Scope of care
Northern Arizona University’s Counseling Services (NAU CS) offers in-person and telehealth mental health counseling, crisis intervention, outreach, consultation, and referral services to currently enrolled students. NAU CS staff and trainees aim to provide inclusive, ethical, high-quality care and support to all students in need. In that spirit, we want to outline the possible outcomes that might occur for a student seeking services. While we offer a broad range of services, we are not a comprehensive mental health center and therefore cannot treat all issues or meet all needs.
To better understand what happens when a student initiates services at Counseling Services, the following describes a typical path to care:
Determination of the most appropriate treatment to meet a student’s needs is a collaborative process, rooted in ethical guidelines and recommendations. As such, our center does not offer counseling for all issues or needs. Below are some examples of concerns/requests that will prompt NAU CS staff and trainees to consider referrals for alternative resources:
- Request for weekly appointments or open-ended counseling
- Treatment mandated by a non-campus entity
- Requests for psychological assessment and/or evaluation (e.g., ADHD/LD assessment, cognitive testing, etc.)
- Inconsistent treatment attendance
- Emotional Support Animal evaluations and/or letters of support for ESAs
- Intensive treatment for Eating Disorders
- Students who will need levels of care of such duration and/or frequency that it is not ethically appropriate within the resources of CS
- Students who request telehealth services and do not currently reside in AZ (i.e., online students) and require a higher level of care than is ethically appropriate via telehealth
Students will work directly with the Path to Care provider or a counselor to determine if their needs can be met by our services, and from there, a plan of action will be created to set a student on the path towards care. If it is decided that a student’s concerns would be better served by a referral to another provider (i.e., community, online), that student will receive consultative support from CS staff and a referral will be provided immediately.
Should a student’s needs fit with CS’s available resources and scope of practice, the following graphic highlights just some of the services that might be recommended to students at the conclusion of their brief intake assessment meeting:
*Please note: Individual counseling sessions are scheduled for approximately 45 minutes every 2-3 weeks. Group sessions and workshops are scheduled for 60-90 minutes weekly.
Recommendations for services within CS are informed by the most judicious and ethically sound treatment option available. Thus, students referred for specific services will not be permitted to access additional services (e.g., individual counseling AND group counseling) until it is cooperatively decided that it is in the student’s best interest. If you are interested in a specific service, please discuss this with the counselor or Path to Care provider during your brief, initial meeting. Requests for services in addition to initial recommendations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will take into consideration a multitude of factors including, but not limited to, current treatment prognosis, current CS wait list, availability of alternative resources, and needs identified by the student.
*Please note: NAU CS does not provide ongoing counseling services for students currently receiving services/treatment from another mental health professional (i.e., substance use, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), online provider) and who intend to continue to work with that provider. Students who receive crisis and/or consultative support from CS staff will be redirected back to their ongoing provider for treatment. Counseling Services staff members also do not write letters of support for assistance animals at the request of a client/student.
We provide the following services:
All Counseling Services appointments are currently conducted via telehealth using fully encrypted and HIPAA compliant, Zoom Technology. A student must be physically located within the state of Arizona to be eligible for telehealth counseling services as mandated by Arizona licensing boards. Students are asked to review and sign the Counseling Telehealth Informed Consent before their appointment. This can be done by logging into your student portal and clicking on “Forms” and then the Counseling Telehealth Informed Consent.
Path to Care
Brief 15 minute meeting with provider that focuses on exploring concerns, assessing needs, and determining the appropriate path to care. The goal of this focused meeting is to match a student’s immediate needs with available resources. The resulting plan may include services at Counseling Services, but may also include referrals to other campus or off-campus resources.
Short 20-25 minute appointment to determine what services will best help you address your concerns.
We offer a number of therapy groups each semester addressing many issues that a college student could be going through. Groups are typically available around the third or fourth week of the semester and run until reading week. A commitment to at least four group sessions is asked of group members. Groups Spring 2020 and Anxiety Workshop Spring 2020. Anxiety workshop Materials
We do not offer family or child counseling, although counselors can discuss referrals to family or child therapists in the community.
Individual counseling at NAU is primarily short term in nature where appointments are scheduled every two to three weeks. If more frequent or longer term treatment is required to address your concerns, a referral to an off campus provider will likely be discussed.
Counseling Services (CS) is committed to your personal well-being, and we also want to support you in navigating romantic, affectional, amorous, and/or sexual relationship(s). We offer relationship/couple’s counseling for two or more students who are having difficulty within their ongoing relationship(s). Relationship counseling is available to individuals of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and relationship orientations. This may include: couple or dyads, polyamorous relationships and polycule community, nonmonogamous relationships, or additional non-heteronormative and non-dyadic relationships. At least one of the students within the relationship you are seeking support for must be currently enrolled at NAU. CS does not offer family therapy or roommate mediation. Please direct roommate mediation concerns or requests to Residential Life.
Concerns addressed in relationship counseling may include and are not limited to:
- Effective communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Emotional (un)availability
- Exploration of values and/or cultural differences and intersectionality
- Sexual difficulty
- Parenting skills
- Stress management
You may also call CS with potential questions about your relationship situation, prior to engaging in relationship counseling.
Substance Use Disorders (SUD)
Referrals are commonly initiated when there is an alcohol or drug related concern with a student. This student will be required to complete the SAP program which entails signing up for one healthy choices class and a follow up individual meeting. The SAP program can be initiated by calling Counseling Services and informing them that you are looking to complete a referral.
Outreach programs and workshops
Counseling Services frequently teams up with other departments around campus to provide workshops and programs to address many mental health related topics. We will do our best to get back to you within two business days. Please give us at least two weeks notice prior to your requested outreach date. We also ask that at least 10 people be present for the outreach. To request an outreach, please fill out the online form.
For students experiencing a psychological emergency (e.g., suicidal/homicidal ideation or intent, recent sexual assault, serious trauma) Counseling Services is available for triage appointments. Counseling Services offers 24-hour on-call assistance for psychological emergencies as well.
Schedule a Brief Assessment appointment that will allow any Counseling Services (CS) staff member to assist you in exploring the full range of issues you might be experiencing.
If you are seeking counseling for issues separate from gender-related medical intervention, you can see any staff member for ongoing counseling.
If you are considering hormone therapy or surgery and are in search of mental health advocacy, you will need to see one of the CS Trans Care counselors. Please make this request clear to your Brief Assessment therapist who will facilitate the transfer of care. You will work with the Trans Care counselor at CS to determine appropriate services.
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 8:00AM – 5:00PM,
Wed 9:00AM – 5:00PM
How to make an appointment
Call or drop in to make a Path to Care appointment