For Your Information

Scheduling

To schedule an appointment, use our online appointment scheduling program by going to the Patient Portal and selecting Appointment from the top menu. It may take some time to find an appointment that suits your schedule. If you need to be seen sooner, you also may email a Counseling Services staff member to discuss setting up an appointment. You may also add yourself to the Wait List on the Patient Portal and someone will contact you about setting up an appointment.  During your first session, you and your counselor will determine how to best meet your individual needs. Typically, we can schedule an appointment with a counselor in a timely manner. In the event of emergency or crisis, we will facilitate you seeing a counselor immediately.

Intake evaluation form and informed consent

Prior to your first counseling visit, you will be asked to complete a confidential client intake form, which gives us a better idea about your background, the reason for seeking counseling and any concerns that you may have. Completing this form will help our staff know more about you and your situation so that goals can be set to guide your sessions.

During your first session, the counselor will review with you the informed consent. This outlines the responsibilities and duties of both the counselor and the student. It will be placed in your confidential file.

Confidentiality

Counseling Services maintains records as regulated by the state of South Carolina Medical Health Code. Maintenance of records is in accordance with professional, legal and ethical guidelines. Other than authorized staff, no one has access to these unless students release them in writing. The records do not become part of academic files. Conversations with counselors, records and the results of psychological tests are considered strictly confidential. If a student wants any of this information shared with any person outside of Counseling Services, he/she must sign a release of information.

There are some exceptions to this policy. Counselors are legally bound to disclose information if there is a danger that a student may harm him/herself or another person. Counselors also are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect of children and the elderly. Records may have to be released if they are subpoenaed in a court of law. Please talk to the counselor if you have questions concerning confidentiality issues.

Email Policy

We welcome your interest and contact. We also value your privacy. Note that email is not an appropriate method for individual questions regarding personal and confidential issues. It may be used for requesting general information regarding services, resources or other campus information. If you choose to use email to communicate with your therapist please understand the limitations of doing so.  We encourage you to use the Secure Message feature on the Patient Portal to discuss information related to your treatment.  Neither email nor secure messaging should be used in emergency situations. In those situations, please come to the Wellness Center, call Campus Safety, or call 911.

Confidentiality is essential to the counseling process and cannot be assured with email. Email should not be used for urgent communication of any sort. If time is of particular concern for you, please call Counseling Services.

Making the most of your experience

  • Keep appointments. If you find you are unable to keep an appointment, we ask that you will please cancel at least 24 hours in advance. This allows other students the opportunity to schedule during that time.
  • Be prompt. If you are going to be late, please let us know so that your counselor can wait for you or reschedule if appropriate.
  • Be an active participant. Take an active part in deciding how you want to use the time. Give feedback to your counselor, and be honest with yourself and your counselor.
  • Discuss your needs. If you want to discontinue counseling, or you have other concerns, share this with your counselor instead of just dropping out.

Cost of services and eligibility

There is no charge for Counseling Services. Students with issues that may require long-term individual therapy will be referred to mental health professionals in the community. If you are referred off campus for psychological services, you will be responsible for any fees that you may incur. Your health insurance may cover these services.

Medical and psychiatric referrals

Medications are often useful in treating and managing symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions. In some circumstances, students may need follow-up visits and refills taken care of locally while in college. The Wellness Center staff can assist with referrals in the community or collaborate with on-campus medical staff.