Scope of Practice

The role of the UIW Behavioral Health Services is to provide mental health counseling and related services to help UIW students identify barriers to success, improve coping skills, and achieve personal goals. Our services are available to all eligible UIW students whose concerns fall within our scope of practice. 

As a university mental health service, the UIW Behavioral Health team is equipped to meet many of the unique needs presented by college students. Committed to delivering quality care, the professionals at UIW Behavioral Health provide a range of short-term mental health services to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Please see our description of services for details. 

As with other counseling centers across the country, requests for services have consistently increased over the last decade outpacing available resources. In response to the increased demand, we have worked hard to define our scope of practice and recognize that we simply cannot be all things to all people. Those students whose needs cannot be accommodated within our treatment model will be referred to resources within UIW and in the community for additional care. Such referrals might occur immediately following the initial consultation appointment, or they might occur after some treatment and a further assessment of your needs have taken place. 

Issues commonly addressed through individual or group counseling:

  • Academic-related issues such as struggles with motivation, perfectionism, interpersonal communication, self-discipline, test anxiety, imposter-syndrome, etc. 
  • Mood or self-esteem issues such as depression, anxiety, body image concerns, social anxiety, self-defeating behaviors, etc. 
  • Relationship issues such as struggles with conflict, break-ups, communication, assertiveness, family issues, etc. 
  • Adjustment concerns such as dealing with transitions, new life circumstances, adapting to a new culture, etc. 
  • Grief and loss 
  • Recent trauma, e.g., sexual assault, bullying, etc. 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Personality disorders 

Issues or needs usually addressed through referral (on case-by-case basis; sometimes with interim counseling or consultation while appropriate referrals are arranged):

  • Need or desire for more than once a week session (high acuity treatment) 
  • Family counseling 
  • Significant or chronic substance use/abuse that compromises therapy 
  • Significant or chronic disordered eating symptoms 
  • Sexual functioning/dysfunction 
  • Chronic pain management 
  • Chronic suicidality 
  • Psychotic symptoms without medical stabilization 
  • Severe and chronic self-injury 
  • Prior history of long-term therapy, multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, and/or frequent crisis management 

Other reasons why we may deny services and/or refer individuals to resources outside the Counseling Center include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of motivation or engagement in treatment, as evidenced by: 
    • Unwillingness to provide information sufficient for clinical assessment 
    • Inability to identify a treatment goal appropriate for brief therapy 
    • Inconsistent attendance 
    • Poor compliance or failure to comply with treatment recommendations 
  • Ongoing treatment relationship with another mental health provider 
  • Inappropriate, harassing, menacing, threatening, or violent behaviors