The University Counseling Service (UCS) is The University of Iowa’s primary mental health service provider for university students. The UCS supports the Division of Student Life mission for student success by providing support and mental health services to the University of Iowa campus community.

The scope of UCS service entails three primary areas: Clinical and Case Management Services, Outreach and Consultation Services, and Training and Supervision Services.

Clinical and Case Management Services

The UCS implements an interdisciplinary approach to provide mental health services to currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, professional, post-doctoral, and non-degree seeking students at the University of Iowa. For more information regarding students’ eligibility for services see our clinical eligibility FAQ. Our staff is comprised of psychologists, social workers, and graduate level trainees (most commonly doctoral-level practicum students from University of Iowa’s Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology programs, doctoral-level psychology interns, and School of Social Work advanced practicum trainees). We also offer services through our embedded clinicians in the College of Dentistry, Residence Education, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.  

Typically, a student’s first contact with the UCS is with a consultant who will collaboratively determine how to best meet the student’s needs. Common outcomes of this consultation are a referral to group therapy at the UCS, being assigned an individual counselor at the UCS, or being referred to a resource on campus or to a community provider who can best meet the student’s needs. Additionally, the UCS offers same-day 30-minute brief problem solving/crisis management appointments.

The UCS operates within a brief therapy model. This means that a student and their assigned individual therapy counselor will focus on resolving clearly identified goals. The UCS does not have a formal session limit for individual therapy; instead, the number of sessions is determined by the need of the student. Typically, a student will meet with their counselor once a week for approximately 50-minutes. In cases where a student may require more intensive, longer-term or ongoing individual therapy, a referral for UCS Case Management Services may be initiated. Another option for longer term support may include participation in one of our many groups. UCS offers psychoeducational group, support groups, and general therapy groups. Students are permitted to persist in groups for as long as they find the treatment useful. To find out more specifics about the group’s options available at UCS please click here

The UCS offers support to students wanting to make changes in their alcohol and drug use through risk reduction counseling and support of total abstinence. The alcohol and other drug (AOD) and recovery support services at the UCS are client-centered and promote student success, but are not intended to meet legal or disciplinary mandates. These services are not offered in the form of substance abuse treatment, however, case management services can assist students seeking treatment for substance use disorders. More information about the drop-in, confidential support group for those wanting to make or maintain a change in their substance use can be found here

Referrals to case management services may occur when one has special requirements for care, is ineligible for our services, or other reasons. A UCS counselor or consultant may recommend a client meet with our Clinical Case Manager. Case management services help clients identify appropriate services and agencies available on campus and within the Iowa City community. A Case Manager can offer assistance with finding the best fit referral, discuss insurance coverage benefits, offer support and guidance, assist in scheduling an appointment with a community provider, and follow-up to make sure the referral was successful.

To learn more about all of the services UCS offers click here.

Outreach and Consultation Service

The UCS designs and implements presentations, programs, and workshops on a wide variety of psychology topics. UCS staff members are also trained as consultants to work with students or student groups to identify and work toward more effective personal, interpersonal, and organizational/group functioning. Individuals interested in outreach or consultation services can call to request a consultation or program today. To learn more about our outreach services click here.

Training and Supervision Services

The University of Iowa is a nationally and internationally recognized academic and research institution. The UCS proudly supports the academic mission of the University of Iowa through one of the oldest American Psychological Association accredited Doctoral Internships in the nation.  Additionally, the UCS provides its Practicum Training Program for the Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and School of Social Work programs. To qualify for practicum, a student must be enrolled in a University of Iowa doctoral degree program in counseling psychology or clinical psychology or pursuing their master’s degree in social work while also enrolled in a practicum course within his or her academic department. To learn more about our training program click here