Friends and Family FAQs

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.