Welcome to Counseling Services at the USF St. Petersburg campus Wellness Center. Please use this page as a resource to understand more about our work and how we can serve you.
- At this time, all services are being conducted by telehealth. For information about this change in services please see our Telehealth Policies and Procedures page.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURSUING ANY OF OUR COUNSELING SERVICES, PLEASE COME BY OUR OFFICE OR CALL (727) 873-4422 (OPTION 2) TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.
All currently enrolled USF students are eligible for counseling and psychological services. Students can be assured of privacy and professional treatment within ethical and legal guidelines. Staff members in the Center are licensed and experienced mental health professionals from the disciplines of clinical psychology, counseling psychology and social work. Psychological trainees, under the supervision of licensed professionals, also provide services in our center.
Counseling services are primarily appointment-based. To schedule an appointment, please call our main line at (727) 873-4422. We also offer some on-demand services from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm for urgent needs or emergencies from (See On-Demand Section Below).
Students may often be faced with difficulties during their college years, which interfere with their academic, emotional, and social adjustment. Individual counseling can be sought for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: relationships, depression, anxiety, grief, substance abuse, and eating disorders. The Wellness Center professional staff can help with these concerns through time-limited individual counseling that focuses on skill building, active engagement, and increased support. While the number of visits a student receives may vary based on the needs of the student and resources of the center, we do not have a specific session limit. We do, however, operate under a brief treatment model of service delivery, and referrals may be given for more intensive, specialized, and/or long-term needs. Couples counseling is also available for students as long as both partners are currently enrolled at USF.
Wellness Center is pleased to offer group counseling options in a entirely telehealth modality. Group counseling typically consists of a small group of 4-8 students and 1-2 therapists who meet once a week for 1.5 hours. Before joining, students will be asked to attend a brief triage appointment in order to discuss goals and to identify available times to join a particular group
Groups offer an opportunity for members to meet others who have similar experiences and to create positive interactions. Students may join group for many reasons, including enhancement of support networks, pursuit of personal growth, learning how to relate to others, increasing self-confidence, improving communication skills, gaining intimacy, and building trust. Group therapy is frequently the most effective method of addressing these and many other concerns as it allows students to learn about themselves and others in a supportive environment. Groups can also be utilized to learn new skills and information.
- Understanding Self and Others (USO) Groups, Monday & Tuesdays 3:00-4:30 pm.
LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS
USF ST. PETERSBURG WELLNESS CENTER DOES NOT REPRESENT OR ENDORSE THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH OUTSIDE ENTITIES. DO YOUR RESEARCH TO FIND THE BEST OPTIONS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR NEEDS.
The Wellness Center is committed to addressing students’ urgent needs during this time of physical distancing and we have revised procedures for on-demand telehealth session in order to align with those previously established.
Students needing support with urgent issues may contact our office between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm to connect with a provider. We provide designated on-call times during the day and students will be able to access those appointment times on a first-come first-served basis. If students initiate contact after these times of if these times are unavailable, we will coordinate care so that they will be able to speak with a licensed professional same-day. Regardless of the timing of the session, the clinician and the student may collaborate on follow-up appointments to best fit the needs of the student.
On-demand sessions are expected to occur with the student in a secure, safe, confidential location in their home or otherwise off-campus. Students will not be seen in the Wellness Center suite for these appointments.
We recognize, however, that under certain extraordinary circumstances students may need to enter our office for urgent matters or because a secure remote location is unavailable. We are committed to ensuring access for all students. If you believe you may need to be seen in person, please let our staff know and we will be happy to talk with you about your options.
The Wellness Center maintains a comprehensive library of psychological tests assessing personality characteristics, behavior patterns, coping skills, and career interests. Testing can also be used to help screen for specific problem areas (e.g., AD/HD, substance abuse, eating disorders). Services include the administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests.
These testing and assessment services enhance the effectiveness of other services in the Center by providing objective information about students. Psychological testing can help you and your clinician better understand your concerns. Psychological testing may be recommended to help focus the goals of counseling, to clarify difficulties, or to target specific problems areas. Testing may be needed during the course of your treatment or may occur as a separate service.
Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional – they are a checkup for your mental health. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources. The following screenings are available:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol abuse
ULifeline provides a free, confidential self-test that screens for thirteen of the most common mental health conditions that college students face. This screening does not provide a diagnosis, but identifies problems that could be impacting thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The screening process also provides information on these conditions and how to reach out for help. You can also take the screening for a friend or family member that you are worried about.
