What kind of services does UMSL Counseling Services provide?

Counseling Services provides a number of services to the UMSL community including individual, couples and group counseling, educational workshops, outreach programming and crisis services for mental health emergencies. When appropriate, referrals to outside psychiatric and counseling resources are provided.

How do I make an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment by calling Counseling Services at: (314) 516-5711 or by stopping by our office, which is located in MSC 131 on the ground floor of the Millennium Student Center on North Campus.

What is your contact information?

UMSL Counseling Services

1 University Blvd. (131 MSC),

St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

Telephone: (314) 516-5711

Fax: (314) 516-5988

What are your hours of operation?

Monday through Friday: 8:00-5:00 pm. CLOSED on Saturdays and Sundays.  We are open extended weekday hours during especially busy times of the semester, such as the first two weeks of classes.        

How much do your services cost?

Initial intake appointments are always free of charge. Subsequent counseling sessions cost $10 per session. If you are experiencing a financial hardship that impacts your ability to pay, please discuss this with your counselor as a reduced fee may be possible. 

What is counseling? 

Personal counseling is a helping process that takes place between a client and a professional counselor. In an atmosphere of acceptance, clients develop trust in a counselor as a person who is there to promote growth and self-direction. A counselor does not tell a client how to live their own life. It is through a sharing of ideas in a caring, respectful relationship that clients can make important decisions in their lives. The counselor's role is to help clients examine their lives by talking about themselves and their experiences. In this way, both client and counselor can gain a clear understanding of the client’s strengths and life difficulties. The counseling relationship can help a person build on their strengths and address problems constructively. The counseling process is confidential. What is discussed between client and counselor is private, and cannot be disclosed to parents, faculty, etc., without the client’s written permission, except in the case of certain emergency situations (See Privacy Policy for more information on confidentiality.)

What can I expect during my first visit/intake appointment?

When you arrive, you will check in with Counseling Services support staff. Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to complete paperwork (You may also download and complete all the paperwork under the Forms tab above). Once your intake appointment starts, you will have the chance to discuss the concerns that brought you to counseling. Your counselor will save some time at the end of the appointment to discuss recommendations based on your specific needs. Together, you and your counselor will explore your goals for counseling and decide the best course of action. One purpose of the first session is to help match the client with the type of assistance that best fits their needs. For some clients, one session is sufficient to address their concerns satisfactorily. In other cases, you and your counselor will work together to plan options for additional assistance. These options may include continued individual therapy (which may be with the intake counselor or with another provider at Counseling Services), and/or referrals to outside providers when appropriate. Because the services we provide are primarily short-term in nature, we generally help arrange outside referrals for those clients who are in need of longer-term counseling. If you’d like to know more, please check out our brochure, “What Should Clients Expect in Counseling?

What kinds of things do people talk about?

Some common topics of discussion include (but are not limited to): Depression/low mood, Anxiety/stress, Relationship concerns, Grief/loss, Identity related concerns, Academic concerns, Trauma, Food/eating related concerns; Alcohol/substance abuse, Adjustment to college, Lack of motivation/energy, Low self-esteem/self-worth, Family of origin concerns; Difficulty engaging/communicating with others

Will my conversations with my counselor be kept private?

Information that you share with your counselor is protected by privacy laws and is legally and ethically considered confidential. Your attendance in counseling and information you share will not be disclosed to anyone outside of UMSL Health, Wellness and Counseling Services without your expressed written permission. Counseling Services will not provide any information, including whether or not you are a client, to your family, friends, coaches or any other university office without your expressed written permission. All Counseling Services records are securely kept and are not part of your UMSL student record.  Counseling Services counselors are not mandated Title IX reporters. 

There are important exceptions to confidentiality based on Missouri law. Counseling Services counselors are legally and ethically obligated to intervene if it is determined that you are an immediate and serious danger to yourself or others. Counselors are required to take necessary steps to keep you safe and/or to warn anyone that you plan to harm. We are also required to report instances of suspected or ongoing child abuse and elder abuse and may be compelled to provide confidential information if court-ordered to do so.  

If you have specific concerns or questions about confidentiality, feel free to contact Counseling Services to obtain more information. You may also discuss your questions or concerns with your counselor when you come for your initial appointment or in any subsequent sessions. 

Are there limits to the services you provide?

Counseling Services provides high quality short-term counseling to UMSL students. Sometimes a student’s mental health needs require more intensive or specialized services than we are able to provide in a short-term facility. In these instances, CS staff will collaborate with students to determine appropriate mental health treatment resources in the community. Students who receive services at CS are limited to 10 counseling sessions per academic year.  

Can I get a letter from your office?

If you have been seen at Counseling Services and have established ongoing and regular contact with a counselor to address your mental health concerns, your counselor may be able to write a letter in support of the accommodations you desire. This includes documentation for potential learning related accommodations for which you may be eligible, appeals for financial aid reinstatement and documentation for professors or academic departments. Please call your counselor to discuss your request. Keep in mind that the entity to which you submit the letter will make the ultimate decision in what options they may or may not offer to you.  

If you are contacting Counseling Services for the first time, we will discuss potential referral to UMSL Student Affairs or to the Dean of your college for assistance; In their conversation with you they can determine what options are available. Counseling Services staff cannot provide a letter verifying your struggles when you have not established a relationship with our office and/or when we have not had contact with you. 

Is your office accessible?

All buildings on the University of Missouri - St. Louis campus are architecturally accessible. They contain elevators and an accessible entrance for students with mobility impairments as well as for wheelchairs.