We offer six types of services to students, a commitment to accessibility, and the maximum confidentiality possible. All services are free.
Our services are confidential in accordance with the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct as well as Texas legal statutes. Confidentiality differs for those who are younger than 18 informed_consent-age_17.pdf as compared to those who are age 18 and older informed-consent-age-18.pdf.
Counseling Services is the psychological equivalent of a primary care physician’s office. As primary care mental health professionals we provide basic, time-limited services for about 90 percent of students who seek our assistance. For the approximately 10 percent of students who need specialized or ongoing treatment for a chronic mental health condition, we provide clinical care coordination to help the student connect with an off-campus mental health professional who can provide that treatment.
The six services that we offer are as follows:
During fall and spring semester, each student who makes their first appearance at Counseling Services will meet with a counselor during Walk-In Hours (weekday afternoons between 1:00 and 4:00) on a first-come, first-seen basis for a 20-minute consultation and assessment. (At other times of the year, the consultation and assessment is by appointment.) While in the waiting room, the student will complete about 10 minutes of online ‘paperwork,’ which will facilitate the counselor's comprehensive understanding of the student and their need.
During the brief consultation and assessment, the counselor has three goals:
Most students schedule a 45-minute follow-up appointment to extend the consultation and assessment. The counselor and student will decide together whether that appointment will be with the same counselor or with another counselor in the office.
Subsequent short-term individual counseling with a Counseling Services counselor is a common component of a student’s action plan. Other potential components include meeting with other professionals at the university (e.g., professors, a Residential Life Coordinator) and engaging in specific self-care behaviors that can foster improved well-being. If a student is one of the approximately 10 percent of students we assess who need long-term or specialized mental health treatment, the counselor will assist the student in the process of connecting with an off-campus professional (see the description of clinical care coordination below).
Common individual counseling options include, but are not limited to:
We see about 95 percent of our individual counseling clients for 1 to 7 sessions during an academic year. The typical frequency of multiple sessions is every two weeks. In order to avoid the need to create a waiting list for services, we do not provide weekly counseling (except in time-limited periods of acute crisis) or long-term counseling.
Both different-sex and same-sex couples are eligible for counseling when both individuals are enrolled Trinity students.
Our psychiatrist will provide an evaluation and subsequent short-term psychiatric medication management at no charge for a student who is referred by one of our counselors. Due to the psychiatrist’s limited availability, referrals are limited to students who have never been treated with psychiatric medication. The psychiatrist's limited availability also precludes offering evaluation or treatment for ADHD. Contact us if you would like to receive our Psychiatry Referral Guide or ADHD Referral Guide by email.
If the psychiatrist and student decide to add medication to the student’s psychological treatment, the psychiatrist will provide medication management until the medication is stabilized. (This service is provided on the condition that the student remains enrolled and attends counseling sessions according to the psychiatrist’s recommendation.) Once medication is stabilized, usually in 3 to 6 months, the student will continue medication management with a physician in the community at the student’s expense.
When the office is open, a student who is in crisis can contact the office and arrange to be seen that day. When the office is closed during fall and spring semesters, one of our counselors is on duty as the on-call counselor. An on-campus student in crisis can reach out to the on-call counselor by contacting the Trinity University Police Department (210-999-7000). The TUPD dispatcher will contact the on-call counselor who will respond to the student. The full extent of legal confidentiality does not extend to after-hours crisis interventions, typically because the on-call counselor will inform TUPD about the student’s safety and about any follow-up plan (e.g., a subsequent in-office appointment).
See the ‘If You Are a Student in Crisis’ webpage for additional information, including guidance for students who are off campus.
Sometimes a counselor refers a student to an off-campus provider for specialized or long-term treatment at the student's expense. At other times a student is already under the care of an off-campus mental health provider when the student seeks a consultation at Counseling Services. In either case, the counselor will collaborate with the student—as well as with another treatment provider and/or a parent, if the student gives permission—to help the student obtain the best treatment services possible.