The Student Counseling Center offers a full range of counseling services at no charge to all UT students who meet eligibility requirements.
Why do students seek counseling services?
Student Counseling Center services are a confidential process designed to help you address your concerns, make better decisions, learn effective coping strategies, improve your personal skills and acquire a better awareness of your thoughts, feelings and actions. While in counseling, you may also examine beliefs and ways of thinking about the world, reflect on patterns of behavior, increase personal confidence, and become more aware of the needs of others. Most students find only a few sessions are needed to address their concerns. If longer term counseling is needed, your therapist will discuss this with you.
Staff members provide a variety of services for students, faculty and staff. Presenting problems range from mild situational stress to acute psychiatric conditions and chronic dysfunctions. Clinical services are provided on a time-limited basis with a 12 session limit per academic year for individual and couples services, depending upon the student need, time of semester and expertise of available clinicians. We also facilitate access and coordinate care with community providers, specialists and other treatment modalities to support clinical care.
- Brief Consultation Sessions to Get Started
- Individual, couples and group counseling and psychotherapy
- Crisis Services
- Psychiatric Services
- Psychoeducational workshops and consultation
- Self-Help Services
- Referrals to on- and off-campus mental health services
Accessing any of our services begins with brief consultation (or “triage”) session with a therapist to help you get started and/or figure out which services are most suitable. Please review this sheet prior to contacting us or coming by the Center, so that we can arrange the appropriate type of service and appointment. A brief consultation can be set up by stopping by our office during regular office hours or calling at 865-974-2196. The first visit is typically about 20 minutes but students must complete some background and registration paperwork beforehand, so please be sure to arrive at least 20 minutes early. If you need a parking pass, you’ll want to allow time for that as well.
Once you arrive at the Student Counseling Center, check in with the reception staff. You will be asked to complete our initial paperwork (this takes most folks about 20 minutes). After you have completed the paperwork, you will see a therapist. He or she will meet with you to address any immediate concerns and discuss with you how Student Counseling can assist you going forward. This may be group, individual, or couples therapy, or other services which may be beneficial. The triage therapist may recommend additional services such as psychiatric services, a workshop, biofeedback, or other services on campus or in the community. No problem is too big or too small; we are here to help you get started and look forward to serving you!
In individual counseling, students can work with a therapist to explore their concerns and work to better understand and resolve their difficulties.
If you are referred for individual counseling, here’s what to expect: In your first meeting with your assigned therapist, you will have a chance to talk with them about your concerns and they will help you to identify 1-2 goals that you would like to work on in therapy and will collaborate with you to help you get the most out of your therapy experience. Individual counseling sessions typically last about 45 minutes and usually meet once per week.
The UT Student Counseling Center provides counseling to couples where at least one partner is a UT student who meets eligibility requirements. Couples can be dating long-term, short-term, lifetime-committed, or engaged. We provide counseling services to same-sex and heterosexual couples.
If you seek couples counseling, both partners will need to attend the initial walk-in session and both will need to complete the initial paperwork.
After the walk-in session, here’s what to expect: if we are not able to schedule you immediately, you will be notified by e-mail that your first appointment with your assigned therapist has been scheduled. You will need to call the Student Counseling Center (865-974-2196) to confirm this appointment. In your first meeting with your assigned therapist, you will have a chance to talk with them about your concerns and they will help you to identify 1-2 goals that you would like to work on in therapy and will collaborate with you to help you get the most out of your therapy experience. Couples counseling sessions typically last about 45 minutes, meet once per week, and are usually take place with both partners in the room together. There are times where each partner might meet individually with the therapist, especially at the start of the therapy experience.
In group therapy, a small number of students (usually about 8) meet weekly with one or two group therapists. Groups are often the best way for people to receive counseling services. In groups, members have the opportunity to share concerns and listen to each other, give and receive feedback, offer support to one another, express feelings, and learn more about how they interact with others.
If you are referred for group counseling, here’s what to expect: a staff member who is leading the group you’ve been referred to will contact you to schedule a group intake. A group intake is a meeting where you will meet with one or both of the group leaders and have a chance to get to know them and learn more about the group opportunity. They will help you identify 1-2 goals that you would like to work on in and will answer any questions you might have related to the group. After that, they will confirm your first group appointment. Group counseling sessions typically meet for about 90 minutes and usually meet once per week.
If you are in a crisis or have an urgent need to be seen, just call us or come by the Center during regular office hours. It’s helpful to review this sheet so that we can arrange the appropriate service or appointment.
Here are some common reasons why a student might seek our Crisis Management services:
- If you are not feeling safe
- If someone close to you has died recently
- If you have a difficult decision to make in the next 2 – 3 days
- If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 72 hours
- You have not slept in several days
For daytime or after hours mental health emergencies, clink here.
Referrals to on-campus or off-campus services
Staff members at the Student Counseling Center are knowledgeable about resources available to students both on-campus and within the community. If we are not able to meet your needs or if you just would rather see someone outside of the Student Counseling Center, we can help by making an appropriate referral.