Eligibility for Services
All students currently registered for classes at Texas Tech University will be eligible for services at the Student Counseling Center (SCC). Although staff and faculty are encouraged to use the SCC for consultation about student difficulties, counseling services for staff and faculty are provided by the Employee Assistance Program.
It is possible that some students will require services not offered by the SCC. The staff of the Center is knowledgeable about many services offered on and off campus. Counselors can help students find the most appropriate source of help and facilitate the referral process.
Students enrolled for Fall or Spring Semester are eligible for SCC services starting approximately one week prior to the start of classes; service eligibility extends until the start of classes for the following academic period (this includes students who graduate at the end of a semester). Students enrolled for either Summer I or Summer II semesters are eligible for SCC services starting approximately one week prior to the start of Summer I classes; service eligibility extends until the start of Fall Semester classes. If a student withdraws from classes mid-semester, eligibility for services ends at the date of withdrawal (although services to facilitate a referral may continue as needed).
Purpose and Nature of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapists help individuals with mental or emotional difficulties such as depression or anxiety, interpersonal or family problems, adjustment difficulties, grief and loss, and a number of other issues. Psychotherapy is intended to help the individual reach a better understanding of specific problems and, at times, work toward resolution of this problem, symptom relief, or improvement in day to day functioning. It is a joint effort between the therapist and client to alleviate the problem. Progress depends on many factors such as the complexity and duration of the problem, the skill of the therapist, the motivation of the client, and other life circumstances. While results cannot be guaranteed, most clients find that they benefit from psychotherapy.
As with any treatment, there are some risks that may come along with potential benefits. Therapy can result in some individual change and unleash strong feelings. There is a risk that clients will, for a time, have uncomfortable levels of sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings. Clients may recall unpleasant memories that may be bothersome. You should be aware of the possibility for strain in significant relationships that may occur during therapy. Sometimes, it is possible for a client's problem to worsen immediately after beginning therapy. However, most of these risks are to be expected when people are making important changes in their lives.
Due to the high volume of students that are seen in the SCC, individual therapy is provided on a time-limited basis. Students are alotted a maximum of 6 individual sessions per semester- with a maximum of 12 sessions per academic year-(Summer I and II are considered one semester) should they be found appropriate for our services during the Walk-In Clinic Intake. Other services provided by the SCC have an unlimited amount of usage (i.e. group therapy, couples counseling, outreach services, and mind/body lab).
Scope of Care
The Student Counseling Center provides short term counseling and consultation to students who are experiencing emotional and psychological problems that are interfering with their ability to be successful in school and with their individual personal development. Our purpose is not to provide intense treatment for severe, chronic, or long-term mental illness or mental health problems.
Cancellation and No-Show Policy
Because of the high volume of students we serve, we ask that cancellations be made at least 24 hours in advance of a scheduled appointment. This will allow us to schedule another student in this appointment time. If a student misses a scheduled appointment without calling to cancel and does not contact the SCC within 24 hours following the missed appointment, the same appointment time and/or counselor may no longer be available.
Information shared by you in a counseling session, or through testing, and your attendance at the SCC will be kept in strict confidence. The SCC staff operates as a team in order to provide the best possible services to clients. As professionals we confer with each other within the agency. These consultations are for professional and/or training purposes only. Information will not be disclosed outside of the SCC without your written permission, with the exception of the following:
- Abuse of Children, Elderly, or Disabled Persons. If a staff member has reason to believe that a child under the age of 18, an elderly person, or a disabled person is being abused or neglected, s/he is legally obligated to report this situation to the appropriate state agency.
- Imminent Harm to Self. If a staff member has reason to believe that you are in danger of physically harming yourself, and if you are unwilling or unable to follow treatment recommendations, s/he may have to make an involuntary referral to a hospital and/or contact a family member or another person who may be able to help protect you.
- Imminent Harm to Others. If a staff member has reason to believe that you are seriously threatening physical violence against another person, or if you have a history of physically violent behavior, and if s/he believes that you are an actual threat to the safety of another person, s/he may take action (such as contacting the police, notifying the other person, seeking involuntary hospitalization, or some combination of these actions) to ensure that the other person is protected.
- Reports of Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist.
Please Note: the exceptions to confidentiality are extremely rare. However, if they should occur it is the SCC policy that, whenever possible, we will discuss with you any action that is being considered. Legally we are not obligated to seek your permission, especially if such a discussion would prevent us from securing your safety or the safety of others. If disclosure of confidential information does become necessary, we will release only the information necessary to protect you and/or another person's physical safety.