Individual counseling

Counseling Services 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.

Counseling Services does not provide documentation for emotional support animals; this is outside our scope of care.

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 Counseling Services.

There is a charge of $30 (beginning August 1, 2017)  per therapy session after the initial intake appointment, payable by cash or check. Faculty and staff with medical benefits also have access to mental health services through UnitedHealthcare. All university employees may also use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers up to three counseling sessions. Counseling Services 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 Counseling Services 45 minutes before your first appointment to complete initial paperwork. You will then meet with the counselor for approximately 25-30 minutes to further discuss what has brought you to counseling and to determine what may be most helpful for how you proceed. You may be recommended to join one of our groups, a workshop, or individual or coupes counseling.

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 agency, 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.

Scope and limitations of service

UMKC Counseling Services provides a range of psychological services to eligible students, staff and faculty.  We are committed to providing treatment in the most ethical and professional manner, ensuring we remain within our scope of psychological expertise.

We only provide services to currently enrolled students or faculty/staff affiliated with UMKC.  Beginning summer 2018 and moving forward, students will need to be enrolled in summer classes to receive services during summer semesters. 

UMKC Counseling Services may refuse or limit treatment, including Assessment Services, due to the following:

  • Individuals who demonstrate a serious lack of motivation or engagement in treatment, as evidenced by poor attendance to appointments, lack of follow-through on recommendations or who are unwilling to address the disorder in question

  • Individuals who are already receiving counseling services from another provider and do not end that treatment

  • Individuals who are seeking counseling as a requirement of a class and who are not otherwise motivated for or are in need of treatment

  • Individuals who need more intensive or extensive treatment than can be provided at Counseling Services (e.g. multiple weekly appointments, uninterrupted long-term care, and/or frequent between session supports)

  • Individuals with a history of longstanding, seriously maladaptive interpersonal behaviors that result in severe relationship problems which hinder effective work in session

  • Individuals with a recent history of numerous suicide attempts, severe self-injury or multiple psychiatric hospitalizations

  • Individuals with significant or chronic disordered eating symptoms which require intensive outpatient or residential treatment and whose symptoms pose medical danger

  • Individuals with significant or chronic substance use which requires intensive outpatient or residential treatment, detox, or hospitalization or whose symptoms pose medical danger

  • Individuals whose needs fall outside the clinical expertise of the Counseling Services staff

  • Individuals with active psychotic symptoms at risk for progressive deterioration of functioning and in need of intensive treatment for stabilization

  • Individuals who engage in inappropriate,  harassing, menacing, threatening or violent behaviors toward Counseling Services staff or visitors of the Counseling Services Office

  • Individuals who are only seeking documentation for SAP Appeals and/or withdrawing from classes who do not already have an established relationship with the Counseling Services Office

  • We do not provide any services or documentation for overall legal concerns (except if records are requested) which can include but are not limited to the following:

    • Court Mandated Treatment

    • Emotional Support or Service Animals

    • Child Custody/Parenting/Adoption

    • Exuse or Clearance for Employment

    • Disability Claims (e.g., Social Security, Short Term Disability)

    • Employment and/or Military Fitness

  • We do not and cannot legally provide any type of on-line and/or tele-therapy in any form.  We only provide services at the Volker and Health Sciences campuses.

If Counseling Services cannot provide treatment, appropriate community referrals will be made.

Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers











To make an appointment, call (816) 235-1635.

Counseling Services Brochure

Scope of Service & Limitations