Scope of Services
The University Counseling and Testing Center (UCTC) takes a goal-focused and collaborative approach to mental health services with our students and campus community. We strive to empower USA students to learn the skills they need to address and manage their mental health concerns so that they can succeed personally and academically during their time at USA and beyond. We also strive to educate the campus community about the psychological and developmental needs of USA students through community-level interventions, including outreach programming and consultation.
On average, students who visit UCTC attend 3-5 counseling sessions per year, although this differs from student to student. While there is no strict number to session limits, our clinicians must operate from a goal-focused model in order to provide services to as many students as possible.
During a first session, called the initial consultation, the student and counselor will discuss presenting concerns and develop a plan for services to be utilized. It is very likely that this plan will include either individual counseling, group counseling, referral to other campus resources, referral to a community provider or self-help resources. If the plan for services includes individual counseling, the student will be assigned a specific counselor and scheduled for an intake session with that clinician. Together, the student and clinician will work to develop a treatment plan which includes specific goals for counseling. The actual treatment plan will differ from student to student. It is common for our providers to see students every 2 weeks once counseling work has been established in order to encourage them to practice skills in between sessions and to become more autonomous as they navigate the USA environment. Please feel free to explore our website to learn more about our Center's services.
Scope of Services
Although there are no session limits, we are mindful of the types of concerns we are equipped to help with in our center, which is referred to as our “scope of services.” Generally, UCTC offers individual mental health services for USA students to help with a wide-range of mental health concerns; however, there are situations (concerns that are outside of our scope of practice) where a referral to a community provider will be in the best interest of the student. This is when we help connect students to other sources of care, often by helping identify providers that they would be interested in seeing, and offering assistance in how to make those connections. In general, examples of concerns that are outside of our scope of practice include the following:
- Students who require at least weekly or more than weekly services for an extended period of time
- Students who require frequent utilization of crisis intervention
- Students who present a chronic, ongoing risk of harm to self or others, and whose symptoms do not respond to outpatient crisis intervention or require specialized services. This includes students with a history of multiple hospitalizations, chronic suicidality, homicidality, and/or a history of repeated suicide attempts
- Students presenting with a concern or disorder that requires expertise or resources not sufficiently available in our center. Examples could include: court ordered/mandated assessments and treatment, forensic assessments, and intensive treatment for eating disorders
- Students who are noncompliant with treatment as defined by excessive no shows, repeated stops and starts to counseling and/or repeated requests to change providers
- Students who attend counseling but fail to follow the treatment plan, fail to make any progress, or are unwilling to set goals for treatment
- Students who engage in inappropriate, harassing, menacing, threatening, or violent behavior towards staff
Urgent Care & Crisis Stabilization
All students enrolled at USA are eligible for urgent care and crisis stabilization services. In situations where you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else, please contact the University Counseling and Testing Center during our normal office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) at (251) 460-7051. During non-business hours, contact the University Police at (251) 460-6312 and they will notify the on-call counselor as appropriate.
Out of State/Country Students
Due to state-to-state licensing laws, UCTC counselors are unable to provide tele-mental health counseling to students residing in other states and countries.
If you reside in a state or country outside of the state of Alabama, we can help you connect to resources within your community. UCTC is able to provide a brief case management appointment via phone, Zoom, or in-person to provide guidance in seeking services in your area.