Center FAQs

Who is eligible for counseling at the UMCC?

Any undergraduate or graduate/law/medical student who is currently enrolled at the University of Miami and has paid the Health Center and Counseling Center fee is eligible for free counseling services.

How do I make an appointment to see a counselor?

Please refer to How To Make An Appointment

How often can I be seen at the Counseling Center?

We provide limited short-term counseling. Students generally attend counseling appointments every 2-3 weeks during the academic year.

What are the fees to be seen at the Counseling Center?

There is no fee to be seen for individual or group counseling for currently enrolled students.
Psychiatric visits are billed to your UM Student Health insurance. If you do not have the UM Student Health Insurance, the fees are $135 for the initial psychiatric evaluation and $110 for follow-up psychiatry visits.

Can I see a counselor at the medical campus or at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) campus?

Counseling and psychiatry services are only offered on the Coral Gables Campus. The Counseling Center is located at Rhodes House, 1204 Dickinson Dr. Suites N&S, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Why does the Counseling Center have a wait list? Is there any way to be seen sooner than the wait list period?

We make every effort to see students requesting an initial appointment (intake) within two weeks; however, we may have a longer wait during busy times of the year when there is increased demand for services.
We offer students the option to present during business hours for an immediate brief assessment (triage) appointment to discuss your needs and identify the next steps in your care.

Is couple’s counseling available?

The Counseling Center offers couple’s counseling if both partners are currently enrolled UM students. Both students will need to complete an individual intake before they can be seen for couples counseling.

What if I am returning for services?

If you have attended an appointment with a counselor at UMCC within the past 4 months, you do not need to go through the intake process again and can schedule a counseling session. If you have not attended an appointment with a counselor at UMCC within the past 4 months, you will be required to schedule a new initial appointment (intake), either with your previous counselor or with a new counselor. Other services, such as brief assessments (triage) and clinical care coordination are available to you as well.

I am a UM student who is required to attend counseling. Can the Counseling Center help me?

The Counseling Center only serves currently enrolled UM students who are seeking counseling voluntarily. We do not offer mandated or required counseling and cannot provide documentation to substantiate that you attended counseling. If you are required to be in counseling by an outside entity, we can help you find an off-campus counselor who can help you.

Can I undergo testing for ADD/ADHD at the Counseling Center?

The Counseling Center does not offer psychoeducational testing to determine disability or accommodations.  For assistance with academic accommodations and referrals for diagnostic testing, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

How can I decide whether to pursue counseling at the Counseling Center or whether I should go to a counselor off campus?

The Counseling Center generally offers limited short-term counseling. If you need or prefer long-term or weekly counseling, then an off-campus counselor may be a better fit for you. The Counseling Center does not offer long-term, intensive treatment generally required for substance abuse, eating disorders, or severe emotional difficulties.

How can I find an off-campus mental health provider?

You can contact the Counseling Center for a list of counselors and/or psychiatrists in the Coral Gables and Miami areas. You can also contact your insurance to identify providers on your plan by calling the phone number or accessing the website listed on the back of your insurance card.
Other resources where you can find names of local counselors include advertising databases such as the Psychology Today Counselor Finder or professional associations of counselors, such as Florida Psychological Association, Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, or National Association of Social Workers.

 

COUNSELING FAQ’s

How do I know if I should speak to a counselor?

People seek counseling for a variety of reasons. In general, you should consider making an appointment if you’re having difficulty that is interfering with school, work, important relationships, or personal functioning, or if you have been feeling distressed and you’re not able to feel better by doing the things that typically help you.

What can I expect at my initial counseling session (intake)?

When you arrive at the Counseling Center for an initial appointment, you will be asked to complete personal information forms on an iPad. You will then be greeted by your counselor, who will bring you back to his or her office. You will meet with your counselor for approximately 50 minutes and will discuss what brings you in to the Counseling Center as well as broader questions about your history, your relationships, and how you take care of yourself. You and your counselor will then develop a treatment plan that addresses your needs.

What if I don’t want to talk about something with a counselor?

Although we believe that counseling can be most helpful if you communicate freely with your counselor, we respect students’ rights to keep information private. A counselor will not force you to discuss any topics that you would prefer not to discuss.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY FAQ’s

Will my professors, on-campus work supervisors, UM staff and/or other UM faculty know about my appointment at the Counseling Center?

The Counseling Center does not disclose any information about your participation in our services unless you provide us with written permission. UM faculty and staff outside of the Counseling Center do not have access to your Counseling Center record. Our staff is legally and ethically required to keep confidential what you shared with them, including the fact that you were seen here. The only exceptions to confidentiality involve threats to life or safety or possible harm to a vulnerable person (e.g., a child, an elderly adult, an adult with a developmental disability).

My parents pay my tuition and receive my bill. Will they know about my Counseling Center services?

If you are 18 years old or older, your Counseling Center record is confidential. That means that, unless there is a life-or-death emergency, we are not able to share anything in your record with your parents without your written permission.
If you are under 18, your parents or guardians have rights to see your record, but we can discuss with you what we will share with them and what we will keep private.
For students who are covered through the UM student health insurance plan, psychiatry appointments with a Counseling Center psychiatrist DO appear on the insurance’s Explanation of Benefits (EOB) claim detail. Counseling appointments do not appear on any EOBs.

