Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule an appointment with Student Counseling & Psychological Services?

Appointments are required (except for emergencies) and can be made by calling 334.844.5123 or by stopping by in person at the Center. Business hours are 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Also see “Getting Started.

What is an intake appointment?

The initial intake paperwork takes about 15 minutes to complete. You can expect your intake counselor to spend approximately 30 minutes with you to assess your current situation, plan a course of action, and decide whether SCPS or a community referral would most benefit you. If it is not an emergency situation, your intake appointments can usually be scheduled within 7-10 days. During some times of the semester, the demand for services can exceed our staff and center resources, and you may have to wait longer.

When I call to schedule my intake appointment, how long does it typically take before I will see a counselor?

If it is not an emergency situation, your intake appointment can usually be scheduled within 7-10 days. During some times of the semester, the demand for services can exceed our staff and center resources, and you may have to wait longer. We know it is frustrating for our students to wait once they have made the decision to seek out counseling. It is frustrating for the SCPS staff too. We are professional helpers and do not like that students must wait when they are suffering or not performing at their highest levels. Please know that we are doing our best to assist students with a minimal wait time while maintaining the highest quality of mental health care.

What about emergencies?

For emergencies, SCPS senior clinical staff members are available during regular business hours and can be accessed by calling or stopping by SCPS. After business hours, during weekends, and holidays, an on-call counselor can be reached by calling 334.844.5123.

What is considered an emergency?

Examples of emergencies include: contemplating suicide, desire to harm someone else, recent sexual or physical assault, recent death of a loved one, having strange experiences such as hearing voices or seeing things that are not there, or recent discharge from a psychiatric hospital.

Where is SCPS is located?

SCPS is located on the 2nd floor of the Auburn University Medical Clinic at the corner of Lem Morrison Drive and Duncan Drive. There is also a satellite office located in the Haley Center Room 0356 (the basement of Haley Center) Campus Map

What about parking?

There is plenty. Clients may use the Auburn University Medical Clinic (AUMC) parking lot while they are being seen at SCPS. The Center is also on the Tiger Transit Central-East Campus route. Tiger Transit stops and picks up students at AUMC.

What types of services are offered by Student Counseling & Psychological Services?

The Center offers brief individual therapy and open-ended group counseling, consultation for faculty, staff, parents, and students, and educational and outreach programs to the campus community. Services are available throughout year.

What is meant by “brief” individual counseling?

During the intake appointment, a student’s needs are assessed. Follow-up sessions are scheduled as appropriate to help a student work through his or her problems. Students may be seen for between 1-10 biweekly individual therapy sessions per academic year. In very rare circumstances, the number of sessions may be extended if it is clinically-indicated. Students who want or need more than biweekly sessions or longer-term contact with a counselor are referred to off-campus resources. Students may use group counseling as an adjunct or primary form of treatment. Group sessions are only limited by the number of groups available and the number of times any group meets.

How much does it cost for counseling?

There are no charges for individual and group counseling appointments that you attend. Effective August 21, 2017, you will be charged a fee if you do not call at least 24-hours prior to your appointment to cancel an appointment. A fee of $50 will be billed to your Bursar’s account for late cancellations and missed individual and intake appointments;late cancellations and missed group therapy appointments incur a $25 fee; late cancellations and missed psychiatric evaluations incur a $200 fee; late cancellations and missed psychiatric medication check appointments incur a $75 fee. It will be billed to your student account as a “Student Support” fee.

What types of problems do students typically come to Student Counseling & Psychological Services with?

Students come to the Center with a wide range of problems. Many have issues related to their normal development such as identity or relationship issues. Others are dealing with more specific psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bereavement, substance abuse, or eating and body image issues. Some students are not sure what the problem might is but just know they are not functioning or feeling the way they normally do. They might notice having a harder time studying, eating or sleeping too little or too much, or otherwise just not meeting their day-to-day obligations. A counselor can help students sort out what is wrong in order to help get students back on track.

What is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a form of therapy that incorporates a trained animal into the therapeutic process. Student Counseling & Psychological Services offers AAT with our trained dogs, Moose and Nessie, who are trained to certification standards of Therapy Dogs International. Moose and Nessie are handled by appropriately trained Student Counseling & Psychological Services counselors. Participation in AAT may have many benefits, including improved motivation for treatment and improved social and emotional functioning. Learn more on our Animal Assisted Therapy page.

Can I bring my Emotional Support Animal to my appointment at Student Counseling & Psychological Services?

No. In order to make SCPS 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 SCPS. Individuals who wish to have an emotional support animal accompany them during therapy will be referred to an appropriate community provider.

How confidential is my contact with Student Counseling and Psychological Services?

Student Counseling and Psychological Services carefully adheres to professional standards of ethics and confidentiality. Visits to SCPS are strictly confidential. This means that communications between counselor and client are privileged and safe-guarded. Information is not released to anyone (parents, professors, employers, or authorities) without your written permission. In the state of Alabama, the confidential relations and communications between licensed psychologists and their clients are placed upon the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client.

What are the qualifications of the Student Counseling & Psychological Services staff?

Student Counseling & Psychological Services is committed to providing the highest quality of counseling and psychological services to its students. To that end, full-time licensed or license-eligible psychologists and counselors staff the Center. The Center also serves as a training site for Auburn University graduate students in mental health-related fields. The graduate clinicians-in-training are closely supervised by licensed or certified senior clinical staff.

What about medication?

Student Counseling & Psychological Services has two full-time psychiatrists who can provide medication consultation for students who are evaluated and referred by either a SCPS senior staff clinician, an AUMC medical provider, or an off-campus mental health professional. There are no fees for psychiatry services. SCPS also utilizes the Auburn University Medical Clinic providers and local physicians for medication referrals. If you are already on medication, and are in need of a refill or a local provider, then you may contact the Center for referral assistance. In addition, if the medication(s) you are currently taking is/are working for you and you do not have any complications, then you may also contact the Auburn University Medical Clinic (334.844.4416) for possible medication management.

Can a student use the Center while maintaining a relationship with a counselor or psychiatrist with whom the student may already be working with at home?

Yes, the Student Counseling & Psychological Services staff would probably want to consult with the home mental health service provider to assure continuity of care, but we encourage students to maintain those relationships as well as build relationships with an on-campus support system.

What if a parent, another student, or a faculty and staff member is concerned about a student?

Counselors are available to consult with during business hours if there is a concern about a student. Strategies for helping the student, and if appropriate, getting the student in to see a counselor can be discussed. Student Counseling & Psychological Services staff members do not generally contact students and ask them to come in or inquire about their mental health. It is our belief that counseling is most effective when it is voluntary. Students often perceive such calls as intrusive. If a situation exists in which a student is in imminent danger as a result of a psychological problem, then appropriate law enforcement or emergency medical personnel will be contacted.

Does Student Counseling & Psychological Services provide documentation for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)?

SCPS does not provide documentation for ESAs for students who present at SCPS with that request as their presenting issue. Only a forensic psychologist is qualified to determine whether an emotional support animal will help someone with a specific mental health disability. Given the insufficient evidence regarding the benefits of ESAs there are a limited number of providers who may be willing to write these letters. If you have insurance, then please contact them regarding details about referral and coverage.