity issues, sexual orientation/gender issues
- Academic Concerns: motivation, anxiety, perfectionism, underachievement
- Career assessment and exploration
- Other Issues: trauma, assault, spiritual concerns, healthy lifestyle choices
Depending on the presenting concern, a student may be encouraged to participate in individual, couples, or group counseling, a workshop or support group, read educational materials related to the concerns presented, or be referred to other available university and community resources.
Counseling Center services include:
- Referral Services.
- Short-term individual, couples and group counseling.
- Counseling for students struggling with various issues and concerns many students experience including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, loneliness, identity concerns, alcohol/ other drug abuse, eating concerns, stress management, relationships concerns, family stress, loss, relapse prevention, sexual orientation, homesickness, college related transitions and developmental issues, personal growth, spirituality, and improving academic performance.
- Counseling to assist students with chronic or on-going mental health concerns (bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and/or depression) on time-limited focused goals or during acute crisis.
- Helping students develop skills necessary for academic success, such as strengthening coping skills, stress management, self-motivational skills, self-discipline, time management, and reducing performance related anxieties.
- Crisis intervention and urgent risk assessment.
- Providing mental health consultation to providers, staff/faculty, and family members.
- Provide distance counseling to students who live within the state of Mississippi.
In order to help build a healthy campus environment, the Counseling Center conducts multiple “out of office” services and programming to students, staff and faculty. Students, staff and faculty are informed about what constitutes good mental health, about the signs of mental health concerns, and what to do when concerning issues arise.
Additional counseling activities include but are not limited to the following:
- Psycho-educational and support groups
- Workshops on various topics
- Outreach, tabling, facilitating and supporting campus events
- Mental health prevention/promotion activities
- Mental health-related presentations and trainings to student groups, faculty and staff
If referral causes a barrier or hardship to students, we will work within our means to help the student. The following are some issues that will be referred out to appropriate off-campus providers or services; however, if referral causes a barrier or hardship to students, we will work within our means to help the student:
- Indication that short-term counseling is not working well for the client.
- Substance dependence and addiction issues requiring primary treatment whether in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
- Active symptoms of psychosis at risk for progressive deterioration.
- Court mandated or attorney directed treatment to satisfy a legal requirement such as mandated substance abuse treatment, alcohol education, etc. In the event that students receive services from the Counseling Center only dates of session attendance will be reported externally, if the student grants permission for such disclosure. This information will be provided directly to the student.
- Learning disability or ADHD.
- Severe and persistent mental illness, medication management.
- A long-standing or untreated eating disorder with medical safety risks
- Forensic evaluation, custody evaluation or fitness for employment
- Students whose needs fall outside the clinical expertise of the Counseling Center staff
Limits to Service
A student whose counseling needs are beyond the Counseling Center’s Scope of Care is not eligible for ongoing counseling. Counselors are available to assist these students in accessing appropriate resources, provide referral information, and assistance during a crisis and/or urgent situation. The following are limits of the Counseling Center services:
- Long-Term Counseling/Long-Term Case Management: The Counseling Center does not provide long-term counseling and/or long-term case management.
- Assessments for Employment, Academic Programs, Volunteer Placements, Fitness for Duty Evaluations, and Related Purposes: Counselors do not make recommendations or predictions regarding student suitability for an academic program, employment in various work settings (e.g. Peace Corps, Federal Government, security clearances for the FBI, CIA, military), volunteer placements, and related purposes.
- Evaluations for Emotional Support Animals, Service Dogs, Disability Determination, and External Reporting of DSM Diagnosis: Counselors do not conduct assessments or evaluations for these purposes. Counselors do not make a DSM diagnoses for external reporting purposes.
- Substance Use Disorder Treatment: The Counseling Center does not provide Substance Use Disorder Treatment. If a student has a substance abuse concern or disorder, counselors are available to: a) meet with the student to provide support; b) conduct a safety assessment if necessary; c) determine if the student’s counseling needs can be adequately addressed by receiving counseling at the Counseling Center; and d) refer the student to other resources if the student’s counseling needs are beyond what can be provided by the Counseling Center.