Counseling Services



Getting Started with Counseling

Making an Appointment for the First Time

The first time a student meets with a counselor is called an Intake session.  At this initial session the counselor and the student will explore the presenting problem, contributing factors, and an appropriate plan for intervention. After the Intake, a student and his or her counselor will work together to choose the next best step. The student may continue with individual, couples, or group counseling at Counseling Services; or the counselor may refer the student to a resource in the community for long-term counseling, psychiatric evaluation, or other necessary services. Individual and Couples counseling through Counseling Services is short term (up to 10 sessions) and solution focused, while a student may make unlimited use of group counseling.

Intake appointments are usually 30 minutes, and they are offered every day on a first-come/first-serve basis.  Call or sign up first thing on the morning you want to come in - they fill up quickly!  This model helps us keep waiting time down (otherwise it could take up to 3 weeks before you could get in for a first appointment).  There are two ways to schedule your first appointment:

  1. Call the front desk at 803/323-2206 during regular business hours.
  2. Sign up on the Medicat Patient Portal, by clicking the link below.HCS Medicat Patient Portal

Same Day Appointment

If you are experiencing a crisis or urgent mental health need and can't wait until your regularly scheduled appointment, please call and request a Same Day Appointment.  Every day, Counseling Services reserves time for these 20-30 minute appointments.  If the reserved appointments are full, and you feel that you must speak with a counselor, please ask to speak to the Same Day Counselor for a triage phone call. Students may also request a Call Back from the Same Day Counselor via the Patient Portal.


Meet the Counseling Staff

Many students are curious about the counselor they will meet with.  We'd like to introduce ourselves and let you know a little bit about who we are. 



The information a student shares with a counselor is not provided to anyone without the student's written consent. Legal limitations are placed on the student's right to confidentiality if a counselor suspects there is clear and imminent danger to the student or to others, in cases of current child abuse or neglect, or if ordered by a court of law to testify or provide counseling records. Please see the complete confidentiality policy for further information.  If a client needs his or her counselor to release protected health information, he or she may complete the Protected Health Information Disclosure Form under the guidance of his or her counselor.


Number of Appointments

The services we provide to students are time-limited. Students may receive up to ten appointments during an academic year for individual or couples counseling.  Group therapy does not count toward the ten-session limit.


Requesting Another Counselor

You may request to change therapists if you prefer to work with another counselor. You are encouraged to discuss this option with your counselor during the intake or shortly thereafter. If you return to Counseling Services in the future and prefer to work with someone other than your previous counselor, you should tell the administrative assistant when you make an appointment.


Rescheduling and Missed Appointments

You are allowed two missed appointments. You may forfeit your eligibility to receive services for six months if you miss more than two scheduled appointments. If you must reschedule or cancel an appointment, we ask that you do so at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments rescheduled or canceled fewer than 24 hours in advance may be counted as missed appointments. If you will be arriving 15 or more minutes late, it may be considered a missed appointment.  Center for Student Wellness charges $20 to your student account for missed counseling appointments.  On the occasion that your counselor needs to reschedule your appointment due to illness or other unavoidable circumstance, Counseling Services will contact you as soon as possible and work with you to reschedule as close to your previously scheduled appointment as possible. This situation is not considered a missed appointment.