Client Information and Guidelines
We are glad that you have shown interest in the Counseling and Personal Development Center. We feel it will be helpful for you to know some basic information about our services. Also, feel absolutely free to call us at 425-4438 if you need additional information.
Individual counseling is available from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Students may drop in or call anytime between 8am-5pm. Counselors are available to see new clients from 9am-noon and 1pm-3pm. Sessions are by appointment only (except in the case of emergency) and are scheduled on the hour. On rare occasions, you may have to be rescheduled on short notice due to emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances. You would then be rescheduled at your earliest possible convenience. For this and any other reason we may need to contact you, we also ask that you remember to inform us as soon possible if you change your address or phone number. Also, in the event you try to reach the Counseling Center via E-mail, keep in mind we cannot guarantee that we will receive your message, nor can we guarantee the confidentiality of any E-mail communication.
Fees and Eligibility
All students, faculty, staff and alumni are eligible for counseling services. Please be aware that we must set priorities and that current UTC students have top priority. If your student status changes are you involved in an ongoing counseling relationship, your services will not be abruptly terminated.
All services to eligible individuals are free of charge, with the exception of testing and psychiatric services. A small fee for testing is required to offset the cost of the test materials incurred by the Center.
Regular attendance and promptness are required. We ask that you not take this for granted simply because sessions are free (in settings where there is a fee for services, clients are charged for sessions not canceled 24 hours in advance). If you show up more than 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment time you may be required to reschedule your session. If you cancel on short notice or fail to show for a scheduled appointment you will be asked to discuss this directly with your counselor in the next session as a counseling issue.
Repeated cancellations or no-shows may result in termination of services since missed appointments deprive others of this time. If you are undecided about whether you want to continue in counseling, we strongly encourage you to think about your concerns and discuss these directly with your counselor in the next session. You will not be made to feel like you should continue against your will.
All material and information discussed in your sessions is strictly confidential. While your case may be discussed among the counseling staff in the interest of providing the best services possible, no one besides yourself and Counseling Center staff will have access to your counseling records without your written permission. Once this information is released to another individual or agency, however, we no longer have direct control over its access. All records, both computerized and "hard copy" will be stored and retrieved according to acceptable ethical guidelines.
Each counselor at the Counseling and Personal Development Center adheres to the ethical guidelines prescribed by his/her profession. Feel free to inquire of your counselor what these guidelines are and what rights you have as a client.
While state law and professional ethics guarantee this confidentiality, there are some exceptions, however. These exceptions include:
1. In some cases of emergency, where there is, in the counselor's judgment, an imminent danger of harm to the client or another person it is required that action necessary to prevent this be taken. This may require breaking confidentiality.
2. State law requires that any knowledge of the physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect of a child or an elderly person be reported to authorities.
3. On rare occasions courts of the law have successfully had subpoenas for information from mental health professionals upheld and agencies have been forced to release this information.
Be aware that email communications cannot be considered confidential based on the University System's policies and procedures and the State of Tennessee's position that email sent and received in the course of state business is public record. Because of this, it is possible that information divulged in this manner would not legally be considered privileged communication. In addition, receipt and response to email communication cannot be guaranteed.
Information from your records might be included in service evaluations or descriptive research. If so, at no time will your identity be disclosed nor will the information be associated with you individually (i.e.: information from your records would only be included in the tabulation of group scores, ratings, etc.).
Becoming a client of the Counseling and Personal Development Center might exclude you from certain functions or relationships with the center in the future (e.g. graduate training, student worker, post-graduate employment). The appropriateness for such relationships in the future is determined on an individual basis, and several factors are considered. Be sure to clarify this with your counselor prior to entering counseling if you anticipate this being a concern.
Each counselor at the Counseling and Personal Development Center adheres to the ethical guidelines prescribed by his/her profession. If you believe that your counselor has behaved in an unethical or otherwise unacceptable manner you may register a complaint with that local, state, or national organization. Feel free to inquire of your counselor which set of professional guidelines he/she follows in his/her professional practice. You may also register your complaint with the Director of the Counseling Center or the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs.
We hope this information is helpful. Again, feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.