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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist?
Both psychiatrists and therapists work in the mental health field. A psychiatrist possesses a Medical Degree (MD or DO) and can prescribe medication, whereas a therapist earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) or a master's degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology and provides talk therapy. At SMCM Counseling Services psychotherapists and psychiatrists work collaboratively to provide mental health treatment for SMCM students as part of a treatment team. Students who wish to see a psychiatrist must be in ongoing treatment with a therapist.

Does Counseling Services prescribe psychiatric medication?
Our psychiatrist work in conjunction with our therapists to provide medication for clients in ongoing therapy here at SMCM. If you’re just looking for medication management, check with your insurance company or give us a call and we can assist you with locating a psychiatrist in the community.


How do I know whether I should utilize Counseling Services?
While just about anyone could benefit from taking the time to reflect on his or her life to gain insight or to increase self-awareness, there are many people for whom participating in therapy or other counseling services would improve their quality of life. We recommend that a student contact Counseling Services if distress in your life has recently increased or if your overall life satisfaction is not where you want it to be.


Can Counseling Services help me find a therapist off-campus?
Counseling Services is happy to assist students in connecting with appropriate services in the community. Please call us for information and assistance. We will be happy to help you find a therapist or psychiatrist who will best be able to address your needs. We can also help you find a provider who may accept your medical insurance.


How much does Counseling Services cost?
Counseling Center services are free to eligible students.


What is Counseling Services's policy on confidentiality?

Counseling Services adheres to professional ethical standards and all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. All information is confidential unless you sign a written release of information for a specific person or agency. There are some rare circumstances in which we are legally required to break confidentiality, such as knowledge of intent to harm self or others. In these cases, Counseling Services either has reporting responsibilities or has to intervene in some way. For a more complete explanation, please read Counseling Service‘s confidentiality policy.


Will my parents, faculty, and/or others be informed that I am going to Counseling Services?

No. Only if you have signed a written release of information for the Counseling Center to communicate with a specific person(s). The only exception would be if you are a danger to yourself or others. Please see Counseling Service‘s confidentiality policy for more detail.