​​​​Central Michigan University Counseling Center
Individual and Group Counseling Scope of Practice 

The Counseling Center provides time limited (i.e., short-term) individual and group counseling for all currently enrolled CMU students by licensed mental health professionals and supervised graduate student trainees. Students who complete classes spring semester and are registered for classes the following fall semester are also considered enrolled students. Services are provided on the Mt. Pleasant campus and designed to assist students with various concerns and enhance their ability to be more effective and successful.

To best meet the needs of as many students as possible given our resources, a time limited/short term counseling model has been established. The student and counselor will decide the number of counseling sessions necessary or available in any given semester based on the nature of the student’s presenting concerns and the availability of counseling resources. If there is not agreement the counselor may bring this situation to the center team at case consultation and / or the student may discuss this with the center director or designee. Students may be seen weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or in other mutually agreed upon patterns. No student will be turned away during a crisis situation. Those students who need longer term service may receive assistance in referrals to other university and community agencies.

Services Provided
Depending on the presenting concern, a student may be encouraged to participate in individual or group counseling, a workshop or support group, read educational materials related to the concerns presented or be referred to other available university and community resources. Counseling Center services include:
  1. Providing crisis intervention, safety assessment and consultation
  2. Assessing and/or providing counseling for such matters as: anxiety, depression, loneliness, identity concerns, alcohol/drug abuse, eating concerns, stress management, relationship concerns, family stress, loss, relapse prevention, sexual orientation, homesickness, college related transitions and developmental issues, personal growth and development, spirituality and improving academic performance. 
  3. Assisting students who have been diagnosed with one or more chronic condition(s) on time-limited focused goals or during an acute crisis. 
  4. Exploring career options, particularly assisting undecided students and students who are questioning choices they have already made. 
  5. Developing skills necessary for academic success, such as coping skills, stress management, motivational skills, study skills, time management, and reducing performance related anxieties (e.g., math, speech, and test). 
  6. Supporting students who are recovering from interpersonal violence (e.g., domestic violence, stalking, harassment, sexual assault). 
  7. Assessing and making referrals to other campus and community resources, particularly for students presenting concerns that are beyond the Center’s Scope of Practice. 
  8. Providing mental health consultation and outreach programs for students, parents, faculty and staff.
Limits to Service
A student whose counseling needs are beyond the Counseling Center’s Scope of Practice is not eligible for counseling services.
  1. Long Term Counseling / Case Management
    It is beyond the Counseling Center’s Scope of Practice to provide long-term intensive counseling and/or case management.
  2. Mandated Counseling
    The Counseling Center as a general practice does not provide counseling services or treatment to students mandated to see a counselor by the legal system or students encouraged to seek counseling or treatment by one’s attorney due to legal difficulties. In the event that such a student receives services from the Counseling Center only the dates of session attendance and level of engagement in the services provided will be reported externally, if the student grants permission for such disclosure. Often this information will be provided directly to the student.
    The Counseling Center as a general practice does not provide counseling services or treatment to students mandated to see a counselor by CMU faculty or staff (e.g., Residence Life, Academic Advising and Assistance, Athletics, faculty, etc.). The Counseling Center, as part of a counseling/treatment team including the student and the individual(s) making the referral, will assist in an intervention designed to help the student be successful at CMU. This will require the referral source, with the student’s knowledge and consent, providing referral information to the Counseling Center.
  3. Personal Motivation for Counseling / Lack of Progress on Counseling Goals
    A student must have personal motivation for counseling to be seen at the Counseling Center. The student will be referred to other campus or community resources if one does not demonstrate such motivation. Referral to other resources also might be made if the student is not achieving progress on established counseling goals.
  4. Assessments for Employment, Volunteer or Related Purposes / DSM Diagnoses
    The Counseling Center as a general practice does not conduct assessments or make recommendations / predictions regarding student suitability for employment in various work settings (e.g. Peace Corps, Federal Government, security clearances for the FBI or CIA, military, etc.), volunteer placements, etc. Counselors typically do not make DSM diagnoses. 
  5. Substance Abuse
    If a student has substance abuse concerns, counselors are available to: a) meet with the student for up to 3 sessions to provide support, b) conduct a safety assessment if necessary, c) determine if the student’s counseling needs can be adequately addressed by receiving counseling at the Counseling Center, and d) refer the student to other resources.

    When eligibility for counseling services is unclear or questioned, the counselor will consult with the Counseling Center team, director, or director’s designee prior to a final decision. The Counseling Center will provide referral assistance and crisis intervention services for students whose counseling needs do not meet its Scope of Practice.
Approved by the Counseling Center faculty November 7, 2002; revised June 18, 2003; revised November 11, 2004; draft revision June 8, 2005; revised May 4, 2006; revised January 17, 2007.