If I tell my Counseling Center counselor that I am breaking the law or breaking school rules, can I get in trouble for it?

The purpose of the Counseling Center is to serve the mental health needs of the students. What you share with your counselor at UM is confidential. Exceptions to confidentiality mainly involve threats to life or safety or possible harm to a vulnerable person (e.g., a child, an elderly adult, an adult with a developmental disability).

CRISIS FAQ’s

What do I do if I feel like I am in crisis and need to speak with someone right away?

Please refer to Emergency Services for further information.

How do I know if I am experiencing a mental health crisis?

Examples of a mental health crisis include thinking of ending your life or hurting someone else, being a recent victim of a physical or sexual assault, distress over the recent death of a loved one, or experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event.

 

PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES FAQ’s

I think that I am ready to start medication (or would like to continue with my current medication) but do not want counseling at this time. Can I be seen at the Counseling Center for medication only?

Psychiatric services are reserved for students who are counseling clients of the UMCC. The Counseling Center does not serve as a psychiatric clinic. We respect your decision not to engage in counseling, and can help you get connected to a psychiatrist or medical provider in the community.

Can I be prescribed stimulant medication for ADD/ADHD at the Counseling Center?

Psychiatrists at the Counseling Center do not prescribe stimulant medication. You can call us for a list of off-campus psychiatrist or you can contact your insurance for names of providers in your plan.

How does the psychiatrist decide what medication to prescribe for me?

Medication decisions are made based on several criteria, including particular symptoms you are experiencing, other medications you are taking, medical problems you may have, and even information on how your family members have responded to medications. Your psychiatrist will discuss medication options with you and answer any questions you may have.

How long will I need to take medications?

Response to medication is highly individualized. All medication should be monitored by a medical provider and stopped only under their direction.

Can I be prescribed benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin) for anxiety at the Counseling Center?

The first-line treatment for anxiety is psychotherapy. Under certain circumstances, psychiatrists at the Counseling Center may prescribe short-term courses of anxiolytic medication. The Counseling Center does not prescribe benzodiazepines on an ongoing basis.

 

FRIENDS AND FAMILY FAQ’s

I am worried about a friend who is going through some difficulty. What can I do?

You can encourage your friend to come to the Counseling Center and you may offer to accompany them to their appointment, to ease any discomfort that they may feel. In addition, we are happy to talk to students who would like to help their friends and offer suggestions to assist with your specific concern.
You can also make an online report via Canes Care for Canes and a UM administrator will reach out to the student of concern. Reports may be made anonymously.

How can I communicate with someone at the Counseling Center if I have a concern about my child?

You can call the Director of the Counseling Center, Dr. René Monteagudo, at 305-284-5511 during office hours. We are always happy to listen to your concerns and to provide you with general information. If your child is over 18 years old, however, your child must sign a release of information in order for us to discuss information specific to his or her care. As a matter of policy, we do not send email responses about students.

When my child arrives, I would like him/her to meet with a counselor. Should I accompany them to the Counseling Center to provide you with information?

Your child’s development of independence is more likely to foster positive college adjustment. However, if the student requests the therapist to allow the parent to join a session, we will abide by the student’s wishes.


If I am concerned that my child is not adjusting well and they refuse to seek help, what should I do?

For students who reside on campus, you can contact the resident coordinator of your child’s residential college. The resident coordinator can check on your child’s current welfare.
In case you believe the situation is serious to the point of endangering your child’s safety, you should contact the Dean of Students Office. You can also request that the University of Miami Police Department (305-284-6666) conduct a wellness check on the student.
It is always advisable to consider following up with a visit to your child to see for yourself how they are doing and to facilitate help.


My child is afraid to come to the Counseling Center because the information about the visit will appear on their school record? Is that correct?

No, counseling is confidential except in unusual circumstances involving protection of life or required by law. Other university officials ordinarily have no information about what goes on in counseling or who visits the Counseling Center.

What do you mean by short-term psychotherapy?

We are generally able to see students every 2-3 weeks for a limited number of individual therapy sessions. Therapy groups meet weekly and unlimited attendance is available to students. We are happy to provide referrals for off-campus practitioners who offer more extensive or specialized care.

My child was taking an antidepressant for three years before entering college. Can he/she continue their psychiatric care at the Counseling Center?

The Counseling Center does not serve as a psychiatric clinic. Psychiatric services are reserved for students who are counseling clients of the UMCC. Students desiring medication only can contact our clinical care coordinator for a referral to a community psychiatrist or can contact their insurance to identify local providers on their panel.

Is it okay for a freshman from 1,000 miles away to come to the University of Miami and not see us again until Christmas?

That is not ideal. If possible, visits should be arranged during the long first semester away from home. Some good opportunities include Family Weekend and Fall Break.

Is there anything we can do to facilitate continuing psychological and psychiatric treatment when my child arrives at the University of Miami?

You can have prior treatment records or a treatment summary mailed to the Director of the Counseling Center, René Monteagudo, Ph.D., at P.O. Box 248186 , Coral Gables, FL 33124 so that we have that information when your child arrives at the Counseling Center.

Do you need special permission for treatment if my child is under 18-years-old?

Yes, for any session beyond initial crisis counseling, we will need a parent or guardian’s written authorization. We have forms for that purpose which we can give to your child.