SPECIALIZED ASSESSMENT SERVICES
The Wellness Center provides access to neuropsychological testing for the assessment of ADHD. We also offer Learning Disabilities testing and may be able to offer other more specialized types of testing upon consultation. If you are interested in this service, please call to schedule an initial appointment with a counselor to determine referral needs.
We are unable to provide other specialized assessment services (i.e., forensic matters, academic accommodations, eligibility for services, fitness for duty, etc.). If you are looking for such assessment, our staff can provide you with referrals in the community. Please call (727) 873-4422 (option 2) to schedule a brief consultation with a counselor to receive such referrals.
The Gallup Strengths philosophy centers around the belief that focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses results in more effective and meaningful professional and personal experiences. We thrive and grow in environments that allow us to use our strengths. We are truly at our best when we engage in our strengths!
If you have taken the Strengths Finder assessment and would like to learn more about your Top 5 Strengths, you can schedule an individual coaching appointment at the Wellness Center. This one-hour session will provide you with an in-depth exploration of your strengths, how you use them, and even help you create an action plan to use your strengths to their fullest potential!
If interested, please call the Wellness Center at 727-873-4422 or email Dr. Anita Sahgal, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach, for a coaching appointment. You will be asked to send Dr. Sahgal a copy of your Top 5 Strengths profile report at least one week prior to your scheduled coaching session. This service is available for USF St. Petersburg faculty/staff/students only.
The Wellness Center is available to provide psychological consultation to students, faculty, staff, parents, and administrators. Mental health consultations assist University constituents in identifying and dealing effectively with students manifesting emotional and/or behavioral problems. These services also contribute to an effective learning environment by facilitating early intervention.
If you are looking to consult with a counselor, please call (727) 873-4422 (option 2) to make an appointment for a brief consultation or request to speak with any available counselor if this is an urgent matter.
The Wellness Center is pleased to offer Relax-a-Bull, a drop-in workshop teaching stress management skills, now in an online format. The Spring 2021 Relax-a-Bull schedule is as follows:
- Mondays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm via Microsoft Teams. Sessions run January 25th - May 3rd
- Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm via Microsoft Teams. Sessions run January 28th - May 6th
Relax-a-Bull serves as a source of support for students to share about their stressors and develop coping skills. Students can express their experiences with current stressors in their lives, and learn healthy ways to deal with these stressors.
A rotating four-session curriculum is followed, and students can start the workshop at any time and/or repeat sessions if they desire. In each workshop session, students are provided education on stress management skills, guided through experiential activities, and assisted in developing a personalized plan for how to implement these stress management skills in their lives. Specific information and strategies on coping with stress during the coronavirus pandemic will be shared as well.
Students do not have to be enrolled in counseling services to attend. Students can engage in Relax-a-Bull in addition to participating in Wellness Center mental health services.
Please be aware that while substantial efforts are made to protect privacy, confidentiality and HIPAA compliance cannot be guaranteed on the Microsoft Teams platform. To abide by state licensing regulations, it is recommended that only USF students currently located within the state of Florida attend. For security purposes the Teams meeting will be locked after 10 minutes into the workshop.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT?
All of our psychological services are designed to meet your needs and help you reach your goals. At your first appointment, you will have a chance to speak with one of our licensed providers about what you are looking for and will learn a little about how we can help get you there.
All of our services are currently delivered via telehealth. When you call to schedule your first appointment you will receive all the information you need in order to complete our standard new client paperwork and connect virtually with your provider. For more information on the specific steps in this process, please see the Telehealth Policies and Procedures page.
During your virtual session, your provider will not only ask about your needs, but will also discuss what treatment options are available to you. There is no one way that students receive services, and your preferences are important as we develop a plan to help you meet you goals. After this session, you will receive treatment recommendations and will be able to schedule follow-up sessions, as desired. Students whose needs fall outside the scope of our services are assisted with appropriate referrals to community resources.
If you need to cancel an appointment, please notify the Center at least 24 hours in advance. If you do not arrive for an appointment or fail to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance a No-Show fee may be assessed. Continued late cancellations and missed appointments may also impact eligibility for services. Please arrive on time for your appointments and check in at the scheduling desk. Arriving late may result in cancellation of the appointment. Your therapist will also convey respect by keeping appointments or notifying you if changes need to be made as soon as possible.
PLEASE NOTE: the center cannot provide excused absences for medical or psychological illnesses. However, if you are seeking documentation regarding your receipt of services in our office, that documentation can be provided.