Scope of Care

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) provides short-term, time-limited (five sessions with additional sessions at the discretion of the CPS faculty chair and/or designee(s) counseling services for full-time, matriculated, undergraduate students. Generally, students whose presenting issues would not be adequately addressed by this counseling modality or whose presenting issues would require more intensive or specialty services than offered by CPS will be referred to community agencies. In addition, since CPS is only open during Fall and Spring regular semesters, students who require continuity of services throughout winter and summer may also be referred for community services.  When CPS is unable to provide services, a list of referrals will be provided to students. 

NOTE: Graduate students seeking non-crisis related services are required to pay the per semester Health and Wellness Center fee.   

Students with the following concerns and characteristics will likely be able to be seen by CPS:

  • Presenting problems are situational or developmental
  • Student can identify specific difficulties and goals
  • Student possesses sufficient motivation for change
  • Student expresses a desire for symptomatic relief
  • Student can introspect, self-monitor, and experience feelings
  • Student shows ability to develop trust, be open, and relate to others
  • Student's prior treatment history indicates their presenting problems can be treated within a time-limited scope of care
  • If the student has had previous treatment, there has been a positive response and the student is able to verbalize this
  • Student exhibits evidence of previous coping ability
  • Student demonstrates the capacity for self-responsibility

Students with the following concerns and characteristics will likely need a different type or level of care than what is within the role and scope of CPS:

  • Student is likely to require frequent emergency intervention, crisis services, or extensive case management
  • Student has had multiple and/or recent psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Student has chronic and/or present self-destructive behaviors that are potentially life threatening
  • Student has alcohol and/or drug use that requires more intensive treatment than CPS provides
  • Student does not appear to benefit from counseling or appear motivated to change
  • Student has not clearly benefited from previous counseling services (based on self-report and/or previous treatment records)
  • Student is likely to require more than five sessions per semester on an ongoing basis
  • Student would not tolerate extended breaks from counseling (e.g., semester or summer break) and would benefit from continuity of care
  • Student is likely to require long-term treatment
  • Student has a longstanding or severe pathology (e.g., severe personality disorder symptoms, present or chronic psychosis, episodes of dissociation)
  • Student has chronic or multiple stressors that would impede short-term interventions
  • Student is unable/unwilling to actively participate in counseling
  • Student requires expertise/resources unavailable in CPS, for example treatment for severe eating disorders or substance abuse problems.
  • Student has a history of non-compliance with treatment recommendations, including inconsistent attendance at appointments
  • Student is mandated to receive mental health treatment
  • Student exhibits behavior that CPS staff/faculty perceive as threatening/inappropriate and which may compromise the safety and well-being of CPS staff/faculty
  • Student who is already engaged in counseling with a local community provider

When a CPS faculty counselor is in doubt about whether or not to offer services to a student based on the above criteria, they may schedule the student for an extended assessment session.  When the appropriate disposition for a student is unclear, the counselor will review the case with the CPS Chairperson and/or with the Department.  In some instances, the counselor may decide that a referral to community resources may be in the best interest of the student.   

The above criteria pertain to the determination of appropriateness for ongoing counseling and psychiatric services through CPS. All KU students, whether or not they meet criteria for ongoing services through CPS, are eligible for assessment/referral and crisis intervention services.