Letter to the Editor: Counseling Center Clarifications

Everett Malcolm, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Spinnaker Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a recent article about the Counseling Center regulating the number of times a student receives individual counseling per semester.  Since student success and wellness is a top priority for President Szymanski and the UNF Board of Trustees we wanted to make sure you had all the facts.

  • Due to the increase in the number of students seeking treatment, the Counseling Center therapists have been asked to design individual therapy treatment plans for student around six sessions of per semester, which is comparable to other SUS Counseling Centers (UF, FSU and FGCU).
  • Each therapist has the latitude to see any client for up to two more individual sessions per semester.  That means students who clearly need it, can get eight individual sessions per semester, or 24 sessions per year.
  • If the Counseling Center therapist believes a student needs more individual sessions, he/she simply provides the Counseling Center director with a justification for why the student is within the scope of practice of the center and/or it is clinically more appropriate that the additional individual sessions be provided at UNF rather than through referral to a community provider or by switching the student to a group therapy.
  • There are never any restrictions to any psychiatric appointments.
  • When appropriate, therapists encourage students to take advantage of several different group therapy options to supplement their individual therapy or as a primary mode of treatment. Groups meet on a weekly basis throughout the semester.
  • Any student can be seen for a crisis appointment at any time the center is open (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  The center is located in Building 2, room 2300.  During off hours, (nights, weekends, holidays, and when the University is closed) students can call the Counseling Center and will be put into immediate contact with a therapist.  Students can call (904) 620-2602 and pick option 2.
  • Student usage has increased over the past decade, making it critical that the Counseling Center utilize procedures to serve as many students as possible.  In addition, this process is considered a best practice, according the International Association of Counseling Services, which is the accrediting body over UNF’s Counseling Center.

Every college campus in American is facing this mental health crisis, and UNF is no different.  Please know that President Szymanski has made prevention and treatment a top priority.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].