Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) Group Counseling provides individual and group counseling

Scope of Services

Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) provides brief, time-limited, and goal-oriented counseling and psychiatric services to the Auburn University student community. Services may include individual therapy (i.e., 1-10 biweekly sessions), group therapy (no session limits), workshops, drop-in groups, and psychiatric services. SCPS is also able to provide Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and an Executive Function Screening (EFS) services. Currently enrolled Auburn University undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for an initial appointment with SCPS to help determine the best treatment options, whether it be at SCPS or a community provider. Students whose needs are beyond the scope of a brief treatment model will receive assistance from SCPS in locating services within the community. Typically, client issues of mild to moderate function of impairment are most appropriate for and respond best to a brief treatment model. Issues and concerns that typically do not fit within this model of treatment are those that require more than weekly sessions, tend to worsen in short-term counseling, required long-term treatment prior to coming to SCPS, or require an expertise not found among SCPS staff.

Animals in Student Counseling & Psychological Services

In order to make Student Counseling & Psychological Services accessible and reasonably comfortable for all students, SCPS limits the presence of animals inside the building. Only service dogs and SCPS’s therapy dogs are currently approved to work at the SCPS. Emotional support animals are not permitted at SCPS offices on the second floor of the Auburn University Medical Clinic nor the SCPS satellite office in the basement of Haley Center, Room 0356. Individuals who wish to have an emotional support animal accompany them during therapy will be referred to an appropriate community provider.

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Individual Counseling

Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) utilizes a brief individual counseling treatment model as described in the Scope of Services statement above. Depending on a student’s presenting issue(s), SCPS may offer enrolled Auburn University students between 1-10 individual counseling sessions per academic year. These individual counseling sessions usually occur on a bi-weekly basis. In rare circumstances, the SCPS Case Review Team will consider extending the number of individual sessions if it is clinically-indicated. The client and counselor will discuss this if it is appropriate. Auburn University students who are academically suspended may be able to access services as part of their comprehensive plan to return to the university. Individual counseling provides an opportunity to explore student concerns on a one-to-one basis within the context of a confidential relationship. The SCPS counseling model attempts to empower students with the resources needed to make positive changes in their life. The counselor and client work together to discuss and define personal issues and reach mutually agreed upon treatment goals. Issues may include:

  • Significant changes in mood
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Relationship issues (break-ups, isolation or difficulty forming relationships, roommate conflicts, etc.)
  • Academic issues
  • Crisis intervention
  • Adjustment to college
  • Trauma related to oppression and violence
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Eating and body image concerns
  • Family issues (divorce, financial stressors, etc.)
  • Grief, trauma and loss
  • Suicidality
  • Anger management
  • Feelings of marginalization and helplessness
  • Spirituality issues
  • Psychosomatic issues (tension headaches, insomnia or excessive sleep, loss of appetite, etc.)
  • Sexuality and gender identity issues
  • Interpersonal violence and sexual assault

Group Counseling

Group counseling is one of many forms of treatment offered by Student Counseling & Psychological Services. Some groups are focused on special themes like stress management, eating concerns, or anger management, while some other are more general and focus on resolving a range of issues, such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems, and relationship problems. For many types of problems, group counseling is the treatment of choice. Groups provide the opportunity to observe others solving their problems. Groups provide the advantage of a network of support. Groups are especially helpful in learning to build trust, self-acceptance, intimacy, communication skills, and empathy.

Although groups may differ, they generally meet weekly for 60 to 90 minutes, and include 5 to 10 members, and one or more professionals who act as group facilitators.

Students may be referred to group counseling by their current counselor or psychologist, or may be referred directly to group after their initial intake appointment atStudent Counseling and Psychological Services. Remember, group counseling is not a second-choice intervention; rather, it offers the opportunity to learn unique skills and/or a special interpersonal dimension to counseling.

If you are interested in group counseling, contact Student Counseling & Psychological Services at 334-844-5123. If you would like to see a certain type of group offered, please speak with Dr. Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia, Group Coordinator.