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 (the university’s web-based information system). See question #2 to see how we address summer eligibility, if you’re not enrolled in summer classes. Services include: individual, couples/relationship, and group therapy; consultations; same-day Quick Access appointments; case management; and assistance with referrals. Individual and couples/relationship therapy is brief and goal-focused 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/relationship therapy, and rather you and your therapist determine when brief therapy is completed, typically within an average of 4-8 sessions. Group therapy at UCS 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 therapists may be unable to provide clinical services to students physically located/residing in states outside of Iowa due to state-to-state licensing laws for mental health professionals. Unfortunately, USC therapists 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 or post-doctoral fellow. Can I receive services at UCS?

Postdocs at UI are recognized in two classifications: FP01-Postdoctoral Research Scholars or FP02 Postdoctoral Research Fellows. Postdoctoral scholars (FP01) and fellows (FP02) are eligible for both UCS and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services, according to the Graduate College and HR benefits practices. Please see more information about postdoc benefits here, in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies.

When contacting UCS for services, we do confirm UCS eligibility status per MAUI (the university’s registration information system) for all students or postdocs, as we do not provide clinical services for staff, faculty, or community members not affiliated with the university. If you are not listed as a Scholar or Fellow in MAUI, please contact the Graduate College Postdoctoral Affairs office at 319-335-2136 or postdoc-office@uiowa.edu to confirm your status and benefits.

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 upcoming fall semester, then, yes, you are eligible for clinical services during the summer.

If you are an incoming first-year student, transfer student or incoming graduate or professional student who has come to campus early to engage in a formal and/or required university activity (e.g., university athletics, Marching Band, Iowa Edge, ESL training, Law School orientation, etc.) in the summer weeks just prior to your first fall semester, and are enrolled for Fall semester, you are also eligible for services in the summer during the time you’re participating in that official university activity. To schedule, you must be listed as Registered in MAUI (the university’s web-based information system) for that fall semester.

Otherwise, 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(s) is not an enrolled student at the University of Iowa and I am, can we still come for couples/relationship counseling?

All individuals who are part of a couple or relationship must be an enrolled student to participate in UCS clinical services. If this is not the case, you could contact our UCS Case Manager and ask for referrals to therapists in the area who provide couples/relationship therapy.

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 therapy or a follow-up meeting at UCS 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, per Iowa state law.

5. I want to participate in individual plus group or couples/relationship therapy. Can I receive more than one mode of therapy at a time at UCS?

Students can participate in only one mode of therapy at a time at UCS. Your therapist 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 therapy at UCS and have graduated or have otherwise separated from the University of Iowa. Can I continue to see my therapist?

You will remain eligible for services up to three therapy 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 therapist (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 therapy at UCS and have graduated or have otherwise separated from the University of Iowa. I believe I need therapy. Can I receive services from UCS?

No, but you can contact the UCS Case Manager and ask for referrals for therapy 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 therapy per academic year (June-May). Once the next academic year starts on June 1, you are eligible to receive another round of brief individual therapy. You may also be able to receive a round of brief individual therapy and a round of brief couples/relationship therapy (not concurrently) within the same academic year, if a UCS therapist/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/relationship therapy in the current academic year, you ARE also eligible for group therapy once your participation in individual or couples/relationship therapy 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 therapy or couples/relationship therapy referrals in the community.

9. I’m already in therapy at UCS and it has been determined that I need more sessions than is typical in a brief round of therapy. Can I continue with my therapist?

Most typically, if it is clinically indicated/recommended that you need more sessions, you and your therapist would work together to identify the most appropriate therapy or other mental health resources for you in the community or elsewhere on campus. 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 therapist may be able to extend individual therapy 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 therapist in the community for more open-ended, long-term counseling. Why? I thought I was “eligible” for service.

Brief therapy is not a good fit for all students who come to the UCS. Many students’ concerns can be addressed in a brief round of individual therapy, while for other students, a brief round of therapy would not sufficiently address their concerns. Some students’ needs require a higher level of care, or longer-term therapy, than we are able to provide at UCS. If you don’t have a full understanding of why you were referred outside of UCS, please contact your original consultant or the Director of Clinical Services to get further clarification.

11. Can staff and faculty receive services at UCS?

UCS only offers therapy services to the University of Iowa students. Staff and faculty can receive therapy and referral services at Faculty and Staff Services/Employee Assistance Program (EAP). To learn more about their services, please visit the EAP website, call (319) 335-2085, or email eaphelp@uiowa.edu 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.