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University Health Services

Scope of Care

Our Counseling and Psychiatry Department provides essential therapy and emotional wellness services for students at the University of South Carolina. 

Counseling and Psychiatry Scope of Care

University of South Carolina’s Counseling and Psychiatry provides brief assessment, treatment recommendations, psychiatric evaluation and management and/or short term, time-limited therapy to students who are experiencing developmental, psychosocial, academic, career, and/or mental health concerns. Treatment varies according to each student’s goals and treatment plan as agreed to by the clinician. Clinicians work to provide evidence-based and best clinical practices in order to facilitate adjustment and functioning, successful academic performance, diagnostic impressions, problem resolution, and symptom relief as soon as possible. Referral to services can be arranged for long-term or intensive treatment plans and needs, or for students leaving the campus community. Counseling and Psychiatry is often not suitable for students requiring ongoing treatment for complex or specialized conditions requiring weekly or more frequent intervention or support.  Services are available to students who have paid the Student Health Fee and/or are enrolled for at least 1 credit.


Exclusions to Care

CAP's scope of care includes some exclusions. 

Forensic Evaluation

Counseling and Psychiatry is unable to offer any psychiatric or psychological evaluation for forensic purposes (i.e., custody disputes, fit to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity arguments).

Court-Mandated Treatment

Counseling and Psychiatry does NOT provide court-mandated treatment for any population. If a student is already in treatment with Counseling and Psychiatry when the mandate is given, the only documentation we can provide is a verification of visit.

Scope of Practice for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)

Students requesting medication services for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD) must first receive formal psychological testing to confirm the diagnosis. Having previously been prescribed medication by a physician does not replace the need for psychological testing. Students who have not been tested or tested within the last five years may contact Counseling and Psychiatry to assist them with making the arrangements to get testing completed, because Counseling and Psychiatry itself does not offer ADHD testing services. The cost of this testing is NOT covered by the Student Health Fee. Test results will be accepted from off-campus or out-of-state psychologists provided that they comply with Counseling and Psychiatry guidelines. Once students’ test results are received, reviewed, and approved, students will be contacted for an appointment with a psychiatric provider. The prescribing of any medication is at the discretion of the psychiatric provider.

Scope of Practice for Eating Disorders and/or Disordered Eating Related Concerns

Counseling and Psychiatry refers to the American Psychological Association’s guidelines regarding levels of care for the treatment of eating disorders. Pursuant to these guidelines, students who are significantly underweight, have severe cooccurring medical and mental health issues, are engaging in frequent bingeing and/or purging behaviors or severe restriction or excessive exercise, are in need of regular medical supervision, are unmotivated for treatment, or are unable to follow a treatment plan are considered outside of Counseling and Psychiatry’s scope of service. Students deemed beyond our scope of service may be referred for more intensive outpatient counseling or psychiatric treatment in the community, partial hospitalization or inpatient treatment, or may be advised to seek immediate medical treatment. These recommendations will be decided in consultation with the Eating Disorders Consultation Team.

Scope of Practice for Alcohol/Drug Use Services

Counseling and Psychiatry provides initial screening for students dealing with problematic alcohol and drug use.  We work closely with the office of Substance Abuse Prevention and Education which provides specialized assessment, education and support in this area.  Individual counseling is available for students in recovery, and students may be referred to the Gamecock Recovery community. For students presenting with substance dependency, efforts will be made to refer to community services as appropriate.

Emotional Support Animal Policy

The Human Animal Interventions in Counseling Interest Network has created a formal position statement regarding Emotional Support Animals.  In accordance with the ethics of our profession and the position of the network, Counseling and Psychiatry will not conduct assessments to determine the need for Emotional Support Animals.  If asked to do so, we will forward information about a student’s diagnosis and treatment to any person or entity of your choosing, including the Student Disability Resource Center, which determines the need for emotional support animals in campus housing. We will neither assess for this need, nor will we specifically endorse a request for an Emotional Support Animal.  However, should a student feel that an animal is vital for their emotional health, we will offer a referral to another community-based mental health provider. We will base our referral upon your description of your emotional needs, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee that other counselors, medical professionals, or other agencies would be willing to support your request.

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