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Counseling

Individual counseling

The Counseling Center has a diverse professional staff equipped to assist clients with a wide range of personal, emotional and relational difficulties. Students seek counseling for a variety of concerns:

  • Depression and sadness
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Stress
  • Relationship concerns
  • Managing multiple roles and stressors
  • Grief/Loss
  • Substance abuse
  • Adjusting to changes
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Crisis or Trauma
  • Family issues
  • Motivation problems
  • Eating/Body image problems
  • Self-harm
  • Roommate issues
  • Difficulty studying
  • Test anxiety
  • Attention problems
  • Academic concerns
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Discrimination concerns
  • Social anxiety

Counseling can help students better understand the nature of their concerns and develop strategies for change. This may involve changing self-defeating behaviors, understanding uncomfortable feelings, or enhancing personal strengths and abilities.

Couples counseling

Relationship counseling is available to any couple as long as one of the partners is a UMKC student, faculty or staff member. Couples counseling offers opportunities for couples to better understand themselves and their partner, resolve conflict, improve communication and work toward healthier relationship patterns.

Counseling services for faculty and staff

UMKC faculty and staff are eligible for a free individual or couples intake session to discuss their concerns and to help determine an appropriate next step for treatment. This could include a referral to a therapist or other resources in the community or additional therapy sessions at the Counseling Center.


There is a charge of $20 per therapy session after the initial intake appointment, payable by cash or check. Faculty and staff with the Coventry Health Care Plan also have access to mental health services through United Behavioral Health.  The Counseling Center does not accept insurance.

What to expect from counseling

Considering counseling?

You may have decided to seek counseling, but now you’re unsure of what to expect and may even feel nervous. Your counselor is trained to assist you with feeling comfortable while also fostering your personal development. As you consider beginning, it is best to approach it with openness for establishing a relationship with your counselor, determining realistic goals and “trying on” different ways of viewing yourself and any changes you may want to make in your life.

How do I begin?

An initial appointment is scheduled with one of the staff counselors by calling the main number at 816-235-1635. We ask that you arrive at the Center 45 minutes before your first appointment to complete initial paperwork. You will then meet with the counselor for approximately 50 minutes to further discuss what has brought you to counseling and to determine what may be most helpful for how you proceed.

The counselor may also ask questions that do not seem directly related to your initial concern. However, this provides helpful information to the counselor in getting the “big picture” for how you are doing. If you proceed with counseling at our Center, you will then be matched with one of our staff members based upon your needs and their availability. This may or may not be the initial counselor with whom you talked.

What will happen in counseling?

Your counselor will assist you in further understanding your concern, clarifying options for proceeding and supporting you in determining what will be most helpful for you. Counselors can help you express thoughts and feelings, while also pointing out a different perspective you may not have considered. They may provide information or suggestions, but generally, they do not give direct advice or try to make decisions for you. Your counselor can assist you in defining appropriate and goals. The amount of effort you put into the process will directly impact your level of satisfaction and success with the process.