Clinical Eligibility FAQ
1. Who is eligible for clinical services at UCS?
Currently enrolled students are eligible for clinical services at UCS. “Current enrollment” is determined by your status in MAUI. See question #2 to see how we address summer eligibility, if you’re not enrolled in summer classes. Services include: individual, couples, and group counseling; consultations; case management; and assistance with referrals. Individual and couples counseling is brief in nature and students are eligible for one round per academic year (June-May). There are no specific session limits/maximums for individual or couples counseling, and rather you and your counselor determine when brief counseling is completed, typically within an average of 4-8 sessions. Group counseling is often longer-term in nature, with most students participating for at least one semester, if not more.
Students must be enrolled in main campus (Iowa City) classes to be eligible for UCS services. Students enrolled exclusively at satellite campuses or in online-only academic programs are not eligible and do not pay the Mental Health Fee. Such students can schedule a brief appointment with a UCS Clinical Case Manager if they would like assistance with referrals.
Regarding tele-mental health services: UCS counselors may be unable to provide clinical services to students physically located/residing in states outside of Iowa due to state-to-state licensing laws. Unfortunately, USC counselors are not able to provide counseling via telehealth to students physically located/residing in other countries. For students outside of Iowa, we may be able to offer guidance on finding services in your area. Please visit this page for more information.
I’m a post-doctoral scholar. Can I receive services at UCS?
Yes, as long as your status in MAUI is that of a “current student” with one of the following two codes: FP01-Postdoctoral Research Scholars or FP02 Postdoctoral Research Fellows. If you are not listed as a Scholar or Fellow in MAUI, please see the Program Coordinator in the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars, phone: (319) 335-2731.
2. It’s summertime and I’m not enrolled in classes. Can I receive clinical services at UCS?
If you completed the previous spring semester AND are enrolled or plan to enroll in the fall semester, then, yes, you are eligible for clinical services during the summer.
If you are an incoming first year student who has come to campus to engage in a formal university activity (e.g., university athletics, RA training, ESL training) prior to your first Fall semester and are unable to simultaneously take classes in the summer, but are actively enrolled for Fall semester, you are also eligible for services in the summer.
If you are an incoming first year student for Fall semester, you can contact UCS within 10 days of the first day of Fall semester classes and schedule an appointment on the first day of classes or later. To schedule, you must be listed as Registered in MAUI (the university’s web-based information system) for that Fall semester.
3. If my partner is not an enrolled student at UIowa and I am, can we still come for couples counseling?
No, but you could contact our UCS Case Manager and ask for referrals to clinicians in the area who provide couples counseling.
4. I’m not yet 18 years old or am a dependent adult. Can I receive services at UCS?
Any enrolled student can come to UCS for an initial appointment. If during that appointment it is determined that counseling or a follow-up meeting is indicated, we would need to get permission from a parent or guardian. Permission is granted when UCS receives a signed “Authorization to Provide Psychological Services” form from your parent or guardian. Once the authorization is on file, you are eligible for additional appointments. If you are married and under the age of 18, you do not need an authorization form.
5. I want to participate in individual plus group or couples counseling. Can I receive more than one mode of counseling at a time at UCS?
Students can participate in only one mode of counseling at a time at UCS. Your counselor or the UCS Case Manager would be happy to assist you in identifying additional resources in the community beyond the services you’re receiving at UCS.
6. I’m already in counseling at UCS and have graduated or have otherwise separated from UIowa. Can I continue to see my counselor?
You will remain eligible for services up to three counseling sessions, not exceeding 21 days, beyond your separation from the University as long as your separation is not the result of a student code of conduct matter. During that time frame, your counselor (or the UCS Case Manager) will assist you in wrapping up any remaining concerns and help you transition to a new therapist in the community, if you wish.
7. I’m not in counseling at UCS and have graduated or have otherwise separated from UIowa. I believe I need counseling. Can I receive services from UCS?
No, but you can call the UCS Case Manager and ask for referrals for counseling in the community.
8. I’ve already received a brief round of counseling at UCS. Can I sign up for another round of counseling?
Students are eligible for one round of brief individual counseling per academic year (June-May). Once the next academic year starts on June 1, you are eligible to receive another round of brief individual counseling. You may also be able to receive a round of brief individual counseling and a round of brief couples counseling (not concurrently) within the same academic year, if a UCS counselor/consultant helps you determine that this is most appropriate to meet your needs. However, even if you have completed a round of individual or couples counseling in the current academic year, you ARE also eligible for group counseling once your participation in individual or couples counseling has ended. Please review the group options on our website, and if you find one that interests you, you can call for a group screening with one of the group facilitators. You can also contact the UCS Case Manager for individual counseling or couples counseling referrals in the community.
9. I’m already in counseling at UCS and it has been determined that I need more sessions than is typical in a brief round of counseling. Can I continue with my counselor?
Most typically, if it was clinically indicated/recommended that you need more sessions, you and your counselor would work together to identify the most appropriate counseling or other mental health resources for you in the community. In certain circumstances (e.g., client has significant safety concerns or risk factors, it is clinically contraindicated to refer a client outside of UCS, referral to the community is significantly cost-prohibitive, or client is a member of a group unlikely to receive culturally sensitive or appropriate services elsewhere), the clinician may get approval from the Director for Clinical Services to extend individual counseling sessions beyond brief limits.
10. I have a personal history of mental health concerns and during my initial consultation I was referred out to a clinician in the community for more open-ended counseling. Why? I thought I was “eligible” for service.
Brief counseling is not a good fit for all students who come to the UCS. Many students’ concerns can be addressed in a brief round of counseling, while for other students, a brief round of counseling would not sufficiently address their concerns. Some students’ needs require a higher level of care than we are able to provide at our agency. If you don’t have a full understanding of why you were referred out, please contact your original consultant or the Director for Clinical Services to get further clarification.
11. Can staff and faculty receive services at UCS?
UCS only offers counseling services to UIowa students. Staff and faculty can receive counseling and referral services at Faculty and Staff Services/Employee Assistance Program. To learn more about their services, please visit their website, call (319) 335-2085, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Staff and Faculty are eligible for consultation conversations with UCS staff for concerns they have about students, or for scheduling UCS staff for programming services.