Maintaining your mental health and well-being is an important aspect of being a successful UChicago student. Students commonly experience stress, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, difficulty sleeping, and issues with concentration, and the Student Counseling Service (SCS) is here to help students address these and other mental health concerns, including responses to stress and traumatic experiences. Through therapy, you can establish a collaborative, confidential relationship with a therapist who can help you learn coping strategies and work through your concerns.
Call 773.702.9800 to make an appointment with a therapist.
Your first appointment at SCS will be a general intake session. "Intake" is a clinical term for the first appointment with a therapist. At the intake appointment, you will meet with a therapist to discuss your personal concerns and expectations from the counseling process. The therapist will ask you some background questions, assess what is going on for you, and determine the services that can best assist you. These services include:
SCS offers both short-term individual and couples therapy. “Short-term” therapy is goal-driven and focused on immediate needs. If you and your intake therapist determine that short-term therapy at SCS is the best next step for you, then you will be scheduled to meet with a therapist at SCS for a limited number of sessions. The number of sessions is determined by you and your therapist.
Therapy at SCS will help you to learn new ways to problem solve, improve coping skills, become more aware of situations that adversely affect you, and manage those situations more effectively. Therapy sessions will also focus on your individual strengths and how to optimize self-confidence.
SCS therapists work with you to develop a safe and trusting relationship that allows you to talk openly about your experiences. SCS therapists welcome students from all backgrounds and strive to be sensitive to the influences of various racial, cultural, class, religious, disability, sexual, gender, and other identities on the mental health experiences of UChicago students and are open to discussing these experiences in sessions.
At SCS we value the importance of having a strong relationship with your therapist and we recognize that not every therapist will be a good fit for every student. If you do not feel comfortable with the therapist with whom you are working you can tell that person directly or contact Clinical Director Anne Brody.
Couples desiring joint therapy attend an intake appointment together. At least one member of the couple must be a University of Chicago student who has paid the Student Life Fee. Couples are any students who are married, partners, or dating, regardless of gender identity.
Why do students go to therapy?
There are many reasons to come to therapy. Whether you are experiencing significant distress, or just need someone to talk to, we are here to support you. You don’t have to be experiencing a problem to come to therapy. Students commonly visit SCS because they want help with:
- Adjusting to a new environment
- Increasing self-confidence
- Stress and anxiety
- Body image and/or eating concerns
- Drinking or drug use
- Improving their academic performance
- Sexual identity questions
- Understanding and improving relationships
- Feeling sad or depressed
What are the benefits of therapy?
Therapy can provide:
- A safe place to talk about what you are experiencing
- Coping strategies to deal with stress
- Strategies that can help you be a more successful student
- A better understanding of yourself
- Ways to increase your well-being
- Help with self-care
- Ideas about how to handle problems
How can I make the best use of therapy?
- When you meet with your therapist, be as specific and descriptive as you can about your concerns.
- Arrive on time to get the benefit of a full appointment.
- Be as open and honest as possible.
- Ask any questions you may have.
- Take time to reflect on the topics discussed with your therapist between sessions.
- Practice any skills or strategies discussed with your therapist.
- Be patient. Improvement can take time.
How does SCS work to provide culturally sensitive therapy?
SCS has a Diversity Committee that plans diversity-related programming for SCS staff throughout the academic year. This programming includes formal trainings conducted by professionals outside of SCS and more informal self-reflection and discussions guided by SCS staff. Through these trainings we learn about specific racial, ethnic, class, religious, disability, sexual orientation, and gender groups and work to increase self-awareness about our own values, beliefs, and biases. Additionally, in the recruitment process for new clinical staff, one of the key areas for consideration is cultural sensitivity and a commitment to providing culturally competent care.