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Scope of Care

The Scope of Our Clinical Services

Counseling and Psychological Services strives to facilitate the development of RIT students by providing psychological interventions to promote the holistic well-being of our students. We have three essential roles for advancing the educational mission of RIT:

  1. Providing clinical services that help students achieve their academic and personal goals.
  2. Educating the campus community about the psychological and developmental needs of students through community-level interventions, outreach programming, and consultation.
  3. Responding to the effects of crisis impacting individual students and the campus community.

We provide short-term, goal-focused therapy. Many students are seen for one visit, while the average treatment length is 5 to 6 sessions within a year. If you regularly see a professional for counseling in your home community, our recommendation is that you continue services with that provider, if possible. Weekly, specialized, or intensive clinical services that require meeting beyond identified short-term goals are outside the scope of our services. Should you desire such services, we recommend receiving care from a mental health specialist in the Rochester community.


A Short-Term Model

Counseling and Psychological Services utilizes a short-term, goal-focused therapy model to assist students who are experiencing concerns and needs that are interfering with their ability to be successful in school and/or with their individual personal growth, functioning and adjustment. In a given year, the average student is seen for 5 or 6 sessions. Session length, however, is based on need. The overall objective is not to uncover and address every issue with which a student may have faced in his/her life or to provide continual maintenance for chronic psychiatric disorders. Rather, our objective is to facilitate adaptation, adjustment and resilient functioning in order to enable the student to continue enrollment in college and to pursue academic, career and personal success with minimal disruption or delay.


Individualized Treatment Goals

The therapeutic approach utilized by Counseling and Psychological Services is flexible, individualized, and driven by the specific treatment goals identified between the student and clinician as well as by ongoing monitoring of measures to determine the effectiveness of treatment and the levels of recovery or improvement. Based on an individual therapy intake, the next level of treatment is determined.


Severe or Chronic Mental Health Issues

With regard to severe, chronic, or longstanding mental health problems, our focus is to assist students in obtaining relief from some of the emotional discomfort, behaviors, and thoughts that can accompany such conditions and to facilitate coping with said conditions. The focus is not on providing long-term, intensive or curative treatment. Ideally, our objective is to assist students with concerns before they develop into more serious problems.


Referral to Community Resources

Although the intent of RIT’s Counseling and Psychological Services is to help students cope with and resolve psychological and social problems that interfere with the attainment of their educational goals, students sometimes present with therapeutic needs, behaviors or other conditions that may be best met off-campus. Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to community service providers include:

A desire or need to be seen more than once a week or the need for long-term individual therapy as indicated by:

  • Individuals who have demonstrated symptom reduction and have met initial treatment goals but desire on-going maintenance support
  • Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
  • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in cognitive or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention (e.g. Partial hospitalization; Leave of Absence)
  • Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • Inability or unwillingness to develop specific treatment goals for short-term counseling
  • Non-compliance with treatment recommendations including regular session attendance
  • Repeated utilization of crisis intervention services without commitment or engagement in more substantive, regular and formal efforts to address the issue for which the frequent crisis originate
  • Behavior, while in the Counseling and Psychological Services facility, that constitutes a serious disruption or which establishes a unsafe or hostile emotional or physical environment for students and/or staff
     

A need for specialized services not available through Counseling and Psychological Services as indicated by:

  • Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence
  • Need for drug testing 
  • Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms that may pose a medical danger
  • Request for standardized psychological testing and/or diagnostic assessment for purposes of an RIT Disability Services’ accomodation, employment clearance, on-campus housing accommodation, or to fulfill court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements

The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions. The nature and complexity of presenting concerns and the broader context are considered in making the appropriate treatment recommendation(s). Cases are evaluated individually and the professional judgment of the mental health provider(s) will determine the treatment decision in a particular situation.